Review by Darkslayne

"Little quirky, but overall enjoyable"

The oooooo's and aaaaaa's mixed in with the booooo's have been running rampant with this title.

So many believe the title should never have been put online, that it is a poor concept and sucks compared to currently available online games. Fortunately, I disagree. While I think the title shouldn't be considered Part 11 of the series, I do enjoy the fact it is online.

Compared to say, Everquest, there are a few flaws that could use tweaks. Personally, none of which were that detrimental that I just could no longer play and run off. Compared to say, Everquest, there are plenty of good things that I am glad they didn't do, which make me smile in glee.

You start the game off in 1 of 3 different town alliances. Each side is competing with one another to gain the most amount of territory, also at the same time, fending themselves against the enemy known as the Beastmen. The beastmen also compete for said areas, so if an area is left un-hunted in for a duration of time, they will take it over. Why does this matter at all? The more ground your alliance has, the more shops and items are available for you to purchase. Also, you can earn conquest points while you hunt in these areas which can in turn be traded in for stronger equipment.

You have at the start of the game access to 6 different classes. Monk, Warrior and Thief cover the melee aspect, while White Mage, Black Mage and Red Mage cover the caster side. Each have their perks, each have their uses. As you proceed along in levels, you gain access to quests that will allow you to proceed into another class area. Such as Bard, Paladin, Dark Knight, Summoner and Dragoon, to name a few. You can customize this a bit by varying your main start class, along with the new class. So you can have a caster who can fight or a fighter who can heal. Though each with varying degrees of success, some not successful combos at all.

The quests range from a series of typical ''Fed Ex'' style quests, where you run from point A to point B to turn something in or kill a monster. Though there are enough varying quests too keep you busy as you interact with many of the npcs via a small cutscene. Particularly the ''Missions'' that each Alliance has, are done with cutscenes, which help breath a whole new sense of life into the npcs.

The interface is quirky and requires some adjusting too. Especially if your using the mouse/keyboard instead of a ps2 controller. It can at times, be difficult to control and browse quickly to get what you need. Fortunately much of this is remedied through the use of macro's, a type of shortcut command, that can be manipulated to do a variety of tasks.

Overall, while it has some minor flaws, I have found that the game is very solid and enjoyable to play. Between the many craft skills you can take up, quests and general xp hunting, there is a large variety of tasks to keep you busy and occupied during your stay in game. What minor quirks can be generally brushed aside and are often forgotten until they happen to crop back up in front of you, only to be ignored again once you continue along in your play.

Still, it's a shame the price wasn't lower, so those who were unsure wouldn't lose out on a decent amount of cash, just to test whether or not they'd enjoy the game. If anything, I hope this helps you decide, good or bad.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/12/03

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