Review by DuckAndCover

"If The Tarutaru Get Any Cuter They'll Give Us All Diabetes... Nice Work Square!"

That was a Family Guy joke! Go pick up the DVD today! I'm amazed at this. I was about to get on my pulpit and preach that games today have a lack of innovation, but I can't with this one. Consider me giving this a 6 to mean like I gave it a 10, but this game is not without its flaws though it does a lot of things well. It reminds me of Neocron to some degree, but like in that game no matter where you move you'll still get hit by projectiles. First of all, even though this game is free with the hard drive, you still have to pay a monthly fee of 12.95 a month. You also have to pay a dollar extra per month per character you create after the first one, but after the free month you have to pay an extra dollar for the first character. Tetra Master is a dollar per month as well, but don't pay for it until you get good cards. In total, You'll be paying a potential 29.95 a month to have full access to 16 character slots and the tetra master card game. Star Wars Galaxies is just as a rewarding game with only 14.95 a month and you get to create a whole bunch of different characters. If you ever decide to play Final Fantasy XI more than a year, and want to keep all your characters you're gonna have to cough up the cash. A major downside to this game.

Like I said before they added more depth to this like they did Neocron. Instead of just gaining levels, you also gain skill points every time you use magic or a certain weapon. You may be level 99, but you won't be proficient with all the weapons in the game which still gives you some replay value, and adds more depth. Skills also include evade as well. In terms of innovation, that system pretty much breathes new life into the whole mmorpg genre, but the gameplay is still: select an enemy, press a button, watch the computer attack, and collect the reward. It's more Final Fantasy type though. The best thing they ever did was allow people to cast spells while they are getting hit! Dark Age of Camelot didn't do this and it made gameplay extremely annoying. They truly made this a Final Fantasy experience online. The downside is that when you start out the prices for potions and healing items are too high. You need to be at least level 10 or 15 to seriously consider buying healing items, and until then you'll be dieing on purpose just to refill your hp and mp meters. The mog houses refill your hp and mp, but they're too far away from leveling spots to seriously consider recharging.

Graphics are excellent right down to the character designs. Somebody create a Tarutaru character and name them SnuggyDub honoring our fallen show Portal. The Taru characters are so damn cute like little Ferbies. I call them itty bitties. Anyway, great graphics for the Playstation 2 and this will definitely be the standard as Square always sets the standard in terms of graphics.

Excellent sound. Nothing too repititious

I'm very surprised at this game. I fully expected to trash this game like all the others I have, but I could not find anything seriously wrong with it. Excellent presentation, but they seriously need to fix the prices for healing items to make them more affordable for characters that are just starting out. Plus you get the Playstation 2 hardrive with it that cuts load times substantially. This is a must have for any Playstation 2 owner, and definitely try to play this game even if you aren't a fan of mmorpg's. The setup takes about a half hour, but it'll be well worth your time.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 03/28/04

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