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Luke
30 May, 2006

Final Fantasy XI Review

360 Review | The four year old game makes it to the Xbox 360.
Final Fantasy XI has a long history, the game originally appeared on the PlayStation 2 in 2002 and required a hard-drive to be played. Shortly thereafter the game came out on the PC, which made it a bit more accessible (especially to PAL Gamers). For the unaware, Final Fantasy XI is a MMORPG and is the first time that the Final Fantasy series is playable only online. The Xbox 360 version includes the original game, as well as the three expansions Rise of Zilart, Chains of Promathia and The Treasures of Aht Urhgan. Is the port an addition to the Xbox 360 library or a rush job?

Before you can get anywhere into the game the first thing you will have to do is set the game up. This probably seems like a given but the initial sign up process is really exhaustive. It's essential to have a USB keyboard because it takes about three hours to sign up to everything completely. The first thing you have to do is install the PlayOnline viewer. The Playonline software contains email and buddy list features, it's ends up just adding to the long sign up process After this is done the game will install data to the hard drive and download the latest updates, which takes a decent amount of time. It's after this is done and you think your about to enter the world of Vana'diel that you'll start to get a little frustrated. You then register your content ID and it's time to create a character.

On Guard!

On Guard!
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The character creation process is actually pretty straightforward, you can choose from five races which include the Hume, Elvaan, Tarutatu, Mithra and the Galka. The main difference between the characters is really just the attributes of the character so it's not really a concern which character you choose. The positive is that no player is going to be disadvantaged by the race they choose at the beginning. After this the game just drops you into a part of Vana'diel. For the first few hours you're likely to be quite lost because the game doesn't really explain too much so you'll need to talk to other players to get to grips with things.

The game begins rather slowly though which could turn a few people off. It's normal for MMORPG's to start off slow but it seems that Final Fantasy XI stays slow for the first 15 hours or so. At the beginning you're very weak and you basically travel around defeating low level monsters in an attempt to level up. It's possible to complete quests at your city as well and these earn a bit of money. The currency in the game can be used to spend at the shops or at the auction houses. The auction houses are player run so there are often some really great items up for auction. However, When you strip the game play bare you're literally just getting richer and becoming more powerful, like most MMORPG's you're only likely to get out what you put in.

Once you've levelled up a bit and you're a little richer it is safe to leave the city. The game places a large emphasis on encouraging players to team up, which can be both a positive and a negative. If you don't team up with other players then you're likely to have a tough time down the line because everything will be far too difficult. Later on in the game you join a linkshell (like a guild) and this allows you to work as a team to survive. This makes the later parts of the game more entertaining.

The dwarves are here to attack!!

The dwarves are here to attack!!
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The Xbox 360 version is played against players who own the PlayStation 2 or the PC version of the game, so you'll be encountering a lot of different people and they could be from basically anywhere in the world. Due to this version arriving so late it is easy to feel like your a couple of years behind everyone else. The reason these people have been playing so long though is because of the lifespan. There is literally so much to do that the more time you put into this game the more you get out of it. The maximum level you can achieve is level 75, but with a variety of different jobs and sub jobs you're not likely to run out of things to do anytime soon.

Most people would be aware by now that this is the only Xbox 360 game without achievements. I've since been informed that Square Enix have stated that they're looking into how to put achievements into the game but the lack of any achievements at all is a serious disappointment. Even if Square Enix just added tasks worth a couple of hundred points they easily could have added to this later on. The achievements could have been the major reason to pick this version up but unfortunately at the time of writing this review there are no achievements at all and it doesn't look like there will be for the forseeable future.

Graphically the game is basically identical to the version we reviewed a few years ago. Back then the graphics may have been rather impressive but they're starting to look quite aged now. The game has been optimised for a high definition set up, but that's as far as the enhancements go. We didn't find the sound to be as memorable as other Final Fantasy titles, but it is all going to come down to personal preference.

Dark and stormy night

Dark and stormy night
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Final Fantasy XI is still going strong after many years. The Xbox 360 version is basically identical to the PlayStation 2 and the PC version released all those years ago. There is nothing overly wrong with the title, except the pacing is so slow and the system isn't very forgiving for new players. If you're willing to put in the time then you're likely to get a good experience out of the game, but if you were that interested in the title it's likely you played it a few years ago. When reviewing a MMORPG there are so many facets of the game that it's impossible to cover all of them, but even when your fifty hours in you're likely to experience something new and that is the appeal of MMORPG's. Final Fantasy XI may have been eclipsed by titles like World of Warcraft but it's still an enjoyable experience, just not as enjoyable as a few years ago.

