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Everyone who knows games, and even some who don’t, knows the title Final Fantasy. They may also know that it has been claimed the best RPG (Role Playing Game) series of all time. Most people also know that the company, Squaresoft, is the maker of this great series. Final Fantasy was nothing short of a miracle for Squaresoft when the first game came out. Squaresoft was about to go bankrupt when they decided to make one last game, a final game, which they decided to name Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy was either going to be their last game or it was going to save them. It did more than save them. It made them famous and rich. There have been more than 10 different Final Fantasy games released. Recently, Squaresoft joined with another gaming company called Enix. They have combined their names and are now called SquareEnix . They recently made the 11th installation of Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI. I recently picked up Final Fantasy XI to see if I would like it. Final Fantasy XI has taken a different turn than all the other Final Fantasy games of the series. Final Fantasy XI is a MMORPG, which means, massive multiplayer online role-playing game. In English terms, it is a game that can only be played on the Internet and where you interact with thousands of other people around the world. Of course there is a monthly fee that has to be paid which is a minimum of 13 dollars. Here is a review to help you decide if Final Fantasy XI is worth the money you have to pay to play it.
First, I want to start of talking about the graphics. Compared to all the other MMORPG that are on the market, Final Fantasy XI beats them all. The graphics are amazing. The name of the Final Fantasy XI world is Vana’diel. It is divided into several regions, which contains different zones. Each zone has a lot of estate to wander around on. Every area is very detailed and the character designs are simply wonderful. Every weapon and piece of armor has its own design. The environment around you is glamorous. When creating your character, you get to choose your race, hairstyle, type of face, and even how big you want your character to be.
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The gameplay aspect of the game is also good. Gameplay is basically how a game is played. You meet many people in your travels around the world of Vana’diel. You get to fight with many allies and undergo a lot of missions. When you start off, there are plenty of things you have to learn before you go out and take on anything that crosses your path. It takes a couple hours to learn all the basics of the game. So you have to be patient when you first begin. The fighting style of the game is pretty good. You basically target your enemy, and then engage. You automatically attack unless you are a mage. A mage is a character that can cast offensive or defensive magic. Depending on what type of mage you are results on what type of magic you use. If you are a black mage, then you cast offensive magic, which damages the enemy, and if you are a white mage then you cast defensive magic which helps you and who you are fighting with. With a mage, you choose the spells you want to use and then cast them. Like in most Final Fantasy games, as you level up you get stronger so that you can go on harder quests and take on more powerful enemies. Once things get going and you know how to do all the basic controls, you start to get addicted and play for hours at a time.
The sound of any Final Fantasy game is awesome. The musical score is one of the best features in the game. It creates the mood of the game as well as the emotional feel of it. Each Final Fantasy game has its own music CD. There are even Final Fantasy music concerts in Japan. The music in Final Fantasy XI is just as good as the other Final Fantasy games. Each area or town you enter has its own music theme. You also have battle music when you engage in a fight with the enemy. There are some themes that can get annoying after listening to them after awhile. So there is always the option of turning the sound off if you don’t feel like listening to the music. There are also sounds effects for each spell and all special abilities that your character may have.
The controls of Final Fantasy XI are okay. You can move your character by holding the mouse cursor on your character and moving the mouse in the direction you want your character to move. You can also use the directional buttons on the Numpad (the small keypad on the right side of the keyboard) to move your character around. You use the main part of the keyboard to type messages to fellow players. There are many shortcuts in the game that you can use such as Ctrl + P which will let you type in text to your party members so that only the people in your party can read what you have typed and no one else. It takes quite some time to learn all the shortcuts but once you know them it is definitely worth it. As I mentioned before, the battle system is pretty easy to figure out. The automatic attacks make fighting easy, but as you get stronger you start to figure out strategies against certain enemies to eliminate them quicker. Also, when you are in a party, each character has his or her own job to perform while in the party. If you were a white mage you would heal any member getting hit by a monster. The main controls of Final Fantasy XI take a while to get used to, so again, patience is needed while doing this.
