Review by gothic_chic

"An intresting entry gameplay wise, but it's lacking in the plot category."

FFV was originally going to be shipped to America back in the 90s, but Square never got around to it. Then, came along FF Anthology. Anthology let American players experience the game for the first time, however, FFA had mediocre packaging and terrible translation. Now, on the GBA, you can play FFV once again minus the negative parts, Anthology included. This is one of my favorite games in the series and while it's not exactly superior to FFIV, it is still a great title any RPG lover should try out.

As always, let's start with the plot. The game starts with the king of Tycoon departing from his kingdom upon the back of his dragon, Hiryu. It seems the wind has stopped blowing and the king needs to check on the wind crystal. His daughter, Princess Lenna, sees him off as he flies away. Then, you take control of Bartz, a wanderer, and his chocobo, Boco. They find and help out Lenna, who is searching for the Wind Shrine where her father has gone. They also meet Galuf, a gutsy old man with amnesia, and Faris, a pirate. The three arrive at the Wind Shrine, but only to see the Wind Crystal shatter. They learn that they are the chosen ones who must save the crystals of earth, fire, and water before they too shatter and the world is thrown on the brink of destruction. I know this game is old and that I should not judge it too harshly, but the plot has nothing on FFIV. The plot is tried and cliche, the characters are flatter than paper. The only character I felt had any feelings at all was Galuf, who actually seemed to have a bit of a human soul. While the translations were a big step up from Anthology, they didn't help out the tried story.

But the gameplay redeems the game perfectly. Our heroes are given special jobs they can use. Throughout the game you learn and earn more jobs. What I love about the job system in this game is the feature to have sub-abilities. In battle, not only do you earn experience but you get job points as well. When you earn enough, you earn a job level, which grants you a new ability such as White Magic Lv. 1 or Cover. For example, if I switch Lenna from a white mage to a knight you can assign White Magic Lv. 1 as Lenna's sub-ability. Thus, making her, a knight, able to cast white magic! These abilities can help you outside of battle also. For example, if you equip the Dash ability onto one of the characters, they are able to run through towns and dungeons. Okay, so my description sucks, but you get the picture. Anyway, this makes the job system in this game very flexible and superior to that of FFIII and FFX-2's job systems.

As usual, this game features the ATB system. It works very well in this game and I loved it alot. It keeps the battle fast paced with no slowdowns.

The music is remastered for this game too. Some of the greatest music in the series lies within the cartridge, such as the battle and overworld theme. There are also many other great songs on here as well.

As for the graphics, they too have been remastered and are a small step up from FFIV. There is much more detail in the backgrounds and in the characters. A really cool thing about this game is that this was the first FF game where the characters actually had facial expressions and body movements, such as laughing, dancing, or yelping from shock.

Now let me warn you: this game is HARD. The challenge here is immense and perfectly suited for RPG players who love and can handle a challenge. I wouldn't recommend this to any RPG or FF noobs, however. AND if you're the type who plays RPGs for an engaging story, you won't find that here.

One very big drawback to this game is the simple fact that some portions of the game just drag on and on and on, just making you scream, "COME ON ALREADY!". It might turn off some players who don't have the patience to sit through it.

Another sad fact is the almost nonexistent replay value. There's no bonus, no anything. You might want to replay the final battle a few times to see the multiple endings the game has, but other than that, there's not much reason to go through the adventure again.

OVERREVIEW

Pros
+ Addictive and engaging gameplay.
+ A wonderfully made job system.
+ The remastered score is stunning.
+ Beautifully remastered graphics.
+ Challenge suited for hard core RPG players.
+ Better translation.

Cons
- Cliched story.
- One dimensional characters.
- Too hard for some players.
- The game can drag on during some parts.

Score: 7

As you can see, this game isn't the greatest in the series, but if you're a fan of old school gaming or you have a yen for superb gameplay, you can celebrate and find all that here.

See ya! :)

FIN


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/08

Game Release: Final Fantasy V Advance (US, 11/06/06)


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