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  • Final Fantasy V Retrospective

    Published in 

    Following along with the series?  Check out Final Fantasy I, II, III and IV!

     

    is the last of the “missing” games of the series, though it came to the US before the others – only 7 years after it was originally released (unless you had a fan translation, of course.) Since then, the game has been re-released on many different platforms and we were given the gift of this light-hearted, yet challenging JRPG.

     

    With this game, we return to the four character formula and the job class system from Final Fantasy III, but this time it works brilliantly together. Also, the graphics take a step up; this is one of the more brightly colored games in the series. The character sprites show a greater range with added emotes in order to really connect with a scene. However, as some aspects of the game improve, there are a few setbacks.  What Final Fantasy V delivers, though, is a fun game with touching moments and excellent game mechanics.Split Screen, Remakes

    Haven’t I Heard This One Before?

    The plot of Final Fantasy V is not exactly the best. Most of the game is a rehash of the first four into a cohesive narrative that has poor pacing. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its charm.The back story is very similar to its predecessors. A powerful mage named Enuo summons an evil entity called the “Void” to destroy everything.  The people fought back using the twelve legendary weapons, but though they defeated Enuo, they could not destroy the Void. In order to contain this evil and save the world, the people split the world in two and the Void was sealed between them.

    700 Years Later

    Final Fantasy V, Battle, SNES, FamicomOur main story begins as the wind abruptly stops blowing and the King of Tycoon must travel to see the Wind Crystal in order to get to the bottom of the problem. As the King arrives at the Wind Shrine, the crystal shatters before his eyes and the chaos is about to begin.

     

    Meanwhile, a young traveler named

    (Or Butz…Yes, Butz. You are allowed to snicker), witnesses a meteor fall to the planet’s surface. As he investigates, he comes across Lenna, the Princess of Tycoon, and a partial-amnesiac named Galuf, who were both on their way to the Wind Shrine.  The trio is eventually joined by the mysterious pirate captain, Faris. As they discover the shards of the Wind crystal, they become Crystal Warriors.

     

    As our heroes try to protect the remaining three, they learn that the crystals are acting as a seal over a Dark Mage named Exdeath. (You can snicker here too.) Once released,

    plans to unleash the Void, devouring all life forms in the process.  On their quest, the heroes must discover where King Tycoon has gone, help Galuf regain his memory, heal the dying Hiryuu, and discover the mysteries behind the pirate captain, Faris. In the end, the heroes must battle again Exdeath and his henchman, Gilgamesh, and stop the Void from consuming both worlds.

    Wait…hold on.

    Yes, this is a very similar plot to Final Fantasy III. There are also two separate worlds and the use of job classes. But there is a little more substance this time around. Players are given a bit of backstory about each of their characters, but they each have the same motivation; quite honestly, one character has a strong background: Galuf.

     

    The story does have original twists, turns and differences from the earlier games, but it does borrow a lot.  It also has some scenes that are groan-worthy bad and there are some pacing issues. Sometimes it feels like the story comes to abrupt halt, but these reasons aren’t enough to really destroy the experience.

     

    The game does offer some truly heartfelt scenes and memorable moments.  Some scenes may even get you choked up. Also, the music for this game is incredible. Nobuo Uematsu does an excellent job capturing each scene, while providing us with a wonderfully unique soundtrack. While the narrative isn’t as powerful as the Final Fantasy IV, it is a light-hearted and noteworthy addition to the franchise.Bartz, Lenna, Artwork

    Game Play

    final Fantasy V, Battle, CharactersWhere story line fails in this game, the battle system excels.  Final Fantasy V has an excellent job class system that is an extraordinary improvement over its predecessor.  The game still has a similar exploration mechanic. Gamers have an over world map where they can navigate through towns, dungeons, and explore terrain with different vehicles.

    In the battles, Final Fantasy V makes use of the active time battle (ATB) system, but with a slight upgrade. Players can actually see their battle gauge fill and prepare for their next turn. This game also makes use of an upgraded job class system. Gone is the point system of Final Fantasy III.  The characters can make use of various job classes at will, while their base character (“Freelancer”) gains the stats. Players can ‘master’ job classes by gaining ability points in battle. AP and levels do not cross between job classes, but characters can learn different abilities that can be transferred. For example, players can equip a white mage character with black magic.  These enhancements really open up character customization.

     

    The only criticism with the battle mechanics in this game is based on the number of random encounters. The encounter rate on this game is staggering. Also, this particular entry is associated with hours of grinding. While players don't have to grind, it is imperative if they want to get the best out of the job classes.

    Final Thoughts

    Final Fantasy V is a fun entry in the series that is worth playing just for the battle system alone. If you can make it past the grinding and somewhat goofy moments in the plot, this is definitely an enjoyable entry. If you pick up this game, you are promised some great emoting graphics, a catchy soundtrack, and some awesome game play.

     

    Logo, Final Fantasy V, Review



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