Thanks to Xamerkapsy for his help with some of the factual information included in this review.
The Score
Final Fantasy's appearance on the Xbox 360 is basically pointless. Unless you're a die hard fan of the title then it's advised you look elsewhere. There's nothing overly wrong with the game - it just hasn't dated well. 6
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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58 Comments
7 years ago
Watch out for Quin with that review Luke!

Fair review, but honestly that game doesn't actually get good until you invest 100+ hours. I personally think it's as good as WoW, because it actually makes you earn things. Wow basically is for casual gamers and FFXI is for the hardcore.

Side note, I thought the music was brillant in that title!
7 years ago
MMORPG's are very difficult to review, of course they're subjective. You can't please everyone, trust me.
7 years ago
I would agree. Investing 100+ hours into a game as a reviewer when you really don't care about the game is a tough ask.

But it is a cash in from Square-Enix and things have been done way better since. The score is justified.
7 years ago
Quote
The land feels sparce and lifeless.
That's not subjective, it's wrong - Sky anyone?

Quote
The sound effects are pretty basic and the game doesn't feature the epic score that we have come to expect from Final Fantasy games.
Eh... Again, this can't be said without hearing the themes for the more obscure, high-level areas which are amazing and fit so well with the mobs and areas to create the perfect atmosphere.

Quote
Just starting the game is a lengthy process and it moves really slow for quite a while. It takes a significant amount of time to achieve just about anything.
Have you played WoW? Levels 1-10 on FFXI can be done in a couple of hours with dedication (not the in-game effect, though that helps), which I'm sure is a lot faster than Warcraft. Also, what is "a significant amount of time"? Some people reached Blue Mage/Corsair/Puppetmaster level 75 within weeks of the game being released (and that's just on my server, one of thirty-odd?).

I totally agree that the 360 version was a cash-in by SE trying to milk the game - the only points I've picked up on are ones that attack the game as a game. 100 hours is nowhere near enough to formulate a proper opinion of the game, especially not with rounded comments like the ones quoted above. I'm currently on 1154 hours gameplay time (and am actually playing right now), and I'm still in awe of what the game has to offer.

Also,

Quote
Later on in the game you join a linkshell (like a guild) and this allows you to perform skill chains and work as a team to survive.
Linkshells don't mean skillchains, a skillchain is a well-timed combination of weapon skills in a party. A linkshell is just a guild, there's no obligation to work as a team to do things - while some may do this, others may just be a way for mates to talk together whilst playing.

If a reader would like a more accurate review of FFXI as a game (though the PC version, which doesn't differ too greatly from the 360 one except for lower graphics), this is a review (as linked to in the article) made by a long-time fan of the Final Fantasy series who I think creates a nice objective review as a comparison to past games of the franchise.

vvv I just don't think it's a fair and accurate review of the game is all. Didn't really mean it to come out as such a rant... icon_smile.gif
7 years ago
That's a bit rough. I think Luke's review is fine from the point of view from a FFXI non-hardcore player. Which is most likely 75% of people.

I have invested a lot of time into that game, but basically gave it up because it was consuming my life! It does take an insane amount of time to do anything.
7 years ago
Luke's review could have been worse.

In fact it was, the first time it went up icon_razz.gif

But this is almost as bad. He is still getting things wrong (Need to join a linkshell to perform skillchains? WTF?) and not actually talking about what the game is like, and neglecting to mention some MAJOR points about the Xbox 360 version (how many times did I mention the screen tearing in my PMs to you, Luke?)

I'm tempted to write a whole review in reply, because this is just crap to be honest.
7 years ago
As i said you simply cant please anyone, some of the places are just dull and not very populated.You must understand that MMORPG's are incredibly difficult to review, it's impossible for me to play the title for 1154 hours. Im obviously not a hardcore FF player.

With MMORPG's no matter which publication the reviewers never please everyone.
7 years ago
Funny, with this very publication, I was pleased with the last review.

Face it mate, you simply don't know jack shit about this game, in your original review that you posted, you said people should buy Oblivion instead.

OBLIVION?!?

It's not even 2 player, let alone Massively Multiplayer.

