Continuing our reviews of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster, this week we’re looking at the third game in the series, Final Fantasy III. Originally released in 1991, this was the only title never released outside of Japan until the 3D remake for Nintendo DS in 2008.
While the first two Pixels Remaster games were a bit of a coin toss in regards to just how worthwhile they were, Final Fantasy III has a much more solid answer from us.
The first thing to note is that this is the first official translation of the NES version ever released outside of Japan, giving even the most dedicated Final Fantasy fans something new to experience, if only just the difference between the original and the 3D remake. The glow-up? Phenomenal!
Following the same standard of the first two games, Nobuo Uematsu is back, revamping the entire soundtrack.
Final Fantasy I and II looked polished, but now the Pixel Remasters are starting to look less like a remaster, more like a brand new game altogether. There’s an overly satisfying level of detailing we’re seeing now in bigger monsters and environments that weren’t quite there in Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II.
Designs have more definition to them that really brings out a higher level of detail for everything.
The story of Final Fantasy III is both an improvement and a letdown at the same time in the fact that it’s the exact same story as Final Fantasy I, just executed differently. The game gives four silent protagonists who have destiny thrust upon them on a fateful day when exploring a cave. Granted great power by the world’s wind crystal, the four hero’s must set out across the world to restore the light to the remaining three crystals and expunge darkness from the lands.
Still, Final Fantasy III takes a few unexpected twists that keep us guessing, and provides more lore and world history than either of the previous two titles ever did. The world carries over iconic imagery introduced in Final Fantasy II (namely chocobos) while also providing several more that would go on to be staples for every title to follow including summoning magic, the job system, and moogles!
Exploration is still important. Rooms are often hidden and found by hugging along walls to clip through dark tunnels until you reach secret passages or treasure rooms. However, Final Fantasy III is a bit more streamlined, making it harder to get lost and reach dead ends during story progression, even when given full access to the world after about a third of the game.
Quality of Life
Just like with Final Fantasy I and II, a number of things have been done to make this game hold solid ground with today’s expectations. Auto-battle, autosave, and a mini-map have been installed to make everything less time-consuming, and more about trial and error than careful preparation before entering dungeons. Item prices have been decreased and drop rates of rare items from monsters have been increased! Switching between jobs no longer comes with the sickness status. Now you can adjust your party quickly and effectively without having to grind through a number of random encounters every time you want to try different party compositions for certain bosses.
In addition, certain jobs have received a few adjustments to make them more suitable for the entire game, received new abilities based on the 3D remake (2007) while overpowered jobs have been scaled down accordingly.
Monsters in the final dungeon tend to also hit less hard than they used to, making the final dungeon less stressful.
Compared to the 3D remake, which is still up for sale, there are a few things to be said. The 3D remake has a much more detailed script with four characters that have actual names and personalities, unlike the Pixel Remaster which gives us four silent heroes. The 3D remake is also cheaper. The Pixel Remaster for Final Fantasy III is priced at $18.00, which is a bit steep compared to $16.00 for the 3D version.
Is it Worth It?
We said we had a more concrete answer and that answer is… yes! It is.
Even if you’ve already played the original 3D remake, the Final Fantasy III Pixel Remaster is well worth it. Between the game being rebalanced, a new soundtrack, sound library, and this being the first time you can play the original game outside of Japan, it’s well worth a shot. Maybe just wait until it’s on sale.
Final Fantasy III Pixel Remaster is available now on Steam and smart devices. Join us next week when we’ll continue our reviews of Pixel Remaster with Final Fantasy IV.