Final Fantasy III (PC) Review

Can’t I just replay Bravely Default instead?

When Final Fantasy 3 was given the remake treatment back in 2006 on the DS, I picked it up, as I’d never played the original on the NES. Understandably so, as it was a Japan only title for a long, long time.

However, when I played the DS remake, I was left unimpressed by basically everything, from the visuals to the rather obtuse gameplay designs.

Now that same title has made its way to PC, replaying it reminded me why I never got around to finishing it in the first place.

Four Warriors of Light. Four Crystals. Heard it before? Well, it started right here.

MSRP: $15.99
Platforms: PC
Multiplayer: N/A
Demo Availability: N/A
Length: 30-40 hours.

Here’s a fun idea:

Take a picture in 256 × 192 resolution and then blow it up to 1920 x 1080 resolution to see how that looks.



Ok, you’re lazy, I get it. The quick answer is that it will not look very good. In fact, it would look almost nothing like the original picture.

That’s one of the problems with the visuals here, 256 × 192 is the original resolution on the DS and that’s what FF3 remake was designed with in mind. From the art style to how the UI is presented, it’s all designed for the DS platform.

Even though they’re obviously using higher resolution models to make the title look cleaner, the fact remains that the art direction is not suited for it at all, and the end result is a rather terrible looking title.


Anyhow, let’s not linger on graphics for too long, as this is still a re-release of a remake from about eight years ago after all.

As a big fan of JRPGs in general, I often find myself replaying some of my old favorites like Chrono Trigger and FF6, so the idea of me going back to a classic doesn’t sound too far-fetched. Unfortunately, FF3 is an old NES game at its heart and makes no strive towards the modern age.

The combat is turn based, without any indication of turn order, and the difficulty itself is absolutely brutal at times, to the extent of not being fair.

In the very first hour of FF3, I saw the game over screen more times than I care to count.

Just exploring and running into a fight I absolutely no chance in was the most common way I died, and given there were no checkpoints of any kind, I was forced to save every few battles.

The objectives were unclear most of the time, which led to me going somewhere I shouldn’t be but was still easily accessible, which led to even more deaths. On top of that, there weren’t any save points available to use in most dungeons, making perishing against a boss a time loss of upwards of twenty to forty minutes.

Even the job system was ambiguous, with poor descriptions of their abilities, and even though I was leveling up my job, I had no idea what effect it was having outside of “it’s getting better, I guess.”

I understand that this was just how games were in the NES days, and perhaps I would think very differently if this were 1990 or hell, even 2006 – but it’s 2014. Having played Bravely Default, going back to FF3 felt like flying coach next to a baby after flying around on my own, as Superman.

The job system is fun to mess around with but the combat itself is as dull as they come.

Not to say it’s unplayable or that no one will be able to enjoy it, as the job system is still fun to mess around with and the rearranged tunes of the legendary Nobuo Uematsu are a delight to listen to, but the enjoyment of this title comes entirely from one’s expectations.

Going in fully understanding that this is basically a NES game at heart with all that implies, you might be able to endure and find some charm in the classic formula.

Fun Tidbit – There’s a quick save option but it’s the type that erases itself when it’s loaded.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Rearranged music sounds great
  • Using the job system to build a powerful team can be addictive
  • Blown up DS caliber graphics look awful
  • Price point
  • Many old school gameplay elements haven’t aged too well
Written by
Jae has been a gamer ever since he got a Nintendo when he was just a child. He has a passion for games and enjoys writing. While he worries about the direction gaming as a medium might be headed, he's too busy playing games to do anything about it.