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Carl (Leeds, United Kingdom)

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4)
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4)

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Final Fantasy Game since X (and it happens to be an MMO), 14 April 2014
I'm not normally one to play MMOs (except for the free DC Universe Online, which I downloaded when I first purchased a PS4) but my friend had this on the PC and seeing it in action piqued my interest. I was almost put off by the fact that a subscription was required after 30 days of playtime but decided that as I could get a copy for less than £10 for the PS3, it would be justified. I'm very pleased that I did, and am now in my third month of playtime.

The game mechanics are complex enough to be interesting without being too complicated, although if you're new to MMOs I would recommend a quick read-up of the typical nomenclature; when partnered up with strangers in dungeons, it's assumed that you'll know full well what the roles of tank, dps and healer mean. There are plenty of classes to choose from, and indeed you'll want to choose a wide selection so as to experience everything the game has to offer. Some classes are similar, and some change the game entirely. I started as a black mage, then after reaching the maximum level began additional classes of tank and white mage. All of this is done with the same character, meaning it's easy to switch between classes on the fly. The endgame material is superb, and most people will say that that's when the actual game starts. With the number of max level dungeons and raids for high-end gear it's hard to disagree, and you'll keep coming back as more content is patched in every few months.

I'm reviewing this on the PS4 version even though I own the PS3 version as a few days ago Square Enix began it's offer of upgrading to the PS4 version for free as long as the account was registered on a PS3 first. So a word of advice: if you own both consoles and you're thinking of buying the PS4 version of FFXIV, get the PS3 version, start the game, then upgrade. Square Enix have said they'll do this as a free service until 31st December 2014, and at present Amazon prices it'll save you £15 (2 months subscription time). You'll definitely want to upgrade too, as the PS3 version can sometimes lag and have a low framerate; the PS4 version meanwhile, looks absolutely incredible and has never lagged even at peak times. My friend who plays it on his high-end PC says that it looks better on my console than on his computer with maximum settings, which definitely should not be taken lightly.

So if you're thinking of taking the plunge, I'd say it's a great idea. A great MMO for novices and veterans alike, and a fantastic Final Fantasy game.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 24, 2014 11:45 AM BST

Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)
Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)
Offered by Fox Electric
Price: £16.79

137 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immersion Taken To A New Level, 24 May 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
To put this review in context, I've been looking forward to Red Dead Redemption for a long time: it's the only game I've ever pre-ordered. And I am glad I did, because not only is this one of the strongest contenders for Game Of The Year, but it may even be one of (that's 'one of', for the Ocarina fans) the greatest games ever made.

Graphics - Incredible, simply incredible. To call this game beautiful is a disgraceful understatement. Besides Final Fantasy XIII, I can't think of many games which better RDR's graphics, and considering the sheer size of the map and the possible number of enemies duelling onscreen at one time that's a huge achievement. From everything to cacti in the desert to the muscles of the horses you ride, everything looks exactly as you'd imagine it to. This is life in the old west brought to life. Besides camera angles, the cut-scenes and gameplay are almost indistinguishable, and the characters look pretty damn realistic (like a great film, you can tell what the characters are thinking just by looking at their facial expressions and body language). In short, this a beautiful, beautiful game.

Sound - Perfect. Graphics may improve, gameplay may improve, but I honestly couldn't see how the soundtrack to this game could be any better. You really become immersed in the game when you have the traditional Spaghetti Western style music playing as you ride after outlaws in the desert. I was worried that having that kind of music in the game would make it seem cheesy or fake, but it really does add a sense of atmosphere. The voice-acting is also superb, as is now standard for Rockstar games. The greatest moment so far was a flash and the sound of thunder during a storm, causing all the horses outside the saloon to whinny and struggle against their hitchings in fright.

Length - This is a long game. Besides the main story mode, which is a good 20 hours by itself, there is a huge number of side activities to engage in. Hunting, breaking in horses, poker, duelling, horseshoes, blackjack, Liar's Dice, bounty hunting, stagecoach-robbing (or saving, if you come across one being attacked), challenges, collecting outfits... The list really does go on, and you'll be entertained by this for a long time.

Gameplay - The meat of any game, and I've saved the best till last. From riding horses to hunting outlaws, there really is a vast number of things to do. This variation ensures the experience never gets repetitive, and it really is just mind-blowing. The controls are great, and although the horse riding takes a little getting used to, you come to realise that there is no better way to ride a horse and shoot outlaws at the same time. And the attention to detail is awesome, in the true sense of the word. It's satisfying to blow someone off horseback with a shotgun, only to find that their foot becomes stuck in the stirrups as their horse rides away in fright, or when you lasso a wanted criminal and drag them to the Sheriff's office at high speed on your horse. There are a few glitches in the game, and occasional slowdown, but this really doesn't detract from the experience and happens so infrequently that it's barely worth mentioning.

Without a doubt MY now favourite game, I'm sure this will be many people's opinion in the coming weeks. I cannot stress enough how much you need to buy it. Happy trails!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2010 2:33 AM GMT

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