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All in all, you couldn't really ask for much more in an online RPG experience. Square managed to capture most, if not all of the addictive, endearing qualities of the genre while retaining a decent amount of good ol fashion Fantasy elements. Be warned, however, that those who lack the stamina to stick with it long enough may ultimately feel gypped and burned. While Final Fantasy XI may not be your older brother's Final Fantasy RPG, it is an experience that (eventually) lives up to the name of its predecessors.
Finally Final Fantasy XI, the first MMORPG in the Final Fantasy series, makes its way to North American Playstation 2 owners. Nearly 2 years after its release Japan and months after the PC version was released in North America, Playstation 2 owners can experience the world of Vana’diel. Not only can they experience with fellow North American gamers, gamers can also play along with those that have the PC version and those who are playing in Japan. After a long wait and eager anticipation, gamers can now be swept away to the world of Final Fantasy XI.
Get very comfortable because Final Fantasy XI will have you so engrossed in its superbly massive world that you won’t want to leave your couch ever again. Sure the $12.95 monthly charge might seem a bit steep but believe me when I say that it’s worth every penny.
Since Ultima Online gave birth to the idea of a role-playing game that put hundreds of thousands on servers to adventure on together, the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online RPG) genre has grown to be one of the biggest on the PC. Games like Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, and most notoriously, Everquest have taken the genre into the realm of mainstream gaming with the idea of joining other players to tackle tough enemies, as well as running around killing weak stuff on your own to become tough enough to be a worthwhile teammate. On the PC, this genre is mature and not any old MMO can make a dent nowadays. On the console end, however, the MMORPG niche hasn’t yet been carved. There’s been tries – Sega’s great Phantasy Star Online is not quite MMO, but still a great online RPG, and Everquest has been ported over to PS2, though it hasn’t quite been as popular on the PlayStation 2 as on the computer. But nothing has yet caught on in console land other than the aforementioned PSO.
Closing Comments Final Fantasy XI is probably a bigger love it or hate it game than even Final Fantasy X-2 was. Though it aims its sights high on enticing fans of the franchise to the online side of the pond, the fact remains that MMORPGs just aren't for everyone. Truthfully, some people are just more content sitting at home and curling up with their controller much in the same way that others do with a good book or tasty dessert. They simply don't want their Final Fantasy experience any other way.
En conclusion, Final Fantasy XI est un très grand jeu, certainement l'un des MMORPG les plus riches qui soit. Extrêmement bien pensé, tranchant avec les préjugés du genre sans pour autant en renier les bases, il est aussi très difficile, très long, et surtout très exigeant en temps. Il est donc réservé à un public restreint, le joueur du dimanche ni trouvera qu'un intérêt limité.
For many, Final Fantasy XI will be the Holy Grail of nonlinearity: a wide-open RPG universe with Final Fantasy flair, defined by its players as much as its developers, beloved for all its flaws. Love it or hate it, there?s nothing like it on your PS2.
Square knows its audience, and has delivered a solid and addictive MMORPG for them to lose themselves in. There is so much to do here and so many ways to play this game, that there is certain to be something here for any RPG fan. While there is a pretty sizeable barrier to entry for PS2 players, the game is certainly worth the investment if you don't have a suitable PC alternative.
You'll have to jump through several proverbial flaming hoops before you start having fun in the world of Vana'diel, but your efforts may well be rewarded. Go into this game with the right expectations--knowing, for instance, that this is a time-consuming game that takes a while to get into and isn't dramatically different, at its core, from other online RPGs--and you'll find in Final Fantasy XI a different-enough take on the online role-playing genre that the experience can end up being both rewarding and refreshing. And since the world of the game is already filled with dedicated players who mostly seem to be enjoying the game rather than complaining about its problems, the tone of the experience of Final Fantasy XI is ultimately more uplifting than that of most other, similar games.
Rarely have so many people been psyched for the release of a game nearly two years old (based on its Japanese release). Thankfully, those same people will find the experience of Final Fantasy XI for the PlayStation 2 an ultimately pleasant one, once they get past the daunting preliminaries. And make no mistake, they are daunting -- the online experience of Final Fantasy comes at the price of some "initial reality," as it were.
Seeing as how this title marks the debut of the PS2’s hard drive and Final Fantasy’s first venture into the realm of the console MMORPG market, there has been a lot of commotion and anticipation surrounding it. Now that it has hit the shelves, the world of Vana’diel will need to brace itself for the fresh surge of PS2-playing inhabitants, providing enough people shell out the dough.
Final Fantasy XI presents a grading nightmare quite unlike anything we're ever seen at GR. The game itself is good, far better than the online Everquest games for the PS2 and even holding up well next to fancier PC MMORPGs. It's genuinely fun and runs well. Plus, it comes with the HDD. However, it's hard to tell anyone to walk into a store and slap this kind of cash down just to play one video game when for the same money you could buy three or four. Wasting your time is one thing, but wasting your money is another entirely make sure you're prepared before jumping into this fantasy. And that's my Final thought.
Putting an MMORPG on a console is an ambitious undertaking, one that's almost doomed out of the gates. To be fair, the content in FF XI is great - the character system is engaging, the concepts based on allegiance are cool and graphically it's certainly acceptable. However, until you take the time to program the macros to your liking, the interface ranges from utterly unusable to merely horribly frustrating - even with a USB keyboard.
I didn't have expectations for Final Fantasy XI Online, and it's a good thing, because I'd have been disappointed. I can see where the addictive qualities are. It's fun to complete missions. It's satisfying to level up. It's funny to watch a newbie player (like myself) get killed by the Forest Hares at the start of the game. But I can't find myself getting into this. I do recommend that anyone looking into this MMORPG try it on the Xbox 360, since it contains the original game and every one of the expansions, including the new Treasures of Aht Urghan, which was also released on the PlayStation 2 and PC. But if you're looking for an Xbox 360 RPG, I'd tell you to pass on this.