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Normally i never post a review of a game, but in this case, i just feel the need to do so.
Final Fantasy XIV is a very diferent, and in the same time, very similar to your other classic MMORPG.
While i do agree with others with the fact that the quests are pretty much "Kill this" "Talk to this guy" "Bring me that", i dont agree with people criticising the game for being like that. What do you expect from a MMORPG?
The only diferente between a mmo and another is the way they execute the mechanics, and Square Enix pretty much nailed it with FF XIV.
Graphics : 10/10 - They are just purely fantastical...and the fact that my gf can play this game maxed @ 720p on a 9600m GT means that its also very optimised for "Not-so-high-end PCs". Textures are pure and in the same time complex, there is a lot of density in the fauna and all this comes with shifting climatology! (Day-night-rain-wind-clear-fog)
Sound: 10/10 - I dare you to tell me a game with a more beautiful and summersive soundtrack list than this game. The music is just awesome and the other soundeffects are also great.
Combat: 9/10 - Square Enix did a great job mixing the typical FF turn-based combat mechanics with traditional live-combat you get in most MMOs. The skills system is very simple to learn, but not so easy to master. Yes you can smash all the buttons to just skill the mob in the front of ya off the map, but if you learn your skills and calculate your moves, you can kill him twice as faster and suffer half the damage. My only con on this part of the game is that character animation isnt that well made (Im looking at you Archer) while in combat.
Story: 10/10 - Its a Final Fantasy, need i say more?
Interface 7/10 - This, imo is the weakest part of the game. While the general interface is easy to use and looks good enough, not all the interface elements are resizable (NPC Dialogue) which makes ppl playing on big TVs (>29") from their couch to have a hard time reading what that NPC is telling ya.
I have played many MMORPGs for the past 12 years. From simple ones like Rose Online, to complex ones like EVE Online, Guild Wars 2, Lineage 2, etc. And so far, FF XIV is the best one i've played.
Its main rival atm is GW2, which, as most MMORPG veterans will agree, while it has great graphics, huge map, good WvW experience and a lot of stuff to do, has failed to deliver anything it promised. Getting to 80 is boring and repetitive, the story, while its nice to have voices in ALL the NPC dialogues, is just very unimmersive and...meh, the skills system is just too easy and you never have a feel of "Proud to have gotten so far". Everything is just too easy in GW2. And farming dungeons for a month just to get a pretty armor which you cant even sell to get teh cash and waste it on crap, makes it totally not worth the time.
So in conclusion: Yes, FF XIV is the classic MMORPG experience, but improved, complete, with nice graphics, great story, awesome soundtrack, dynamic world and ofc...CHOCOBOS!
Regards to all of ya's.