FFXIV: A Realm Reborn – One Year Later

With my time in the game nearing the one year mark (since live release not beta), I figured now is as good as any time to do up a review.  After spending far too much of my life playing a certain well known MMO, I never thought I’d jump back into another.  I dabbled in a few here and there since my days in WoW, but never for long or with much interest.  Then again, I never expected to have one come out that met just the right criteria to give me without much reason not to play.  So, without further ado, we have the chronicles of my soon to be year in the world of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

I suppose I should first start off by saying that even as huge of a fan of Final Fantasy as I am, I admittedly never played the original Final Fantasy XIV aka Version 1.  I never even played XI to be perfectly honest.  At the time these MMOs for the series came out, I just wasn’t in the mindset of that game genre for one reason or another.  Having now been immersed in A Realm Reborn (ARR as I’ll now refer to it throughout the review), I do sort of wish I had given that one a chance even if it performed less than stellar.

With this being my first MMO in a while, I hoped the transition back into that style of play would be smooth.  Barring any time adjusting to the game’s particular interface, the world itself, and various aspects of gameplay, the learning curve into ARR wasn’t bad at all.  The primary challenge that I personally face is playing on a PS3 as opposed to a PC.  It obviously presents limitations in things like target acquisition and casting spells, but you learn to get past it.  Anyone that can’t help but resort to PC methods, fortunately keyboard/mouse setup is an option with the PS3.

For those that enjoy the actual lore and story of a game, the one you’ll experience in ARR is wonderful.  Throughout any of the various classes and jobs you level, as well as all the dungeons, there is a really good amount of exciting storyline.  Even some of the quests you encounter have some really neat stories.  What’s really nice is that you can go back and watch cutscenes later on that you may have skipped.  I’ve skipped some in the interest of time, but the content I’ve followed thus far has been fantastic.

Visually, ARR is absolutely gorgeous as any long time fan of the Final Fantasy line would expect.  The world itself is filled with a plethora of stunning environments, in both the main world and the unique dungeons.  Characters are just as pleasing to the eye, with a nearly infinite amount of choices for how they appear, as well as numerous outfits that you can often customize as well.  Even now, I still find myself briefly distracted at times just gazing at my surroundings.

All around, the time I’ve spent in ARR has been extremely fun and well worth playing.  Being just a casual player, there’s a good amount of dungeons and content I haven’t touched yet.  Even so, I don’t feel as if it’s necessary to rush through it in order to get my money’s worth.  Coming up on a year on playing launch, I would easily suggest this game to anyone looking to try an MMO.  Or, you know, maybe trying to get out of Azeroth and into Eorzea.

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