Saturday 26 September 2015

Final Fantasy III

The third game I actually started playing a while ago, and only finished it recently when picking up my Nintendo DSi again. The graphics for the DSi version are completely remade, featuring 3-dimensional models used in cut scenes and battle animations. While walking around in dungeons and in the overworld, the camera angle is now isometric. The top screen of the DSi shows a constant view of the world map when traveling, which was useful but maybe not the most important point. The music was also resampled but is still in the same spirit as the original.

It is clear that they have looked at the two previous games when creating the character development system for the third game in the series. With the bad and good from the two previous systems in mind, they have created something that works very well. Instead of leveling individual skills or being locked to a job, now you can switch jobs during gameplay. From the beginning, all four characters in your group are Freelancers with no specific abilities. Very soon the story unlocks the first batch of jobs from which to choose, after which at three more times during the game more jobs get unlocked. Each job has an extra ability, for example throw for the ninja, or black magic for the black mage. When playing a character as a chosen job, the job level for that job goes up and at the same time the overall character level goes up. This means you will likely have a number of levels in different jobs for each character by the end of the game, but it does not affect base stats as much since those stats are based on the character level. I really like this job-based system. It allows you a lot of freedom in setting up your group the way you want, as well as some tactical decisions for different parts of the game. It still takes a while to switch job if you want to get the level of that job up a bit, but usually when new jobs are unlocked they are already valid choices around the first levels. The best part is that it avoids having to level up each individual skill, since a job comes with these attributes. As an example, the weapon types are fully controlled by the selected job instead of there being a stat for each weapon. There are a lot of jobs to try out as well so there is definitely replayability in trying out new combinations. Also, you get to keep the same four characters in your party throughout the story, so you can rely on all the characters when planning for what is ahead.

The story feels much more well-structured than that of the previous two games. There is a better progression, and the villages and areas to visit felt more interesting to me. Unlocking new jobs at different points also brings some new mechanics to explore as the game goes on. On top of that, I did not get lost as much as in the previous games. The game almost always gave me enough information that I could find the next location even when having to search the world map.

The job system is one of the strong aspects of the game, but far from the only thing that makes the game good. With a well put together story and an awesome soundtrack, this game is definitely my favorite among the first three. Coming up next is the Super Nintendo era of games.

No comments:

Post a Comment