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Final Fantasy III (PSP) Hands-On Impression [Tokyo Game Show]

September 25, 2012 Written by Heath Hindman

While Square Enix didn’t have a single playable game at its own TGS booth, Sony picked up one small piece of the slack by including the PSP port of Final Fantasy III among its demo kiosks.

The PSP version of Final Fantasy III is a port of the DS remake from 2007, with only some minor changes, several of which have been reported in the news. It’s got an image gallery and the visuals have been modified to fit the PSP screen, but these are not game changers. The inclusion of auto-battle is nice, but what that feature unwittingly exposes is how much of a grind Final Fantasy III is — and that’s what first-timers should be aware of before diving head first into this game. This is an old school Final Fantasy title, we’re talking like 1990. This is from the days when walking 10 steps almost definitely meant trigging a random encounter, even though said encounter would be against low-level monsters with no chance of scratching your party. Final Fantasy III‘s use of the job class system is great, deep, and interesting, but advancement through it has been a turnoff for many vocal players.

The demo only let me roll with about 15 minutes of the game, but having been through the DS version, I saw what I needed to see.

Often, Final Fantasy III‘s difficulty makes it no pushover, but you should acknowledge ahead of time that you are in for a gargantuan amount of random battles, many of will be against wimpy foes. What I find ironic is that the included auto-battle is supposed to be viewed as a good feature, yet the inclusion of Gambits — a customizable auto-battle with AI that you could program yourself and interfere with in times of chaos — in Final Fantasy XII was the subject of some firey rage from some fans. (Both systems are optional in their respective games.) With a series this big, having so many fans in each camp, I guess anything you include or exclude will earn praise as well as complaints.

If you own the DS version, there’s little reason to drop money on Final Fantasy III‘s PSP version, because it is about 98% the same game. If the difference is enough justification for you to re-buy it, or if you’ve always been curious about this older Final Fantasy, then hey, the experience still delivers. This’ll be on the PSP’s PSN today.