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Platform

GameBoy Advance

 

Genre

Role-Playing

 

Publisher

Square-Enix

 

Developer

Square-Enix

 

ESRB

 E (Everyone)

 

Released

November 2006

 

 

 

- GBA remake with enhanced graphics

- New translations make the story more enjoyable

- New elements which include new dungeons, new job classes, etc

- Many side quests

 

 

- Too many random battles

- Leveling-up can be repetitive

 

 

Review: Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (GBA)

Review: Final Fantasy XII (PS2)

Review: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (GC)

 

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Final Fantasy V Advance

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

Finally, after many years, FFV is released in the US with enhanced graphics and improved translations which makes the experience more enjoyable. It’s hard to believe that there is only one more oldschool FF game to be re-released on the GBA (with the exception of the FFIII remake).

 

final fantasy v advance          final fantasy v advance

 

The hero of this game is Bartz, a wanderer who meets up with a princess named Lenna. They are both investigating a meteorite strike and on the way they meet up with an old man who suffers with amnesia named Galuf. Later on, they find themselves teaming up with pirate captain named Faris. FFV may not have the most original plot, but neither do most FF games. However, the majority of Final

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Fantasy games really shine when it comes to character development. The most interesting characters in your party in FFV would easily have to be Faris and Galuf.

 

Different job classes are an essential and fun element that works well in FFV. Different job classes include Black Mage, Red Mage, Ninja, Summoner, Monk, and many others as well.

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All classes provide different skills, such as a Red Mage who is able to use white and black magic, whereas a thief excels at stealing from enemies, and finding hidden passages from towns to dungeons. Each character has an ability section where they are allowed to equip one secondary ability from another class to their current class. In other words, it is possible for a Ninja to be able to use white/black/red magic as well. You will learn more abilities as you level up your job class. This technique, used efficiently, will make battles easier and more enjoyable. However, if you wish to run while you are in a dungeon or town, you must first learn the ability sprint. Sprint is learned while you are leveling-up the thief job class. However, you will probably not wish to remain a thief throughout the game, so you must equip it as a secondary ability. This can become an annoyance because one character will have to sacrifice equipping a helpful secondary ability such as Shirahadori (catch and stop enemy attacks) so they may use Sprint. Unless your character is a Summoner, the same problem applies; you must have summon as a character’s secondary ability. It would be more helpful to have these abilities as a normal skill so any character can use it when first learned.

 

The humor is one thing you may either look forward to or you might hate. A lot of the humor is something to look forward to, such as the encounters with the enemy Gilgamesh. After the first battle with Gilgamesh, he says “Crap. You are lucky, I’ll let you live for today” even though he is easily beaten by Galuf. Every encounter with Gilgamesh is something to look forward to, although he does get harder every time you fight him. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of lame jokes, where they try too hard to be funny. One of the residents of Bartz’s hometown says “I am so smart, S-M-R-T.” That is just plain obvious that it was stolen straight from The Simpsons. When all the crew is captured except Galuf, it is Galuf’s duty to rescue them. When he shows up, the crew says “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s…” Again, they're trying too hard to be funny. The enemy who wishes to destroy the world is your regular badass, but with lame remarks. "Creeping crawdads! That oversized lobster just got served! With cheese biscuits AND mashed potatoes!" Saying this sort of thing just doesn’t suit the character at all.

 

final fantasy v advance          final fantasy v advance

 

Even though most of these quests are optional, it is important that you look for as many as you can. (You will learn what has become of Bartz’s chocobo that he left at the beginning of the game if you look around.) Sometimes, you may access a flashback if you return to a town where a crew member holds memories. Most of these side quests occur later in the game so it gives you lots of time to prepare for these events.

 

The one problem I do have with game is the battles, not the battles themselves, but the amount of random battles is a little extreme. Every time you walk to a new town or in a dungeon, there are many random battles, so expect to be holding down "attack" for a while or running away a lot. When you have to level up to beat a boss or a dungeon, it gets quite repetitive. This might discourage you from playing and beating that boss/dungeon and you might lose interest in the game. On the bright side, the random battle encounter rate does not piss me off the same way last year’s Final Fantasy IV did, so I am going to guess that means the encounter rate isn’t as high as it’s predecessor. 

 

Graphically, this port is not the most impressive looking GBA game, but it still looks very nice and the touch-ups like new backgrounds are welcome.

 

As mentioned above, this game has great music that will give you inspiration to keep playing and progress in the game. The music adds a lot to the gameplay experience and the sound effects are very nice.

 

All in all, if you like Final Fantasy or feel like giving the series a start, you cannot go wrong with Final Fantasy V Advance. There is a lot to do and you'll get every penny’s worth.

 

- J'Tonello

(February 12, 2007)

 

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