With the middling returns of some major JRPGs in recent years – think Final Fantasy XIII – many fans have made their preference known for games with a more classic influence, like Bravely Default and similar titles. For much the same reason, the trend of porting and even updating old titles on new platforms only continues to grow stronger. Mobile and PC have emerged as valuable markets alongside current-gen consoles – new territories largely dominated by Square Enix for classic JRPGs. Recently, several classic Final Fantasy games have been re-released, including the much-beloved Final Fantasy VII (a game which is also getting a long-desired remake).
In this sort of climate, it only seems reasonable for Capcom to follow Square Enix’s lead and dip back into sentiment aged two decades. Breath of Fire III, a well-regarded installment of the JRPG Breath of Fire series, had been released as a PlayStation Portable game for Japan and Europe nearly eleven years ago (its sequel, Breath of Fire IV, has already been released as a PSP game in all regions). On January 27th, Capcom announced in a blog post that Breath of Fire III will receive an American release on the PSN available February. As a PSP game, it will also be playable on the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV. More details will be forthcoming at the game’s launch.
Here is the launch trailer for the 2005 Japanese port:
At the time of its original release in 1997, Breath of Fire III enjoyed a generally positive reception in Japan and other markets for its well-crafted execution of several JRPG mainstays: memorable character design and progression, a well-paced story, and immersive turn-based gameplay. The title was also the first in the Breath of Fire series to implement a three-dimensional world, although the characters were still rendered as sprites. Despite these qualities, it was overshadowed critically and commercially by Final Fantasy VII’s innovation and full-3D graphics.
Are you excited for Breath of Fire III’s release? Many seem to prefer it to Breath of Fire IV. Mount the heavens with your opinion-drills in the comments.