Final Fantasy V Advance Review (GBA)

Square Enix's return through Final Fantasy history showcases old flaws.

by Chris Faylor on Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Square Enix and its Final Fantasy games have often been credited with constantly advancing the role-playing genre. Yet if each game improves upon the previous one, it seems to somewhat indicate that the previous game is somewhat obsolete. Thankfully, in bringing the older Final Fantasy games to the Game Boy Advance, Square Enix has updated them by adding tutorials, a handy Quick Save option, and even new content. But the core of the games continue to remain the same, and with Final Fantasy V Advance retaining the generic plot devices and random encounters of the original, some might start to think the formula is wearing a bit thin.

It's a valid concern, but fortunately, Final Fantasy V Advance mixes things up with its new Job System. Unlike other Final Fantasy games, the characters within V are quite literally, blank slates. Beyond the standard attack, defense, and item actions, none of the four main characters have any sort of innate ability.

Instead, their abilities and actions must be learned along the way, and that's where the job system comes in. By assigning characters a job, such as Knight or White Mage, they begin to obtain additional abilities. The longer they stay in that job, the more abilities they learn pertaining to that assigned job. Switching jobs is as easy as pulling up the menu, with the option to slot in any one of a character's various learned abilities, regardless of their current profession. So, for example, someone that formerly trained as a White Mage could retain their ability to cast Cure if they opt to become a Black Mage, and just like the jobs, that slotted-in ability can be quickly changed from the main menu.

Though it provides a lot of potential, this customization also presents a huge challenge. Jobs restrict not only what actions a character has available, but also which type of weapons and armor can be used. While a Knight may be powerful due to their tendency to support the more advanced equipment, it's also an expensive profession to pursue, and things only get that much harder as the number of Knights in a party increases. Meanwhile, Monks and Mages are powerful in some ways, be it hand-to-hand combat or offensive magic, yet weaker in the realm of defense.


Do you Recommend this Review?

Yes No

Latest Article Comments (0)


Final Fantasy V Advance

Final Fantasy V Advance
  • GenreRPG
  • Release Date11/30/1999
  • PublisherSquare Enix
  • DeveloperSquare Enix
  • ESRBE - Everyone