FF5 Review (#2)
Final Fantasy V (5) was never brought to the stores in the United States and was never translated officially by Square, but now it has returned in the Final Fantasy Anthology. Both translated and with added FMV sequences. This is the opening story line:
"The world depended on the power of four particular crystals - Wind, Earth, Water and Fire. With the power of Wind the people sailed the ship, with Fire they began the industrial movement and so on all the crystals had theor importance. One day the King of Tycoon felt that something strange was bound to happen, he ran to the Wind Crystal´s shrine and when he got there he found the Crystal shattering right before his eyes. A few moments after a meteor fell down causing eartquaks in the surrounding area near Tycoon Castle, and then the King mysteriously dissapeared. After this extraordinary happening four people from different places got together by strange circumstances but with a common goal, to bring back peace to the world."
Final Fantasy V must be one of the biggest Final Fantasy games ever, you explore three huge world maps and uncountable cities on your way to save the world from the evil Ex-Death. Ex-Death is a villain, that is pure evil and with no real reason for conquering the world and to enslave the people, but his own evil interests. The worst lack by having a main villain with no real personal interests or reason to be evil is that he gets quite un-characteristic but the good thing is that he can be how evil and nasty the story writers want without any other explanation but - that´s just the way he is -. In the storyline lurks many suprises and secrets, things might not be as they seem and you learn to not trust anybody but yourself. You take controle over King Tycoon´s daughter, a young hero named Butz, a pirate and a mysterious old man with amnesia. They all are special and have their own personalities but it would have been fun with some more to play with and a character gallery as big as the one in FFVI would do this game good. The storyline get more and more focused on Ex-Death and his goal to have controle over the world in the end but it´s at least better then in FF8 where they not explain anything about the main villain.
The gameplay is the best and the worst part of FFV. If you like the "job system" that is used in the game you will like it, but if you like me don´t want to change around your characters abilities, clothes and weapons all the time you will grow tired of it fast. Your party consists of up to four heroes, you can select different jobs and when you select a job the character changes clothes, abilities and he can only equip a few of your collected weapons. New jobs are acquired by finding crystals of the four elements, and each job have a limited offer of skills to be learned. The skills can be everything from new attacks to gaining more HP or running faster. Everytime a character gain a job level whis is done by battling she/he learns a new skill or as they say in the game: ability.
Sometimes the game seems to be repeating itself, you walk around in the same citys and caves over and over again but at the special moments of it you wake up from the boring dreamworld and the game get better. The difficulty in the game is above average but at the same time balanced and you must never relax because you can easily get slaughtered in a normal monster fight. It´s very unusual to defeat a boss on the first try and some towers and caverns are really hard but both savepoints and healing locations are well located and you know that Square never will forget about evening out the odds when you are in a critical situation. The encounter rate of enemies is at the line to be disturbing but it´s not much worse then in Final Fantasy 4 or 6. The bosses are hard, some of them are that hard that you have to try over and over again many times to beat them until you find a solution to out smart them, you must have patient with this game because it´s not easy.
Music and Graphics:
The music are not as good as the one in FF6 or FF7 but better then most games outside the FF serie and a hell of a lot better then Final Fantasy 8. Final Fantasy V have sad songs, powerfull songs and even pirate songs, otherwise the music has everything as you could expect from a FF game. You could say that the theme for this game is a more irish kind of music, you´ll see what I mean when you listen to the tunes of some of the villages.
Graphics isn´t SNES games strongest side and this is not a exception, but it´s good enough for me and you hopefully don´t play RPGs for the graphics. The monsters look OK and the bosses aren´t that awful. I actually prefer the map graphics of this game over the ones in FF7 and FF8, at least it goes fast when you ride your airship here.
It´s a decent game and it give you MUCH playing for the money. At times it´s frustrating with all the random battles and I don´t like the job system so I give it relative low overall rating compared with FF6´s but it´s still a good game and I think that everybody should at least give it a chance.
Overall rating: 86%
Be sure to check out our complete list of other Final Fantasy Reviews.
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