Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PlayStation 3)
Developer/Publisher: Square Enix
Released: August 27th, 2013
MSRP: $39.99, plus $12.99 monthly subscription fee
Let me preface by stating that the crippling server issues that plagued Final Fantasy XIV between its release and infancy had to be waited out, at least for me. It got into the North American server “Siren” only to find I could rarely log-in longer than a few moments before being erred out. I would then take the time to go to other servers like “Leviathan” and “Balmung” when they would open in the hopes of staying on longer each time. Final Fantasy XIV had been addled with some problems from the beginning and every iteration of the Online series of the popular franchise had been a crushing defeat. This was their way to actually regain some of the prestige that their offline predecessors had gained and that I, as a fan of the series, was madly in love with.
With that said, that’s why yours truly wanted to really get into it despite the handicap of server closings, errors in staying connected to established servers and so forth. Collectively, I was able to put in a decent amount of time but I didn’t want to stress this review further by taking longer than I already had. My review is a stress test of the controls, the story and the multiple zones in which I played, the graphics, the sound and the reasons why — despite the impossible server issues at the start — you should give Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn a shot.
We’re all friends again, right? I got that all prefaced out for a damn good reason and that’s so you couldn’t responsibly ignore it. When you review a game of any kind, the whole experience needs to be taken into account and it’s in those moments that you think “What would I warn my friends about? What would I get excited to tell them?” I found myself excited and yet hesitant on so many fronts with this game that I knew it was going to be an interesting go for sure.
Once I actually stepped into the game, I saw that the races were all named just as you would’ve expected from any other venture into the Final Fantasy lore. Let’s face it, they should’ve dropped “Final” from this series a long time ago because they’ve undergone so many changes, races, stories and more lore that differentiates from the original story that it’s just a wonder we’re all still here. How do people hold onto any one lore without getting confused? Here are the crazy names of the playable races: Miqo’te, lovely little humans with cat ears and tails; Lalafell, which are like Kewpie dolls with elven ears and the ability to grow facial hair if they wanted to; the Hyur, aka, Human. That’s all this is. Human; Elezen, as close to a lithe, wispy beared elven race as you can get in Final Fantasy; and the Roegadyn, which are tribes that come from the sea, muscular and unflinching in their resolve.
I bet you can guess which one I picked, can’t you?
Since I was new to Eorzea which resides in the world of Hydaelyn — and try to keep up with all these ridiculous names I’m going to throw at you. I feel like I should give everyone a phonetic guide just to help a little — I was relying heavily on my previous MMO experience. I had played pretty much every MMO out there to date that had a massive release here in the States and even some of the ones that had a small splash over on our shores. Having spent about six years on and off within World of Warcraft, Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst, Lord of the Rings Online, and quite a few others, this was the only MMO that I hadn’t really stepped into. I had heard of it’s complications and wasn’t looking to frustrate myself moreso than most MMOs already frustrated me. Once I heard of Square Enix developing ‘A Realm Reborn’, I found my interest piqued and I wanted to find out just what they could have done that would draw up interest to the degrees it had.
My first step into the game was with a tall, brutish looking Roegadyn beauty who would take on Pugilism, one of the several over-the-top named classes such as Gladiators, Lancers, Archers and Marauders within the Disciples of War category. You could also dip yourself into the Disciples of Magic, since they split those two up and make sure you’re well aware of just how different those two disciplines can be. With Arcanists, Conjurers and Thaumaturges — yes, that’s a damn class name in this game — rounding the roster for the magic users, I decided that I’d just keep myself strictly using my fists and brute strength. It’s my thing, you know? I was also told that I’d have the ability to give myself a secondary class if I had wanted to, which appealed to me and I’m sure most other people since I knew I wouldn’t have a single problem with being a Fight Club-loving Dragoon.
Now, let me really step aside from this entire descriptive and explain to you that I can’t fathom any damn reason why you need to make an overly complex opening area in any MMO without a reasonable map. I tried the opening areas for the Pugilists, which was Ul’dah, and I found my way around that one easily. Within several hours I had leveled up my beautiful brawling beast of a Roegadyn to level 10, had opened up Hunting Logs for extra XP and had stepped into story instances without much complication. Since Ul’dah and Thanalan (Like I said, I’m sorry about these ridiculous names.) were laid out pretty straight-forward and I was used to navigating other MMOS, I didn’t have an issue there. Once the server had torn me away from playing further there on that character, I started elsewhere and decided to give the Lancer a chance. This, my friends, is where things get a bit ranty.
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Category: PlayStation 3