Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the definition of a phoenix rising from the ashes of negativity and mediocrity.
When the very first iteration of this grand MMORPG landed on PCs, it was lambasted for its buggy nature and seemingly unfinished state.
Now that PC gamers and PS4 owners have access to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, gamers will come to appreciate the 2nd attempt at excellence this MMORPG deserves.
A next-gen console is expected to showcase next-gen visuals. The many fantastical worlds you’ll inhabit all look amazing and polished on the PS4. The lush green forests, dusty caverns, bustling towns and other locales you and other online adventurers will traverse provide a refreshing amount of places to explore. The familiar weapons, armors, creatures, character types and items that have become Final Fantasy staples are all apparent and available here. As for the destined warrior you’ll take out into the vast world of this MMORPG, he/she looks just as good as the setting that you’ll explore.
Once you craft your onscreen avatar and make your way into the land of Eorzea, you’ll be given a welcome helping hand as you take on your first quests and discover the game’s many sub-systems and commands. The first hour or so of gameplay will carry you along nicely and wipe away the fear that some MMORPG newbies might have. Speaking to townspeople, engaging in conversations with other players, and purchasing goods will become second nature for noobs and veterans alike once things start rolling along.
Utilizing the DualShock 4 instead of a mouse and keyboard combination doesn’t lessen the control experience one bit. Once engaged in battle, everything will feel just as manageable as if you were doing it all on a PC. Speaking of battles, they are simple to understand and expectedly hard to fully master. It does get quite addictive as you run into random beasts, defeat them in battle and attain new levels. The level grinding nature of most MMORPG’s is applicable here, which is a blessing and a curse. Fighting is fun, but it starts to become a bit of a chore since there are several quests that require you to kill a required amount of specific animals.
At least there’s more to do in the game besides cutting down random ladybugs. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is filled with a myriad of options that keep you from growing tired of its world. Players can change their class just by simply equipping a different weapon. Group battle events exist for those looking to group up with other players. Standard and often repeatable quests offer players plenty of options towards leveling up. Guilds can be joined. Auction houses exist for those looking to buy and sell rare goods. All in all, there’s much to see and do.
As you flush more and more hours into this MMORPG, you’ll come to enjoy its main plot. Square Enix is known for crafting some of the best tales in the Final Fantasy series, so this should come as no surprise. The stakes on main story missions will get higher, the bosses will get tougher and your character/party will get stronger as expected. Once the world fully opens itself up to you, you’ll have a hard time logging out of it. The replay value of this MMORPG goes through the roof thanks to the specific character class story missions floating around. And the more you level up, the more you’ll become addicted to the micromanagement of your character’s level unlockable skills.
With all these positives surely comes a few negatives, though. At the game’s later levels, you’ll encounter some unfair battle situations that may defeat your purpose of tackling them again. The level grinding I mentioned before can become annoying and bothersome at times due to the “kill X amount of monsters” missions. A few of the game’s sub systems are not as instantly approachable as some of the simpler ones in the game. These issues are far from game breaking, but they prevent this MMORPG from being greater than it is already.
When Square Enix is on, they’re damn near untouchable. When their development teams strive to deliver the best RPG experience their publishing company is known for and actually do deliver, we as gamers receive the best titles possible. All of these factors combined to make sure the effort poured into Final Fantasy XIV’s rebirth was worth it. In my opinion, it certainly was.
Images: Square Enix