Akihabara, Taito City, Tokyo, Japan

023 final fantasy fxiv

Thursday, August 20, 2020

OKAY! I finally caved and bought Final Fantasy XIV. As it turns out I bought a PS4 in 2015 so that I could play Kingdom Hearts III and FFXIV. I didn't get to play either one of those games until I had already had the console for two years, lol.๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’• It sat gathering quite a bit of dust for a while... And still is, actually... It didn't all work out quite like I planned it, I want you to know why this game is meaningful for me. My friends told me I needed a keyboard, and despite having one with Bluetooth enabled I never made it past the intro to Eorzea. I played games I really loved on my PS4, but unfortunately this game was not one of them. Chris has very gently tried to persuade me to join, but all it really took was the motivation to decide I was okay investing boatloads of time into a new MMORPG. I squealed internally the entire time I was registering a Square-Enix account because the Final Fantasy universe is the most detailed and complete; it has many layers of gameplay with really sultry character designs. There's nothing like their creatures and world/city names. In my lifetime these very things have inspired me to create many things, form web sites to character portraits. Square-Enix has made games I love time and time again, only that this time they made a game swarms of players can interact in. The instances are very fun and garnished by jokes from the tanks or healers, I've been pet gently once (Gloomy Cat), and I've had the chance to see an illustration style I love more flushed out and lively than I remember. Any animation that really comes alive before me will captivate my attention and keep me returning to the game time and time again.

Time to share some fond memories...

In 1998 I switched schools. When I met my first friend in that school on the very first day, she spoke to me about a game called Final Fantasy. A few months must have gone by talking about Final Fantasy on the way to the cafeteria most days of the week. After having all of FFVIII enthusiastically narrated to me, I decided to get it one night when I was out to dinner. I came home with FFIX and spent the late night getting adjusted to the controls. By the next morning my airship had crashed into the forest and a close friend had been turned to stone. Those first few days spilled into long months, and finally dragged into years. Despite hating dialog, tutorials, and especially ATE events, I loved the story. I loved the characters and their personalities. I discovered a world I’m still crazy about today,  and that’s a world I still want to be a part of. I have fond memories of building my first web site, which was then titled Chocobo Forest. I had a shrine to FFIX called Mognet Central. My favorite moogles are Atla and Monev. I thought Freya’s Dragoon race was mysterious and aesthetically pleasing, and empathized with her pain when I visited the ruins of her city, Burmecia. I went wild every time I arrived to a new area and saw the title letters on the screen. Getting to the Ice Cabern for the first time gave me literal chills. They animated it so well.

Back then this was emotive.

I spent many years playing Final Fantasy IX leading up to my departure for college. Since I didn't own a television I gave gaming up. Missed it very dearly, and took to gaming on a Macbook Pro laptop which wasn't great then. The most I got out of it was an SNES emulator, N64 emulator, and random other games. I didn't really use it for heavy duty gaming like on Steam.

Still, all of the artists I met in college were very fond of video games. They would often show off their vintage gems. I got to play Pong on somebody's original Atari console, many times I got to enjoy gaming on the SNES away from home and that certainly made me miss it. I also got to enjoy variety at a gaming club I attended the entire 4 years I attended college. Sometimes they’d have DDR set up, other times it was Guitar Hero or Smash Bros. We're talking old school now.

The year is now 2020 and it seems like the world has fallen to pieces a few times without having yet had the chance to put itself back together, so the mess that ensues is what we’ve got going on today. And we’ll get to what’s going on, but let’s talk about Square-Enix’s already 10 year-old MMORPG.

FFXIV is a game with incredibly beautiful graphics. They’ve got it down when it comes to making something alluring and unique enough to be remembered. The game is very complete, they make you earn all your skills as you go through quests to unlock spells and job perks. There is a quest for literally everything you do. The game is heavily lenient towards story, and offers you the opportunity to invest as much as you want into it while still being able to progress the game.

It is really refreshing to see the same type of naming that I used to remember so fondly. Gizamaluke's Grotto, anyone? Square-Enix has got the best fantasy names of all series๐Ÿ’ฅ. I love getting to see creatures and summons that look much like I remember them from my most beloved games. The design hasn't changed much, but has definitely improved since. All the echoes back to VII, VIII, and IX are a delight to my memory. It all brings back some of my favorite memories with gaming.

While I am not very enthusiastic about story in games, I respect that this one lets you get as invested in the story as you want. With a quest to unlock for literally everything, they make sure you slowly but surely get fed all the game mechanics. You can go at your own pace so as not to feel overwhelmed. If you have leveled over the requirements for a dungeon or instance, the game brings you back down to the max level. I really like this about the game because it presents the user from getting bored, and allows lower level characters to play with those that have been around much longer.

The interface is great in the menus, but overall in-game interface could use some work. I don't think it's cohesive enough when you have games like Fire Emblem: Three Houses that make it work with elegance. And I do feel FFXIV has a lot of Fire Emblem influence to it, for which I am 150% on board.

The maps are just like I remember them from the PlayStation 2 days, and although I'm not the best at figuring out where some corridors end, or how to read the map, I can still appreciate that they went through a lot of trouble to design the game. I think world design is unparalleled; unique and elegant. It's truly amazing.

So far, I've just been trying to get used to the game. Y'know, making rookie mistakes. I'll cast Blizzard II when I'm out of range and at times I don't hit [Tab] fast enough to switch between targets, but I'm having lots of fun and I feel less pressure as a Black Mage in this game than I do as an Undead Priest in World of Warcraft. Each world is different and has its highlights.

The Black Mage fire and ice balance is a great rotation of attacks. Area of effect attacks make sense together, and I found they adapted the levels of each elemental attack well. I liked how they paired it all. Trying to get better acquainted with the controls. We'll see how I do as I ascend from my apprentice levels. Hopefully soon I'll be back sporting some shiny new screen caps.

It has been great to have somebody to play with๐Ÿ’•✨. We've been doing dungeons late at night. So far I have had a much more positive experience doing dungeons here than in WoW. In FFXIV, everybody is very nice. Tanks wait for you to see the story if you want to experience it. You don't get left behind if you are getting something wrong. nicest community ever!

I've got to spend some more time getting acquainted with the game, but I wanted to tell you my initial impressions of the world of Eorzea. Did I tell you I went to the Eorzea Cafรฉ in Akihabara?

I hope you enjoyed the gallery. Soon we'll be changing gears and talking about other subjects. Until then, try dreaming in colors that don't exist.

1 comment

  1. I loved seeing the pictures! Really great in-game photography eye. I also thought the peek into the cafe was such a cool surprise. Would love to continue reading more about your adventures!