Final Fantasy XIV: Early Access Review
Yes, there is a good chance I might be a tad biased. I do happen to love Final Fantasy, and it is one of the first RPG games I remember most clearly back when I was a kid. I even admit it: I own the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within movie. That being said, when the first FFXI was around I had it for Xbox... and I hated it.
Even back then I knew the potential. It had so much, but was so poorly executed. However, it has been a long time since then. I felt pretty confident that time, technology, and hopefully a little better knowledge now would give the new FFXIV everything the old one did not have.
I never did play any of the beta phases, though I did have a friend who has been in it since the start. As a result of his trusty opinion, I was so sure this game would be amazing. This weekend was the start of Early Access for pre-orders, and I found out finally.
I was not wrong.
The game is amazing, and I guess being someone who really enjoys RPG I can't help but stare at my screen in giddiness every time the main storyline triggers.
Graphics - 2 Stars
If you can handle them, they are amazing. You'll have to have a halfway decent computer (if that is the platform you are running), in order to appreciate them. Things can be toned down a lot, but it's best to checkout the benchmark first to see how your computer will fair. If it doesn't pass, you're out of luck.
Storyline - 2 Stars
Perfect, so far. I have only been able to reach level 7 on a character, so this review can only go so far. The storyline is a continuation of the first try of this game, which I love the idea of. In that way, it allows fans who previously played to enjoy this new reincarnated version all the more. It also doesn't ignore the fact this is a second try, and that's kind of nice. I feel like ignoring the story of the old one is like trying to sweep it under the rug, and pretend it didn't exist.
Without giving anything away, there is quite a lot of mystery in the new story.
Gameplay - 2 Stars
So far I have played two characters. One is the Miqo'te race, Seeker of the Sun, Puglist class. I absolutely am enjoying this class a lot. She is on the Lamia server and she is at level 7.
The other character is the Elezen race, Wildwood, Archer class. She was my first character on the Sargatanass server which my friend is also on. However, she is at level 4 because that server was having a lot of problems.
I also really love the Archer class so far from what I have played. I typically enjoy playing range classes, so I knew I'd love this class. I also just happen to really enjoy bows in real life, so there's that.
When I wasn't able to log in using the Archer, and I went to create a new character on another server, I decided to go with something different from my usual. Puglist class, if you have ever played a text MUD, reminds me very much of their monk classes. Just like my new Miqo'te, you are required to take "stances" to fight using only your own hands and feet as weapons. I never really got into it while playing a text MUD, and I was a little hesitant to try this version. But I am very glad I did. It's really well executed as a class so far, and I enjoyed playing something different for a change.
The issues - (-3 stars)
Oh, you knew this was coming, didn't you?
First off, logging in all weekend was difficult for many, many people. I guess it could be said I had worse luck. When I did go to play (after updating the game for an hour and a half), guess what happened? Oh, I got in alright. But they had maintenance 10 minutes later.
Between the hours of maintenance where everything was shut down and even getting in to begin with, grabbing some time playing this early access was about as easy as getting to the beach 15 minutes from my house on the main road where the Bennies drive down from--ridiculously close while never quite getting there, and far too time consuming. Once you are there all the bennies huddle together as if the rest of the beach contains vicious double-headed monsters if they didn't squeeze in like sardines. You can't get a foot past the boardwalk, because they won't let anymore people on.
So I shuffled my locals-only self over a few to a different server. Yes, it means creating another character when I rather level the same one, but to hell with it. Playing at all is better than not.
Then there is the slight annoyance of the outfits.
Ok, when I played as Elezen sure she had a tight-fitting, short outfit on. But at least she was wearing shorts, I thought. Shorts were much more logical when you were running all around trying to figure out where your next quest was. I was pretty excited over this. Here I could go kick some ass and not have my ass hanging out in the process.
Until I played as an Miqo'te race. Then my ass was literally hanging out in the process. The process of my character running, the process of my character fighting, of talking, and even occasionally during main storyline quests; such as the first Instance I came upon where she ends up in space (for lack of a better word) with the crystals and the camera moves its view to being underneath her.
I'm not very picky. Shorts made me happy. They were very short shorts too. I figured, if girls can run marathons in those little exercise shorts, I suppose my character's shorts have to hold up well also. But a tiny barely excuse for a bottom skirt is ridiculous, and that takes off at least a point on my review.
Despite being über frustrated with the servers, I do believe eventually this will get sorted through and become an awesome game to play. I really look forward to it, and can't wait until I can update this review to a little more stars.