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Breath of Fire III - Reader Review

A classic that you don't want to miss.

By PinoyMan07@aol.com


Review Breakdown
   Battle System8.5
   Gameplay10.0
   Music8.0
   Originality9.5
   Plot9.5
   Replay Value5.0
   Sound9.0
   Visuals9.0
   DifficultyEasy
   Time to Complete60+ hours 
Overall
9.0

   Most RPG fans are familiar with the Breath of Fire series. With its series debut back in 1994, it was one of the most innovative RPGs in a while with it's unique battle system and characters. Packed with gameplay and a good plot, Breath of Fire begot a sequel, Breath of Fire II. And after waiting three years, gamers finally receive the third (and possibly final) installment in this series, Breath of Fire III.

   Unlike Breath of Fire II, which was a direct sequel to Breath of Fire, Breath of Fire III is a "loose" sequel, with a slightly new story that retains some plot elements from its predecessors. You still control a member of the Dragon Clan (now the Brood) acuire new allies as you help the main character, Ryu, discover what happened to the Brood. What you'll notice when you get this game is that your companions no longer borrow the names of previous characters from the past two games. It's nothing big, but it helps distinguish itself from Breath of Fire/Breath of Fire II and raises its originality at least half a point.

   Breath of Fire III is unlike most RPGs on the PlayStation. For one thing, it's not fully 3D; it has hand-drawn 3D backgrounds with sprites. This may sound like a bad thing, but in reality, this works out well. The sprites are colorful and detailed, a step up from the 16-bit days. The backgrounds, although not on the same level as recent RPGs, hold up on their own with vibrant colors and details down to pebbles and grooves on a dirt road. Not bad overall.

   The music is average. It won't appeal to all gamers, mostly because of it's "happy," not-so-dramatic feel. That's expected since this game isn't dark and gloomy, more happy and cheery. Another turnoff to some is that there isn't much variety in the music and some won't like the techno samples used to make the music. The sound is better than most games with voice samples that match what's going on the screen and sound effects that sound like what you would here in real life (well, it's close :) ).

   Gameplay is where this game really shines. Like Breath of Fire 1&2, Breath of Fire III has a new, unique battle system and has a good plot. Battles are fought on the screen, so load times are a little shorter than other games since there's no fading in and out of battle. You're battle menu is shaped like a "t" with icons for: use of items, magic, attack, auto attack, dere a little shorter than other games since there's no fading in and out of battle. You're battle menu is shaped like a "t" with icons for: use of items, magic, attack, auto attack, defend, examine (learn an opponent's ability), and run away. There are a lot of goodies thrown in (like being able to build a faerie town) and the game is packed with secrets and side quests just for the heck of it. But once you beat the game, there isn't much left to do except find any secrets you haven't found yet. (It's a problem in most RPGs.)

   Overall, this RPG is worthy of anyone's library. Breath of Fire III excels in almost all catagories and is loaded with hours of gameplay. Pick this game up. You won't regret it.

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