We live in a magical world where plenty of worthwhile games see localization, but that was not always so! Even famed series like Final Fantasy missed some entries out here in the West back in the day. We skipped from Final Fantasy 3 to Final Fantasy VII for a reason, after all – since our 2 was actually 4, our 3 was actually 6, and 5 just never came to the West at all until a PlayStation re-release years later.
It’s possible, then, that even Final Fantasy fans might have missed Final Fantasy V, but they’ve got a great chance to check it out (again or for the first time) with the release of the latest in Square Enix’s Pixel Remaster Series with Final Fantasy V Pixel Remaster.
Bartz is just minding his own business, riding his chocobo across the land, when a meteor crashes nearby! Upon investigating, he comes across a girl named Lenna who turns out to be the princess of the nearby Kingdom of Tycoon, as well as an old man named Galuf who seems to have come from inside the meteor. Along with a pirate captain named Faris who joins their journey, Bartz and co. go on a quest to save the world from elemental disorder and a villainous mage.
The plot’s all well and good, but you didn’t come to Final Fantasy V for the plot. No, you came for that tasty, tasty job system as well as the classic ATB combat. Combat’s very similar to what we saw in the Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster, with an active-time bar showing up for characters and allowing them to act when it fills. Properly timing your attacks and healing is vital to staying on your feet.
As for the job system, this is the second example of the system in the series, with the first showing up in Final Fantasy III, but there’s plenty of refinements to take your jobbing to the next level. Unlike FFIII, for instance, characters can now mix and match abilities from different jobs. If you want an FFIV-style Paladin, for instance, you can absolutely take White Magic and stick it on a Knight. If you want a sword-wielding Black Mage, that’s an option as well!
Not every combination is equally effective, of course, but you can do a lot of crazy stuff to suit your needs. Leveling up your characters’ jobs is a huge part of FFV and it’s always a rush finding out what ability you’ll learn next .
Special attention must be paid to some of the more esoteric jobs that show up. The spell-stealing Blue Mage appears for the first time in FFV, for instance, and it’s the overpowered monster it’s always been known to be assuming you’re patient enough to seek out its abilities. The Chemist, meanwhile, can mix ingredients together to great effect, but that effect’s only great if you take the time to experiment. Standard sword-and-sorcery jobs are all well and good, but if you want the most out of FFV you’d be well-served to try some of the zanier options.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Pixel Remaster without remastered pixels, right? Much like the other entries in this series so far, FFV Pixel Remaster looks and sounds fantastic. It’s a step between the rough pixels of the original SNES release and the Playskool rounded edges of the mobile and Steam ports. The graphics’ intentions are maintained just as their visuals are enhanced rather than leaning too heavily in one direction or the other. It’s great. Likewise, the game’s music is absolutely fantastic and there’s an option to just chill and listen if you’d prefer, so kudos for that.
That said, this is a perfect time to give Final Fantasy V your first shot or to return to a classic. The Pixel Remaster series continues to excel in taking these older games and making them feel new again. Slap open that job menu, stick Equip Shield on a White Mage and get ready to grind.