Final Fantasy XI Review

Developer: Square-Enix Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: March 23, 2004 Also On: PC and PS2

Over the past 10 years, we have seen Square Enix do many different things that have amazed and astounded us. The Final Fantasy series has been the one that has made the most noise. The latest installment in the series, FFXI, is changing the franchise as you know it. XI is entirely online in a massively multiplayer world. But is this a great way for the Final Fantasy series to go?

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The visuals on FFXI are very great for such a large scale world. The environments, although sometimes a bit foggy, have some elaborate detail. Your character you create is seemingly flawless looking. The problem is that in battle, you really don’t hit your opponent with your sword at all, nor do you get hit by the fiend. The frame rate also gets a little slow at times due to having everything load up in front of you as well as support everyone in the game. This is all made up by just how big the world is and all the creatures that you will encounter. Even the actual map is extended since there are secret areas in the game that you can find.

The sound really isn’t as great as it should be. Unlike previous installments of the Final Fantasy games on the PS2, there is no voice acting at all. You hear basically the same sound throughout the game. No variety what so ever. There are some decent sound effects from the environment, but if you look at other versions, it really could be a lot better. Sword effects are weak and don’t give you the feeling you has playing FFXI. This really could use some upgrading in the expansion pack.

I am however most impressed by the gameplay aspects in Final Fantasy XI. In previous versions, you would go around fighting the same monsters over and over. Well that has changed. Even though techniquely you are fighting the same enemy, he has different skills than every other one you will come across. Some will be a higher level; others will have better defense or evasion. This all depends on your skill level and where you are in the game.

Your character is fully customizable. You can choose from 5 different classes of beings including Humans, Elvaans, Tarutaru, Galka, and Mithra. You also get to choose from a variety of jobs and sub-jobs throughout the game in order to distinguish how you play and what you can actually do. Here are the jobs that you can choose from: Bard, Black Mage, Dark Knight, Dragoon, Monk, Ninja, Paladin, Ranger, Red Mage, Samurai, Summoner, Thief, Warrior, and White Mage.

Something else that makes Final Fantasy XI special is that leveling up takes time, and a lot of it. You can’t just level up in 5 minutes anymore, perhaps 5 hours is more correct. And when you die, you lose experience and sometimes level down which can really hurt you in some cases. Money is also now hard to come by as well.

The truly amazing thing about Final Fantasy XI is that both the PS2 and PC world are connected to one another. This is the first game ever to accomplish this feat. This way, everyone in the world can play this game together no matter what version they have. You will go about many different missions and sometimes gathering friends to form up parties and add each other on your journey. Finding a good balance on what type of people to bring with you is key. It is good to have a well rounded team that can support each other. The addicting play keeps many people sucked in for hours, days, and maybe weeks. If you do not own Final Fantasy and you love RPG’s, then you are really missing out. No matter what version of the game you have, you will be going on an incredible journey through the world of Final Fantasy with millions of other players. Pick this one up now.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9
Written by Shawn Review Guide

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