Review by Psycho Penguin
"One of the most addictive role playing games I have ever played"
Note: this is my 350th review. Yay to me.
The Final Fantasy series has always been one of my favorite video game series, ever since I first played the original Final Fantasy. While the original game in the series was never one of my favorites, I saw the potential in the series and had a lot of fun playing the game. Several months later, I finally got Final Fantasy 2 and Final Fantasy 3 and the rest, as they say, is history. The Final Fantasy series was thrust into my game playing department, and it has never left.
Out of all the Final Fantasies, I had never really got my chance to play one. That game was Final Fantasy 5. The main reason for this is the fact that the game was never released here in America. Back then, I did not have my own computer, so I could not emulate the game and download a ROM to play. So, I did not really have a chance to play the critically acclaimed ''best game in the Final Fantasy series'' until recently. When it was finally released here in America, as part of Final Fantasy Anthology.
Final Fantasy Anthology was a game I anxiously awaited ever since I first heard of it. How could I not be excited? My favorite game of all time (Final Fantasy 6) was featured on it, and it also included the infamous Final Fantasy 5, which I had always wanted to play. So, when Final Fantasy Anthology was released, I purchased a copy and went home to play Final Fantasy 5. The rest is gaming history ^_^
The game was a lot of fun to play, and I had a lot of fun playing through it. I was a little disappointed though, but how could I not be? Everyone was calling this the best Final Fantasy game of all time, and I played it, and I did not feel that it was, is, or ever will be, the best Final Fantasy ever made. Final Fantasy 6 still tops the list, in my opinion. Regardless, Final Fantasy 5 is a fantastic game that suffered a bit on its way to Playstation, but is still a fantastic game nevertheless.
The storyline of Final Fantasy 5 never really got hyped as much as it should have, in my opinion. Why do I think this? Well, because I think this game had the best storyline of any of the Final Fantasy games. Well, FF6 still holds the top spot, but FF5 runs a close second. The coolest thing about this game is that Square Soft decided to try something a bit different this time than the normal ''save the princess and find all the crystals'' type things that we had been used to be seeing as a storyline in most of the role playing games.
But Final Fantasy 5 changed that. We did not get the total ''save the princess and get the crystals storyline'' we were so used to seeing. Instead, we were graced with a really unique storyline that dealt with meteorites. Yes, meteorites were featured prominently in this game as one of the main storyline pieces of the game. You actually start off the game in a meteor crater, and throughout the game visit a lot of meteorite spots. Of course, the crystals are still featured in the storyline of the game, they just aren’t the main focus anymore. Gaining the crystals opens up new jobs in the game.
Overall, I think that Final Fantasy 5 has the second best storyline of any Final Fantasy game. Yes, I think that Final Fantasy 6, has, and probably always will have, the best storyline to grace a Final Fantays game, but the character development and storyline in this game is great, as well. The main problem with the game is the fact that the translation is all screwed up. Otherwise, the storyline is fantastic, and completely worthy of the Final Fantasy name.
The first thing you have to remember before booting this game up is the fact that this game was originally a Super Famicom (Japanese version of Super Nintendo) game. Therefore, the graphics in the game are not like a Playstation game, instead they are like a Super Nintendo game. About the only thing graphically that even remotely come in the Playstation’s graphical power ballpark are the added full motion video scenes that Square Soft added to the game. Otherwise, this looks like a Super Nintendo game. And I am so very happy that it does.
Let me get the problems out of the way first. As some of you may know, the Playstation as a video game console is notorious for loading times and slowdown. And these two things affected Final Fantasy 6 completely, and I think that totally destroyed the game. On the other hand, it affected Final Fantasy 5 also, but I don’t think it did as badly. Okay, maybe I am just saying that because I have yet to play the Super Famicom version of Final Fantasy 5, but I think that the slowdown during battles is non-existant. On the other hand, the loading times still plague the game dearly, especially when entering the menu screen and entering and exiting a battle.
Now onto the good things of the game. The character designs in the game are fantastic. A key thing to remember here is the fact that the characters don’t actually have their own personal design really. Instead, they have the design of whatever job they currently are assigned. There are about 22 different jobs in the game, and they all look different. The variety is definitely a good thing. The enemy designs in the game are fantastic, as well. I especially enjoy some of the boss designs in the game. And the final boss simply looks amazing.
Overall, the graphics in the game are awesome, for a Super Nintendo game. The thing you have to realize is the game is basically an ''enhanced graphically'' version of Final Fantasy 4 when it comes to graphics. So, the game does look a lot like Final Fantasy 4. But the graphics in Final Fantasy 4 were pretty good, so these graphics are even better. I like the added full motion video sequences that Square Soft added to the game. I also like how the loading times and slowdown that plagued Final Fantasy 6 for Playstation are not present as badly in this game.
Music and Sound Effects (9.2/10)
The Final Fantasy series has always been one of the best when it comes to music and sound effects, and Final Fantasy 5 is no exception. The game sounds different than it does on the Super Famicom version I hear, but I cannot confirm that at this time. All I know is that the game sounds outstanding, especially the battle theme of the game. The battle theme is one of the few battle themes in a role playing game that did not get annoying for me by the millionth battle. The boss theme in the game is also great.
