Ethos’ Relapse Part 1 – Final Fantasy V

final-fantasy-v-advanceWell apparently if you leave Riddles alone for a few days, he actually writes quite a bit!

Still, I won’t let my shitty internet situation this week leave me behind in my relapse. My gaming systems obviously still worked, so I was able to play the first two of the four, although not without issues of their own.

My SNES-generation JRPG was Final Fantasy V, as I mentioned in this week’s Scatter Storming. Although I have an old save file a few hours in, I decided to start from the beginning because I had no idea of context. So I stuck my PSX disc into my PS3 and started the game up. I went into the experience with the mindset that I’d be playing a game that was 17 years old, so I was expecting ghetto. So I suppose because my expectations were low, I was a little impressed. Everything seemed to take a lot longer than it should and it was no Final Fantasy VI in terms of presentation, but there were some choices that made me think that if I was playing the game for the first time almost two decades ago, I’d be very impressed.

Of course when I went to save over an hour in, the game crashed and I lost my save. So in a very rare move, I downloaded an emulator so I could speed through the beginning. Let me tell you, that speed up feature is addicting! But more about that in my next article when I had to play a JRPG without the ability to speed things up.

I still have a soft place for FFV. Like FFIX, it starts on a more lighthearted note after the opening scenes, and it tries to show more than just the melodramatic side to a character. Still, it’s far more shallow and much more sexist, and ultimately less satisfying for that. However, for a relatively old school 2D RPG, it always surprises me in that it’s more enticing than I remember. And that includes the job system. Like some of the other games in my Relapse, I love systems in which you level up abilities separate from your character’s main level and more importantly when you’re able to keep said abilities even after switching classes or equipment.

Final Fantasy V isn’t talked about much, but it is a charming little game that is quite a bit of fun and deeper than one might expect. But I’ve spent too much time on it, I’ve got to move onto Final Fantasy IX. Don’t worry, I’m going to attack it from a gameplay/comparison perspective, not entirely from a gushing fanboy perspective.

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