It’s been a little under three years since the first Final Fantasy XIV was released and recalled by Square Enix. After negative reception towards the game Square decided to rebuild the whole system from the ground up for a whole new experience for the players. Have they cracked the formula for themselves to make a fun and engaging MMO? This reviewer and the packed servers say yes.
One word i would use to describe Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn would be epic, another would be massive. Final Fantasy XIV starts out with a massive character creation screen that delivers so many choices that it would be almost impossible to run into a character that looks exactly the same. Afterwards the game has you choose a class for yourself which determines abilities of course and which of the three city states you initially start in. After an opening cut scene you’re set off into the world to quest to your hearts content. Quests usually involve either fetching an item or fighting x amount of monsters for a monster specific item, of course the quests are varied enough to where it doesn’t feel overly repetitive and you’ll see some nice level designs along the way. One of the good things about the game is the class quests where you report to the guild that you chose at the start of the game and do quests to test yourself, the good thing about it is that it actually makes you feel like you’re part of an elite group, as an added bonus you get to join other guilds and perform those quests which eventually lets you become advanced in your class or job, it’s really satisfying to know your time and effort pays off with better moves and equipment.
Multiplayer is a big part of an MMO, like a certain group of teenagers with a giant fighting robot, the more you hook up the better it gets. I can remember all the satisfaction I get from ganging up on monsters with my friends or starting a random party with a random player or three. Players can even start their own factions in the game, I myself haven’t joined one but i can imagine it’s loads of fun to dungeon crawl with other like minded individuals. Of course there is no such thing as a perfect game without it’s flaws and Final Fantasy 14 has a few that I’ve noticed. Since it is a massive game the flaws will be very limited but here’s a few that really stand out to me so far. There are story line missions a little ways down the line, they send you to a dungeon and you activate an item (that they already give you) called the duty finder and then you wait…yes you wait in a dungeon for a specific type of player to stroll through because the quest forces you to make a party before it will let you in. I know its an MMO but for the most part I like to solo by myself, if i am to group up I’d rather not be forced into it just to advance the story. Now the dungeon quest has some very detailed and gorgeous and there’s something to be said about planning in more detail on which monsters to take out which is more satisfying than normal combat and there’s even a random loot system where players gets a random item and a massive amounts of exp points. But a big problem that i had (when i finally managed to assemble a proper party) was the party itself.
My first time in I was grouped with two people who kept trying to split up and have everyone focus on different enemies despite knowing full well that my class of character doesn’t put out the damage of other classes but can attack faster and cast a few buffs, a puglist for anyone who has played this game already, and then had the nerve to call me a noob even though he was the one dying back and forth and I was doing decent for a guy who was basically on my own. Needless to say that group disbanded. The next group I managed to partner with did pretty good even though we didn’t have a healer, we had to boot someone and partner with someone who didn’t speak English but we still ruled. Another big problem with the game is something more technical. If I had to list twelve things about it at the top of the list would be Servers and then eleven random swear words. At this point the games servers are very tiny because Square didn’t realize this many people would be playing the game. So many people ordered the game, in fact, that they had to temporarily suspend the online sale of the game and limit the amount of people that could get on any server at any given time and even though they’ve expanded some of the servers they’ve still left a few down. It’s more of a technical thing so that’s going to be resolved soon so it’s not an extremely big deal.
You can get into a server to play for a very long time if you choose and if you have some patience so just get out there and have fun. So if you like Final Fantasy, if you like MMORPGS, if you like playing in a fantasy setting with all your friends then this is the game for you.