A remaster of Final Fantasy V

The original Final Fantasy V comes to life with completely new graphics and audio as a 2D pixel remaster! A remodeled take on the fifth game in the world-renowned Final Fantasy series! Enjoy the timeless story told through charming retro graphics.

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Final Fantasy V is rather interesting, especially because it’s the one in the pixel remaster set that I knew the least about. All I really knew was that it evolved upon the job system mechanic from FF3. Now having played through the game in full, I can definitely say I enjoyed it. It really evolves the Job System from FF3, further realizing how this system could entirely function. That being said, there are some issues I had with how this game handles the Job System, alongside some other aspects of the game that made it not hit the same highs as other Final Fantasies. Though I want to reiterate, Final Fantasy 5 is still a good game, even if it’s not particularly my favorite of the series.

The Job System is interesting. One simple change was made between FF3 and FF5 that drastically changes how you can interact with jobs. This addition is simply allowing you to equip an additional skill from a job level you’ve already gained. So say as a Black Mage you’ve learned Level 5 Magic, if you then switch to a Knight, you can equip Level 5 Magic in that skill slot. That by itself creates a new layer of customization, creating actual builds and setups for each of your party members. And the jobs introduced in FF5 (at least the ones I used) were really fun! Samurai was really overpowered, Summoner just functions the same as Rydia from FF4 and I love Rydia, and I actually found myself using a support class with the Time Mage (Haste was just too useful). As well, that whole class fatigue system from 3 is entirely removed, which is assuredly for the best.

Though with that being said, I think there’s 2 major issues with how that job system works in 5 that keeps me from absolutely loving it. Those two factors being limited customization, and actually grinding jobs to mastery. What I mean by limited customization is that most classes, aside from 2 specific ones who function differently, can only equip a single job skill. That means that at the end of the day, you’ll really only ever need to master two jobs per character. If you never overlap any jobs for any characters, that’ll mean you only need to interact with 8 jobs in the game to make optimal builds for your characters. The other reason why I had so little motivation to experiment with jobs was just simply how long it takes to grind them out. For almost the entire game, enemies give 1-2 ABP (the experience points for Job Levels), only slightly increasing once you get into the final act. This, felt absolutely dreadful to do, since you typically need over 500 ABP to master a job, and some, like Red Mage, require over 1000 ABP. I think it took me over halfway in act 2 to actually master a single job, and I got that job in the early hours of the game. The abysmal grinding alone sort of creates a sunk cost fallacy with the jobs you’re already using. I already put so much invested in my Time Mage, why switch jobs and have to grind all over again? I really appreciate the Pixel Remasters featuring modifiers to increase ABP gained in battle, for most of the game I went without it to preserve the “authentic” FF5 experience. However I’m glad I switched to using the modifier instead, it makes the actual experience of playing FF5 so much smoother.

A slight side-tangent I want to express is how annoying it was to try and run from battles. I don’t entirely know how it works, but sometimes it can feel like you’ve been trying to run away for over a minute or two and simply nothing happens. It became a nuisance more than anything else, and almost every time I died in game, it was due to enemies wailing on me as I was trying to run from them. I very much appreciate the Pixel Remasters having auto-saves for every room transition for this reason alone. I did fight most of the encounters I saw, so I was never underleveled, and yet sometimes I was just woefully unlucky. This all boils down to my strong held belief that in games like this, being unable to flee from random encounters is an annoying design choice.

While I critique the Job System and Flee Rates, the general gameplay of FF5 is still buttery smooth. I think that’s just due to how well the ATB system works. At the end of the day it is just a modified version of a turn-based system, but that waiting for the next turn in order to attack makes things so tense and engaging. As I got further into the game, the more those moments of inaction had me on edge, as who knows what could happen in whatever fight I was in. Though funnily enough, by the time I was in the late game, once my builds were completed, the bosses were a general cakewalk.

The story itself is rather interesting. I wouldn’t say it’s as strong as other Final Fantasies, but I do in general like the world in FF5. The major reveals about the world of FF5, how it came to exist, and what it was before the events of the story are really interesting, and the locations you get to explore in FF5 are cool to see. I really like how some locations in Acts 1 and 2 are deliberately undoable at the time you first visit them, but become heavily important once Act 3 begins. The story itself, while simple, is paced rather well, that is until Act 3. Act 3 starts out well, and ends well, but the middle of Act 3 feels rather directionless, having little direction compared to the previous two acts. I think if just more story was added in those sections it would work well, cause the act 3 dungeons are some of the best designed in the game, but it feels like it’s just something you have to do before you get more story. Though I will say the absolute highlight of FF5’s story for me was undoubtedly Gilgamesh. He ruled.

