The third instalment of Square-Enix's blockbuster Final Fantasy series has been lovingly remade for the DS, with charming new graphics, to great effect. It is currently available from Shop To for just £9.95 a pretty great bargain when you consider that it is just over half the next best price of £18.96 from Gameseek.
The action begins when a terrible earthquake reveals a hitherto hidden cave which just happens to be the hiding place of the Crystal of Light. It is soon discovered by young orphan Luneth and tells him that he must set out on a quest, the outcome of which will decide the fate of the world. He is soon joined by two friends from his village: shy Arc, lover of books and feisty Refia, the blacksmith's daughter as well as a steadfast and loyal guard named Ingus from the nearby castle. They set off together to discover the four elemental crystals and the incredible powers that they hold.
This updated version has afforded the characters a little more in the way of personality and you should grow fond of them over the course of the game (you'd better hope so - the quest is a long one and these four are the only characters you're getting!). Their dialogue is decent and keeps you tied in to the story.
The story is a simple and fairly familiar one but still a lot of fun to participate in and it unfolds into a very lengthy quest that manages to keep your interest throughout. The updated graphics are a delight (although there is an odd disparity between the very cutesy and cartoony character models and the more realistically drawn enemies) and bring the old tale to life beautifully. There are plenty of different environments to explore, all very nicely designed in lovely technicolour and with plenty of secrets to search out. However, it feels like a shame and a wasted opportunity that the dual screen capabilities were not better used to the game's advantage in this made-for DS update. Most of the time the upper screen is completely blank - surely the developers could have thought of something to fill it with?
The job system, which you use to assign combat styles to your characters, is a fun way of powering up your party members and, with over twenty different types, it allows you to customise your team to fit your own style of play, as welll as helping to keep the fighting interesting (which is pretty vital considering the sheer volume of random battles you will surely run into).
Personally I loved Final Fantasy III and feel that is deserves a higher score than the just-shy-of-80% mark that it usually seems to attract but if you are one of the many who despise random battles (and frankly, who could blame you) then this may not be the best game for you. But if you are a fan of the japanese role playing game of old then this will provide a very enjoyable treat.
Thanks to QenTox at Hotukdeals!