The last NES Final Fantasy comes to DS with upgraded graphics, sound, and controls.
Never before released outside of Japan, Final Fantasy III (originally released on the Famicom) is coming to the Nintendo DS with a major overhaul. The game is being entirely rebuilt in 3D with colorful graphics and a visual style similar to FF IX. The music has been reworked to feature the instrumental depth that fans have come to expect of the series since the SNES days. Plus, from trailers on the floor, it seems that the game may even have some occasional pre-rendered cut-scenes.
Control can be handled traditionally with the cross pad and buttons or you can opt to use the stylus. Like Animal Crossing, players may find it easier to perform some actions with the buttons and others with the stylus. Since FF III is completely turn based, there are no quick actions to be concerned with, and the stylus control makes menu navigation much quicker. In battles, you don't even need to press the attack command; you can simply tap the enemy you want the current character to attack. Tapping the background in battle allows you to cancel which can be frustrating because it seems that the points you need to touch are rather small – however that perception may simply be due to the fact that the DS I was using was bolted in at thigh level.
The content of the demo is fairly slim, showing only basic Final Fantasy mechanics without getting into FF III's job system. There is a small town; an overworld section in which a hand-drawn map is shown on the upper screen; a castle with a closed gate; and a small dungeon. You find a couple of chests and fight some enemies before you get to the boss. Weapons and shields are equipped in the left and right hands, so it is possible to equip a character with two swords to give added damage. I also came across some items that cast ice spells which were more effective against the giant turtle than the fire spell the characters know by default.
It looks like Square-Enix is putting a lot of work into bringing Final Fantasy III to 3D. While the features that make it unique weren't shown in the demo at E3, players can probably find more information on the original Famicom game before the DS version releases this September.