Even though I don’t think this game is amazing, I still really like what it was able to do. The Job System is vastly improved over how it was in 3, even if it’s still not perfect. I’m simply a sucker for customizing, and building characters. I really would love to see another Final Fantasy try out the job system, though I don’t know if any actually use it (I know nothing about the games after FF7). Yet again, with how rarely I find myself playing a Final Fantasy, I always forget how much I end up enjoying them, and 5 is no exception. It was definitely a worthwhile playthrough, and I’m glad I finally got around to it.

If i could make a videogame i would make a good videogame not this

I replayed FFV for four job fiesta this year, and honestly, on the replay I think this game has warranted the extra half star bump to 5 stars. It was just, if not more, fun the second time around, and I’ve gained an appreciation for just how much you can do in this game. With a team of blue mage, time mage, beastmaster, and dragoon, I was able to pull off most major milestones and beat the game, including Shinryu (I couldn’t think of an answer to Omega that did not involve extreme amounts of grinding). While the job system is so big and vast, there really isn’t anything you can’t do with any party (except maybe four berserkers, but I’m also aware there is a solo run of them out there!). And I think that’s impressive – I really value customization in video gaming and that element of FFV is something I deeply enjoy.

There is a lot to like about FFV, but there is also a lot that is holding it back. For one, some of the characters and even villains are not very well developed. For example, Gilgamesh. I love Gilgamesh, but that's only because of the questlines he has in FF14. In this game, he's a guy that shows up every once in a while, fights, loses, runs away, and repeat. He forms a bond with the party and grows to like them, but I never once felt that bond. If I ever had the chance to interact with him outside of battle, then maybe I'd feel more attached to him. As is, he's just this guy that shows up every once in a while.

The job system in this game is great, but it also holds the game back at times. I love tweaking my party and finding cool combinations. But there are times where if you don't go into a boss fight with the right setup, then good luck. It's super annoying when you have a great lineup and are getting through the regular fights without much difficultly, and then the boss is immune to almost everything you can do to them. That's just bad game design.

I don't want to come across as negative about the game though. It is good, but I consider it the weakest out of the SNES era games. The Pixel Remaster is the best way to play V if you don't have a copy already.

this game is my new gold standard for gameplay in JRPGs going forward. the job system is at its absolute peak here and makes ff3 look barebones by comparison. the story was passable (still pretty good tho!) but the gameplay more than made up for it

(This is the English translation of my Spanish review of this game)

Fact: This was also my first review of the Pixel Remaster series

Blessed the day I decided to give an old game a chance (lmao it's a remaster in any case). I always hesitate because I am afraid that it might bore me, or the gameplay mechanics might be very rudimentary, but this series of pixel remasters is proving me wrong, and that makes me really happy.

It’s so amusing to see games that have the early DNA of RPGs (and being the fifth iteration) it manages to capture the early RPG concepts in such a cool way. FFV has it all. Gods who created the universe, crystals that keep it safe, an evil guy who wants to destroy everything and escapes his prison, and now - THE HERO OF TIME - ehhh the four heroes of light have to mop up and fix the mess. An extremely classic archetype to tell this classic story.

Playing this game made me realize that for a long time I’ve felt somewhat disappointed by modern RPGs. They never managed to “scratch the itch” of the completionist’s bite. I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved completing secondary objectives or finding the game’s collectibles. There’s something inside me that feels peace seeing everything complete and tidy, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that FFV has a bestiary of 300 (depending on the version) creatures! Each with its custom artworks even. I love experiencing such great labors of love like this.

I don’t have many negative things to say about the game, really. Much of the criticism I can think of might not be so valid because at the time, the “old school” RPG formula was not, in fact, old school. For 1992, I feel that the storytelling, the twists and turns, the parallel and fantastic worlds were quite fresh and exciting themes, and I feel that 32 years later (today lol) they still are a bit.

In short, a game with a lot of content, many creatures, and an great joy to play.

4.5 Exdeaths, Postdeaths, and Neoexpostdeaths

out of 5 💀💀💀💀