Your review shows your complete lack of knowledge about the game, and on a website which has a fair few people following this game it may have been a good idea to ask some of us for maybe a worldpass before doing the review, considering it is a community game, playing without a community is a bad idea. (yet another point you failed to note in your review)
7 years ago
Honestly this is the reason why blind fans do not review games for major publications. Giving a game high scores just to appease a few people or to justify your own purchase-bizzare brand loyalty is ludicrous.
Take a look at what other major pub's have been giving this game and you will realise that this review falls in line with what other experienced journo's are saying.
I remember a lot of FF fans getting quite upset over Edge magazines review of final fantasy 10 where the game recieved a 6.
If the game makes you happy then great, more power to you,
however the vast populous is grateful of such publications such as palgn and Edge for giving an unbiased opinion on all upcoming software.
7 years ago
plungmonies wrote
Honestly this is the reason why blind fans do not review games for major publications. Giving a game high scores just to appease a few people or to justify your own purchase-bizzare brand loyalty is ludicrous.
Take a look at what other major pub's have been giving this game and you will realise that this review falls in line with what other experienced journo's are saying.
I remember a lot of FF fans getting quite upset over Edge magazines review of final fantasy 10 where the game recieved a 6.
If the game makes you happy then great, more power to you,
however the vast populous is grateful of such publications such as palgn and Edge for giving an unbiased opinion on all upcoming software.
I think you are missing the point completely.

The game should not have scored 6, I would have given it a 4.5 or a 5.0 at most.

The review itself it filled with things that are blatantly wrong, and completely neglects to mention how the game is played, or the story behind it.

Any kind of detail about the game would be a welcome addition. This review is just poor.
7 years ago
I don't see anything wrong with the review, it gave me an idea of what the game is like. If you've already played the game, why read a review on it? Reviews are really only needed for those who wanna know what a game is like, how it rates technically and what different people thought of it... [/twopenny's]

Justified it at the end of the review i thought:
Quote
When reviewing a MMORPG there are so many facets of the game that it's impossible to cover all of them, but even when your fifty hours in you're likely to experience something new and that is the appeal of MMORPG's. Final Fantasy XI may have been eclipsed by titles like World of Warcraft but it's still an enjoyable experience, just not as enjoyable as a few years ago
Quote
We didn't find the sound to be as memorable as other Final Fantasy titles, but it is all going to come down to personal preference.
7 years ago
I dunno man, giving FFX 6/10 is a bit rubbish. I don't care what you like, that game was awesome.
7 years ago
As i've said and i covereed myself in the review, MMORPG's are difficult to review, check ANY review of FFXI (or other MMORPG's for that matter) and you'll see it's almost impossible to cover everything. I encourage you to find any review on FFXI where there weren't complaints from fans.
7 years ago
Ha, don't stress Luke, FFXI junkies are the most hardcore of the MMORPG world. icon_smile.gif
7 years ago
You guys are all missing the points that GTPod and myself brought up.

This review has false information in it.

Is it that hard to read what I am saying?


Also, the reason I would have liked to see a review on it, even though I own the game, is that I own a PC and an Xbox 360

I wanted to know if it was worthwhile getting the 360 version aswell.

We ended up getting it since we have 2 PC's capable of running the game in the house, and three people who want to play it. So we got the 360 version for the 3rd person.

As it turns out, there are a few issues with it, that this review didn't even notice. How obvious does the problem have to be for you to pick it up, and maybe make a slight mention of it?
7 years ago
Xamerkapsy wrote
Funny, with this very publication, I was pleased with the last review.
Is that possibly because I was the one who wrote it? I was still a noob at the time, just look at the screenshots.

It's a perfect example of how people's opinions will differ over something like an MMO.

However, the following two points are also true:

- The 360 version is a port, that's gonna piss a lot of people off

- The FFXI community loves either laughing or having a go at bad information in reviews/other media.
7 years ago
yes ff nuts are the most anal about their beloved game....and thats fine. But criticizing a reviewer who has an abundant number of games to review at any one time and has to give all games equal treatment is just plain childish.
If you love your game then thats great, play, enjoy.
7 years ago
Quinsisdos wrote
Xamerkapsy wrote
Funny, with this very publication, I was pleased with the last review.
Is that possibly because I was the one who wrote it? I was still a noob at the time, just look at the screenshots.

It's a perfect example of how people's opinions will differ over something like an MMO.

However, the following two points are also true:

- The 360 version is a port, that's gonna piss a lot of people off

- The FFXI community loves either laughing or having a go at bad information in reviews/other media.
How many times do I have to say it though?

This review has incorrect information in it...it lies essentially. How hard is it to go through and correct that at the very least?

This is also AFTER he had a large number of falsities corrected.

The review doesn't even bother to suggest picking up the (now very cheap) PC version over this if you are interested in the game.

This is why the review is poor.

Why can't anyone read my damned posts for once and see what I am saying?

plungmonies wrote
But criticizing a reviewer who has an abundant number of games to review at any one time and has to give all games equal treatment is just plain childish.
If you love your game then thats great, play, enjoy.
If you don't have time to make a proper effort, don't bother at all. They simply could have not reviewed the game and saved a lot of time.
7 years ago
Luke is reviewing for the casual gamer.

The casual gamer isn't going to put 1000+ hours into a MMORPG unless they are big fans like you, Quin and GTPod.

