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Final Fantasy V (Boss Fight Books) Paperback – October 24, 2017
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About the Author
Chris Kohler is the author of Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life, and the founding editor of Game|Life, the Webby-nominated video game section of WIRED. He is currently Features Editor of Kotaku, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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This book, while short; gives plenty of personal prospective on what Final Fantasy V is to the author while also getting prospective from Hironobu Sakaguchi, Final Fantasy V's director. As someone who didn't know what Final Fantasy V was until I fired up a ROM of it in the early days of SNES emulation; this book helps paint the picture of what was going on in the minds of other RPG hungry fans at the time.
This was my 3rd purchase of the Boss Fight Books series and the first that I really couldn't put down. Chris keeps things interesting and exciting, while not getting too off topic. I hope Chris continues to release a few more books in this series.
The mystery and allure of Japan, its art, culture, and video games during the dawn of the Internet dark ages where Anime was sold on bootleg VHS and a 56k modem was blazing fast, all serve as a fascinating backdrop to the story of a passion project and peek into a subculture in its adolescence.
What if one of the greatest additions to a beloved video game series, was also the most overlooked? Chris Kohler makes a compelling case for the most criminally neglected Final Fantasy V in his book of the same name. Final Fantasy V, published by Boss Fight Books, is equal parts macro and microscopic, sharing industry and game specific history, developer commentary through interviews, and glimpses into the authors own youth and growing fandom.
In many ways, the struggle to obtain, and ultimately develop an FAQ for Final Fantasy V, embodies the same challenge I, and many of my friends faced in the pre Internet world. The knowledge that out there, something amazing existed yet was all but impossible to obtain.
Chris writes with an engaging style that is both personable and instructional. I laughed, learned, and was transported back to a simpler time. A time when gamers had no idea what games were going to be released or when they would ever arrive in the US. A time when connecting with others who shared your passion for the obscure was no easy task.
There is a lot to love about this book and its compelling narrative of a personal journey for that which seems out of reach. Then again, Chris’ story resonates with me, as I too fondly recall a passion for Japanese Anime/Video Game culture in a time where finding and collecting was both rare and costly. Yes, I too rose early to watch Sailor Moon on TV, and paid in excess of $40 for bootleg fan subs of Dragon Ball Z on VHS – kids today have it so easy.