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LightFykki's Final Fantasy V Game Review

Final Fantasy V game Review

Story & Playability

Year: 1992

Company: Square Soft. (Enix)

Genre: RPG

Platforms: Super Famicom, PSX, GBA

Age rating: E -10+

Exactly about one year after the lauch of the predescesor, a sequel came out. Final Fantasy was already getting more and more famous, but still not enough to take fans in the West. This game, like second and third one, didn't have a US release, but it made a release for PSX and GBA later on. This review will cover only the original version, as the whole three are almost indentical with only minor changes in graphics. (same that was with Final Fantasy IV)


Presentation

World

World of Final Fantasy is again set in a medieval fantasy environment. This layout is the same as with previous games, featuring a big world map and towns, castles, dungeons scattered around it. Like the previous game, this one also features multiple worlds, this time doing with time traveling and the normal world and world of void.

As always, you get several things that you can travel with through this world and ships actually play a big role as well as chocobo (the main chocobo in the game which goes along the main character).

Better and bigger world with more side quests for exploring and more interesting locations, but still anything really better than from the fourth FF.


Story

Story in this Final Fantasy is basic at first, but becomes more and more complex as it goes on. Basic for first five minutes of the game, but soon you actually find yourself in all the commotion of what is going on in the world with all the earthquakes and disasters. Bartz goes on an adventure with his chocobo friend, only to find himself trapped in all that. He soon meets up with a young princess and later in party joins also two more characters.

The plot itself is good and is on a note similar to the previous one. This time you will find yourself trapped in it and just with one way to go. You won’t understand what you are really doing. Until you of course come to the second world, then things become clearer.

It also builds a climax to the end where it all comes together. Mixed with interesting characters, twists and even some emotional moments, it still makes one of the strongest parts of this game.


Characters

As I said earlier, there are four main characters that will go with you throughout the game and that will stay so with only minor changes according to the story.
This time they have jobs again as they did in the first and third game, but even so, each of these characters retrain their personalities and makes them more lively than just puppet like characters with no soul.

They managed to keep that and that will stay for the rest of the series. Characters may appear confusing sometimes, but each of them has its own back story and you will discover each as the time goes on. Not to mention, how funny they are sometimes with their jokes and just silly moments.

Aside from these characters, villains are just amazing. Amazing for this one guy, Gilgamesh. You will fight him several time throughout the game and each time he pays respect to you until the very end where he does his final payback.
The main villain is also interesting, but it is up to you to find more about him.

Pros: Interesting characters, plot twist and storyline
Cons: sometimes annoying details in the plot and confusing moments

Rating: 8

Graphics

Not much to talk about this.. Graphics in this game are good for that time, don’t get me wrong, but they are almost no different than from the previous game. They pretty much recycled the same thing, with added new affects and some sprites.

That makes it to be a little letdown, because we could understand that Final Fantasy IV was such when it came out, but one year later they could have changed some things. (which they will ultimately in FFVI)
Still this game does have some good and upgraded things and that is the overall drawings (especially of the locations and monsters, summons) and some new nicely added effects. But other than that it is the same as with the previous game.

Pros: improved overall effects and some drawings
Cons: other than that, nothing more…

Rating: 8

Sound

OST

From the beginning until the end , throughout the whole game, you will be again bombarded by the amazing soundtrack composed by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu. Do I need to say more? Well I could actually.

The soundtrack itself is one of the stronger points, but it is one of the least known of all Final Fantasy games. Again it is great, but it suffers the same problem like FFII had. It is not memorable. It won’t get in your mind and yet alone soul. There are few ones that actually will though, like the famous ‘Clash on the big bridge’ which is also the theme of the famous villain Gilgamesh.

Others are good too, but few of them will you replay after the game and they serve their purpose as their do.


Sound effects and other

Again, this game has typical sound effects that any Final Fantasy game had until then. Weak, but let’s be honest, there was actually nothing better back then.

Listening to the bard songs and dance movements (of the jobs in the game) was never more satisfying.

Blasting away enemies, slashing them with your sword… You name it, because they all try to offer as must as they can.

Pros: good variation of the songs and huge collection, decent sound effects
Cons: not very memorable songs, which only serve their in-game purpose

Rating: 8

Fun

There are two things that need to be noticed about this game, especially about its gameplay. One is the adventurous part and the other is the fight part.
Fighting in this game carries on with the traditional turn based style, but like the game before, it has an active battle system, but unlike the original version of Final Fantasy IV, this time you can see the bar that shows when you get your turn next.
What adds to the gameplay though is something different and that is the return of jobs. Though this time, they are not just ordinary jobs, this time they are quite unique among each other and offer set of abilities that you gain by equipping them and gaining AP after battles.

You also get a much bigger set of magic, summons, and abilities like for your dancer, bard, geomacer, ninja and so on and so on…
And yes, they are so many jobs that you will spend so much time just researching them all and trying to unlock some more.

The adventurous part is good and fun, but it can get more boring near the end. It depends on your way of playing. The story is good, but to some it might not be enough to keep them on playing. It is really fun in the beginning, but it might differ as the game progresses. It is all up to us and how we take it, but unlike the previous game, it has gone downhill a little with that, but it still is a Final Fantasy game and it will be liked by many.

The controls are good and smooth and won’t get into any problem there. You will easily browse thorough menus and everything and find it quite appealing. The only thing that it may seem lacking is the map system and advice one, because sometimes finding a way to advance and finding side quests can be quite tricky.

Pros: lots of jobs and unique ways of playing
Cons: as always, it can get repetitive and even slow in compromise to the story


Final verdict

This is a somewhat letdown compared to the previous game, but it still keeps its elements and it is still good in that. It has been quite some time since it came out and it might not be for everyone, but if you would look to try and play one of the classic Final Fantasy games, being good in all elements, then this is the one that you should try.

Graphics: 8/10 – not much different than from the previous game, but still good in its own way
Sound: 8/10 – legendary and good on its own terms, but for the game only
Gameplay: 8/10 – fun and a good game with lots of options, but can get confusing at some times
Presentation: 8/10 – if you think that it will not, then try going deeper in the game and you will see how much it will draw you towards it
Overall: 8/10 – one of the less known FF games in the collection, but still an important part of it

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

8.00 (good)

Reviewed by LightFykki, Dec 12, 2011

Comments

  1. angelxxuan Dec 13, 2011

    wow now this is what I call an in-depth review but spoilers are so limited ! sadly I have to agree, as this game was highly and well deserving of the scoring, I just could not get into it, there was that let down atmosphere that you just wished that the next chapter would be promising but it wasn't much better than the first. but the sound and graphics sure did make up for it without a doubt.

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