Final Fantasy 5
Cross-dressing has never been this subtle!
Developer: Squaresoft Publisher: Squaresoft Genre: RPG Players: 1 ESRB: Teen Difficulty: Intermediate
Final Fantasy 5 sticks strongly to the Final Fantasy tradition, not ridding of anything from previous games and adding on some cool features. It only stars four characters, but that's good in a way because if there were any other characters in the story they'd just be a nuisance. The music doesn't totally live up to its predecessors, but it's definitely not worth doing something drastic like turning the volume down. It's got a really good plot, though... believe it or not, there's no evil government desiring world domination! It was never released in America for the SNES, but it was released for the PSX in Final Fantasy Anthology. Myself, I played the translated version on a SNES emulator.
Gameplay-- The gameplay greatly improves over its predecessors. The items list isn't confusing to use (like in FF4), you can easily place characters in the front and back row (unlike FF4), and there is a feature that is taken (and improved) from FF1's... Jobs! If you assign your character a certain job, it will have certain abilities that go with the job. Throughout the game, you get more and more new jobs. There are LOTS of them. The classics from FF1 are there: Black, White, and Red Mage, Monk (Black Belt in FF1), Knight (Fighter in FF1), and many, many others, some even from FF4, like Dragoon. Also, along with the Job system comes the Ability system (also like in FF Tactics), where you can learn abilities from Jobs, and use them even if you're not using that Job. Ahh, it's hard to explain...
Graphics-- The graphics of FF5 do not greatly improve over FF4's. The characters have a little more color in them, though, and the overworld has cooler effects, like fading in the distance. It's the missing link to the transition between FF4's graphics and FF6's.
Music-- As usual, the main theme is catchy. But the battle and boss theme lack excitement, and other themes aren't very memorable.
Fun Factor-- FF5 is a fun game to play. It can be hard at times, but there are no parts that are boring. There's always a fun side quest and lots of suspense, and it doesn't leave you hanging.
Storyline-- Great storyline, probably the best of all the Final Fantasy games. It only includes four playable characters, and that's pretty cool. The characters, Butz (Bartz in US), Lenna (Reina in US), Galuf and Faris, have many surprises. Of course, something life-threatening always happens, and this one's worth seeing.
Overall Satisfaction-- FF5 is definitely worth playing. It has one of the best plots in the Final Fantasy series, cool characters that aren't totally mystical and mysterious (like in FF4), and cool airships!