Music in the game is fantastic. I love the soundtrack in the game, and am glad Square Soft decided to release a separate music CD featuring all the classic tunes from the game, with Final Fantasy Anthology. The music is moving, and each of the music pieces fits the mood of the scenes perfectly. For instance, sad and mellow music plays during the sad moments, while more happy and cheerful music plays when something good happens to the group. The battle and boss themes are top notch, as well. The battle theme is one of the few battle themes in a role playing game that did not get annoying for me by the millionth battle. The boss theme in the game is also great. Overall, the music in the game is fantastic.
Sound effects in the game are great, as well. The coolest part of the game’s sound effects, in my opinion, are the fact that sounds actually occur in the overworld. Yes, let’s say you are walking around in the overworld and a story scene occurs when a volcano erupts. Suddendly, you hear the volcano erupt from a faraway distance. That’s pretty cool. The sound effects during battle are great as well, even if they are just the basic battle sounds featured in a lot of role playing games. Overall, the sound effects in the game are fantastic.
Gameplay and Control (9.8/10)
I used to hear a lot about this game before it was released here in America. The main thing I heard about the game, and the main thing that everyone seemed to love about it, was the job system featured in the game. And yes, the job system in the game is great. There are also other great gameplay features in the game, including a top notch battle system, as well as great control. Adding to the fun is the fact that there is a lot of battles to fight. This means that you can raise your job levels quicker.
Control: Control in the game is great. The game controls a lot like any other 2D role playing game, and it controls a lot like the Super Famicom version. A disappointment to me is the fact that this game did not support analog control. Oh well, I guess Square Soft wanted to keep the game intact in feeling as possible. Moving around from menu to menu is effortless, and it is easy to control your characters during battle. I also like how they added a run button. Overall, the control in the game is great.
Battle System: One of the coolest parts of Final Fantasy 5, in my opinion, is the amazing battle system. Think of the basic setup as being a lot like the battle system in Final Fantasy 4. Then add to this a time meter, like the one featured in Final Fantasy 6. Then add the ability to do lots of amazing things during battle, ranging from summoning monsters to attacking an enemy three times in a row with your sword. You can do it all in this game. Overall, the battle system in the game is incredible.
Job System: Ahh yes, the famous job system that everyone has talked about so much. After all the hype, I expected an incredibly addicting thing. And that is what it turned out to be. Think of it a lot like the job system featured in Final Fantasy Tactics. During battle, you fight. After winning, you get a certain amount of AP. After getting enough AP, you raise a job level. When you raise a job level, you master a new command. What does this mean? It means that you can now use the mastered command with any job class you want. For instance, you can summon a monster with the samurai class if you raise the summoner’s job level. I spent many hours raising my levels and job levels. Overall, the job system in the game lives up to all the hype, as it is great and incredibly addicting.
Overall, Final Fantasy 5 is simply an incredible game. Besides the cool storyline, the game featured outstanding gameplay, as well. The job system lives up to all the hype, as it is great and incredibly addicting. The battle system in the game is incredible. The control of the game is awesome, as well, save the one minor flaw that I already pointed out (no analog control). Otherwise, the game is simply incredible, as it features everything needed to make a great role playing game.What a great game this is.
Other Important Scores
Replay Value: High
Final Fantasy 5 could quite possibly be the most addicting role playing game of all time. I mean, I have never felt compelled to play a role playing game in my life. The main reason for this is the fact that the job system is so incredibly fun and addicting. I spent many hours walking around in the various places, getting into fights, just so I can raise my levels and job levels. And I never really got bored while doing it. Overall, the replay value in the game is incredible, and some of the best ever in a role playing game.
Let me get the record straight right here. I have never really had any problems completing any of the games in the Final Fantasy series. And Final Fantasy 5 is no exception. I had little trouble going through the first half of the game. This was mainly because I built up my levels and job levels a lot. But once I got to the second world, the game changed a lot. Suddendly, the battles got much tougher. Some of the bosses killed me with only a few hits. So, what did I do? I raised my levels and job levels some more! I came back and kicked some monster butt, and soon I completed the game (after taking a few tries to beat the final boss, Neo X-Death). Overall, the game is easy in the early going then gets tough later on.
-The storyline in the game is great, as the characters develop a lot before your very eyes.
-The job system in the game is incredible and incredibly addicting.
-The battle system is one of the best I have ever seen in a role playing game.
-The sound effects could have been a bit better.
-There still is loading time noticeable, although it’s not as bad as in the PSX version of FF6.
-There should have been more full motion video scenes included.
Overall, Final Fantasy 5 is simply an incredible game. Besides the cool storyline, the game featured outstanding gameplay, as well. The job system lives up to all the hype, as it is great and incredibly addicting. The battle system in the game is incredible. The control of the game is awesome, as well, save the one minor flaw that I already pointed out (no analog control). Otherwise, the game is simply incredible, as it features everything needed to make a great role playing game. What a great game this is.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/02/00, Updated 07/16/01
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