Final Fantasy V is one of the mainline FF games that I never got around to playing. Of course back in the SNES days I didn't even know it existed, since it didn't actually come to the US. Instead, we got Final Fantasy IV and VI repackaged as II and III. It was a confusing time to be a gamer. And I mean, when suddenly Final Fantasy VII showed up on our shores, I was definitely baffled at what we had missed.
Anyway, I had always kind of meant to play V, but it was sort of lower on my list. See, any mention of V comes with mention of its job system, and I think I was worried that V was going to be like II - which is a game that I pretty much hate.
But over the past few years I've played and adored both Octopath Traveler and Bravely Second, which are for all intents and purposes, spiritual sequels to Final Fantasy V. So I felt like now was a good time to finally dig into that official English translation that we got on the GBA all those years ago. I even bought an aftermarket for my GBA SP, since it wasn't holding a good charge.
Right off the bat, the game looks terrific. It's got that classic 16-bit look that IV and VI are so beloved over. I'm probably two or three hours in now, though I can't be certain because apparently putting the GBA in sleep mode still keeps the in-game clock running, so it thinks I've played seven hours.
The game is a little talkier than I'd like, but maybe that's just the beginning. The job system is really cool - and familiar to me because of Bravely/Octopath. For now I'm rolling with a very traditional "Four Heroes Of Light" set-up with a Knight, Thief, White Mage and Black Mage.
I made it up to the ship graveyard, and to a boss fight that completely wrecked me. I think I need to do some grinding here. I think my party is hovering around LVL 7 right now. But yeah. Solid game so far.
Alright, so Final Fantasy V is definitely one of the good ones. Boss battles are no joke, and keep you thinking. They're like little strategy puzzles or something. Good stuff. Definitely does remind me of Octopath/Bravely games. And I like that.
I've made some good progress. Leveled everyone up to LVL 10 and am fighting my way through the mountain to the north. Also got some fresh new gear.
The job system is super interesting, and yet I've barely messed with it. The game was made to welcome exploiting the job system to your heart's content, and yet I'm sort of approaching it like a standard FF game where I'm trying to see what happens if I keep the basic Four Heroes lineup I started with and see what kind of challenge that presents.
At any rate, V is sort of like if II had been a good game.
I lied. I could not resist the allure of the jobs system once new ones were offered up. So now my Knight is a Mystic Knight; White Mage is Red Mage; Thief is Berzerker; and Black Knight is Blue Knight.
I don't really understand what the Mystic Knight does.
The Red Mage I'm also confused about. Her Red Mage ability should allow me to use both black and white magic, but only white magic is showing up in the menu - none of the black magic I've purchased for my party is there.
The Berzerker seems to attack on his own, without my input. I don't know how I feel about that - but he does he hard and looks cool.
The Blue Mage is so far not a huge upgrade because I have no blue magic. Or rather, I guess blue magic is spells you learn from monsters? I'm not sure how that happens, but it hasn't yet.
So I'm confused, but intrigued.
Two things: this game is great; and I don't know that I have the time to commit to it right now.
I made some good progress. My Berzerker became a Ninja. My Blue Mage learned some monster spells. I beat the ship section that leads to the Fire Crystal. Then I went of to a library. I was feeling good.
The library was really cool by the way. The monsters all come out of books and are just named page numbers. Weird touch. But then I got to the boss battle and got wrecked. I checked a guide online, and the suggested party level is 24 for this boss. My party is all level 14. Wow.
So this is my issue - I love natural grinding in RPG's. Meaning, I'll fight every battle from town to town. And then when I get to a new town, I'll grind around there until I can afford the best armor, weapons and spells. To me, that should be enough grinding to feel natural. Like, I'm just organically leveling up as I need to. But to get to a boss - and have no problem in that dungeon! - only to find out that I should be like ten levels higher? Man, I just don't think I have the time for this.
Back before we had a baby in the house, I had no issue staying up until midnight to play a game. Now, my gaming time (and sleep time) is far more limited. So unfortunately, I don't think I'll be sticking with Final Fantasy V much longer. Which is a shame as it's an excellent game. Some day, I will return to it. Some day.