Final Fantasy III Review: Great Controls, Tiring 20-Year Old Gameplay

If you own a DS, you've probably chanced upon Final Fantasy III for the platform, which was released around four years ago (based on the original FFIII from 20 years ago).  Well, an enhanced version is now available for iOS, giving iPhone gamers a chance to play the classic RPG title.

While drawn from the DS version, this new iteration actually looks a lot better -- the details are fuller, the textures are richer and the colors seem more vibrant.  While it's nowhere near as visually thrilling as some of the prettier iOS games we've seen, it works well.  The restyled controls feel great on the touchscreen, with a virtual analog stick for character movement and nearly every element in the game being available for tapping.

FFIII's gameplay is standard fare for RPGs, especially for those who grew up around modern games in the genre.  Do note that Square first designed this game twenty years ago, so most elements here are likely already familiar to you (some will even border on cliché and, others, downright expired in usefulness).  The random, pointless battles that don't do anything to move your forward, for instance, can be exhausting, as well as the stingy pre-defined save points.

The turn-based gameplay can feel slow to players used to more dynamic RPG action, especially with those self-same battle animations and victory sequences.  If you're willing to trudge through that, though, you can enjoy an earnestly challenging game that will require plenty of time and strategy to get right.

We're not sure how today's kids will take to a game like Final Fantasy III.  If you're up for a tough challenge and are willing to live with some old-school stylings, then this retro game should be right up your alley.  It's a bit too richly-priced, though, at $15.99.


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