Most online games have a basic story behind them, but since Final Fantasy XI is online it really doesn’t have an ending like non-online games do. Final Fantasy XI is the same way. The world of Vana’Diel has been a place of conflict for many years. It is currently enjoying a time of peace. The three nations of San d’Oria, Bastok, and Windurst gain many adventurers to fight with their signet or symbol in order to gain control of the different regions of Vana’Diel. In doing this, they can avoid direct conflicts with other nations. Your character will fill this role as well as thousands of others that play Final Fantasy XI. Each week, the three nations are ranked to see who has the most control. The only downside is that there is no ending for the game. All Final Fantasy games have a great ending to them. The lack of an ending does lessen the enthusiasm, but if one needs to see an ending, go play a non-online game.
The content of Final Fantasy XI is overwhelming. There are so many things to do in this game. There are over 250 missions you can do and there are also many smaller quests you can do. You will basically never run out of things to do. Since the game has updates every month, it will add new things to do. There also expansion packs that will be released in gaming stores that will also add more missions and quests. I would give the content rating a high number.
The whole downside to Final Fantasy XI is the pay fee that is due at the end of each month. When you first subscribe you get the first month free. It’s just too bad that you spend the first month learning how to play the game. After the free first month, the set fee is $12.95 a month for a single ID or character. If you want to add another ID then it is an extra dollar. You can create up to sixteen IDs. This would convince a lot of people not to play. The thirteen-dollar fee can add up after months of playing. But most of the money is used to keep Final Fantasy XI running. It costs money to keep a game running on the Internet, so it isn’t the creator’s fault for charging everyone a monthly fee, although it would be nice to not have to pay it. One other problem is the setup. When you install the game you have to go through a long and boring registration setup. It requires the setup cd and a registration key. The key is a number that is in the instruction manual. You have to input the key prove that you bought the game. The setup takes at least an hour. After that the game has to be updated before you can start playing it. This process can take from three to five hours depending on your Internet connection speed. You will have to expect to spend a couple hours dealing with the setup of the game before you actually get to start playing it for the first time. You don’t have to go through setup every time you want to play the game, just the first time. There are monthly updates to add things to the game. Things like missions and new monsters. The updates are only once every month and don’t take nearly as long as the setup does. They will take an hour at the most.
To wrap up everything, if you have the patience to learn how to play the Final Fantasy XI and learn the controls, the game is worthwhile. If you can afford the monthly fee then you won’t be disappointed. The setup is a minor problem that will hold you up in the beginning, but the gameplay will make up for it. The game is a little slow running at first, but once it gets going, it becomes addicting. The game is well worth the money you have to pay to play it. Final Fantasy XI is very fun and you will not lose your interest in it. If there are any questions about the game, then you can find contact information as well as any other information that you might need at www.playonline.com.
I was looking on the Internet and found the Game Informer website. It is a gaming magazine. I was looking at a review that they had of Final Fantasy XI in the January 2004 issue. I found a great quote by one of the reviewers named Andy McNamara. The quote is: “ Final Fantasy is not the best MMORPG (Massive Mutliplayer Online Role Playing Game) I have played, but it most certainly is not the worst. If you want to lose long periods of your life slashing monsters and adventuring with friends, then you can’t go wrong with Final Fantasy XI. This quote I think proves a good point for those you have played Final Fantasy XI.
Andy McNamara is the Editor-In-Chief for the Game Informer website. He also does reviews for some games. Since he is writing for a published magazine, he is qualified to have his say on how he feels about Final Fantasy XI.
I believe what he means in his quote is that if you have lots of free time, and you like MMORPGs, then this game is for you. In this type of game, all you mostly do is run around to get stronger to fight stronger enemies. It is strangely addicting in my experience. Over Christmas break, I played a whole bunch and I seemed to enjoy it greatly, but I would spend hours playing and the days would go by quickly. Once college started back up I stopped playing, so my grades wouldn’t suffer. The game is very fun, but it is addicting and you will lose a lot of time playing it.
Over all, I think this quotation would also prove useful to those who are thinking about buying the game. Some would say that spending time killing monsters and going on adventures is a great reason to buy the game, while other would say that they have better things to do.
So all in all, it is a great game, but the quote says that you must have a lot of free time if you are going to play this game. If you like spending time slashing monsters and going on adventures, which I myself do, then Final Fantasy XI is for you. If not, then I wouldn’t consider buying it.
McNamara, Andy. Game Informer Magazine. “Final Fantasy XI Online Review.” January 2004 issue. Minneapolis, MN.