Review by dodger1v

Reviewed: 11/10/03

The best MMORPG out there 9/10

Let me first just say I hazve played all of the US released versions of Final Fantasy. I have had my likes and dis-likes for all of them. So I feel even though I love the Final Fantasy series I can still give a non-biased review of the game. Also just so you know I am writing this review after playing this game starting back in January as a PS2 beta-tester. So I have alot of experience with the game and can write a review rased on actual knowledge rather then just hearsay.

I am going to rate each aspects of the game in areas that are unique to MMORPGs rather then just the basic game review.

1.Levelling and the Combat system- You can't talk about one without the other. I love roleplaying games quite a bit. This aspect of MMORPGs though is my least favorite. I wish they wouldn't make it so it took 6 months of continious play to attain the highest level. But since the combat/party combat system is so much fun it makes levelling with a bunch of friends much more enjoyable. You have to employ strategy when fighting. You can't just run in swinging and hope to come out alive. At higher levels especially you need to get people organized and get them doing what they need to. Add to this the Renkei and Magic Burst aspect of fighting and how could you not enjoy this. Like I said I feel the only drawback is the fact it takes sooo long to advance through the levels. 8/10

2.Controls/Menu Layout- Having played this on the PS2 I love the controls for this game. They designed it with the PS2 controller in mind and work just great. For computer users which is what I am not the controls really are terrible. So bad in fact I had to go and get a controller for my PC. This is my opinion is the only way to go. The menus and layout of them is done well but probably could have been done better. Having to go through three levels to get to what you want is a bit much. But with all the information there is to see I don't know how else S-E could have done it. I will give this aspect of the game a 7/10.

3.Character creation- This is the one thing about FFXI I don't like that much. You really are not given the chance to creat a unique character. Everyone starts with the same stats for each job. The only way to change that is if you are lvl. 50 and can get all kinds of armor and items that will make you unique. The actual creation of the characters is very ez I will give it that but I would have liked to see more customization. So 6/10.

4.The Job system- One of the strongest aspects of the game. First of all they have all the classic final fantasy jobs from Black Mage to Summoner and Warrior to Dragoon. The ability to be able to be any of these jobs as one character is awesome as well. That way you don't have to change between characters if you feel like playing as a Dragoon. If you are going to play solo and farm gil then sub a thief and go hunting, if you're hunting MMs sub RNG. The skills associated to each job make them useful in their own unique way and each is essential to a party for something. The large amount of skills, spells, abilities, and jobs are amazing and I give this part of the game a 10/10.

5.Graphics- Without question the best graphics out there for an online RPG. Easily I won't go on because we can all agree on this without any discussion.

6.Game Content i.e. Quests, Rare Items, Missions, etc.- Another area where FFXI really shines. There are tons I mean tons of quests that you can do. There are very hard missions that you can do that take teamwork. All sorts of rare items to be made or found. The list goes on and on. And all of it is fun to do. Just everything about the content of this game I love. The Auction House is the best thing ever. That makes selling things and finding things you need soooo easy. The advanced job quests are awesome. Guild crafting, gardening, putting things in your mog house, the inventory expansion quests, AF quests, RSE quests, you name there is something to do. Some of it is hard and takes time but it is all fun and interesting. Without thought 10/10.

7.The economy- Well money in this game is hard to come by. I mean really hard to come by. If you know what you are doing and feel like taking the time to do it you can make money if you are willing to take the time. The AH prices are reasonable. Lets just say that at higher levels you have better have found a way to make some money easily. Money is needed is hard to get and is integral to the game. What does this all mean it can be frustrating at times when you are a BLM and you have to spend thousands on Armor and 5 new spells. Does it make the game more enjoyable in my opinion yes. So 8/10.

8.The storyline- Well since FFXI has an actual one that is pretty darn cool. Where as most other MMORPGs have a storyline held together by a small thread. I would say FFXI gets the nod here in a big way. I won't spoil anything but you will see just how cool the story is once you get far enough. 9/10.

9.Uniqueness- Again FFXI has it easily. Everything about this game is Final Fantasy which is not like any other MMORPG some say this is a drawback you know where are my Elves, dwarves and gnomes. This FF stuff is kiddy stuff boo hoo. Well fine if thats what you want then go play those other games. Ill take some originality over old regurgitated races any day. Tarus rule FFXI gets a 10/10 just for them.

Overall I give the game a 9 out of 10 purely because the summoner job is in my opinion severely flawed. The other real drawback I listed above and that was the total immersion this game needs for you to achieve some of the really cool things about the game. One of those being getting the Summons. Other then that I can't really say many bad things about the game itself. Some of the controls and things I have issues with but the game awesome. 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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