Review by Mrtrouble3
"At Last, a perfect Final Fantasy port"
It took 2 tries.
Final Fantasy I and II: Dawn of Souls was way too easy, at least Final Fantasy I was. Final Fantasy IV offered a slight improvement, but at the expense of the processing engine. We may as well should have called it "Lagging Fantasy."
So now it's time for Final Fantasy V to become a port. Similar to Final Fantasy II, this one did not reach the states when it was completed in 1992. When it came out for the PlayStation 1 it was a disaster. So that obviously left fans begging for the port. And nearly 7 years later, here it is for the Game boy advance. And it is the best it has ever been.
Story: For it's time, the story is not so bad. The main character, Bartz, is travelling to a city when he comes across a fallen meteor. Realizing that one of the four crystals that keep the planet balanced has shattered, he sets off on a journey to revive the crystals, and people join him along the way. The rest of the story has a good flow to it, and eventually turns into the usual "stop the bad guy or the world's done" dilemma.
Graphics: They are slightly better than the original or the PS1, thanks to the GBA or DS's plasma screens. Nothing different here. The monster designs are good, not nearly as amazing as Final Fantasy IV, but still very good.
Gameplay: This is where Final Fantasy V messes up. If anything, Final Fantasy V is known for it's job system, which is operated by ability points. Gain enough points and you get new abilities. The problem is that they are very hard to come by. For the first half of the game, you will get about 1-4 Ability points per fight. Many jobs will level up at 10-30 points, but when those are finished, it usually takes 100-300 points to gain job levels. It becomes frustrating because many midgame enemies will require the player to master job levels.
Difficulty: Some of the boss enemies are nearly impossible to defeat without careful preperation. Final Fantasy V is certainly not a hack-and-slash RPG like the Dragon Quest series, or even like many other Final Fantasy games. This makes Final Fantasy V a thinker's RPG. It also makes the game fun and not redundant.
Music: The music in Final Fantasy V has also improved from the PS1 version. While the PS1 version's music sounded like MIDI files, the GBA version completely turns it around. As for the music itself, it is just as good as any other Final Fantasy score. It doesn't shine like Final Fantasy IX, but it isn't horrible either.
Summary: Old School fans of Final Fantasy who have been faithful since day one (such as myself) will find Final Fantasy V a great improvement to the joke that was Final Fantasy V on the PS1. Those who started playing Final Fantasy when VII came out, buy this game to give you a taste of what Final Fantasy was like during the SNES era. The same goes for the ones who got hooked to Final Fantasy after 2001. Regardless, if you are looking for a good port RPG that has NO lag times, get Final Fantasy V advance.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/14/07
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