Review by DemiGodX
Reviewed: 11/01/99 | Updated: 02/22/01
One of the greatest unknown (in the US) RPGs...
A couple of years ago I was introduced to the wonderful world of 16-bit RPGs, after having played 8-bit NES D&D RPGs for the longest time. I decided to try one of the esteemed Final Fantasy series and FF5 was it, and it was the best game I have ever played and still remains as one of my favorites. In my opinion, it is the most solid and well-balanced Final Fantasy on the SNES and may even beat FF7. Here are my reasons, from the worst attribute to the best.
Graphics = 8 - Final Fantasy 5's graphics are a huge improvement over Final Fantasy 4(2 US)'s. It is cleaner and better textured while not going overboard like Final Fantasy 6 (Sprites on the world map were too big. Don't tell me Kefka's Tower is supposed to be lying on the ground like that.) It's nothing extraordinary but fits the game well. Spells look pretty nice as well as Call magic. I especially like Metwo and Bahamut's graphics.
Sound/Music = 9 - FF5 has decent sounds and the music fits their scenarios perfectly. I especially like the intro music and the final battle music with Exdeath. They do their job and they do it well. What more can I say?
Story = 10 - The story of Final Fantasy 5 is one of the best I've seen in any RPG including FF6 and Chrono Trigger. The power of the wind is mysteriously disappearing and King Tycoon goes on a scout mission to the Wind Shrine when the wind suddenly stops. A young adventurer named Butz (renamable) then witnesses a meteorite that crashes near Castle Tycoon. It leads him on a quest to save the world from a dire fate and to prevent the unleashing of an all-powerful entity that will plunge the world into darkness. A truly compelling and mystic quest that spans across 3 worlds.
Gameplay = 10 - This is where Final Fantasy 5 really shines. Its gameplay is flawless to say the least. Its battle system is much improved over FF4 (no frustrating delays when attacking or doing spells and the spell Slow actually slows down the target!) and it is not as imbalanced as FF6 (with its `ready bar' charging even when doing spells and attacks so you never know when you actually attack) The bosses are just difficult enough not to be annoying and the final battle is a true challenge (FF6: The final battle with Kefka. Need I say more?). There are of course sub-quests and two optional super-tough bosses you can fight in the end. It all blends in to make a really fine quality game. Square couldn't have done better with this title.
Replay Value = 9 - Final Fantasy 5 is fun to play over and over again, and with its many `Jobs' and sub-quests, it will take weeks to master. There are a hundred `Abilities' that you can mix and match to create new types of fighters and many hidden weapons and items in the game.
This game is definitely one of the top SNES RPGs which any hard-core RPGer shouldn't do without. Sadly it is unknown in the US for Square never released it in the States but it is something that every dedicated Square fan should experience. Hopefully when it is re-released in the US on the Playstation and PC this year, will we here in America finally be able to play this awesome title. It is the first SNES RPG I've played and it still remains my favorite.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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