Final Fantasy V (PC) Review

By Aria DiMezzo 09.12.2015

Review for Final Fantasy V on PC

Anyone with even a passing interest in the Final Fantasy series already knows the story of Final Fantasy V, but not everyone may have noticed that some really strange things are happening in the video game industry. In recent years, developers and publishers figured out that they could make a lot of relatively easy money by porting old games to mobile devices, and that's overall been a positive thing. The Android port of Final Fantasy IV is a towering achievement in technology and mobile gaming. Then someone had the idea to take those mobile ports and bring them to PC. Is the PC version of Final Fantasy V anything more than that? Does anything redeem its existence? With scepticism, Cubed3 evaluates the game that doesn't hide the fact that it's a port of a mobile game.

No. This is unacceptable. Final Fantasy V on PC is hands-down, no caveats, and no qualifications an inferior version of Final Fantasy V. It would be one thing to say that this is a low-effort port, but that's giving it too much credit. This is a no-effort port, which is apparent the very instant the game is launched. The only niche this version could possibly serve would be to provide a version of the game to players who have no tablet and no smartphone, because severe flaws undermine the otherwise great story and gameplay.

For a price that surpasses literally hundreds of worthier games, players can experience the joy of playing an obvious mobile port on PC. A desktop loaded with an Android Operating System would have an almost identical experience, and a phone loaded with Android will have a noticeably better experience. Square Enix ostensibly seeks refuge in audacity, as it proudly brandishes that this is a port of a mobile game, but, "What do you expect? It's a mobile port," does not apply when discussing something people are expected to pay a fair bit of money for.

Players will immediately notice the black bars that line the sides of the screen, which is something that has been endlessly criticised about the mobile versions. The Run toggle button fixed in the bottom right corner of the screen also made its way to the PC port—despite being utterly useless, since there is no mouse support. In actuality, the button does still serve the purpose of letting players know if Sprint is toggled, but such minor functions don't justify covering up a portion of the actual on-screen action with tacky remnants of mobile controls.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy V on PC

With indie developers capable of releasing PC games at a lower price without such gaudy displays, it becomes virtually undeniable that the only effort put into this port was "enough effort to make it function, more or less."

Final Fantasy V does support keyboard input and controllers, but the keyboard defaults to using the arrow keys for movement. This can be changed if players can be bothered to do it - but why should they, when Final Fantasy V couldn't be bothered with it, even though using the arrow keys for movement has been considered unoptimal for PC gaming for decades? A controller makes the experience a little more bearable, but the sense of navigating mobile menus using a cursor never dissipates. The small details give this away: instead of pressing L1/LB in order to toggle "Target All," as might be expected, the cursor must be moved over to the "All" button. This very quickly becomes a cacophony of groan-inducing, superfluous button presses.

When a game is ported to a different platform, it should be optimised for that platform. Functioning on that platform isn't enough, not for a product people pay for. Menus need to be overhauled to accommodate the controls of the new platform, and graphics need to be modified or even redone so that they are optimised. As it happens, so few optimisations were done and so few changes were made that save files can be freely moved back and forth between the PC and mobile versions for those with the know-how to do it. That doesn't feel right; it feels like that shouldn't be possible.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy V on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

In regard to story and gameplay, Final Fantasy V is as great as it has ever been, but dealing with a supremely suboptimal port in order to enjoy the game requires extreme dedication to the series or a lack of a smartphone or tablet. Players who can't even borrow a mobile device for long enough to play Final Fantasy V are certainly encouraged to give this port a look, because it's not that Final Fantasy V is a bad game. This is a bad version of the game. Severe flaws resulting from a gross lack of optimisation severely hinder the experience; almost nothing was modified for the PC port. Although the mobile version is marginally more expensive, players are advised to play Final Fantasy V on the system for which it was optimised, rather than the system for which it was bastardised.

Developer

Square Enix

Publisher

Square Enix

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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