Dragon Warrior III
Here it is everybody, the last game in the Loto trilogy. (For those who can't figure out what I mean this is my review for Dragon Warrior III). Unlike in the previous 3 installments of the Dragon Warrior in this game you can recruit 3 other characters right in the first town, rather than having them join you later in your journey. You even get to pick what job they will be (Who wouldn't love a game where you can have goof-off as characters?). This game actually takes place before the events in Dragon Warrior (It better not be 1000 years before). Later in the game you'll see how the three games (DW, DW2, & DW3) link together, but I won't spoil it here (because CjayC hates people putting spoilers in their reviews, and I don't want to upset him).
Once again this game is a standard 2-D menu based RPG. As you wander around the towns and villages and on the world map, the game shows a 2-D view (kind of like a bird's eye view). Nothing new here, but why change what works? Combats are a 3-D view where you can see the monsters from your characters' perspective, just like the first two games in the series
It uses basically the same menu as Dragon Warrior II, which is good since it easily allows you to do what you want. As always you still need to select talk from the menu to talk to people. (Couldn't they take a hint from Final Fantasy here?) Overall though the menu is nice, simple, and easy to use, no problems here.
Combat is basically identical to the combat in Dragon Warrior II. As you wander around outside or in dungeons, you'll sometimes get into a fight with monsters. When this happens the game switches to a 3-D view that shows the monsters you are fighting on a black background (Once again, couldn't they take a hint from Final Fantasy or Phantasy Star and actually a picture in the background? Even the original Dragon Warrior did!) You'll get into fights with multiple monsters at a time. Each monster and character will take turns. In each turn each monster or character gets to do one action. Pretty basic, but there are lots of spells and stuff to make the combats interesting and challenging.
As with Dragon Warrior II there are tons of towns and dungeons to explore. In fact this game even has two worlds to explore (and no I'm not saying what the second world is, that would be a spoiler, so quit bugging me!) Once you get a boat or a flying device (quit asking what flying device!) you can really start exploring the world and find lots of fun places to go.
One new feature is the ability to choose what job you starting characters are. You can pick from soldier, fighter, merchant, goof-off, pilgrim or wizard. You main character is a hero, which is easily the most powerful class. Each job has its own strengths and weaknesses, so make sure to choose wisely. The ability to pick which jobs your characters have adds a fun element to the game. Depending on which jobs you pick, it can greatly affect you strategies in combat.
Another added feature is the monster arena. Here monsters fight each other to the death, and you can bet on which one will win. Depending on your luck it can pay off big (or you can lose big). Its even fun just to bet a tiny amount to watch the monsters slug it out with each other. I really like this feature.
This game is not nearly as difficult as its predecessor is (that would be Dragon Warrior II). You should be able to beat the game with no leveling up required. Of course if you're a wimp, and don't want the challenge you can always spend some time leveling up. This game has a lot more bosses than the first two, and some can be pretty tough. But overall it's not extremely hard or anything.
There aren't a whole lot of secrets to find in this game, but there are some things you might miss (especially in the second world). The game is definitely worth replaying though, you can pick different jobs and it can really change how difficult the game is.
I really like the story to the game. It starts out rather bland; the king tells you that 'your enemy is the archfiend Baramos'. Sounds rather pathetic, but it gets more interesting. Part of the story is how your father, Ortega tried to defeat Baramos when you were a kid, but he disappeared. Now you are setting off to find out what happened to him. My favorite part of the story is near the end, when you find out how this game is linked to the first Dragon Warrior. Some of the comments by the people you find can be really funny.
The sidestories along the way are interesting too. You must explore a pyramid, get some pepper, and retrieve a crown. Lots of things to keep you busy and entertained along the way to completing the game.
The graphics are a little better than in Dragon Warrior II, but still leave something to be desired. Especially in combat, the monsters are on a black background and aren't animated (Enix really needed to take a lesson from Sega and Phantasy Star). But I suppose all NES games have bad graphics, and I've seen much worse than this game, so nothing to complain about too much.
I've always liked the work of Koichi Sugiyama (the composer of the music in all the Dragon Warrior games). Even using NES's pathetic hardware it sounds pretty decent. The main theme is really catchy. (It's one of my favorites) As far as NES games go, great music and sound effects, no need to mute your TV while playing (I've seen many SNES and PSX games that should have a mute feature for their music).
Overall Rating: 10/10
This is one of the best Dragon Warrior games in my opinion, and since Dragon Warrior is probably my favorite series, I think this game definitely deserves a 10. The job system is rather basic compared to what's in the later Dragon Quest games, but it's still interesting enough. The game has tons of stuff to do, and plenty of places to explore. The game is certainly worth getting; it will keep you entertained for a good long while.