There is confusion among the order of past Final Fantasy games. Once upon a time, FFIII was actually the Japanese version of FFVI on the Super Nintendo while FFIV was FFII in the U.S.
Since then, Square-Enix has cleared up this oddity by re-releasing the games Western audiences missed out on. The actual Final Fantasy 2 & 3 were originally on NES.
In 2006, S-E eventually brought Final Fantasy III to the States and other regions on the Nintendo DS. Since then, the game has been released on other platforms including iOS, PSP/Vita, and Android.
The Android version is nearly identical to the DS remake, sans dual screens and opening cinematic. Instead of NES sprites, this version is presented in 3D with polygons and all. In fact, the graphics might make one compare it to the PlayStation era Final Fantasy games.
Unlike the DS version, FF3 on Android is in high-definition and looks good whether using a smartphone or 10 inch tablet.
Controls are something of a mixed bag. While Google’s OS supports gamepads, this game does not so you are forced to use touch screen virtual buttons.
I prefer to use physical controls, however the touch screen interface is not bad, and much easier to use than most other games on mobile devices. After all, it is a RPG and works with the platform.
Most Android devices support FF3 so it should run very well on phones and tablets at least a 2-3 years old. I am using a Nexus 7 and gameplay runs smooth without a stutter.
Final Fantasy III’s gameplay is very good and holds up well against some newer games in the series (here’s looking at you, FF13). This game first introduced the job system FF fans have come to love. As you progress in the story, your party gains a variety of classes with their own unique abilities. For example, dragoons can jump, mages use magic, and monks can retaliate to counter enemy’s attacks.
If you are looking for a challenge, this RPG will give you one. With numerous random battles and difficult boss battles, this game will make you pull out you hair or, God-forbid, throw your Android device against the wall.
With that said, it’s not too hard that no one can beat it and a little level grinding goes a long way. For a greater challenge, I would say use the Onion Knight class, which can use all black & white magic and equip all weapons/armor. It nurfs your stats, but proves very rewarding once your party exceeds level 90.
The story isn’t horrible, but it is lacking substance. It is a simple premise: four Warriors of Light must find the crystals and save the world. These characters have short backstories but after their initial introduction, there is no further development. To be fair, this is one of the earliest Final Fantasy games (originally released in 1990) so don’t expect something on the caliber of FF6 or FF7.
I also wish pricing was a little better on this title. While iOS and PSP/Vita owner can get this game for less than $10, Final Fantasy III is a whopping $16.99 on the Google Play Store. It’s a tad expensive for a mobile game. However if you consider that the Nintendo DS version cost $40 when it released, then the price for this version isn’t all that bad.
Overall, Final Fantasy III on Android is great and I am still enjoying it. If I had to criticize it, it would be for lack of a story and high price point for a mobile game. I’d score this classic RPG 8 crystals out of 10.