Review by Reezy1987

"FFXI: My Favorite Game"

Final Fantasy XI

Every since Final Fantasy was released on PS2 in Japan on May 16th, 2002, US gamers was wonder will it ever hit stores. Final Fantasy XI was the game every Final Fantasy fan was waiting for. Reason being is because it was the first Final Fantasy MMORPG. Square Enix maintains a tight hold on its 500,000 subscribers who can't seem to shake the addicting nature of the game.

Final Fantasy XI uses the hard drive completely. As once you've installed the software onto the disc it's there permanently with no need to re-use the DVD again. For those of us who want to look at everything, however, the FFXI portion of the set does contain a nifty six-minute introduction movie that serves as the backdrop for the world of Vana'diel. It's a terrific piece of CGI animation too, and everybody who picks the up the game owes it to himself to check it out. The second disc is actually the more important one, though: as it sports all the PlayOnline goodies which, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, is the online subscription service powered by Square Enix. Due to security reasons, the PlayOnline CD is still required to be in your system the first time you power up the hard drive. The reason being that it's the device that allows players to setup their network connections and finish the installation of a few extras. Let it be known that as soon as you connect to the Internet, you'll have to immediately download the latest patches which could take you Over 20 Hours… Due to all the Updates we have had, it's a WHOLE lot of files.

Players can expect a very long journey in the Land of Vana'diel. There is so much to do. As each and every one of Square Enix's 30 dedicated severs are packed with different political situations among the four main kingdoms. But regardless of who's in control when gamers first log on, the world's four main parties are always the same: The Kingdom of San D'oria, The Republic of Bastok, The Federation of Windhurst, and The Grand Duchy of Jeuno specifically. Though each kingdom will hold a different position in the struggle for power depending on which server your character plays. You can choose a variety of jobs -- Warrior, Black Mage, White Mage, Monk, and Thief. When you have reached level 30, you will be able to play other different job like,”Dragoon, Bard, Summoner, Ranger, Dark Knight, Beastmaster, Ninja, Paladin, Samurai, Blue Mage, Corsair, and Puppetmaster.

Though players can do absolutely anything they want over the course of their adventure, they can make a much more interesting time of it by accepting quests, joining guilds, and heading off on government-sponsored missions. It's through these actions only that users will be able to locate all the best treasures, fight all the biggest monsters, and move the storyline in a forward direction. To be truthful, it's the mission and quest structure where Final Fantasy XI probably fails to live up to its predecessors the most. Because, while its attitude and design are very much in the spirit of the games before it, the majority of its quests involve little else but running out and fetching items and moving them from point A to point B. Granted, that's always been one of the most tedious aspects of the MMORPG universe but we I am hoping for a little more diversity.

Hopeful PS2 owners that think that the console version of Final Fantasy XI will match the PC rendition in terms of visual quality should prepare to get their hopes crushed. Lacking any type of progressive scan support tthe game's one and only default resolution is the standard 640x480 (the Windows burn boasts almost twice that). That's not to say that Final Fantasy XI doesn't look particularly strong for a PlayStation 2 title, though, because it does. Particularly when battling it out against some of the more detailed boss monsters or exploring the smaller-in-scope sections of the world. It may not be on the same level of quality as Final Fantasy X or X-2, but it's a hell of a lot better looking than PS2 owner's other MMORPG alternative, EverQuest.

On the PS2, you could say that it's almost more impressive once you consider the textures and objects being processed on the inferior PlayStation 2 architecture. Players should still expect a generous amount of pop-up, draw-in, and other graphical glitches deep into the horizon as the game tries to keep up with everything that's going on. Good as it may be, there are some instances where the world is just too big for its own good. The same can be said for the frame rate in spots as well, as cities in particular are the most prone to bouts of slowdown. On a more positive front, there are tons of different particle effects, lighting techniques, and shadowing going on at practically all hours and the occasional CG cut scenes are of the same high quality that Square Enix fans have come to expect. All in all, FFXI still boasts one of the most impressive graphical engines on the system.

This is a very good game in my opinion, I have been playing it for over 2 years now. Square makes this game better because all of the constant update, new quest, areas and all the other fun stuff you are able to do. Yes, this game is getting old, but my friends and I will always play it until it completely dies.

Kybo (75WAR / 37NIN)
Garuda Server

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/26/06

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