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In the beginning of time for the game of Final Fantasy XIV, there was not a whole lot it did different than its predecessor Final Fantasy XI Online. However, people stayed on and developer Square-Enix tried to see what could be done with the mess that was FFXIV in the beginning. Yet through sheer tenacity and a hawk eye development team with a new leader in the front of the force. Little by little went by as Final Fantasy became what now is known as A Realm Reborn.
This phoenix had fallen in battle and risen once again from the flames to be “reborn”. So, while A Realm Reborn represents a more sizable step forward for this particular game, it didn’t change too much of the game from what had come before. Much is familiar in gameplay and mechanics as your fingers go over the keyboard or joypad to do what is required by the NPCs of the world of Eorzea.
When you encounter walking vegetation, skittish creatures, firery demons of hell, you simply target them and tap the key or click the buttons on your skill bar until you vanquish them from existence…or until the respawn timer resets of course for the next band of adventurers to take them once again. All going like a repeating cycle…and yet I enjoy every minute of it. Now, I must point out that while games such as World of Warcraft, ArcheAge, Neverwinter and Lord of the Rings Online was around, they had tried to rethink how quests were structured, how combat mechanics was being implemented and how exploration tropes were to be used, A Realm Reborn chose to represent the old world.
In my opinion, A Realm Reborn does a fine job being a representation of this old world, however. Once you choose a race and initial class, you are treated to a very long and melodramatic cutscene ripped right out of the good old Final Fantasy storybook, and then land in the starting area associated with your chosen class.
Since Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has a flexible class system, the starting areas becomes more a place for you to enjoy a good story or area to hang out in if you enjoy to role-play as your character.
Once you venture out into the vast world of Eorzea, you’ll be quite entranced by how beautiful it is. The open regions that are also treated as instances are large and attractive, always taunting you like alluring mistress to see what secrets might be uncovered.
The game may not feature the most tactile combat, but warfare comes into its own when you enter one of A Realm Reborn’s many entertaining and challenging dungeons. It’s easy to queue up for a dungeon, but the time waiting might take longer than anticipated depending on what class you’re playing. I for one has had all up to 1 hour and 35 minutes queue time.
The dungeons strike the right balance of combat and treasure hunting, their various nooks and crannies filled with chests to open in between monster battles. Spells and attacks have a beautiful color palette as healing or damage are being thrown at the different monsters you are engaged against.
Also, world quests known as FATEs are available for you to choose all over Eorzea, no matter how high a level you are, you can scale down to complete it with others at the same level to gain some good EXP and small rewards. All this changes with what class you are playing and the quests that also follow with them.
When it comes to crafting, you couldn’t accuse Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn of not trying something interesting. That isn’t true of most of the game’s various features, however. The details vary, of course, but A Realm Reborn isn’t so novel that it feels like a vacation to an undiscovered realm. Instead, fantasy-world travelers will understand the language and quickly take to local customs. Yet these previously charted lands are wondrous to look at and overflowing with like-minded adventurers seeking to make a name for themselves in a world in a need of heroes. And when you need to escape to another world, sometimes beautiful landscapes and well-oiled entertainment are enough to keep you exploring.
I still remember the first time Final Fantasy was able to be played at home, late in the evening when bedtime was something to be uphold as written law by one’s parents.
This wasn’t my first time playing a JRPG, but it was one of the first to show me a world that I wanted to live in, gods that should be met, titans and monsters to be fought…who wouldn’t like to battle a dragon, behemoth, classic steampunk-esque machinery. Characters that lived and breathed along side you, as you went on to defeat the Big Bad Evil Guy trying to conquer the world. What I wouldn’t have gived back then to be able to have my own character run around these beautiful sceneries as well as becoming good friends with important characters in different towns.
Now, after many years it has happened and two expansions later, I’m fully enjoying myself in Eorzea with my own guild and playing through the story to see where my Warrior of Light will end up in the end.
If you’ve never played this game before you should, the amount of history that lies with this game and the way it has in my opinion come out stronger as it was forging its legacy that today stands as one of the best Final Fantasy games and one of the top best MMOs through the fire that almost brought it down in the first place.