Top positive review
28 people found this helpful
I've been hooked for months!
on 2 March 2014
Years and years ago I played FFXI, but I only played it for three-months... I had trouble getting time to play it while juggling work and a long commute; I never felt like I made any progress and I wasn't there from the beginning.
When FF:XIV came out, it got such a lashing from the gaming community that I wasn't even going to look at it. (It was also only PC at the time in the UK.) However, SquareEnix actually listened and totally revamped this, giving out loads of Beta testing passes in Spring 2013. It was announced that the "Realm Reborn" would be out on both PC and PS3, so I applied for a beta code.... I got one for my PS3, and I didn't play anything else for a whole month. (And I mean every evening and most weekends).
The Beta phase passed - issues/bugs were fixed, but the core simplicity of the game was intact. (I can't compare it to the original version at all.) After it's official release in Summer 2013, there were login issues as the demand for the game had been monstrous. I got annoyed that i couldn't login having spent so much time playing through the Beta stages. But these issues were overcome in a couple of weeks - new server and bandwidth were introduced - and since then it's been fine. It's now March 2014, and honestly since those Beta stages, I have not played anything else. All I need to do now is buy a PS4 and upgrade in April.
As far as the actual game goes, it's a relatively simple process. You choose a world (a server!) to play on, and proceed to create your character. Choices include race, sex, DOB, class, and the physical appearance and voice – you can spend fricking ages doing this.
Once that's all done, you start the games story. (In my case, I started in the town of Gridania, so I got that intro. If you're from one of the other two towns/cities, you'll get a different start).
After your initial welcome into the game, you get to progress the class you chose (Conjurer in my case) which also progressing with the story. However, you don't have to continually stick with the storyline - you can opt to do 'levequests' (which are side missions) and simply go out grinding, all in the name of levelling your character.
After reaching level 15, you get to start dabbling in even more things. You can start trying other classes (Thaumaturge, Pugilist, Warrior, among others) if you so wish.
When you take any class to level 30, you then get to progress a "job" type. In my case, at level 30 my Conjurer becomes a White Mage, but you have to develop another specific class to level 15 in order to progress. (This might sound limiting but it's really not!)
Every class develops into a "job" at level 30. (Another example: Pugilist becomes Monk).
As you progress through the story you unlock certain dungeons and bosses (called Primals) which you can then grind later if you like. So, for example, Satasha is a low level dungeon. but you can replay it endlessly.
When I played, I focussed mainly on my Conjurer White Mage, reaching the maximum level of 50. I did this while completing the main storyline. Once the storyline finishes, you kinda think there's nothing more to do (you just saved the world, y'know). You could continue levelling up other classes, until the reach their peak. This can be classes of war or magic, or maybe you'll start doing craft jobs (like Leather Worker). However that may get a little boring if you've not actual greater task to achieve – this is where the patches/updates come into play.
After completing the game, the "Relic Reborn" story comes into play, which basically allows you to attempt to fight against certain bosses on a harder strategy/fight. But you'll need better weapons and gear to be able to defeat them.
For example, although you're level 50, your equipment needs to be stronger - so you can tackle the Crystal Tower dungeon to gain new, stronger gear, as well as obtains Tomes to buy some gear, too.
Aside from this, other mini-stories appear (one about King Mog for example) and new dungeons become available (Pharos Sirius).
The social side of the game is a nice benefit to playing something that's got me so hooked. During your time, obviously 99% of the other characters are real people, of which you team up. When you first start doing dungeons, like Satasha, you will probably do it with some random players, and if you "Fate grind" in parties, you'll soon make friends (Keep them listed on your Friend List).
You can also join a Free Company, which is essentially a clan of people - in my case online friends - of which you can have banter with and help each other with quests and boss fights. I cannot tell you how happy i am I got to join a Free Company... when it comes to doing the challenging post-storyline stuff, you need people you can rely on. Even if you don't bet that badass boss, at least you learnt from it for the next attempt, and you get to work at it together. This brings me to the negative side: the whinging, miserable and rude players. Some people are impatient, immature and selfish – Ignore these people. If you focus your time on them, you'll undermine your enjoyment.
I've realised that this review isn't exactly well-structured, but there's quite a lot to do in one game. I understand that this can be daunting if you're new to an online game that's been running nearly year. Seriously, don't stress it. The actual storyline goes at the pace you want, there's no rush to do everything (although if you find it as addictive as me you'll want to!) and there's no pressure for you to do everything. There's always something to do, weather that be grinding a class/job, challenging a boss, doing a dungeon, crafting/making, or doing a special event quest. It's up to you in what you do.
For anyone that's not played this, I recommend you do. The initial cost is now less than a tenner on PS3. That give you a months free access to your server. If you're like me, you won't leave it alone. If you decide to keep playing, it's about £8 per month, but a little less if you pay for 3 or 6 months upfront. If it's £8 a month, and you play like i do, it's peanuts. (That maybe easy for me to say, given that I'm employed, but it's not expensive. A new game release is still £35). Try this out, you will probably like it.
Also, if you buy it on PS3 pronto, you'll get a free upgrade to the PS4 version (if you buy a PS4 obviously).
Hopefully i didn't bore with this review - it's a good game, I'd whole-heartedly recommend it.