Monday, June 1, 2009

Games Played 05/24/2009


Final Fantasy XI Online (2004)
Developer: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
Platform: Personal Computer/PlayStation 2
Purchase Date: 2004 (PC), 03/23/2004 (PS2)

A screenshot of one the game's first grind spots. That's me in the middle.
It's dated 04/14/2004.

Although I am completely done with the massively multi-player role playing games, I consider the time spent playing them to be worthwhile - until I got to the saturation point that is. I believe that it's just a genre that all gamers have to try out and play at least once. You may end up liking or disliking the genre but the point is this: you gain a lot of video gaming wisdom from the experience. Final Fantasy XI Online was the first real MMO I have ever played - I know Phantasy Star Online doesn't count - and months before its release, I was actually a beta tester for the PS2 version. When the game was launched, Square sent the PS2 retail release to me for free for my participation. I then picked up the PC version because of the much improved graphics. The game takes place in Vana'diel and it reeks Final Fantasy at every level: the magical + mechanical influences in the environments, the character designs and job classes, the beautiful soundtrack, and the overall delivery of its mythos. The most prominent thing about the game is that you can just focus on creating one character who can switch between the job classes. Granted, you should really focus on a couple but if you ever get bored of being say a caster, you can always become a melee fighter without having to create another character. The bad thing about this is that it takes away that feeling of uniqueness that is important in the genre because everyone can be everything so easily.

The nice little gift from Square Enix.

I played the game for close to 2 years and I met some really wonderful people there - one who is now an X-Box Live friend. They were the true motivations behind my excessive playtime and when I finally decided to leave, it found it very heartbreaking to do so. The game forces you to play in groups and battles can drag on forever if you're stuck with inexperienced players. My character was a Summoner/Black Mage - you can sub a class - and that combination was not very popular so I pretty much just play with my close friends. If I ever play another MMO, I will have to avoid this game though because compared to the more recent ones like World of Warcraft or The Lord of the Rings Online, it is extremely demanding of your time to be able to accomplish anything at higher levels. I must have been a true sadist back in 2004/2005.

LIBRARY STATUS: 3 out of 5

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