Review by Metaknight500
"Even Veterans of FF11 should stay away"
FF14 seems like it could be a great game, but the gold is hidden under tons of problems that seem like they should have been fixed during the alpha. Horrendous interface, hostile questing system, ridiculously slow travel, unpredictable enemies and frustratingly basic problems prevent this game from having any sort of redeeming value.
The problems start before you even set foot into the world. You pay a basic $10 monthly fee, but on top of that you have to pay $3 for each character slot. If you want to run multiple alts, get a good job because you're going to lose more money to this game than the slot's in Vegas. The character creation is pretty cool, allowing you to change your character's class right from the inventory screen. The game has also quite stunning graphics. If you've got a good graphics card, crank up the graphics to the max because your brain will explode from how amazing the animation and textures look. Unfortunately, the world itself isn't as interesting due to the fact that you realize that most of the game world, even the outside areas, are just corridors that seem to go on forever.
Speaking of going on forever, the travel in this game makes running across Desolace without a mount look like the most fulfilling experience of your life. There are Chocobo stables and there are airships, but these features have yet to be implemented in the game, a further indication of how incomplete this game is. Get used to the endless pitter-patter of your feet smacking the ground because that's what you'll hear most of the game. It would be more fun if there were tough monsters carrying good gear to loot on the way, but some areas are completely dull of creatures or settlements, which make you feel like those areas were put in just to get between you and where you need to go. This is evidence that this game was clearly rushed as quick as possible, but hopefully this features will be implemented before the PS3 release.
The economy of this game is another huge pit of incompleteness. In World of Warcraft, vendors are handily labeled and you can ask guards in cities where certain features are located. But in FF14, vendors aren't labeled with the wares they're selling, meaning you'll need to individually check each merchant to see what they're selling, get disappointed that they don't have what you need, and check the next one, get disappointed again, exit the game, look at a guide to see where each vendor is located and finally make your purchase. You can get a "Retainer", which is basically your personal storefront that you can stock with items to sell to players who pass by, but until an auction house system is implemented you have to deal with the worst possible vendoring system of all time. Thankfully, players at least label what their retainers sell with names like "Cheapcrystals" or "Shardvendor"
You can craft items to sell, but the game tries as hard as possible to make that as difficult as possible, too. You'll spend up to a minute navigating the horrendous item management interface, select your items, craft, and pray to god you'll remember the recipe because the game does not keep the recipes remembered for you. You'll spend a huge amount of time crafting, because you're limited to 8 quests a day. The entire game seems to go out of its way to be as hostile to your enjoyment as possible. Even worse is the fact that there are no hotkeys in the game. You have to create your own macros just to counter the games terrible interface. You can also plug in other controllers to play with, but that means you have to configure each button individually before you can use it. You'll end up fighting more against the wretched interface then actual creatures in this game.
Combat in this game is a joke. Enemies are color-coded Blue or Red depending on how much of a challenge they'll put up. Don't listen to the colors, however. Some enemies who are blue will demolish you in a few seconds, while some red enemies die in just a few whacks from your staff. Also, even days into your adventure you'll still be fighting the same tiny rats and ladybugs, and getting killed by them repeatedly. Ignore the trailers that showcase you fighting gigantic demons in epic, intense clashes or going toe-to-toe with dragons the size of planets. Instead, you'll be fighting Mushrooms and Wolves for most of the game.
DO NOT BUY THIS GAME. It is a complete waste of money. Maybe Square Enix will fix the flaws over the coming months, but it is unacceptable to ship a game that is clearly unfinished as a fully product.
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 10/11/10
Game Release: Final Fantasy XIV Online (US, 09/30/10)
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