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Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn: Reborn. Truly Reborn?

/ Jun 17th, 2013 1 Comment

Final Fantasy XIV Update

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a quandary. It is a difficult MMO to understand from initial glance. Square Enix had a solid MMO experience when it first released Final Fantasy XI Online in 2002. Although many hardcore fans (myself above all) were critical that Square-Enix was taking a MMO approach to a traditionally self contained RPG series, it was an engaging MMO. Overall, they had a strong first foray into the MMO space. With Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix seemed poised to release a worthy successor to FFIX. However, right from the get-go the lack of polish was evident. While bugs and glitches were obvious detractors, there were numerous complaints about the lack of structure to the quests and storylines, which had little guidance as to what objective or direction to follow next. Despite the rough times, Square Enix dug deep and prepared themselves for a rebirth of the game.

Disastrous MMO launches are pretty much expected and par for the course more often than not. What really sets Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn apart from other poorly received launches is how they decided to go about fixing it. For one, Square Enix has been completely devoted to retooling and finishing the game properly with no compromises. That means it pulled the game offline and devoted the time to basically build the game from the ground up. They are more than willing to realize that lots of money and marketing would be needed to relaunch the brand and do so without hesitation. Next, which is something very commendable, Square Enix was adamant about their shortcomings (addressed them) and adopted a “release when it’s ready” stance. Clearly, The Final Fantasy brand is on the line as further damage can scare away even the most passionate of fans. But the care and commitment Square Enix has put into the game truly is exciting.

Comparing the two versions of the same game is a night and day difference. The graphical overhaul is amongst the most engaging features of the game. It would not be a stretch to surmise that it is one of the best looking MMO’s to come out as of late, alongside Guild Wars 2. Legacy issues such as general structure of gameplay, content zones and the class system have been received well so far during its testing phases. So far, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is well on track to fixing all of the previous mistakes as well as providing more than enough features to entice newcomers to the world of Eorzea.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the title that gamers and hardcore Final Fantasy fans wanted and expected in the first place. The problem with the title is that it is technically from 2010 and is now contending with an even bigger pool of ‘Free To Play’ MMO’s. It retains the traditional monthly payment plan, which is understandable given the enormous development costs to overhaul a game of this caliber, but it might not digest well with gamers given the current landscape. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn may very well be a case to study for future MMO developers and game companies. It did a lot wrong but Square Enix is willingly taking a gamble to make it right. Come August, the world of Eorzea and the Final Fantasy series will be reborn.

Mark Gonzales

Mark Gonzales

Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Mark is a contributor to Gaming Illustrated and part of the editorial team. He always has had an intense love for gaming and of the spoken word. During conversations, he is known to create elaborate anecdotal references to popular 90's phrases with varying levels of success.
Mark Gonzales
Mark Gonzales

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  • Rob Hestar(★♋)

    I only played a little of the beta (damn u the last of us!) but I must say,from when I first played the beta years ago till now its miles better!

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