Dragon Warrior III - Retroview

Baramos Gonus... HeeHeeHee...


Review Breakdown
   Battle System 6
   Interface 7
   Music/Sound 7
   Originality 7
   Plot 8
   Localization 7
   Replay Value 5
   Visuals 6
   Difficulty Hard
   Time to Complete

45-60 hours


Title Screen

   Well, well... Never thought I'd get the opportunity to give this game the same kind of thrashing it gave me, but I guess the tides DO turn afterall. In all seriousness, I couldn't bash it if I tried. Plainly put, it's too great. For giving us this game, we can bow down and lie prostrate before the awesome power that is Enix.

   Like the vast majority of early RPGs, DWIII utilizes a variation of the ATB system for your battling pleasure. The aspect/view of the battle field is much like that of Final Fantasy except that you can't see your own characters. All you're given to work with in that respect is the large, color-shifting, ominous recepticle of numbers and letters at the top of the screen. Pay close attention to it for the first few battles and you'll have the system mastered in no time.

   Just like its' predecessors, there is a pretty good selection of character types to play around with. These range from the classic Warrior to the standard Wizard (AKA, Black Mage). The one really nifty addition to this class system that the Dragon Warrior Saga introduces is our little friend, the Merchant; say, "Hello!" to our market engineer, folks... Or... Not. Really though, if you pick a wide and wise set of characters at the beginning of the game, your ability to get through everything will be dramatically increased.

Four Pillars... Four Characters... Coincidence; Most Likely.
Four Pillars... Four Characters... Coincidence; Most Likely. 

   For the most part, the one sound effect you'll hear continually is that of walking through piles of bones. Icky, you say? Well... Think about it positively; there are worse things to walk around in... Magma, for one. The music is all relatively good. I can't really complain about the sounds as a whole because they're all in NES synth; today's lowest of the low. But, back in the Stick & Rock Age of Gaming, that's all we had so we were impressed out our ears.

   Decendant of ancient hero! Go forth and slay the Archfiend! Sound like a plot? Well... That's the one that you're lead around by for most of the game. It's the side trips and the other things you have to do in order to complete that mess that make the game interesting. Just to forewarn you a little, there's one particular twist in the plot that will probably make you run screaming into the hills when you realize its' implications. Stay calm; it's almost over  >;)

   On behalf of all the NES gamers out there, I officially nominate Enix for some sort of translation award. They consistently do quality work... Even if the total lack of contractions doesn't count against them, it's there. So... Maybe they deserve half an award?

;_;  I Want A Super Famicom Re-Release DW3 Cart...
;_;  I Want A Super Famicom Re-Release DW3 Cart... 

   If you can even say that you've beaten it ONCE you're in the good. Twice... I don't really see the point, but if you're feeling up to a rerun of an NES classic (and you don't like shorter games, such as The Legend of Zelda) you might want to pop this one in. It's a LOT easier now that you're twice as old as you were last time.

   Dragon Warrior III is hard for a very good reason. There is almost no such thing as absolute victory. If you don't have the correct items, equipment, characters, levels, and just about everything else imaginable under the sun, you're more or less up a creek without a paddle. These situations show up every once in a while and always when you most expect it... That's the real kicker here.

   To be honest, I've seen better graphics on a great number of other games on the NES. But, there's something unmistakably cool about seeing little super-deformed skulls and rib-cages lying around a pyramid that just draws me in. Call me a wacko if you really want... Everyone's entitled to say the truth occasionally.

Clown!? Who Are YOU Calling... Oh! You Said, "TOWN!"
Clown!? Who Are YOU Calling... Oh! You Said, "TOWN!" 

   Temporally speaking, the game isn't really all that long. Your mission is pretty straightforward (or so it would appear) and there isn't a whole lot of leveling up to be done. This aside, the amount of times that you need to collect money or return somewhere to open that last pesky treasure chest will add a lot to your running clock. Good luck!

   DWIII is undoubtedly one of the best RPGs for the NES (not a lot of competition I realize...). It's got a little of everything and more for those of us who are hard to please. Keep an eye on that Torneko, fella... Something about him smells like 'sequels'...

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