Strategy Guide Review Policy:
My goal for these strategy guide reviews is not to discuss whether one needs the guide to complete the game. Every gamer has different strengths and skills, and one may need every bit of a guide, another may need to look up information for quick assistance once, and another may laugh at the idea of ever using a guide, even the online freebies. My goal is to determine whether the guide is 1) helpful in the first place, 2) does it encompass gamers who need hand-holding as well as those who need a quick reference and 3) how much information does it really have.
I had no idea what to expect with Final Fantasy III, as my first experience with a Final Fantasy game was Final Fantasy X and then I’ve somewhat backtracked from there. I was not prepared for the overwhelming issue with jobs, leveling up the jobs, swapping out jobs, finding out which jobs fit for me as a player, yadda yadda yadda. This unusual set-up (unusual for me, please understand) made the game far more challenging as well as fun. My first thoughts were that the guide would try to mold the player into using a particular subset of jobs for each area, boss, etc. Thankfully, I was wrong.
The way FuturePress’ guide handles the jobs is its best feature. It doesn’t try to shoehorn the player into using a specific set of jobs at all. In the beginning of each section/region, the guide lists all of the available jobs and offers tips on using each one. There are also separate job hints for the boss strategies, something that I found particularly useful when fighting Garuda in Saronia. Also strewn throughout the book are full page spreads of powerful job combinations. The player obviously doesn’t have to use these, but they make for interesting suggestions.
For additional job advice, the guide has detailed information on every job and provides strategic tips in the back for managing MP with job switches, how to use a job effectively to max out physical damage, and how to use a job to max out a character’s HP.
Level grinding seems to come with every FF game, and this one is no exception. However, the strategy guide lets the player know for every area what level they should be around to successfully navigate the area. I would love it if every guide provided a suggested level so I could prevent unnecessary level grinding. Sure excessive level grinding virtually ensures that one becomes so powerful that the final bosses are not that difficult, but level grinding is NEVER that enjoyable. Cutting down the amount of time I’m wandering around looking for enemies to beat up on me is always a plus.
I was only able to find a few things wrong with FuturePress’ guide, and it all lied within typos. There was an occasional typo here and there, usually consisting of adding an extra zero to a boss’ HP. These typos though did not detract from the overall quality of the guide’s walkthroughs or game information. A few of the maps had items switched around, but all of the items were in the places it pointed out so it wasn’t that big of a deal. However, for those who don’t like to hoard every item, this could be a mild annoyance.
These typos don’t take away from the fact that I would highly recommend this guide for FF fans wanting to delve or re-delve into Final Fantasy III. It definitely deserves its 5/5.
Strategy Guide Reviews did receive a review copy from FuturePress, but this in no way affected our review or scoring of the book