Review by Lord Alchemy

"Best looking MMORPG right now, and one of the most fun"

Wow... I was expecting a nice game, but not this nice. Square isn't known for its MMORPGs, seeing as this is their first one, but what a nice way to break into the genre. This game has style to spare, and well, great everything! lets break it down now shall we?

Graphics: 10/10
Easily the best looking MMORPG I have ever played, or seen. It has to be the best looking MMORPG out right now, bar none. And I bet it will continue to be the best looking MMORPG, at least until Everquest 2 comes out.
The graphics are great even at low resolutions thanks to some nice controls over textures. While this game doesn't have the visual customization that alot of PC games has, it really doesn't need it. Just make sure your system has alot of RAM and you should be fine in the texture department.

Sound: 7/10
The music is great, and the sound effects are nifty, but it just doesn't fall together like past Final Fantasy games. Maybe its the fact that this game is far from linear, which makes scripted events a pain to do, thus throwing off the music because there are few times when to pump in an original score without making it sound awkward. All in all though, the sound is nice in this game.

Controls: 10/10
Now, I am basing this off of the standard control settings that come when you start the game. A lot of games have odd set ups, making you glad that you can map all the keys to whatever function you want. A great bonus with PC games. But very few games require no key swapping, and this is one of those games. Once you get used to the control set up, which is awkward at first, the game really opens up. You can move in for the attack, be running away, and still manage your inventory. Great stuff.

Gameplay: 10/10
I have to say, this is great stuff. There are so many things to do other then just fight, and the things are fun for once! Nothing that is painful, nothing that is even required for leveling purposes! But you will still want to do it, like participate in a guild. Learn a craft and work on it all the time. Fishing, carpentry, cooking even, you name it (and its fun), and it will be here!
The job system is easily the best leveling system for an MMORPG. It also mixes in the Morrowind ''use the skill to level it up'' leveling system as well. As you use skills, like hand-to-hand combat, evasion, those skills go up fractions of points, and eventually level up in their own regards. And unlike some MMORPGs, leveling up once is a big event. Leveling gets hard in this game. But every time you do level up, you get nice stat upgrades that makes it worth it. So no longer do you have to go on leveling sprees to get a small upgrade that requires 5 levels to get.
Now lets not forget the freedom of the job system. You can ANYTHING... at ANYTIME. Just pay a visit to your mog house, and swap jobs. A lot of people may complain that an extra character is an extra $1, but why would you want two characters? Just make one and level up all its jobs! Its great for players with ADD/ADHD because now their characters aren't stuck as a certain class, and they aren't forced to make another character to play as something else.
I would like to mention though, the server thing is a pain in the ass. Random servers? Blah. Now, you can spend the time making, then deleting your character until you land in the server you want, but it is still a pain. But this is a minor issue because once you do start playing, you will forget all about the time wasted trying to get into the server you want.

Overall: 9/10
A great MMORPG that deserves the space on your Hard Drive.

Just make sure you can put up with the painful installing process. Not to mention the first patch that takes forever to download. But anyways, I have one sentence that can sum up this game.
BUY IT! Its great, and you will soon be deciding on your social life in the real world, or your virtual social life in FFXI. I say bring on the chocobos! I don't even have a real social life anyways!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/30/03

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