Review by BillyNJimmyLee

"It's time to find a better "job""

I played FFV back when it was only available in the U.S. as a rom. I got bored, and didn't bother continuing. I was considering actually purchasing it, back when it was a part of the FF collection for the PS, until I heard about the wretched loading times. So I went for the GBA port, and find this installment just as unsatisfying as when I left it. Why, you ask?

Story 6/10 I'll be more generous than most people, because the concept of the evil overlord trying to deplete the power of crystals has been around since the first game. The characters aren't so bad, either, at least compared to those in the second game where the writers didn't even try to make them emote. What keeps FFV from getting a higher score is that the backgrounds of the heroes just aren't that riveting. None of the mystery of part 4 or 6 is there, and the way everyone's brought together is more coincidental than fatalistic, thus taking away the purpose in playing the game. Plus the story quickly becomes a series of fetch-quests-something I didn't appreciate in part 7, either.

Music 7/10 Recycled, but not unpleasant.

Graphics: 7/10 Nothing new here, either, but at least you see more detail than in the last game.

Gameplay 4/10 I don't care what anyone says. The Job system is stupid. If done well, it would have been fun, but it's just included to pad time. You power up as many unimportant Jobs as possible, simply to obtain the occasional skills needed to deal with the unpredictable level designs and enemies in certain parts of the games. (Normally, that would add to the challenge, but it just forces you to do more guess-work than planning.) To add insult to injury, you rarely get enough points needed for the higher level Jobs. So you wind up going through endless hordes of monsters[I thought that's what the FF fans hate about other rpgs.] in order to develop your fighters with special attacks needed to win.[I thought that's what FF fans hated about part 8.] In addition, if you have certain jobs, the weapons and armor you can purchase are limited. And the jobs can only handle one ability, while your regular characters can only handle two of them.

I might sound spoiled, but I have to say that the Class system in Dragon Quest 7 is a heckuva lot more flexible. There, if your characters want to change a class, they get to keep the same equipment, AND they can keep whatever skills they learn when they change classes. Call me crazy, but I like not being required to micro-manage my characters every few seconds like in MGS3.

Challenge 6/10 You can expect tons of cheap bosses and monsters who are tough nuts to crack, due to their HP and defense. And that's even after you have built up your characters. So what's the point of continuing? It's like FFX all over again.

Overall 6/10 FFV is not a bad game, but it tends to be frustrating, because it doesn't have enough balance. The time spent advancing your Jobs often tends to be disproportionate to the actual progress needed to be able to take on tougher opponents. You spend more time trying to look for various skills for your party than you do exploring the world. On top of that, the weak story makes you wonder why the world is even worth saving.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 11/16/06


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