Review by Bkstunt_31
"The Legend of the Crystals: Retold"
Final Fantasy V Advance continues the series of ports/remakes that Square-Enix has produced for the Gameboy Advance and DS, no doubt due to popular demand (and the huge profit to be made..). Overall it is an excellent port with all new areas to explore and added jobs to master. Are you ready to hear the legend of the crystals?
The story here is similar to the story of final fantasy III. Without giving too much away, the world is being governed by the elemental crystals (earth, fire, water, wind). When the wind dies, King Tycoon leaves on his wind drake to the wind shrine, to make sure the crystal is safe. His daughter, Lenna, tries to go after him, against his wishes. You are in control of a young wanderer named Bartz, traveling the world with his faithful chocobo, Boko. When a giant meteorite falls from the sky, and Bartz goes to investigate, he is plunged into a battle far more than he realized.
The story alone makes this game a joy to play. There are numerous cutscenes that take place that really keep you hooked throughout the game, if it wasn't for the battles and "hand's on" work you have to put into it, it's almost like reading a book. Right until the very end. On a side note, there was also a OVA produced that serves as a sequel to the story, called "Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals", that FURTHER extends the story line.
Final Fantasy V plays in almost the exact same manor as it's predecessor's. It should be fairly familiar to any RPG fan, fight, level up, get stronger. It uses the "job" system of final fantasy play, which was started by Final Fantasy III, and continued on to Final Fantasy Tactics. Throughout the course of the game, your characters can learn, and eventually "Master" different jobs. Learning jobs grants your characters different abilities, allowing you to customize your characters to fit your own personal playing style. Do you want a thief who can cast white magic? Sure! How about a Black Mage who can attack with a sword? Absolutely! The possible combinations of jobs you can have... well there's a TON! You're not going to get bored with this system anytime soon! I did find myself wishing towards the end of the game when your characters have 60ish different job abilities, but they can only select one or two to equip. It was very hard to choose at times, and more customization would have been nice. But complaining about that seems like complaining about... oh.. free ice cream or something. Not really a big deal.
The flow of battle is dictated by the ATB system, where your "act" gauge fills up, than it allows you to input a command. Thankfully there are items that can speed your gauge up! Overall, you couldn't ask for better gameplay.
The graphics look like some of the best your SNES ever saw. Everything was crisp and colorful. Surprisingly, there was very little "color swapping" going on here. Red Dragons and Yellow Dragons were REALLY different looking dragons! Animations were great, with each character able to express a wide variety of emotions! Each character is dressed differently with each job change. Good stuff!
One word here... Bold. I think I'll always remember Final fantasy V for having the loudest, "get right into it" intro. There's alot of songs from this game that I know I won't be forgetting anytime soon. The submarine song, and "final battle" song in particular. Even Boko has his own little chocobo theme song. The music here is great, I only recall one track that I really didn't like (which motivated me to leave the area I was in). Plus, when you beat the game, you get the "music player" unlocked, where you can go back and listen to any of the songs you want.
After you beat the game, you have access to the world map and the added dungeons. This lets you finish up mastering any jobs you wanted to master and max out your characters stats (as well as fight some new bosses and get some new items). There are some items in the game (and skills), that once you pass them, you'll never get a chance to obtain them again. Of course, with all the different jobs, the replay value is pretty high, since you can try out different job combinations through the game. I found that you can pretty much try that at any time, though, just to see what it's like. But some people like the challenge of "beating the third boss with only such-and-such jobs".
Overall this game is an excellent RPG and a must for any final fantasy fan. The story gets you hooked, and the jobs and abilities keep you in. I highly recommend buying the game. Have fun & keep playing! Later....
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/28/07
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