Reviews: Breath Of Fire III
A Really Refreshing Tale
Breath of Fire III is, in many ways, a typical RPG. You travel the world helping people out and discovering things about the characters within it. However there is one amazingly atypical thing about this game and that is the fact that there is no major conflict. Unlike practically ever other RPG I've played, this is a legitimate peaceful world. There is no war. No evil tyrants. No ancient monsters sealed away. Nothing. The worst thing you'll fight are career criminals. The king that causes you trouble is just an overprotective dad and the allegedly evil sealed witch is only mildly annoyed about being locked up and helps the party out immediately. Even the final boss acts extremely benevolent and the game makes it very easy to end things without bloodshed.Sure there was an ancient genocide five hundred years ago but that's old news. In the present, nobody is actively trying to destroy your party (except a pair of really persistent horsemen) and the entire driving force behind the plot comes from the characters' choices to learn more about themselves and their world. If they die along the way then very little will change. The world will continue as it is with no great repercussions. This might sound like the plot lacks vigor or purpose but it is still seeped with it because the characters have some legitimate ponderings. And the game does still throw challenges at you. The world might be at peace but people still need help pulling scrap metal out of the ocean. And personal tragedy still strikes. The world might not be in danger but the heroes are just as invested in their quest as any other band of adventurers. It is not an overly grand story, in fact it's extremely simple. But I personally found it very satisfying and extremely refreshing. In a genre saturated with things trying to kill you and end the world, it's really nice to have one game that keeps things low key and actually let's the characters invest themselves in the story instead of forcing them.
Still a Classic
Warning: may contain spoilers. For a game that came out in 1998, Bof III, in my opinion, still stands out well today. First, there's the story. Sure, it's still basically "adventurers travel around the world killing monsters until they find the Final Boss" but there are significant details. One is that you start playing *as children* and then continue as near-adults- you literally get to see them grow as characters. Second, many of the bosses you kill have tragic backgrounds, making you realize the world isn't just Black and White. And finally, there are some details that are never completely explained - such as whether the Final Boss was right in her actions or not- that keep you thinking even after the game is over. There's also the fact that humans live with animal-people *in perfect peace* unlike so many other settings. There's even an interspecies marriage!! Also, the Schizo Tech featured is, for once, explained (at a later point in the game). In playstyle, there's the Dragon-Gene system, where you slowly gain different dragon forms -very inventive ones- by accumulating "dragon genes" and combining them in different ways. It doesn't have much to do with the main story, but its still fun. Some of the minigames -such as having to help some fairies build and maintain their village- are pretty unique too. And in graphics, while dated by today's standards, they managed to create some surprisingly good Anime-style sprites- no Super Deformed characters here! Their designs -especially Peco the Onion Boy's- where pretty good too. Overall, I'd say that the best thing about Bo FIII was how every part of the game just felt unique, like you were playing a different game with a different atmosphere as time goes by- but not in an abrupt way. From the whimsy of kids trying to earn their town's respect to struggling for your life in a faraway desert, playing Bo FIII is still a unique experience.