Review by proach_
"A superb RPG overshadowed by FF4 and FF6"
I want to clarify that this review is based on the Super Famicom version of this game and not on the Playstation release. Also keep in mind that whenever I mention FF3 I’m talking about the Famicom version that was never released in the US and not the Super Nintendo FF3 with Terra, Locke, Edgar, etc.
FF3 did have a job system but it never had an ability system like FF5. The Ability system is an upgrade of the original FF3 job system. In FF3 you could change jobs frequently in the game but not only can you change jobs at any time in FF5 but also learn abilities permanently from jobs. For example, if you train as a White Mage and earn enough AP to earn level 1 White Magic, that skill is put into your ability inventory. If you want, you may switch to another class like a Knight and equip that white magic ability so that your Knight can use White Magic! Sounds cool doesn't it? This allows for lots of customization, which means more Fun! You can have White Mages that can Brawl as well as a Monk, Knights that can Jump, Samurais that can use Black Magic, and even Black Mages that can use White Magic! The possibilities are endless! FF5 was very successful in enhancing a great gameplay engine started by none other than Dragon Quest III known as The Job system. This system is still used today in games such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Dragon Warrior VII.
+ Battle Engine
The Battle Engine is exactly like FF4 except you can actually see the ATB bar. Nothing that new actually. The Battles aren't a problem at all, they are nothing new but they aren't annoying and frustrating. It would be cool to have some new elements but unfortunately there weren't.
+ Gameplay Engines
The Gameplay engine is a lot like FF3j. You can buy or find Items, Armours, Weapons, Magic’s, Summons, etc. You can also earn summons by fighting them and you can also get some more as the game progresses. Levelling up and getting ability points isn't your cup of tea unfortunately. You have to level up for a while in this game and a lot of patience is required.
+ Job System
There is no flaw at all in the Job system. What more can you ask for? The Job system easily makes FF5 the king of Game Play in the Final Fantasy Series. You have lots and lots of great classes in this game to train with. There are some that are useless but FF5 has about 20 classes and with this many jobs you expect to have a couple crummy occupations. The Job system in FF5 adds so much depth in gameplay. Unlike FF1, FF4, and FF9 you actually have the freedom to create any type of characters you want. In fact, FF5 gives you more of this freedom than any other FF Game besides FFT, which isn't exactly a FF game. Dragon Quest VI does a better job with this kind of system though but that doesn't count since it was released 3 years after FF5. :)
The game controls are plain and simple just like most old school RPGs. The Menus are a huge improvement over any other FF game. You have unlimited inventory space and the game can automatically equip you with the best possible equipment which is a huge plus if your lazy. It's about time Square!
Most people will tell you that FF5 is the toughest SNES Final Fantasy Game. I disagree as I found FF4 Hard Type to be more of a challenge. FF5 is still really challenging nonetheless. The Bosses are challenging, the dungeons can be real hard, and its takes a while to level up and gain the best abilities. FF5 is a perfect balance. The game is sort of hard but it’s not too hard. The Final Boss isn't much of a threat though in my opinion.
These graphics are an improvement over FF4. They character designs and backgrounds are more detailed. However, this is expected as FF5 was made about a year and a half after FF4. The game still has an 8-bit look as the characters look quite small and the scenery is not graphically appealing as most SNES games.
The sound effects are an improvement over FF4 and are more varied. The Music in this game is really not as good as FF4 unfortunately, but it’s still great. However, The music is not as the good. The music in FF5 was not as varied as they were in FF4. I really liked the battle theme and some of the dungeon themes.
+ Replay Value
Oh yeah. This game has lots of Replay Value! You have quite a few sub quests and with all those jobs you won't get tired experimenting and customizing your party to your liking.
Oww. In most cases superb game play in an RPG sacrifices Story and FF5 is no exception. The Plot is very FF3j like but deeper. Characters still have personalities and stories like in FF4. The characters aren't dull and lifeless like in FF3j. However, the plot is very much the same old Save The Crystals concept. FF4 did have the crystal theme but the story was done in much more depth. FF5's story is very basic.
This game is so fun. I've actually played this game for 8 hours straight and I didn't even realize it! A more creative plot would make this more interesting though.
OVERALL- 9.0(Rounded to 9)
Final Fantasy V is a really fun and enjoyable RPG. Any Old school RPG Gamer will love this game. The only thing that bothers me would be the mediocre plot and some minor flaws. In my view, Final Fantasy V is the most underrated Final Fantasy game of All-time. The main reason being because Square never bothered releasing this game into the US until 1999! By that time no really cared that much because the Job system was nothing all that new now and everything about the game was so outdated. I didn't really mind. FF5 was my first Non-Playstation FF Game that I've completed and I am glad it was my first because it was a pleasure to dedicate 40 hours to this classic RPG. This game is truly a gift for all those Classic RPG gamers. Even if you weren't into the classics like I was at first, this game will make you change your mind.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/04/01, Updated 09/04/01
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