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Capsule Review - Phantasy Star III

Title Phantasy Star III
Developer Sega
Year 1990
Platform Genesis
Capsule Rating
Capsule Review: Phantasy Star III is generally regarded as the black sheep of the series. Perhaps this isn't entirely fair, seeing as practically anything that had to live up to Phantasy Star II's standard would seem more than a little tepid; the game isn't bad in and of itself, but it's a low point for the series. For starters, it doesn't take place in the Algo solar system, which strips it of a good deal of Phantasy Star's unique feel and makes it look like an attempt to emulate Final Fantasy. Indeed, the game does often play like a generic fantacrap hack, and the bland battling, uninspired soundtrack and slow pace don't help a bit. Devoted fans of the series may find enough things in the game to keep them going, but others may be bewildered. To its credit, the innovation of the "generations" is one of the most original ideas the genre has seen, but it isn't executed as well as it could be: there are no characters anywhere near as wonderfully memorable as Alis or Nei to be found, and comparisons to the game's genre-shattering predecessors are best left unmade. Though it may not have been given a fair chance upon its release, over a decade later Phantasy Star III has retained little to none of whatever appeal it may have had; it's unfair, but so, as they say, is life. For series fanatics only, and even then to be approached with caution.

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