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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn  




Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4) photo
Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4)

4:30 PM on 04.18.2014

My favorite MMO since World of Warcraft in its prime


Last year close to its launch, we reviewed Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn -- so what's with the retread, you ask? Well, that was before we implemented our Reviews in Progress program, which was designed to cover games as a whole with a score down the line, including endgame content that MMO veterans may want to know about before dropping their cash.

The fact is, A Realm Reborn has had many updates since launch, including the massive 2.2 patch that was implemented recently and a PS4 port. In an effort to step up our MMO coverage, we'll be taking a look at the whole picture in regards to Final Fantasy XIV both at present and going forward.

It doesn't even feel like work, either -- I'm enjoying myself far too much.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed])
Developer:  Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
MSRP: $39.99 ($12.99 per month, with a free PS3-to-PS4 license transfer) 
Release Date: August 27, 2013 (PC, PS3) / April 14, 2014 (PS4)

To be clear, this review will center on the game as a whole, but I'd be remiss to not mention how wonderful the leveling process is, even if it partially consists of typical MMO kill/fetch quests. The sheer beauty and variety of the worlds will keep you going, as will the beautiful soundtrack -- which I'd place right next to some of the other franchise greats.

Despite the simplistic nature of the quests, there are tons of things for you to do while leveling, and only a small amount of story tasks require the help of a static group (I got to 50 by mostly soloing content). You can opt for the main storyline, sidequests, exploration and gathering/crafting (which has its own level system and rewards), FATEs (world events), dungeons, and more.

Playing on the PS4 is also a major step up from the PS3, as the framerate issues of Sony's prior platform are now gone, and the game looks like it's jumped from low settings on PC to maximum. I've had no problems doing level 50 content as a melee class on a console (I'd reconsider as a healer), and if I needed to, I could just hook up a mouse and keyboard. It helps that the PS4's touchpad acts as a makeshift mouse, complete with clicking motions, and that Vita remote play is completely viable for questing.

Once I made the long trek to 50 with my Dragoon, I was surprised at the sheer amount of content available -- and not just hardcore raiding or throwaway content. There's roughly 10 more hours of story that's been added since patch 2.2, culminating in an epic primal fight with Leviathan -- a summon more than a few Final Fantasy fans will recognize.

There's yet another 10-hour side-storyline involving the comedy relief character Hildebrand, which concludes in a "Battle on Big Bridge" fight with Gilgamesh -- another fan-favorite character. You also get a Magitek armor mount just for completing the core story, which is a perfect reward for fans of FFVI. At first glance you'd think this is all just fanservice, but it's integrated into the game in a great way that doesn't detract from the experience one bit. You also get to totally run away from a chicken after Gilgamesh turns you into a frog -- and yes, he runs away at the end in comedic fashion.

Beyond that, those who aren't comfortable with tough raiding content (typically eight- or 24-man instances) will have plenty to choose from with the insanely fun four-man dungeons, some of which have been reskinned in the form of a "hard mode" (similar to heroics from WoW). The beauty of this system is that it mimics World of Warcraft's "badges" mechanic, in that you always get something from doing high-level dungeons, even if you don't get any loot.

Specifically, most max-level instances drop Tomes of Mythology and Soldiery, which can help you get some of the best gear in the game. Heck, one of the best weapons you can get early into max-level content (Relic) is conveniently worked into a story-like quest. If you're confident enough you can also jump right into hard mode primal fights, including Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan, as you work your way up through their extreme mode variants -- which will really test your skills as an individual player.

And really, that's one of the best parts about Final Fantasy XIV's endgame -- once you work your way up to Titan hard mode, the game really comes to life and shows off how well the fights are designed. You'll really have to learn your class and work for a kill, and it becomes extremely rewarding once you've vanquished most of these foes. It's a feeling I haven't really experienced since the original World of Warcraft was in its prime, and the beauty is there are tons of tiers available for the most casual and hardcore of players.

These fights are littered with fanservice (as you can plainly see), and even go as far down in the Final Fantasy rabbit hole as FFVIII's Diabolos. It's crazy how unpredictable the game's post-50 content is -- I was left guessing at every turn, and sometimes completely overwhelmed at how much patches 2.1 and 2.2 have added to the game as a whole. If you ever were curious about FFIXV, now is the time to jump in -- this game has more support in less than a year than most MMOs have in general.

At present, I'm working my way through most of the extreme mode encounters, as well as some of the last bits of content like the first and second Coils of Bahamut. Once I've touched pretty much everything the game has to offer at present, I'll give you a final verdict on what I think of it overall (hint -- I love it so far). Also, count on more impressions and coverage of all major patches for A Realm Reborn for the foreseeable future.



THE VERDICT - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Reviewed by Chris Carter

9 /10
Superb: A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title. Check out more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.





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







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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn



9:00 AM on 08.20.2014
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is having another free period this month

In addition to its 14-day free trial campaign, Final Fantasy XIV is hosting a one-year anniversary login period. From August 22 at 11:00 GMT to September 1 11:00 GMT, players who have previously purchased the game and do...more



9:00 AM on 08.19.2014
Final Fantasy XIV patch 2.35 allows you to change your Chocobo's color, adds more content

Patch 2.35 has hit Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and in addition to adding some new content and questlines, it also tweaks a few things. Some of the major changes include the addition of Ixali beast tribe quests, al...more



6:00 PM on 08.08.2014
FFXIV: A Realm Reborn's anniversary site opens, events detailed

Square Enix will celebrate the one-year anniversary of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's launch starting this month. Although the game technically launched on August 27, it'll be celebrating all throughout August and Septem...more



8:30 PM on 07.31.2014
Final Fantasy XIV kicks off the 'Recruit a Friend' campaign

In addition to offering a 14-day free trial for Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix has launched a new campaign aimed at bringing in newcomers. The concept is simple -- you log into Mog Station, recruit a friend (link accounts, es...more



2:45 PM on 07.31.2014
Final Fantas-free: 14 day Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn trial

Square Enix is offering 14 days of free Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on PC. As someone who doesn't like MMOs, but likes Final Fantasy, I might just try it out. Fourteen may be the perfect number of days for me to get my fill. Or maybe I'll find myself a convert and end up a paying customer, as Square Enix likely hopes. more



4:00 PM on 07.18.2014
Review: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.3)

The last time we left off in our assessment of Final Fantasy XIV's patch 2.3, I had experienced most of the tertiary level content, ready to face off against the big boss Ramuh himself in his true form, alongside of playing m...more



12:00 PM on 07.16.2014
Final Fantasy XIV's free weekend rescheduled for July 18th through the 21st

Square Enix has shifted the free weekend for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn around a bit. Instead of taking place last week right after patch 2.3, the free period is going to start on July 18th, and run through July 2...more



9:30 PM on 07.11.2014
A grand social experiment: Final Fantasy XIV's monster hunts

For those of you who haven't played Final Fantasy XIV, a new patch just arrived that implemented a major mechanic into the game -- worldwide monster hunting. The concept is simple enough. Across the world in each zone, variou...more



6:00 PM on 07.11.2014
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's free weekend delayed until next week

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn just dropped its Ramuh-heavy 2.3 patch, and alongside of it, Square Enix was going to run a promotion that let people into the game for free this week. But after a few post-patch fixes, ...more



4:00 PM on 07.11.2014
Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.3)

MMOs are constantly evolving beasts. Particularly in the subscription realm, developers are always searching for ways to keep players hooked, usually in the form of major updates -- big content patches that help ease the wait...more





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