Review by DarkAbyss
"The Game That Sucked Me In"
This is the game that sucked me into the Final Fantasy and the RPG world which I now live in. I don't know exactly what it was with this game that did it but whatever it was it worked well. It could have been the amazingly written storyline that is easily one of the best ever written, the lovable characters, the amazing game-play, or the fact that when I was younger, a few years after this game came out I used to wake up anywhere from four and five in the morning to play this game for two hours before I went to school. Either way, this is the game that sucked me into the world of Role-playing Games.
Game-play - 10/10
I think the game-play to this game was absolutely amazing. Each character has their own command that makes each character more unique then in the later Final Fantasies where characters could be the same if you make them that way. A good part about this (In my opinion, but others may disagree) is the fact that you are given a pre-determined party. For some reason that appeals to me, over the high amounts of characters that are used as filler for the story and are bland and pointless. (I agree that there are a few characters that aren't very good at all when it comes to battle, but what is lacking in battle makes up for in story. IE, Gilbert.) I think the equipment system is very easy to handle, being very simple in most areas. The magic system in this game is very classic and easy to use, having very useful spells for the most part. Another great aspect of this game is the way the experience is divided by the number of characters instead of a given number. So, if a character is lagging behind or one character needs to learn a spell or an ability you can easily eliminate your party, with the exception of the character who needs the experience and fight monsters. This makes that character level up so much easier.
Story - 10/10
This is the rare game that makes you completely wrapped up in the story and it never ever lets you go, until it's finished. It would be very hard to write a shortened version of this story due to the fact that is has a lot of plots twists, and turns, various betrayals and lots of unexpected events which will always keep you guessing and wanting more. You start off as Cecil, as the commander of Baron's Red Wings. The Red Wings aren't your average militia, they are the only airship army in the world. Throughout this game Cecil goes through quite an ordeal. He gets let go, he is in love, he sees companions die, he is betrayed, and he is even tricked into a massacre. But good always prevails as this story ends happily, but of course not with out its share of tragedy. I wouldn't hesitate to easily rate this storyline amongst the best ever written, not only for Final Fantasies but for RPGs and games period.
Graphics/Sounds - 9/10
People always disagree with my thoughts on the graphics. Come on. This game was made in 1991, and good graphics are what you see right in this game, especially at the time if its release. Square always manages to keep advancing when it comes to graphics. The best graphics in this game are either the Giant of Bab-Il or in the fight with Zeromus. The way the background and their sprites are, it's just really well done for the time this game was released. The graphics didn't really improve in Final Fantasy V, so nothing can really be said about it.
After you play this game, even only for a little while, you will be humming Celtic Moon (the World Map Theme), the Battle Theme, or any of the other theme songs in this game constantly because they are so well written and catchy. The music in this game is done very well for a game released when it was. The time where the music changes in the story is also done perfectly.
Replay value - 10/10
Like I have mentioned before, this game will never let you escape which is very good to have for a person looking for playability. The game is long for an older RPG. The first time you play this game you should finish it in over twenty hours, which is good for an older release like this one. This game I find makes you want to come back and finish it a month after every completion. For people who like competition this game is also great for a challenge, due to this game being fairly difficult (Referring more so to the FF: Chronicles version). Another good aspect of this game is the fact you can do different challenges in this game, such as a Speed Game, or a SCC (Solo Cecil Challenge). These challenges are really fun and addictive. And lastly, this game has various very rare items in it which are extremely powerful but are quite hard to find, so if you are into finding everything in a game, my friend, this Final Fantasy is for you.
There isn't a way I can tell you this more easily. Go out right now and buy this game. This is a great game and RPG, if not the best out there, and is definitely worth searching for. This is the game that sucked me into a great addiction to Final Fantasy and other RPG video games, and if you give it a chance, this game will do the same to you.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/15/04
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