After perusing even more countless FF XIV reviews, seeing the full compilation of screen shots, as well as all of the recent in-game footage from sources including beta… I’m not impressed for a few reasons.
Here’s the link to some recent in-game footage:
Here are my arguments concerning the new much anticipated MMORPG FFXIV in order from most severe to insignificant:
1) The graphics and background details, as well as character animations appear to be taken from an engine similar to 2002’s FFIX. There really is not much time and effort put into background detail, such that you don’t feel immersed in an amazing world but rather are standing on a staged set with a more or less ‘green screen’ backdrop. This significantly takes away from the feel of game and play experience. Which segments us into my second issue.
2) The game takes the same path that most MMO’s take, where you start out as an ultra nub character without any real background story or stake in the game. ALL successful platformed Final Fantasy games up until this point have ALL started out with an epic story or legendary battle, followed up with back story immersion and then the character development / gameplay. Even Lost Odyssey founder (and original creator of the Final Fantasy series) Hironobu Sakaguchi starts his title out with an ‘epic style’ intro to spark character development. With competing games coming out such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, Square Enix really has to bring their A game on this title.
3) It’s been quoted by Nobuaki Komoto that FF XIV will sport No Leveling System. This is either going to be a huge gamble, or a savior, in late-game play. There have been very few Final Fantasy’s that have sported anything other than character – leveling. These include FF Mystic Quest (SNES), FF II (Japanese). It appears that leveling systems in more recent games have been transforming into new, and more complex, systems. These games include FF X (PS2), FF XII (PS2), and FFXIII (PS3), which use a license board based system, integrating a player’s choice on where they want to spend their earned xp. Anyways, we’re all hoping that FFXIV’s system for character development will be great, and just nervous at their approach.
All in all, I’m hopeful that the game will be a success. The graphics and initial implementation under the alpha and beta really need some work. Obviously the release will bolster their computation power and graphics in the game, but I’m really wishing they make the backgrounds rich with color, detail, and make it look realistic. Looking forward to the release, but I might have to regretfully admit that this could be the first Final Fantasy that I do not play. Time will tell.