Dragon Warrior III
Nintendo Entertainment System
Dragon Warrior 3 is an improvement over its two precursors in virtually every way. The storyline's more interesting, the graphics look better, the sounds sound better, and there's just more game to play than in the two previous installments.
The most distinctive aspect of Dragon Warrior 3 is its job system. Right after the game begins you're given a chance to recruit three people to your party. You can keep these characters or drop them to recruit others. The characters come in a variety of classes, but the interesting and unique part is that once you advance a character past level 20 you can have him or her switch classes while retaining most of their current abilities. So you could develop a character to be a powerful magic user and then have him convert classes to become a fighter. Then he could learn to fight effectively as a fighter while retaining his magic abilities. This system gives you reason to extend your playing time rather than blowing straight through, since you can develop an interesting and high-powered party through class switching.
The game has several other things going for it besides its class system. Dragon Warrior 3's story, although cliché laden, is still deep and interesting. The game world is huge, making Dragon Warrior 3 quite a long RPG. It's significantly longer than Dragon Warrior 2, and much longer than the original. But the game is still plagued by the traditional Dragon Warrior interface, forcing you to use a menu system to talk to non-player characters instead of just walking up and pressing a button.
Although the graphics are a step up above those of its predecessors, the game still isn't a graphical marvel by any means. The characters have considerably more detail than in the previous games and are actually easily recognizable as being human, but they're still relatively simple, two-color sprites. The world and dungeon maps also look more detailed and varied, but the color scheme is still a little too basic to make the graphics look good. Dragon Warrior 3's graphics are improved enough that the game doesn't look primitive anymore, but the improvement isn't significant enough to make the game look really good.
The music has been improved tremendously, though. The first Dragon Warrior had some catchy tunes, but weren't particularly good to listen to because they were played back at poor quality, resulting in a lot of electronic distortion. Dragon Warrior 3 continues the tradition of catchy music but eliminates the poor quality playback. There's a lot of variety to the songs, and most of them fit the mood of the storyline. The game's sound effects are basic and generic. The sound of scrolling text during dialogue is annoying and may drive you to start avoiding conversations just so you won't have to listen to it again.
Dragon Warrior 3 is a classic RPG that's aged remarkably well. Its job system is both unique and interesting, and its gameplay is quite enjoyable. If you're interested in RPGs, you should play this game both for its historical value and for its fun factor. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide
Decent, unimpressive graphics. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide
The sound effects are bland and sometimes border on being annoying, but the music is great. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide
Dragon Warrior 3's world is massive, and the class system gives the game an added dimension of depth. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide
The ability to recruit and drop characters, as well as the ability to train them in different classes, gives the game more replay value than most other RPGs. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide
Average documentation. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide