I hold a special place in my heart for Final Fantasy III. (Attention nerds! When I say Final Fantasy III, I mean the game that was released in America as Final Fantasy III, and released in Japan as Final Fantasy VI. For clarity’s sake, I will simply call it Final Fantasy III, because that’s what it says on the title screen, and I’m reviewing the original, Super Nintendo American version. So chill out, nerds, and go lecture someone about the correct meaning of the phrase “first Star Wards movie” or “first year of the millennium.”) I inevitably compare all other Final Fantasy games I play to FFIII, and when they come up short I sit back in my rocking chair, take a puff on my corn cob pipe, and declare “You know in MY day, when we played Final Fantasy III…”
Which is why I decided to replay it. Or rather, re-replay (I had played it a couple times as a kid, and once as a freshman in college. Remember: life is precious, and you must never waste a single second.) I wanted to know how much of the game still held up after all these years of “advances” in the Final Fantasy series (notice how I put advances in quotation marks, to imply that later games aren’t as good? I’m really fucking insufferable, ain’t I?), and how much of the game I was simply viewing through the hazy, rose-colored glasses of nostalgia.
The final verdict: half of the game is as good as I remember it, and the other half is much, much worse.