By Chris Kohler
The Boss Fight Books series are in depth analysis of video games. This particular book is about one of the most overlooked games from my favorite video game series, Final Fantasy V. While originally released in Japan in 1992, we didn’t get it in the US until 1999, in the compilation Final Fantasy Anthology. For me and many others though, it was overshadowed by Final Fantasy VI, one of the most highly regarded games in the entire series. But, as Kohler demonstrates in this book, FFV is a much more interesting and important game that I originally thought.
The book covers the development and release history of FFV, including interviews with the director, Hironobu Sakaguchi. In addition, Kohler discusses growing up as a Japan obsessed nerd in the early 90s, when anime and Japanese games were much scarcer. He talks about importing the original Japanese version, and working with the fan community to create English language guides. These alternating stories demonstrate FFV’s importance within Squaresoft, as well as the US otaku fan culture.
For me the book accomplished its goal: increasing my appreciation for FFV. It’s a very entertaining read, so if you have any interesting in the history of the Final Fantasy series, Japanese game development, or US gaming fan culture, I encourage you to check it out.