Let me start by saying Final Fantasy V is not a terrible game, but it does have many terrible qualities to it that made me cringe constantly throughout my experience. The game starts off slow, simple, and boring, and after many hours this game does eventually ramp up to have some complex battles, abilities, and jobs. In fact, the most enjoyable dungeon is the optional one that you can only access after you have completed the game. And by the time you get near the end of the game you have so many classes to choose from with a lot of interesting abilities, which allow for various tactical combinations. Unfortunately the "bad" in FFV is overshadowed by weak design decisions throughout, making an otherwise enjoyable RPG something rather laughable.
Below I am listing out what I think are the 6 worst attributes of FFV, and in no particular order (they're all bad). Warning: spoilers.
#1 - A Very Slow Start
For about the first 40% of this game I found myself just letting auto-battle fast-forward me through the majority of battles, mainly just melee hitting every enemy. The boss battles for the first half of the game are incredibly simple and one-dimensional, lacking any real sense of strategy offensively and defensively (just whack at him over and over and maybe cure on occasion).
#2 - Lazy Story Telling
Nothing breaks immersion more when you can feel how lazy or predictable a writer or designer is, and there are 3 parts that stand out as prime examples from FFV:
#3 - Our Dorky Hero
When I play an RPG I hope that the main character is cool looking, or at least evolves to have some more edge (as we see in Final Fantasy Tactics). However in FFV you get one of the worst looking main characters produced by an RPG. What's sad is that there are some great looking outfits for the various classes (e.g. Dragoon, Ninja, and Warrior), but you only see those outfits when you are in battle. And since you spend the majority of your time moving the main character around towns, the world map, or inside dungeons, you are forced to look at man-boobs here for hours.
#4 - The Lame Character Gestures
I'll just let the screenshots speak for themselves on this one:
#5 - Bad Controls
Somehow the FFV team managed to create such terrible movement controls for such a simple top-down game. I frequently found myself driving my character in directions and angles I never intended, often rubbing him against walls that he would slide across as I attempted to get him to go up a flight of stairs.
#6 - Cheesy Dialogue
I swear this game must have been written by a 7 year old boy (or at least the "humor" parts). The story-line is very cliche (most RPGs are), but it was the cheesy one-liners that really made me drop by face into my palms, with gems like "hasta la bye-bye". This game couldn't decide if it wanted to be a serious, epic adventure or just be a string of campy jokes and exaggerated animations, and it really suffers as a result. Check out some of my favorite lines in the below screenshots:
Brian Riggsbee lives in San Francisco CA. He enjoys practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, creating art, gaming, chasing adorable dogs, and spending time with his wife and boy.