Review by Jewis

Reviewed: 12/07/03

*smiles* I love you Squaresoft

I don't give out many perfect scores, but Final Fantasy V deserves every bit of the 10/10 that it has received. The combination of the job system, exquisite music, and multiple chocobo species have won this game a place in my heart. Almost every Final Fantasy since this game draws in part from some aspect of FF 5. It can really be considered the godfather of modern Final Fantasy games, and it still remains one of the best. Alright, enough intro. Here we go with my review of Final Fantasy V.

GRAPHICS: 9/10

When evaluating the graphical content for Final Fantasy V I had to challenge myself to go a little deeper and look for more than what it first appears to be. At first glance the visuals can be written of as average. Character sprites appear fairly pixilated (although each character has a unique costume for each different class) and the towns don't show quite the attention to detail that I have come to expect from Square. However, all of this is a deception to leave you unprepared for the later treats that lie in wait. The various dungeons and forests of the game are where the real graphical prizes begin to appear, and by the time you get the airship and see some of the game's cut-scenes it becomes clear that Square was still a step ahead even in the early 90's.

SOUND: 10/10

Normally I like to write my reviews from top to bottom, but I couldn't help but start with the sound category on this one. The music in this game is absolutely beautiful. Everything that gamers have come to expect in modern soundtracks was figured out a decade ago by Squaresoft. From the light arias of the sorrowful moments to the sweeping symphonic movements of the final battle Nobuo Uematsu shows gamers just why he is so highly regarded in the video game world. Every one of the 67 tracks fills the world with an ambiance that allows a gamer to experience the events as if he was there. And, although the sound effects may at times seem a little flat (especially the annoying propeller sound the airship later makes), the game's musical score more than makes up for any deficiencies in this department.

CONTROL: 9/10

There isn't really much to speak of for this game's control, so there wasn't much that they could have screwed up. The maneuvering of characters and vehicles is done with ease and the menu selections didn't cause me too much trouble. My only qualm was the fact that you can't cycle through the characters' equip screens without exiting out of them first. This wasn't really a problem though, more like a convenience issue.

GAMEPLAY: 10/10

First of all I just want to say, OH WOW! That's right, WOW. In fact, it is so WOW that I hardly know where to start. The battle system was the same flawless wonder that I have come to expect from a Final Fantasy. Weapons and armor were diverse and plentiful, and there was a veritable smattering of spells and such that kept my interest all throughout. But, the aspect of this game that made it such a tour de force was none of these things (well, maybe the spells and such, but none of the other stuff.) The thing that took this game from good to awesome was the job system.

Different character classes have been around since the first Final Fantasy. However, until this point, a character's class could not be changed at will. Final Fantasy V introduces a system that allows for the changing into over 20 different jobs. Each one has its own inherent abilities in addition to their battle command. During after battles you are awarded ABP in addition to experience. This goes towards learning new abilities under that class, abilities which can be equipped to your character to customize your gaming experience. So, although the game has a static party of four, it will feel like you have numerous choices as to how you want your group to feel.

STORY: 7/10

The story for this title was one of the more unremarkable aspects for me. Basically, it's the same ''save the world from impending doom wrought by an evil megalomaniac'' with a few twists. All in all it wasn't that bad, it just felt a little flat for my tastes. I don't want to say that there weren't a few surprises, because there were, but this isn't a story that I plan to tell my grandchildren about.

So, do I think that you should play this game? With all my heart I implore you to. Should you purchase this game? If you have the opportunity to, then you are doing yourself a favor. Final Fantasy V is not just a pleasant trip into nostalgia, it is a titan that could stand up to many RPGs of today. Aside from its originality, soundtrack, and excellent gameplay, it also has the added benefit of replay value. By merely choosing different job classes for your characters you can create a different gaming experience every time you play. And, you will be playing for awhile. I finished this game in about 35 hours, but I could have easily played for upwards of 40 or 45.

Recap:

GRAPHICS: 9/10
SOUND: 10/10
CONTROL: 9/10
GAMEPLAY: 10/10
STORY: 7/10

TOTAL: 10/10

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Would you recommend this Review? Yes No

Got Your Own Opinion?

Submit a review and let your voice be heard.