Fantasy XI for the PS2 is the same game that
was released on the PC last year. If you're
reading this, then I assume you have access
to a PC in which case I would simply advise
getting the PC version (providing you meet the
system requirements). Otherwise you're going
to be spending money, and lots of it, to essentially
turn your PS2 into a PC.
of all let me clarify that Final Fantasy XI,
in the tradition of the FF franchise, is a great
game. It's an online RPG that is populated with
gamers living in a virtual persistent universe.
In a nutshell, you create a character and continue
to upgrade him or her with more powerful weapons,
magic, skills and attributes. What you choose
to do in the game and how you choose to do it
is totally up to you but if you want to play
with the big boys you have to earn experience
points to level-up your character. Leveling-up
is accomplished by fighting and accepting various
side-quests that are offered to you by non-playable
you choose a character from a list of races
which include humans, elvaan, tarutaru, mithra
and galka, you can assign them a job such as
white mage, black mage, warrior, monk and thief.
There are more, higher level jobs that will
avail themselves later in the game but interestingly
you can change jobs if you get bored. You can
also have multiple characters on the go but
you have to pay a buck extra for each one. What
might appeal to new fans is that there isn't
a lot of micromanagement issues to concern yourself
with such as eating and fatigue. Some may say
this limits the depth but I say it limits the
the beginning of the game you'll find that you
have sufficient strength and skills to take
on most of the enemies in your path. As if to
force you to become sociable, which isn't a
bad idea for most of the socially awkward nerds
out there, you'll soon have to team up with
other players if you want to go any further.
Weapons and magic can be combined with other
players for a more powerful attack. Teamwork
will also come in handy during multi-enemy melee
combat and for solving the odd puzzle.
is also odd is that you can't pick your own
server. You can count on getting thrown onto
a server where you don't know anyone. Trying
to get together with a friend is nearly impossible.
Instead you'll be playing with people from around
the world, including the high ranking Japanese
players that have had access to this game for
two years, many of which are on the PC. The
interface will assist you in finding players
that are at the same level. It's not a problem
finding players since all the servers that I
visited were well populated.
land of Vana'diel is gorgeous to behold. The
three main regions are alive with detail. Colors
are vibrant and the animation is strong, smooth
and steady. Since this game has existed for
a few years this version is the most refined
and you'll be hard-pressed to find a bug anywhere.
Not to say you won't but I didn't and I was
looking closely for something to complain about.
I'm a bit of a bitch, what can I say? Some of
the characters look a little weird, as though
they are a little distorted but it's intentional.
The soundtrack is powerful, catchy and inspiring.
My only complaint is that it's prone to repetition.
that the hard drive for this game cost $100
- and you also have to have a PS2 network adapter
and a keyboard with a mouse, you can see that
this isn't the kind of game you should purchase
on a whim. Add to that a monthly online fee
and this venture requires one sizeable investment.
I admire Square Enix's resolve not to compromise
their game in any way but if you already have
a good PC, why waste the money?