Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn ReviewFinal Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review
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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review

Well folks FFXIV has been released and I purchased my copy on the release date! First thing, 0900 when GAME opened! I’ve been waiting, biding my time for this, the latest SQUARE-ENIX release.

 As if that wasn’t enough waiting, the installation and signing up for a SQUARE ENIX account was a b*ll ache. But finally (Again…) I am up and ready to save Eorzea – and hopefully SQUARE-ENIX have managed to save it from the previous installment. So I’ve said farewell to my girlfriend for the next few days, and I’ve told her if she needs me I’ll be elbow deep in Beast Men and Bahaumut, let’s begin!

Character creation

After the installation and signing on you are tasked with creating a character. The choices are Hyur Midlander or Highlander (Humanoid), Elezen Wildwood or Duskwight (Elves), Lalafell Plainsfolk or Dunesfolk (Little folk – Dwarves), Miqo’te Seekers of the Sun or Keepers of the Moon (Cat like people with cat ears and tails) or Roegadyn Sea Wolves or Hellsguard (Giants – like a white Hell Boy). You go through the usual adjusting eyebrows, etc (Hopefully not like Skyrim where you spend a while customizing your characters face only to spend 95% of the time wearing a helmet). I have opted to be a Miqo’te, of Gladiator class, one cool looking mo-fo!

Awesome, after all this creation and choosing a world to explore, here I am waiting for some f*cker to leave the selected world so I can start my journey… Seriously WTF!? 1 second there are 59 people in the queue, a second later I’m logging in!

Time for the review!

Overview

FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, as the title suggests is a remake of FFXIV which was released in 2010 by the wonderful and amazing SQUARE-ENIX. Both A Realm Reborn and the original game are MORPG (Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). With A Realm Reborn you pay the fee for the game £25 (On average) and you pay £7.69 per month (30 day period – PS3) to play. ARR (A Realm Reborn) has been released on Microsoft Windows & the PS3 & is due for release on the PS4. FFXIV has been re-released as ARR as the 2010 original was hammered with negativity, it has the lowest ratings overall out of the whole series as there were that many glitches and bugs that made the game painfully unplayable. The relaunch will carry over the original game’s setting, lore and intended story, but incorporate a new client, graphics engine, server and data structures, a revamped interface, redesigned maps, more gameplay variations and additional story content. Fingers crossed :)

Gameplay

The game-play is similar to FFXII but improved, it’s more fluid and interesting (Of anyone remembers FFXII it was the shambles that followed FFX on PS2). You are free to roam, you can interact with anyone; the in-game characters or ‘Lightning’s Savior’ who is roaming the streets of Ul’dah. As I’ve mentioned before ARR is a MMORPG and has the same trimmings of other games in this genre.

PS3 Gamers will navigate with an ‘XrossMediaBar’ called ‘Hot Cross Bar’. The ‘in play’ display for the PS3 version includes a message log, party status menu, mini-map, and action bar which the player can customize at will. You maneuver your character with the left analogue stick and adjust the camera with the right analogue stick, the D-Pad is used to access shortcuts on your ‘in-play’ screen. You can access your Hot Cross Bar with the start button, here you can access everything; Character customization, weapons, armor, moves, map, journal, items, teleport, etc.

In battle your character automatically attacks the enemy with a basic weapon attached while you select a special move to use. A similar system is used in Xenoblade Chronicles on the Nintendo Wii. It works surprisingly well but I am still a fan of the classic turn based system.

The game plays very well, except for one control glitch, when you first take control of your character you experiment moving the character around, the character carries on running in a straight line when you want To turn around. The load times are quick seeing as ARR is a Massive MORPG, so far I have had no trouble with entering or leaving the world map or buildings. I’ve not experienced a long load time so am pleased with FFXIV so far.

Presentation

As usual with any FFXIV I am amazed at the graphics, SQUARE-ENIX always surpasses expectations with each release. The character details are massively in-depth and whats even more amazing is how many options are available for each race and gender, yet SQUARE-ENIX still maintain the incredible detail. During in play the character moves freely and realistically, the various characters you interact with or are just passing have details you wouldn’t imagine a non important should posses.

The cut scenes are phenomenal, as usual from SQUARE-ENIX (If you haven’t guessed already, I am a big SQUARE-ENIX fan!!). Breathtakingly beautiful and smooth cut scenes. Each one unbelievably realistic.

Story

The story for FFXIV: A Realm Reborn is as follows – In FFXIV the Garlean launches a campaign to cleanse Eorzea, to achieve this goal the Legatus uses technology and ancient magic to summon Hydaelyn’s second moon, Dalmund to destroy everything in Eorzea. The Legatus is defeated but too late, the damage is done and the moon continues to fall. The Garlean Empire and the Eorzea Alliance clash on the Carteneau flats, the chosen target for Dalmund. During this battle Dalmund breaks up in the sky and unleashes Bahaumut who starts carrying out the Legatus wishes, laying waste to Eorzea. A group of adventurers attempt to seal Bahaumut back in Dalmund, to no avail. After this failure the Archon sends the remainder of the Eorzean Alliance army and the group of Adventurers 5 years into the future. Upon awaking in the future the Eorzean Alliance members and the adventurers memories are blurred. You take over from here! The game is mainly mission based, which is enjoyable.

Audio

The soundtrack is suited for each location, the only negative I can suggest is that none of the characters talk, it’s a lot of reading! I believe that even if the main protagonist doesn’t speak, as you customize his grunts and war cry, a few of the interactable characters should speak. It would add to the awe of Eorzea.

In Game Bugs

So far, I have not experienced any serious bugs. The only one is what I mentioned above.When you first take control of your character you experiment moving the character around, the character carries on running in a straight line when you want yo turn around. Like I’ve said, this seems to be a one-off and isn’t a pain in the ass, like it would be if it occurred in a battle. Fingers crossed this doesn’t occur otherwise SQUARE-ENIX will be public enemy no.1!

Overall

At the end it comes down to if you are an RPG or FF (Final Fantasy) fan if you want to play this. As with most FF games this isn’t a game where you need to play the previous installment. I think FFXIV: ARR is a brilliant refurbishment of the original, the flaws have been ironed out and it is rather enjoyable. I found just observing over people’s characters appealing, observing their creations and how they react. I am enjoying the game, I just need to get some friends interested so we can explore! :) I hope you enjoy!