Review by Morgasaurus

"Impressive in every way."

''Final Fantasy XI Online? I can't believe it! How is it going to work? It's going to ruin the series!'' Those were my thoughts when I first heard the announcement that Final Fantasy XI was going online. I didn't think the series could be fused with MMORPG elements successfully. I didn't think my computer could handle it. I was dead wrong on both.

Gameplay 9/10 - Wow. This is amazing! If you've every played any other MMORPG, you know that if you start playing day 1, and you friend doesn't join for a few months, your friend is kind of left in the dust in a way. Not so in this game. The level system is ingenious. It is a perfect integration of the proficiency system from FFII (jap) and the job system of FFV (jap) and FFTactics. If your friend is online, just change jobs and level with him. If (s)he's offline, change back to your old job. All the while you are building your proficiency in evasion, weapons, or what-not. What takes away the perfect score are a few very minor miscues I notice in the battle mechanics. They don't really affect anything though.

Graphics 10/10 - The graphics are everything you have come to expect from Final Fantasy and more! Walking through the wilderness, the weather is bad here, but 50 feet to the south it's sunshine! All the trees you walk by actually drop leaves! It's incredible! The battles are extremely accurate as far as the hits go. I don't know who wrote this graphics engine, but it is the most efficient one I have ever come in contact with. I have played games at lower frames per second that had worse graphics. All that doesn't even come close to the best part: The spell effects. The spell effects are outrageously pretty. I fell in battle once, but having Raise cast on me made it well worth dying. I can't wait to see some of the higher level magics and summons.

Sound 10/10 - Sound effects are great. Leaves rustling, thunder, spooky undead noises, bats, bombs, sword slices, hammer impacts, magic, and everything. You actually feel like you are in the game this time. The hit sounds are timed out perfectly with the hit graphics. If someone is fishing nearby, you can actually hear them casting and reeling. It's incredible!

Control 9/10 - I won't lead you on, this game was written primarily for the PS2. But just do a little reconfiguring, and you can play with excellent and smooth controls.

Music 10/10 - It's Final Fantasy, enough said.

Overall 10/10 - If you liked the Final Fantasy series, now's your chance to enjoy it together with all your friends and/or random players online. This is an MMORPG, so it's a very social atmosphere. Players helping each other, competing with each other, and going on quests together. Best of all, it's final fantasy. You'll find many many classic elements of Final Fantasy here, as well as an overwhelming amount of new stuff. This game is the best MMORPG out there hands down, and I've played most or all of them save SWG.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/06/03

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