While I’m in this vein, I recently played Final Fantasy III for the DS and was monumentally unimpressed.
It really took some effort and some good ol’ “I can’t be a Final Fantasy fangirl without having played III” gumption to get as far as I did, and to be honest … I didn’t even finish the game.
The offending party
I gave it about five chances. To start, I really dislike the “class” system for RPGs, just out of principle. For me, what a character can do is part of who they are (see Locke, Celes, Terra, Edgar, Cecil, Rydia, Cid, Edge, Yang, Cloud, Yuffie, Vincent, Irvine, Seifer, Squall, Yuna, and all the 290843471 other characters I missed). At first, I even tried to match each FFIII’s character to a job (ie. Ingus was a Warrior and then a knight, wussy Arc was a white mage and then a devout, etc), but it definitely wasn’t the same. I understand that they’re trying to let the player go through the game in a way that best suits them, but this just doesn’t jive with me.
The wuss, you bet your ass I made him a white mage
This is kind of a broad brushstroke, but does a game that lets players create their own strategies within a super-linear storyline really have much appeal? I didn’t even beat it once. There’s no way I’d be going back through and beating it say, with a geomancer or having a black mage all the way through.
USELESS CLASS ONLY EXISTS FOR “REPLAY VALUE”
Anyway, my defense for not beating the game (after solidly destroying all sidequests and level grinding until at 59), is that the amount of time between your last save point and the actual LAST BOSS is unreal (like, it took me a good 2+ hours to do that). I read that in the beta, there was a save point halfway through, but they removed it (for whatever ungodly reason). When I made a mistake and died after going into the Darkness, I weighed my options and decided that I didn’t really give a rip about these characters, the crystals, their world or the storyline, and so I packed it back up and sent it back to GameFly.
I liked it more than V (which is not saying much), but seriously. It felt like a game with zero imagination created because they had to have another Final Fantasy title at that point. The music wasn’t even that great, which until now has been a trademark of Final Fantasy games for me.
Ugh, letdown. At least I can say I’ve played it … and I think I offer a pretty good reason for not finishing. Especially when FFIV for the DS was burning a hole in my mailbox…