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Enix Shines Again
A remake is always a tricky thing to review. If I only write about what has been changed, the review doesn't give the full perspective. However, it is also a difficult task not to let nostalgia for times gone by affect the score. Fortunately for Dragon Warrior III, it has been so many years since I last used my NES that it's almost irrelevant. It's easy to forget many details of a game I haven't seen in almost 10 years.
Dragon Warrior III completes the trilogy of Loto's lineage (Erdrick in the NES days). The Demon Lord Baramos has caused misery among the people of the land, and only the son (or daughter) of Ortega can save the people from his wrath. The hero will have to carefully select companions from nine different classes--but only four can be in the party at once. Unlike most RPGs, Dragon Warrior III has male and female characters in each class, allowing for complete customization of the party. The RPGamer who plays the game a second time will be challenged by selecting a different assortment of party members.
The RPGamer will notice changes right away. The hero will discover his or her personality by taking a short quiz. The resulting personality will affect the stats of the hero, as well as each party member. Throughout the world, there are also books that can change the personality of the person who reads it.
Localization is always the key to understanding the plot. It's one thing to simply translate from Japanese and stick the text into the game, and another to make sure that all the text flows from one place to another. Enix strives to make sure the dialogue is perfect in every way, and the attention to detail shows in their latest title. The translation was redone from scratch and designed to portray the original story, uncensored -- yet another difference from the NES release.
Another major change that has been implemented is an increase in walking speed, except on the world map. Now the entire party can rush to the inn, or to the helpful priest, while quickly avoiding the eyes of the people in the streets. After all, there is the hero's pride at stake, and no one wants to see the hero dragging three coffins into town.
Once the party has been decided, and equipment handed out, it's time to depart from Aliahan and begin the quest to defeat the Demon Lord. Many monsters are in your path, both in the overworld as well as dungeons as varied as caves and pyramids. As with the previous Dragon Warrior games, the battle system is menu based. Only four simple commands are used: fight, cast, item, and run. A change from the original NES battles are the animations taking place. Each monster has different ways of attacking the party, and their actions are shown when they attack. This added motion makes the battles less static and more interesting. Seeing the cause and effect of battle really brings the enemies to life.
After a battle, the party may come across a Monster Medal, another addition from the original. Now the party can collect medals of conquest. Once the party has collected them all, an extra portion of the game will open. While it takes nothing away from the game or the story, it's that little extra quest for all the Dragon Warrior fanatics out there. It will take countless hours in order to collect all the Monster Medals. If one medal continues to elude you, find some friends and see if there is a different medal they need that you could trade for.
The melodies of old haven't changed much since the NES days, but Dragon Warrior III's music has managed to stand the test of time. When listening to the wide variety of music, try to remember this is coming from the Game Boy Color. Dragon Warrior III has a stellar selection of music, and one has to wonder what it could have sounded like on todayís consoles.
Like its predecessor, Dragon Warrior I & II, the remake of Dragon Warrior III has far superior graphics to the original version. In addition to the before-mentioned battle animations, the entire world has given a facelift. Dragon Warrior III was the first NES title to put a time of day into the game. When the party is outside, time will pass. As time passes, the day will turn to dusk, and then to night. If the party walks long enough, the night will turn to dawn, and back to day. Entering places at different times allows for people to be at different places. While a King may be stern in his throne room, he may be more helpful once he has retired to his chambers for the evening. Other villagers may also act differently at night than day, adding to the complexity of the story, as well as exploration.
Dragon Warrior III is simply the best game I've ever played for the Game Boy Color. Once started, it becomes impossible to put down. The story is progressive, but very open. Most of the time there is one simple goal, but no direction on where to start. While searching for information, the RPGamer will have to choose where to go, who to talk to, and which quests to complete, creating hours and hours of pure enjoyment. If you donít have a copy already, you must go out today and get this game.
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