of Fire 3
Review By: Joel Fajardo
Capcom is a company that is usually secluded from the
credibility of their non-fighting games. Most can agree that they are the
one company that brings us the top-notch, state of the art arcade games that
not many can compete with. Yet through all this chaotic mess of developing
2D brawlers, they manage to bring us something far from what they are accustomed
Although the Breath of Fire series never took off quite the way that it was
hoped too, it managed to make a name for itself that would be recognized
by knowing gamers. Originally, BoF1 came out as a Squaresoft title, though
believe it or not, this was not the truth of the matter. Capcom was the company
to develop every BoF that we have seen and played. Why then, do you ask,
was BoF1 brought to the US as a Square title? One reason--Capcom paid Square
to bring out the title under a Square label, so that many devoted fans of
Final Fantasy and other renowned RPGs might buy the game. When BoF2 was being
developed, Capcom took full credit for the publishing and developing of the
game, hoping to be successful in a title that Square once helped them promote.
The game never got the scores that it was anticipated too (another loss for
Capcom you could say). At the present time, BoF3 is out and is a huge leap
from the first and second editions of the series. It brings forth every mechanic
that they tried to unsuccessfully implement before and gives much more, but
not quite as great as I was hoping. This game got noteworthy scores in many
sources of video game info, though to be honest, it's just another
Breath of Fire 3 starts out in a small town, where miners are at work trying
to excavate the essences of dead dragons in a distant cave. These small items
are said to hold magical powers-- those not accessible to humans. Two miners
proceed into the caves where they find a large crystal-like object, where
a seemingly dead dragon is imprisoned in. As they set explosives around this
crystal, and blow it up, the dragon awakens and comes to life. You are then
forced to travel in the body of this tiny creature and basically kill every
person that stands in you way. You are eventually captured and forced into
a cage, where you are afterward taken to the local town. Shortly afterward,
you leave on a train ride to somewhere far, far away, yet, you manage to
break free and hence take a human form. Days later, a half-man, half-cat
creature named Rei finds you, not as a dragon, but as a naked young boy named
Ryu (I named mine Tolki.); here, the game begins.
Capcom is the god of 2D; nothing can compare with them.
With that in mind, I have one question--What the heck were they thinking
when they designed the latest edition to their RPG series? My goodness, I'll
say one thing, and I'll say it now: The graphics bore me. Don't get me wrong,
they aren't bad, but just not pleasing to the eye. The basic design is boring,
and at the time that they made this, there definitely must have been a leak
in their pool of creativity.
To give you an idea of what to expect, this is what you may notice: Early
on in the game, enemies appear as the same enemy, but with just a different
color; this is one aspect that I despise in an RPG. The towns are relatively
nice, and play out the role of which they are suppose to fashionably. People
look rather the same, and consistently walk back and forth, making them look
as if they are robots. Dungeons are quite large, with many sprites of animation
shown (the same can be said for the overhead map, as well).
Unlike most RPGs that are carefully designed to be balanced
in every way, BoF3 diminishes its one hope of a great RPG with the bad soundtrack
that is portrayed. Plain and clear, the music cursorily flows at a consistent
rate with the excitement that you get by eating liver and cottage cheese.
In a sense, some tunes are comparable to MIDI sounds, in the quality and
texture, making it obvious that orchestra or CD music quality was not a major
factor to Capcom. Town after town, dungeon after dungeon, everything sounds
the same, making you forget if you've been there or not. An occasional 'Uuf'
or 'oik' sound from a character is heard when they are hit, but if you are
into the excitement of special sound effects, look elsewhere.
The control is just as bad as the sound, but not as good as the graphics.
Each character has a special ability, vaguely comparable to Wild Arms, which
they use during that course of the game. It's rather hard to position and
line the characters to where you want them to hit. At times, it gets bothersome,
but not frustrating, when you can't get the person right where you want them.
Another thing that was undesirable was the use of isometric
changing camera angles. To find certain items and at different times of the
game, you must make it a habit to focus the camera on different places, which
is hard, because the camera isn't freely movable, meaning that you can only
see certain places depending on where you stand. In doing this, you progress
further into the game and ultimately find new items.
The game and story, in general, aren't as bad as the factors that make them
up. The story flows considerably fine, and the characters have a bit of emotion.
There hasn't been a point yet in the 20 hours of the game that I've been
strongly anticipating what is coming next, but I play it every other day,
slightly enjoying bits and pieces of the game, here and there.
One thing that is awesome in the game is the fishing. At little places on
the main map, there are fishing locations, where you, well, go fishing. It's
pretty cool, because you are required to buy supplies and such, making it
Overall, the game isn't bad, but I've seen, played and heard better. If you
want an RPG to hold you off 'til Xenogears, or something, then feel free
to pick up a copy.