Friday 13 September 2013


MMOs had never ever tempted me before.  I'd dabbled, very very briefly with World of Warcraft but it just didn't grab me.  PC gamers will call me a philistine but I prefer my games on a console with a game controller my hands have moulded to.  But... Final Fantasy XIV had me intrigued, however the original version only ever came out on the PC, although by all accounts it was a huge disappointment.  Now though it's been relaunched as Final Fantasy XIV A Real Reborn and it is on PS3.  I'd heard good things about the Beta and decided for £25 and 30 days free it was probably worth trying out.

After a first week of long waits to get into the world of Eorza, or the downright failure of the servers all together, Square now have things up and running properly and I can honestly say I'm hooked.  It's nothing like I expected at all.

Essentially there's a decent single player campaign with all the hallmarks of Final Fantasy which you play through over the course of your characters development.  There are three huge realms to explore each with their own sub areas and as you go about your business, completing side quests etc, so is everyone else.  Thousands of them.  Some on PC, others on PS3, all inhabiting one of the many severs on offer.  For the most part there is little or no interaction with others until a random event, called a Fate, occurs nearby and then everyone legs it to get involved and take out whatever the game is throwing at you.  I'm at around level 22 and so far these have been fun, but pretty easy.  The real challenge comes in the guise of quests you have to complete with others.  I've encountered three of these so far and although there can be a long wait to get into them, it's ok you can carry on with other stuff, I've rarely had such fun in a game.  Communication is minimal, but as you run through a dungeon with three others, taking on monsters and bosses together, these strangers are your compadres.  Everyone fulfils a different role, I'm basically a mage with no healing abilities.  I shoot out flames and shit.  At least one plays the role of a healer keeping everyone healthy as they fight the forces of evil.

FFXIV had a difficult first week but since then it's been an absolute joy to play.  And I have no idea what I'm doing at all.  Earlier today my character sat down with a spinning wheel for two hours and made stuff.  I've now hired another character (an in game one) to sell the stuff I made.  I know.  I know.  Mental.

I was a but gutted a month ago when I realised my week off was the week before GTA5, I'm not now.

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