It’s only days away. I’ve already pre-purchased and installed the game, scoured the internet for information about what class I’m going to play, and studied up on the crafting system, gathering, fishing, and battles to the point that I’m just frothing at the mouth to start up my first few minutes. I even set my PS3 background theme to this awesome FFXIV image. Sigh.
I’m at that point where I’m so excited about this game that all the other games I usually love just seem dull. Instead of color they’re all in black and white. I’m inattentive at work (a problem as I have a huge project due this weekend), bored during my off hours, annoying to all my friends and family.
I really need to get a grip.
So while I wait to dive into the world of Eorzea I thought I would write up a few thoughts on exactly why this game has got me so worked up. So here it is:
Five Reasons FFXIV Is The Most Exciting Game of 2013 (for me anyway)
1. Console JRPG Action Meets The Online Community. Ok, I know that other games have sorta done this. FFXI on the ps2 and 360 for example. But FFXIV is the first of its kind when you consider this kind of gameplay on this kind of system. If you have played Demon Souls or Dark Souls you are somewhat familiar with what I am getting at here. Something amazing happens when you integrate awesome RPG mechanics with the online community. Friends are made, online relationships develop and the gaming experience is simply taken to the next level. But here’s why this is so absolutely cool: This is the first game that has fully integrated RPG mechanics, the online community and the latest technology in online communication and design with a CONSOLE. Pretty much anyway. I know Diablo III is already out there, but we’re talking a full on Final Fantasy World here folks. Very very cool.
2. The Design SCREAMS Final Fantasy. Anyone who is familiar with the long standing final fantasy series will immediately recognize all their favorite faces. From Moogle’s to Chocobo’s to Black Mages casting Meteor, all of my favorite FF ideas are here in full HD force. But it’s not just the characters, it’s the actual world: the way the equipment looks, the way the races are designed, the way quests look and the overhead map work. It’s like a wonderful hybrid of all the Final Fantasy “feelings” I’ve been enjoying for almost 20 years. All integrated into a game I can enjoy with my closest friends who live hundreds of miles away. Magitec Armor anyone?
3. Jobs, Jobs and more Jobs. The two most important things that the Final Fantasy series introduced to the JRPG were the ATB system, and the idea of Job Classes. (Not saying they invented job classes people, so don’t hate. I’m just pointing out that historically job classes have played a huge role in almost all the FF games.) Both of these ideas are present in FFXIV, but it’s the Job Classes that get me so pumped. The ability to choose a job and develop a whole “character feel” around that job is always something I love in a FF game. And the job system works wonderfully with the traditional DPS, Tank, Healer found traditionally in MMO’s. (Although word on the street is that soloing is much easier in XIV than it was in XI.) Partying in a FF game just makes sense. In fact, going all the way back to the very original Final Fantasy, it was this sense of job classes and balance in your team that made the game so interesting. (Trust me, it wasn’t the graphics). Granted you only have one character instead of a whole team to deck out, but still, I think that an MMO is the perfect vehicle for what Square Enix has created in the FF games.
4. Season of Life. This might sound weird, but for me, in the season of life I am in, this is the perfect kind of game. I can’t tell you how many nights I spend gaming, feeling bored and wishing I had someone to play with. I’m like a kid who goes out to the soccer field and tries to kick a ball around by himself, silently wishing someone else was there to kick it back. It’s the only reason I play COD, frankly. To play games with other people. And for those of you that have never tried an MMO, you should know that the stereotypes of “lonely nerds hiding in the basement” couldn’t be further from the truth. (Ok fine, I’m sure there are some lonely nerds playing MMO’s in a basement somewhere, I mean it’s a big world out there so it’s bound to happen.) In the short time I played FFXI I discovered two things: that the online community was incredibly kind and generous, and that they are interesting and intelligent human beings that are a pleasure to hang with. Also, you might not have thought about this much, but they probably have the same interests as you. After all, they’re in Eorzea too right?! Ultimately, I’m just saying that this kind of game is perfect for my season of life.
5. I Don’t Want to Play a Game, I Want to Enter A World. I play so many games filled with health points, levels, missions, stories, amnesia, bosses and equipment that some days my head just spins. But when I think of why I want to play FFXIV, I realize it’s not to gain a zillion levels and beat some final dragonboss (although that does sound pretty sweet), I’m rather excited about just grabbing a sword and going to BE somewhere. This might seem trite to you, but honestly, I’m exhausted with gaming. I don’t want to beat another game. I want to go be in a game and hang out and meet people. I want to fish and gather and wander aimlessly around and discover all that the world has to offer. Sounds relaxing right?
I’m pretty stoked for FFXIV as you can probably tell. It’s only the second MMO I have ever gotten into, but I am really looking forward to the experience. I hope that this can be a new chapter in gaming for me, and in only a few short days I will find out for sure.
I can’t wait! Here’s the opening trailer one more time to tide you over:) Game On!