I played FFXI for a bit and I agree with this review that it's a game that requires a lot of dedication to reach the pay off and to me atleast it wasn't worth the time.

I understand your point, things got better when things grew on, however as I said unless your a fan then you arn't going to spend 1000 hours into the game.

Nice review Luke, and you sure created a stir. icon_razz.gif
7 years ago
FF Nut wrote-

Quote
The review doesn't even bother to suggest picking up the (now very cheap) PC version over this if you are interested in the game.
Why should he?You puzzle me?You seem to want to get angry, your clutching at straws buddy.

Basically, your foundation for making out that the review is poor and riddled with lies and such is because Luke gave his opinion.Luke thought the levels were sparce, Luke thought the music was a bit lacking, but you know what, that his prerogative, he is the reviewer, and reviews need to be made up of opinions and facts, opinions are subjective, while one person may find the visuals in a game lacking, others can see beyond mere polygon counts and see art(ico or some such game comes to mind).

No one is forcing you to agree, i've disgareed with a fair few reviews in my life but Luke done his job, he reviewed the game and gave his opinion.If you want to read a review from the viewpoint of a ff nut who will half 2-3 pages simply revolving around how the levinging system works in conjunction with spell tags and guild masters and link chains and spell combos and fantasy dragons and exp points and all that other hardcore doesn't-mean-shit-to-99%-of-us, then by all means, please, go read it.

But for the rest of us 'normies', a review written by one of us(who's first words uttered as a child werent cloud strife) is a welcome change.

You don't have to agree, but you don't have to be an assh0le either.
7 years ago
Xamerkapsy wrote
If you don't have time to make a proper effort, don't bother at all. They simply could have not reviewed the game and saved a lot of time.
If you don't like it, why go through all the trouble of critizing and arguing about it?

Everyone can plainly see your post, but your being to harsh IMO. If someone wrote a bad review on some Anime that i like (we'll use Eva as an example, plenty of people hate Eva >_>), you don't/wouldn't see me insanely typing for that person to stfu and stay out of Anime because he said the Angels were aliens bent on world domination or something...

[EDIT]Is it just me? My idea of a game review is that it's an account of one persons (or a compilation of different peoples) experience of a game critically in a way that the reader can get an idea of what said game is about. IMO a review has to be somewhat personal, because its the experience of a game that matters... unless your planning to play a game and make money from it...>____>

[EDIT2]Seeing as i might contradict myself by seemingly arguing as well... i'll just shutup now >____>
7 years ago
^^ It's not about that, Jibbs. A review which says you need a Linkshell to perform skillchains is not one people should be reading. Such absolute rubbish information is just a reflection of how half-assed the game must've been played. It depends on the players, but I'd assume Luke didn't even join a party in this time, as the other members are quite likely to have wanted to set up a skillchain, especially around level 20.

Rounded statements like the music is poor and the areas are sparce should not be made with such low gameplay time. I agree that it must be hard to review an MMORPG, and have experience how the more you put in the more you get out, but with such a short play time, these kinds of generalised statements should not be made.

EDIT: Deus, we don't want to rip into the article and writer and just plainly insult either. We just don't want readers (possibly more specifically fans of the FF series) to read this article for all the reasons mentioned throughout the topic.
7 years ago
I'll bet Luke won't be putting his hand up for the next FF game icon_wink.gif

Seriously though the "incorrect information" you guys have quoted is still mostly subjective (with the exception of that linkshell stuff - which is now fixed).

FFXI obviously appeals to a select range of people. Luke clearly isn't one of those people. It doesn't mean a) he shouldn't write a review on the game b) he should score it highly because it does appeal to some people and c) that you guys should continue to criticise the review because it doesn't agree with your experience of the game.
7 years ago
Yeah, but again it comes down to that hardcore thing pod.I, like many many others here and around the globe are not ff nuts.I read the review to see how it plays, what the graphics are like, what the sound is like, game length and what other things need mentioning.

I do not need to whether or not a linkshell is needed to perform a skill chain?I just typed that whole sentence and i still don't understand half of what i typed.

Does the avg agmer need to know about skillchains and linkchain combos and shell links and that sorta thing>?No, only the ff nut would need too, and any self-respecting ff nut would obviously need to take a review written by a self proclaimed 'newb' to ff games with a grain of salt, and get the proper fanboy review, which is tailored to meet their very specific tastes, off a site which has it's servers clocks set to Zanarkand time.

I'm sure i'd get annoyed if i saw a review of advance wars saying the best way to take down a bomber is with a battle copter(copters can't attack high altitude aircraft) but i wouldn't explode either.I may correct the fellow in a calm way, but i would not acuse him/her of putting up a poor review full of lies and is just 'crap'.

No need for that.
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