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Name: Seiken Densetsu 3 (95.17% in 29 votes)
Type: RPG
Platform: SNES
Company: SquareSoft Japan
Release date: 1995
Reviewed by: Zheen

Hi! This is Zheen doing his first review on Seiken Densetsu 3. First, let's look at some background information about this game. Release in 9/95 in Japan, Seiken Densetsu 3 presents the best graphical and musical quality one can ever expect from a Super NES game. Like many other impressive Square games, it is never translated into English (duo!). The predecessor in the series, Seiken Densetsu 2, however, was ported to US, and is commonly known as Secret of Mana. Luckily, Translation patches are available, which can translate about 5% of the dialogue into English. If you are interested, you can get the patch from here.

The game is set in an imaginary world, where there are six different kingdoms. Each of these six different kingdoms has its own strength over the other five. Unlike tradition RPG games, Seiken Densetsu 3 allows the player to choose three people from the six different kingdoms. The choice the player makes at the beginning to the game will affect the plot and the outcome. Each different hero/heroine has his/her own goal. For example, Duran the swordsman's Kingdom is invaded at the beginning of the story. Duran, who just won the title of the bravest swordsman, fought with the invader, the Red Lotus Magician. Duran is almost beat to death without being able to touch the magician. After the fight, Duran decides that he should go to the magic kingdom and learn about magic. Similar, the other five main characters all have their own reason to begin their journey. As the player plays along, he will see the six different stories merges into a big story. That is the creative aspect of this game as far as the plot is concerned.

The graphics in this game is very impressive for a SNES game. If you think Chrono Trigger's graphics is nice, then this one is AWESOME, for a SNES at least. The game extensively employees transparent effect to make itself look 3D. Some part of the game even uses the special 512 X 240 pixel mode, rather than the normal 320 X 240 mode. The most interesting aspect of the game is the fight system. In this game, player can actually control the main character as they do in a fight game. That is to say, no more turn-based traditional fighting! Like Secret of Mana, the player can actually control how the main characters sway their weapon, how to dodge enemy's attack. To use magic, the player can press B (depends on the setting) button and choose the magic you want.

Compared with Final Fantasy series, the plot of this game is not very long. However, the player can always play the game again with different sets of players.

Here comes the rating; we need to remember that this game is released in 1995, for the SNES, so we cannot totally base the rating on current PC standards.

Gameplay: 9/10
It is an action RPG that allows the player actually control the main character how to fight. All the control keys are set in the best position to allow easy access to weapon, magic, and items in a real-time battle.

Story: 8/10
If you can understand Japanese, you'll find some part of the story is funny, like when the main character is shoot out from a canon. The plot, on the other hand, is relatively straight forward. One can easily beat the game in three or four days if he can understand what the player is saying. Some part of the story forces the main characters to go back and forth between the different kingdoms, and is annoying. But overall, I find the story very interesting.

Graphics: 10/10
This is the height of a SNES graphics. All background and characters are nicely painted, and the sky even changes color in different time of the day. If you are not satisfied, then you'll probably never be.

Music: 9/10
The music of this game is very good. Considering that the game itself is only 4Mbytes, Square must have done a lot to make the sound as real as possible without taking up too much space. The background music is also very fitting to the plot.

Overall: 9/10
This game is a must-get as a whole. If you are tired of the traditional single plot RPG and the turn-based fighting, then this game is the best choice for you. The only regret is that the plot, at least I think, is not as well-thought as the other Square games.
  [ Demo Music ]

Demo Music #1
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