Review by buruburu1
A remake that stands alongside contemporary 2D RPGs
Graphics (23/30): Taking only small steps up from the prior installment in this series, this one is an attractive 2d game by most standards. With a slew of PCs, the variety is definitely upped as well. It's a shame that creatures are basically static sprites, since you spend so much time looking at them. It seems even a standard 3-frame animation would've been sufficient. As well, there are lots of palette-swapped enemies, though this is fairly typical for the genre. Magic effects are decent but nothing mind-blowing.
Sound:FX (5/10): By this time, the limited sound-scape gives way almost entirely to the soundtrack. You get a few spell effect sounds and item-get jingles, but were it not for the soundtrack, there would be little here to write home about.
Sound: Music (8/10): A long and varied soundtrack, using a bit of recycled content from previous games, and introducing other tunes that become recycled in subsequent games. Overall, the music is a driving force behind the game, and very well composed.
Length (15/15): A decently long game with some interesting post-game content, this one clocked in at about 35 hours before being abandoned. As is the case with many games in this series, there are post-story scenarios, but the level of difficulty paired with decreased motivation meant that while the areas that open up were explored, there wasn't a whole lot to get you wanting to continue--after all, if you get those elite item drops, what are you going to use them on? You've exhausted the content by then! Again, this is only a criticism of the final post-game content, the game itself is plenty long and enjoyable as to the main scenario.
Story (3/5): Doled out in occasional conversations with main characters, the story here lends some motivation to continue through the game, with extended sprite animated dialog sequences that eventually turned into the bloated story sequences of modern games. At this stage they are worthwhile and brief enough. Here, the story seems a bit more epic than typical early games in the genre, and some of the characters actually start becoming memorable.
Game play (24/30):Active Time Battles are now, seemingly, a staple for the series, and for the better. This game adds a job system which was a ton of fun. Any character is able to switch back-and-forth among jobs, leveling up those jobs and gaining abilities. By mastering lots of jobs, you're eventually able to utilize the full skill set of any two jobs at a time, which can make for great combinations. Not every job is worth using, but most are definitely worth trying out or maxing out.
Beyond that, the game does what it should--tons of battles, lots of items, a large cast of characters, and lots of dungeons. Not much new, but overall quite polished.
Final Thoughts: A decent RPG overall, even these days. Though presentation leaves a little to be desired, the game play is solid enough at this point to recommend the game as a contemporary competitor to other GBA RPG titles.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Final Fantasy V Advance (US, 11/06/06)
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