Dragon Warrior 3 - Retroview

Another in a Line of Highly Overrated Games

By: Robust Stu

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 2
   Interface 1
   Music/Sound 3
   Originality 1
   Plot 2
   Localization 4
   Replay Value 1
   Visuals 3
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

35 Hours


Dragon Warrior 3

   Dragon Warrior 3 is one of those weird sorts of games that everybody but me seems to love. Sure it was a step up from the first two games, but I wouldn't exactly call it good. In fact, the first game in the series I thought was good was the one that came after this. Still though, it was there and since there weren't too many other RPGs to play at the time, I got it, and lucky you, you now get to hear what I think about it.

   The story begins with an event years ago, in which the brave hero Ortega got in a battle with an evil monster, after the conclusion of which he disappeared, never to be seen again. You, as the now grown son of Ortega, one day set out to discover the true fate of your father and bring peace to the world. As is common for the Dragon Warrior series up to this point, that's all there really is to the story. Anything else that is storyline related is more local to each town, as every time you visit a new locale, it has their own storyline which mostly follows the pattern of "go to town, go to dungeon, retrieve treasure, return to town and claim reward, and move on to the next town." I have to say I hate that method of storytelling and it is one of my MAJOR pet peeves with the Dragon Warrior series.

   This game has your standard classic RPG style battle system. In it, you and your party of stalwart warriors face off against the enemy party. You have the standard four commands of Fight, Magic, Item and Run. If you lose, you are revived by the last place you saved, but you are relieved of half your gold in the process, but are free to fight again. I really wish there was more about it to tell than that, but unfortunately that was the extent of things.

What great graphics.  I mean, really
What great graphics. I mean, really  

   The graphics were something of a stilted first attempt at improving things. It was clear that they were trying to improve things from the first two games, but had no idea how to go about it. In an attempt to do more detailed visuals, the graphics instead became distorted, making what was supposed to be a fighter, for example, look more like a ballerina. At least they were trying, so I'll give them something for that, but unfortunately looking at this game could be kind of scary sometimes.

   The music was mostly at the level of Dragon Warrior 2, in that they had a song for the overworld, dungeons, towers, town, the castle, and battles, and that was it. The tunes weren't that bad, but sounded a little stuffy. Also, I think that they should have had a greater variety of tunes by this point, and quite frankly was unimpressed. The sound effects weren't very good at all either, and in fact are exactly the same as they were in the first game. Another major complaint I have about the Dragon Warrior series is their apparent unwillingness to improve the music and sound from game to game, and that rings true in the third installment.

   The localization was there. It wasn't actively bad, but it fell under the evil sway of sounding more like a literal translation more than a localization, meaning that you understood everything, but everything sounded very bland and had absolutely no personality to it. That's one of the main reasons I find it hard to get into Dragon Warrior games, because they always sound so stiff and boring. A little more personality might have made this a more enjoyable game.

   This game doesn't have much in the way of replay value. I quite frankly found Dragon Warrior 3 to be very boring and unenjoyable, so playing through it once was enough for me. There are no side quests to speak of, so there's not even anything new to see the second time through. I'd leave it on the shelf for a while after beating it if I were you.

This game made me want to hide in the basement, too
This game made me want to hide in the basement, too  

   As RPGs go, you don't get much less original than this. The only thing that might be considered different in this game is the job system, but that's been seen before and many times since, so I can't give it too many points for that. Other than that, this is probably one of the most generic RPGs I've ever played. This game is also a decent length, as you're probably going to spend somewhere along the lines of 35 hours getting through it.

I really have to say that this is one of my least favorite RPGs ever. There are many reasons I don't particularly care for the Dragon Warrior series, and Dragon Warrior 3 seemed to take each of those reasons and accentuate them simply to piss me off. I didn't play this game until much later, so I don't even have any fond "first RPG" memories that I had for DW1 and 2. This was boring in every sense of the word, and every second dragged until I felt like I could take no more. It was very generic, and I didn't enjoy it at all. I'd pass on it unless you feel compelled to play anything with the Dragon Warrior name on it.

Strong Recommendation to Avoid.

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