Ryu starts out young, but ages during the game.

The spell effects are nice looking, even if they aren't so flashy.

Expect alot of name calling when you meet these cute little winged chicks.

"It's a biggin!"

Breath of Fire III

Nowadays, most people consider an RPG to be too "old school" or "16-bit" if the graphics don't match FF7's. Well, I'm not one of those people. In fact, I really like old school, 16 bit RPGs. Breath of Fire 3 shows that a great RPG doesn't need flashy graphics because, just as there is more to a relationship than looks, there is more to a great game than graphics.

Like it's two predecessors, BoF3 stars a young boy named Ryu (Japanese for dragon, by the way) who has some strange special ability to change into a dragon. Ryu wants to learn more about his past, and why he was given these powers. Along his path, he makes friends to help him, and enemies to keep him from finding out what he is.

BoF3 is set up like a classic RPG, with the addition of options like fishing, and growing your own Fairy Village. The turn-based battles are very simple and use icons, much like those found in Wild Arms. However, instead of having a separate battle screen that you get pushed into, the battles take place right where you are, which adds a welcome touch of realism.

I'd have to say that BoF3's music is definitely it's weakest point. It's almost...jazzy, and not in a good way. It sounds kinda like hotel elavator music. I usually keep my tv's volume down and put on a Throwing Muses cd when I play this game, so that should say enough about the game's music.

Personally, I really like the 2D sprite-based characters. I think they're wonderfully drawn, and that Capcom did a great job with the character designs. Alot of people think graphics are one of the drawbacks of the game, but I think they're wonderful in their own right. I would've loved to see animated cut scenes like those found in Lunar and Granstream Saga, but there aren't any. I hope Capcom adds them in for BoF4 (if they make one.)

BoF3 is not an easy game. Some of the puzzles have left me cursing for hours, and I'm generally pretty layed back. I think that's a good thing though, cause some games are just too easy, and that's no fun. Also, the Fairy Village adds to the replay value, because even after you beat the game, you can go back and visit your winged friends.

I would definitely recomend BoF3 to any RPG fan, and to people who like to put alot of time into a game. I think it's a great game, and deserves more credit than it's given.

Katie the Web-Mistress

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