Kill ladybugs in EorzeaStebsis | Aug. 27, 2013 | See all Stebsis's reviews »
There hasn’t been a good Final Fantasy game since the surprisingly entertaining and amazing real time strategy game, FF XII Revenant Wings on Nintendo DS (you heard me right) back in 2007. I haven’t played the PSP ones but I’ve heard they’re good. After that there’s been the frankly quite horrible XIII series and of course Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 which was so bad it didn’t even sway hardcore fans of the series and that resulted in complete overhaul of the game, A Realm Reborn. I’ve played ARR for 40+ hours now, since beta phase 2, and I just got my sweeter than sweet boxed Collector’s Edition. There is a lot of fanservice all the way from the very first Final Fantasy with Warrior of Light helm. There’re also Magitek Armors as rideable mounts from FFVI! Hell yeah! Classic summons such as Bahamut, Ifrit and Odin, though this time they’re enemies. And of course Chocobos, and there is really badass Behemoth armor for your giant bird in the Collector’s Edition. There is a lot of Final Fantasy in the game, and fans of the series should be pleased.
Story is boring and constantly gets interrupted because you get bigger story missions usually every 5 levels, that can be many hours of gameplay with crafting, doing quests, running dungeons etc. and you might just forget everything that happened those hours ago because there isn’t anything in the story to get you hooked. The quests in between these bigger story missions involve you doing heroic deeds in the magical land of Eorzea, such as slaying ladybugs, picking up money from the ground that some high society lady dropped, and of course one of the classics that should never be forgotten: delivering pretzels. Save the world from the great dragon king Bahamut! Yeah, Square should’ve put at least some effort into making the early game at least somewhat interesting. What happened to the great stories? It’s like the writers just gave up the minute they heard this is an MMO. During my playtime the missions are quite varied, there’s quite a bit of stuff to do, but nothing is ever exciting, there is nothing pulling you in from the quest standpoint.
What really shines is the combat and class system. You get to choose from 5 different races and each of them has two different kind of settings that give a bit different starting stats depending if you want to use magic or not. Character customization is a bit limited but I think it serves its purpose. You can then choose from variety of different jobs, but you’re only bound to it till level 10, then you can go to other guilds and choose to join them, you get a weapon that the class uses, and changing your job is as easy as just switching weapons, no need to create new character just to try out new class, you can max every one of them with one character. This should be in every MMO and it feels like the job system from FFV. Combat itself plays out quite differently depending on what class you pick. You get variety of different skills and every class works differently, with black mage you need to mind your MP because using fire spells stops mana regen, with gladiator you need to taunt the enemies from your party to attack you, and arcanist has a pet Carbuncle that can either attack or defend.
Crafting is its own minigame, at the same time it’s really time consuming if you want to get the best out of it, and it can get tedious really fast, you will be spending hours just doing the crafting log if you want some of the best gear especially early on. But at the same time it’s surprisingly exciting and involving process.
ARR is good looking game, Square-Enix has always known how to make their games really beautiful, and ARR is no exception. On highest settings the game is simply gorgeous to look at with variety of locales. I just wish there was something to actually find in the game, there is no real reason to go out and explore this beautiful world.
XIV ARR is fun game to play, crafting is really fun if you’re into that sort of thing, and combat and class system are great. With duty finder it's somewhat easy to find parties to dungeons easily, if people would just actually use it. If you’re MMO and FF fan, you’re most likely going to be very happy with ARR.