Changing My Opinion On MMOs: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review
I have played a few MMORPGs over the past couple of years, including World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and DC Universe Online. I gave up on these games after a few days. That is not the case with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. A Realm Reborn is one of the best RPGs that I have played in a while, and it has definitely changed my opinion of MMORPGs altogether.
When Final Fantasy XIV Online was first released, it was a disaster. Many considered the game broken and unplayable, and the game was a complete failure.
Rather than scrap the game and cut their losses, Square Enix took another route instead. They took the original game, and fixed everything that was wrong with it. The result was Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The game was certainly worth the risk that Square Enix took in trying to keep Final Fantasy XIV Online alive.
A Realm Reborn was first released on PC and the PlayStation 3, and has now made its way over to the PlayStation 4. The game is cross-play; if your friend has the game on PC, you are able to play with them even if you own it on the PlayStation systems. With over two million players across all three platforms, there are plenty of people to explore Eorzea with.
Eorzea is a beautiful land
When you boot up A Realm Reborn, you will notice one thing right away: this game is beautiful. A Realm Reborn looks great on the PS4, and runs incredibly smooth. The game runs at 1080p, and really stands out. There were a few times that I took in the settings, and enjoyed the beautiful world that Square Enix has created. Square Enix did a really great job building Eorzea.
Characters look great as well, and there is much variation to see through all of the different species. There is lots of variety when it comes to all of the different characters that you will come across on your journey. When it comes to your character, there are lots of options to make sure that your creation stands out from the rest. There is also plenty of great looking armor and weapons to equip to your character, making you look great while also taking on the world.
There are plenty of great locales to see on your journey. Your quest through the land of Eorzea will take you to forests, deserts, beaches, and more. There is a lot to see, and many areas have their own moods to them. You will also come across many different types of weather, as some areas will rain or snow at different times. There is a lot to see in Eorzea, and it all looks great.
You will be busy for a while
While there is a lot to see, there is also a lot to do. There are many quests to take all over the world, and different guilds will offer you plenty of missions to help keep you busy. Aside from story missions, there are also missions pertaining to your class. Different classes have different missions based around your class, and the three main guilds (called Grand Companies) will also offer you plenty of quests. It is also easy to form smaller, player-run guilds (free companies) with other players. There is plenty to do, and A Realm Reborn can keep you busy for a while.
Unlike some other MMORPGs, A Realm Reborn is very story heavy. The game has a great story that follows Final Fantasy tradition, and keeps pushing you forward until level cap at level 50. The story takes you through many great dungeons and boss fights, which will take cooperation with your party. As you reach these dungeons and battles, you are assigned a party. The party system was simple yet effective, and it was easy to jump into a dungeon. These mission take cooperation, and would not be possible solo. As a solo player myself, I really enjoyed these segments of the game, and loved how easy A Realm Reborn made it to jump into a party.
These missions are not the only way to easily play with other players. Instances called FATEs (Full Active Time Event) will randomly occur on the map. To join a FATE, you just have to run into the area of the FATE. You are automatically entered into the event, and have to help other players complete the objective of that certain FATE. This is an easy way to earn experience and money, and they happen often. The only problem I had with FATEs was that they felt repetitive after a while. While there are a few different types of FATEs, by the time I was level 30 I felt like I had done the same events of killing a certain amount of monsters or escorting an NPC too many times. It is too bad that FATEs end up one of the best ways to level up and get money later on in the game.
A class of your own
One thing in A Realm Reborn that stands put from other MMORPGs is the fact that you can change your class. When you reach a certain point in a class's missions, you are given the choice to change your class. After joining that classes guild, all you have to do is equip that classes weapon. The advanced classes (called Jobs) are only unlockable through these means, as you have to get to a certain pont in two different classes. This helps create diversity in a game, as a single character can come to master multiple jobs and classes, and unlock their many missions. This is a system that I hope other MMOs learn to incorporate, as it keeps the game fresh.
Going in, I was afraid of how A Realm Reborn would translate from keyboard and mouse over to controller. It was relieving when I found how easy it is to control the game with a controller. The game makes good use of the triggers to access your hot keys, and much of the game is simple to control using the face buttons and analog sticks. I only ran into a couple of problems with this set up. I have long thumbs, so I kept rubbing and pushing the touch pad on the PS4 controller, causing me to click into some menus accidentally. I also found it hard to target sometimes. It is easy to target other party members, but when I tried targeting other players outside of parties I would run into trouble. While this did not ruin the experience for me one bit, it did annoy me a couple of times.
Anyone who has played an MMORPG will be familiar with A Realm Reborn's battle system. The controls are simple; hold down a trigger, and you hot key menu comes up, with abilities being mapped to the d-pad and face buttons. Combat is fast and smooth, and keeps you on your toes. If you do not pay attention to your health and mana, you will easily die.
A Realm Reborn does support remote play through the PS Vita. I used this extensively, and felt that it handled pretty well. It was easy to jump right into Eorzea using the Vita, and the game translated really well, making use of the touch screen and back touch pad. The game does look good when using remote play, though there was some screen tear while on missions. I would also accidentally sweep the reverse touch pad with my fingers at times, switching through menus. Once again, while some off these problems were annoying at times, they did not hinder my experience in Eorzea that much.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn changed my opinion on MMOs
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a solid RPG. There is so much to see and do, you will be quite busy in Eorzea. With the ability to change classes and play styles on the fly, there are a lot of possibilities for your characters in A Realm Reborn. This game definitely lives up to the title of Final Fantasy. I would recommend A Realm Reborn to any RPG lover, or gamer in general.