Final Fantasy V Advance is a GBA port of 1992’s Final Fantasy V for the SNES which was Japan only until the game was ported to the PS1 in 1999(NA)/2002(EU). This version was released in 2006(NA)/2007(EU) and is considered the definitive version of the game.
The plot remains the same as in previous versions, the player controls Bartz Klauser a young man exploring the world. One day a meteor strikes close to where he was camping and he goes to investigate. There he finds Princess Lenna Tycoon and rescues her from goblins. The two of them find an amnesiac old man called Galuf inside the meteor. They go on an adventure to save the Elemental Crystals, that give power to the world and allow it to be inhabitable, like it’s winds, fires, oceans and fertility of it’s lands. On the way they encounter the pirate captain Faris, who is actually Lenna’s long lost elder sister. Each one of the Crystals breaks by the time the group reaches them.
Through the course of their journey across the world, the group discovers that an ancient evil sorcerer named Exdeath is after the Crystals’ power and also that Galuf originates from a different world.
They travel to Galuf’s world and continue their adventure but Galuf perishes while defending his friends from Exdeath and his granddaughter Krile takes his place in adventuring with the group. They end up defeating Exdeath, who returns to his original form as a monstrous tree in the Rift, a space between both worlds, and restore peace to the worlds.
The game continues the classic Final Fantasy gameplay of turn-based combat. The player can have a party with upto 4 characters and each character can be customised with equipment and job classes. Job classes are unlocked as progress is made in the story. This GBA remake adds 4 new classes for players to unlock. Each character gains experience in a class as they win battles with that class active. These classes then level up and players unlock newer and stronger abilities. It is possible for the player to acquire mounts and other means of transportation for the world map such as Chocobos and Airships.
The music was redone for the GBA version, however patches do exist that restore the music and sound effects from the SNES version.
Overall, Final Fantasy V Advance is a very solid game, it improves on the SNES version and adds some very nice things to keep players invested throughout. Whilst Square Enix has since released mobile and Steam ports of the game that add an Auto-Battle feature, they also redid the sprites, which this author believes do not hold up to the original sprites. This remains a definitive edition of the game, a classic Final Fantasy experience and a game everyone, fan of the series or not, should try out.
Rating – 8.5/10. An enjoyable game with a great job system and music. A must play for FF fans and others alike.