Review by DJellybean

Reviewed: 08/30/00 | Updated: 08/30/00

Definitely worth the time and money.

As seeing the Final Fantasy series become larger and larger...a lot of people tend to look away from the older Final Fantasy games. Quite frankly...the older Final Fantasy games were much more than just graphics and technology...they were about gameplay...and at the time(for RPGs), this is what mattered most before storyline started becoming the essence of RPGs.

Graphics: 8/10
Not much graphical eye candy here. The graphics did have a jump from the previous title(Final Fantasy IV) but not to the extent where you can consider them revolutionary for it's time. The game uses a good a mount of colors to displace the environments...like trees from shrubs or pianos from the floors on the bar. The characters are stubby little sprite in themselves too, but the summons in the game were pretty much the center of the game's best graphical power(at the time).

Other than that, it's really your typical high advanced NES looking RPG.

Sound and Music: 9/10
Sound-wise, the game wasn't really too good. A lot of bleeps and blops with muffled sounds whenever each character attacks or call upon a summon. Then again, why would anybody want to expect much on sound when technology was so dated compared to today?

Music-wise, the game definitely deserves appraisel. Music is one of the most important aspects in an RPG, by blending in a lot of orchestral instruments, you can create that sorrow atmosphere or the joyous parade. Obviously you can't just throw any old music in there and expect the player to go along with the flow of the music. What Final Fantasy V did was add a lot of variety of instruments towards each scene, like in the boss battles you would hear a low tone piano or a bracing violin. As expected, you will have to use your own ears to judge rather than read a description.

Replay Value: 8/10
Once you've beaten the game, there is still some things to do. Final Fantasy V is full of side areas and two optional but super-tough bosses. You'll definitely find yourself coming back to see what you have missed over the course of the game prior to your encounter with the last boss. While it's pretty nitpicking, obtaining all the jobs and abilities also adds to the replay value as a lot of RPG players get that sense of ''I want to get EVERYTHING in the game'' feeling. If you want to get ''everything'' then I suggest you find yourself a lot of free time because Final Fantasy V is definitely one of the longest RPGs that you will ever play.

Gameplay: 10/10
Simply put, gameplay rocks. Bottom line. The most significant aspect of Final Fantasy V in terms of gameplay is the Ability System, which in turn lets any character become basically any class that they wish to become out of a selection of 22. Each class has it's variating differences as well as strengths and weaknesses. The game itself offers 100 different abilities to choose from, raning from JUMP to 2Sword to Time. These abilities can be mixed with other classes to form a very unique combination. Imagine having a Summoner being able to throw weapons or a Ninja being able to cast black magic. The Bare class is by far the strongest of all classes. The Bare class will basically hold all the highest stats of each class that you have mastered and all the abilities that you have earned. You can gain ability points through battles, after every battle you gain ability points in which can be built upon on your total AP count until you have advanced to the next level.

The battle engine itself is pretty simplistic...not including the various abilities you can include in battle. It consists of Fight and Item, anything else in between are the abilities that you chose to have prior to battle. You gain expierience points after battle and gain in levels and so on.

The storyline itself is pretty good...but it has had it's share of lofty criticism form all corners. In summary, you take control of a wanderer named Butz...what he soon finds will change and alter his future forever...joining with his friends and caught in a struggle to save all of humanity. Sure, the plot isn't original(but then again when is ''Saving the World'' ever original anyways?) but the storyline definitely makes it's grace in the game. Each character(although there is only 5) carry their own personality, which fills in the storyline nicely as a lot of things start to develop. The game itself starts with a lot of lose threads, which may sound a bit disappointing, but Square intended that as the game gradually fills in the threads by using foreshadowing and retrospect analysis(flash backs).

The game is the usual by weapons, armors, helmets, gloves, items, and accessories. You buy new weapons and sell old weapons and such, not too complicated and the newbie will definitely have little trouble adapting to the game.

The game itself is one of the longest RPGs I have ever seen...Square must have put a lot of time into this game and obviously, just by playing, it shows.

Overall: 10/10
This game is definitely an SFAM must by. Sure, the game is out in the US, but with a seriously flawed translation...it's best you stick with the translation SNES version. While FF5 isn't as strong as other Final Fantasy titles in story(despite the fact that it's still very good), the gameplay is very deep and this game will definitely keep you at home and late at night for weeks.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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