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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn  




My experience with Final Fantasy XIV: ARR so far photo
My experience with Final Fantasy XIV: ARR so far

10:00 AM on 08.30.2013

A beautiful, but typical, MMO


Final Fantasy XIV has had quite the tumultuous history over the years. Back in 2010 I had the chance to play the beta at E3, and almost immediately, I had a pretty terrible time. It was dated mechanically, not all that exciting, and didn't really do anything to push the genre forward.

Now in 2013, Square Enix is getting a second chance with the complete rework titled Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Right now I'm working on a Lancer on Adamantoise, toiling away in the beautiful town of Gridania. That is, when I can connect to Square Enix's servers.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS3 [tested], PC [tested])
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Released: August 27, 2013
MSRP: $29.99 (PC), $39.99 (PS3)

So what's improved in A Realm Reborn? Well, quests are a little more interesting, the general flow of the game is improved, the graphical engine is much better off (it not only works better with low-end machines, but it looks better on higher-end ones), and the UI and controller support is superb.

Quests are still your typical MMO fare, but the world and the class system are so interesting that you'll have fun doing them. A Realm Reborn feels like the natural progression of the series after Final Fantasy XII, and quite frankly, it feels like a true numbered Final Fantasy game in terms of the top notch overall narrative, played out through select "story" quests. Leveling isn't nearly as much of a time sink as it was in Final Fantasy XI (anyone remember The Dunes? I probably spent real life weeks in them), and you can progress through pretty much all early content by soloing -- which is a huge plus for me.

While other MMOs have dabbled in controller use before (TERA Online actually worked quite well with one), Final Fantasy XIV: ARR seems to have mastered the art. I've played all the way up to level 15 with a controller in hand (a 360 controller specifically, which is plug and play), and haven't had very many issues at all -- especially if I can occasionally just use the mouse to switch around my skills and inventory.

Pretty much everything can be handled with a controller, including target selection (which uses a rather smart homing system to highlight important points of interest) and all of your skills through the use of the triggers and a combination of face buttons and the d-pad. As an added bonus, it also ensures that the PS3 version works perfectly with the Dual Shock. It's called the "Crossbar" system, and I'm addicted to it.

If you take a look at the big picture though in terms of transcending the genre like Guild Wars 2 mostly accomplished, and Everquest Next is aiming to do, A Realm Reborn won't really win the hearts of those who loathe MMOs. At the end of the day you're still going around and doing fetch quests, kill quests, instances, and crafting, even if said activities are actually really good within the confines of the genre.

But despite the fact that I'm enjoying the game, not everything is going smoothly on launch week, as a number of US and EU realms are having major connection issues -- for example, I spent around two hours trying to log in to no avail. What Square needs to do to alleviate this issue immediately is hotfix in an AFK booting system. Right now, players en masse are logging in before work, leaving their characters on all day, and coming back home to play just to have a spot.

Most MMOs force players to auto-log out after an hour or so, so that players who want to game now can actually get in. Having a game be so successful that it can't meet player demand isn't wholly a bad thing for Square Enix, but it's bad for consumers, who bought a game they can't play. I hope that they aren't short-sighted and assume increasing server volume is the sole solution, as they need to give a multifaceted response to help out their early customer-base sooner than later.

So that's my early look at Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn based on a few low level characters I've created. If you're looking for the bigger picture, Patrick will have a comprehensive write-up on the game as soon as he's tackled some of the higher level content! Expect lots of future coverage as well, leading into the PS4 release in 2014 and beyond.





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Final Fantasy XIV deploys marriage patch this week photo


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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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timeline following:
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn



8:00 AM on 03.09.2015
Final Fantasy XIV's Heavensward expansion dated for June

Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy XIV's massive Heavensward expansion will be released on June 23 (June 19 for pre-order access). When it arrives later this year it'll ship with a new race, new jobs, another ...more



10:30 AM on 03.05.2015
Square Enix is streaming its Final Fantasy XIV expansion PAX East panel

Final Fantasy XIV's Heavensward expansion is coming this year, with a host of new classes, dungeons, and changes. On March 7, Square Enix will share more information about what's to come as part of the PAX East festiviti...more



12:00 PM on 02.27.2015
Final Fantasy XIV's Gold Saucer is amazing if you like Triple Triad or Chocobo Racing

The Gold Saucer is finally a part of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and it's glorious. That classic music returns, as do the iconic Triple Triad and Chocobo Racing activities. It's amazing how much content Square Enix has...more



8:30 AM on 02.19.2015
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's Gold Saucer looks amazing

Square Enix is gearing up to release the next update for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and it will feature the Gold Saucer. Based on these screens, I'm ready for it. Cactuar statue? Check. Chocobo racing with boost ...more



11:00 AM on 02.03.2015
Final Fantasy XIV kicks off its 'Valentione's Day' event

Final Fantasy XIV likes it keep its players interested by running frequent events, and the latest one kicks off today. It's called "Valentione's Day," and is obviously themed after the real life celebration in mid-Februa...more



4:00 PM on 01.21.2015
Review: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.5)

Final Fantasy XIV has come a long way. Although there wasn't any real endgame content to speak of when A Realm Reborn launched in its 2.0 incarnation, Square Enix worked hard to deliver in 2.1, and has continued to deliv...more



11:00 AM on 01.19.2015
Final Fantasy XIV 2.5 patch notes detail everything coming Tuesday

Square Enix has released the preliminary patch notes for Final Fantasy XIV update 2.5, set to arrive this Tuesday, and as always, it's a massive list. The biggest additions include an all-new storyline, a new Hildibrand ...more



12:30 PM on 01.14.2015
Chocobo Racing, Triple Triad, and the Gold Saucer coming to Final Fantasy XIV in patch 2.5x

Final Fantasy XIV is gearing up for its new massive 2.5 update, called "Before the Fall." The patch will be broken up into two parts. The first of which will drop next week with extra main scenario quests, boss fights, ...more



8:00 AM on 12.10.2014
Final Fantasy XIV deploys marriage patch this week

Want to get married in Final Fantasy XIV? Now is your time. The Ceremony of Eternal Bonding is now live, and to get married, all you have to do is submit an application on the Mog Station portal. Up to 80 guests can attend, ...more



10:00 AM on 12.03.2014
That PS3 to PS4 upgrade program for FFXIV has been extended

In an effort to bring more people into the current era of consoles, Square Enix offered a special program that would allow players to upgrade their PS3 copy of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to the PS4. This process w...more




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Hidden away in the intro to my Final Fantasy Type-0 HD review, I recently talked about how Final Fantasy was never dead despite some rough patches, and based on recent efforts, it actually has a bright future a...more



3:30 PM on 03.23.2015
More Dissidia Final Fantasy arcade details coming April 10

Square Enix's Final Fantasy-filled PSP fighter is continuing not on Sony's subsequent handheld or, as fans have always wanted, on consoles. Rather, the next iteration is a three-on-three arcade fighter, the cabinet for which...more



9:00 AM on 03.23.2015
Game News Haikus: Battlefield Hardline, Banjo-Kazooie, Final Fantasy XV, and more

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