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VIDEO GAME REVIEW

Classic RPG Revisited

Dragon Warrior III Succeeds on Game Boy Color

By Chad Serrant

staff writer

Dragon Warrior III

Made for Game Boy Color

Game Boy Advance compatible

Published by Enix

Rated T for Teen

Way, way back in the console role-playing game (RPG) days, there was a game called Dragon Warrior. It was incredibly popular, making the RPG genre come alive. As any successful game would do, Dragon Warrior spawned a pile of sequels. The most recent installment of the Dragon Warrior series is the recreation of Dragon Warrior III for Game Boy Color (it is also Game Boy Advance compatible).

As the game begins, your character sets out on a quest to slay the evil demon king, Baramos. Well, that shouldn’t be hard, considering that your character’s courageous father died while trying to accomplish the same task. The most noticeable feature is that Dragon Warrior III is very light on plot, and players won’t be playing the game to find out the next tidbit in the story.

Your character and three others will wander through dungeons, battle enemies, search for treasure, and buy equipment in towns. Each character has personality traits that you can adjust according to their statistics. These range from Smart to Coward and Vain to Sexy, and can make or break a character’s skills. You can read books and wear items (like the ever-important garter belt) to change your personality to best fit your class. Speaking of class, there are nine classes to choose from: hero, warrior, fighter, mage, cleric, dealer, thief, jester, and sage. Each class has its pluses and minuses, and will considerably change battle strategies. When you reach the Dharma temple, your characters can change classes and create powerful characters who make it easier to change tactics during battle.

Luckily, this game has a lot of extra goodies that weren’t in the Nintendo version. For one thing, the thief class is new. Thieves are great at stealing items from enemies, and they can spot hidden treasure items on the floor, abilities which make them a great addition to any party. Another extra feature is the monster medals. When you defeat enemies, you receive the opportunity to find a monster medal. There are over 150 of them, and if you want catch them all, you’ll have to slay a lot of monsters. You can also look for the TinyMedals that are all over Dragon Warrior III. The TinyMedal man, found in the well in your hometown, will exchange them for rare gifts and items.

Not everything is perfect, of course. Money is very rare in this game, so you will have to go through a lot of battles to gain enough money. You will spend a very long time gaining cash to buy cool helmets for your ill-equipped characters. Another problem with the game is the lack of guidance to your next objective. While there shouldn’t be giant neon signs that point you in a direction, a few more clues to the next destination would make for more efficient game play. The impatient need not bother with this game.

The graphics are well done in terms of Game Boy Color development. The world map and towns are clearly tile-based, but the tiles are far more handsome than the NES version. Though the battle scenes have no backgrounds, the enemies come to life when they attack and have a lot of fluid animation. Unfortunately, the colors are a little on the dark side, and undoubtedly players will want a well-lit environment to battle the enemies and explore the levels.

The music has several remakes of the songs in the NES version. Old fans will recognize the tunes and enjoy the improved songs, while new players will hum to the beat. There are, however, very few sound effects in the game.

Dragon Warrior III will tantalize RPG fans everywhere, and with Dragon Warrior VII coming soon to the U.S., the series will surely be more successful.