Final Fantasy III

7 hours, 26 minutes and 22 seconds. That’s the amount I’ve spent so far playing Final Fantasy III for the Nintendo DS, and it’s not too shabby actually for a busy guy who was previously adverse to RPGs. In any case, there’s nothing much to add on to my first impressions of the game (nice graphics, soundtrack) except that it is an excellent RPG.

Random encounters are abundant around the map and players tend to bump into them, but it’s a really good way to level up your characters. The job system complements the leveling up and if you are stuck in a rut (e.g. reduced to mini size vs pain-in-the-ass monsters), try changing jobs! In my opinion, the job system plays an important role in keeping things fresh, and I don’t even sense the tedium normally associated with level grinding.

Combat is turn-based and it’s pretty clear cut (to me at least), when compared to the series’ Playstation counterparts. New players and RPG virgins shouldn’t have a problem getting into (or fleeing from) combat, just keep in mind that combat comes along frequently (refer to previous paragraph).

Even with SD Gundam-styled character models, the game has a more mature tone compared to other similar RPGs on the Nintendo DS, such as Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time. And I actually favour this set up compared to that of the later, which had me in candy-coated, gum-drop flavoured anaphylaptic shock (metaphorically speaking) after 20 hours of play.

In any case, Final Fantasy III is a worthy addition to any Nintendo DS owner’s library. It pretty much earned its place in mine.

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