The Smallest Co-op Feature Made These RPGs Amazing

Co-op RPGs

The Smallest Co-op Feature

There aren’t a lot of co-op RPGs out there. I’m not talking about hack-and-slash RPGs or (God forbid) MMOs. I’m talking about games like the old Final Fantasy series—character-driven, turn-based JRPG-style games. But there are two games that will forever spring to mind for me when the subject of co-op RPGs is brought up.

Eternal Sonata and Final Fantasy IX.

Eternal Sonata Co-op RPG
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tadeuviniciusgames/5800392578/

You’ve likely heard of the latter, but Eternal Sonata flew under the radar. Probably for good reason. I mean, the whole thing took place in Chopin’s anime Lolita fantasy fever dream. Yes, that Chopin. And no, I’m not kidding.

For what it was worth, the battle system was intriguing. It was still turn-based, but during the player’s turn, they could control a character and run around the battlefield freely, attacking and casting spells in live action—for a couple seconds, and then it would be the enemy’s turn to run around and attack.

At first glance, Eternal Sonata and Final Fantasy IX might look very different (you know, other than the big heads and insane character designs). But there was one tiny feature that connected them.

The ability to choose a controller for each character.

That one feature turned these typically single-player games into incredible co-op RPG experiences—at least for my friends and me.

Eternal Sonata Co-op RPG Battle
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/unscripted360/968966575/

You could have a separate controller for each of a battle’s three player characters in Eternal Sonata. Yes, you’d still have one player controlling all the running around the world and buying items, but there was enough battle to make everyone sitting down for the whole game worthwhile. And given how batshit loco Eternal Sonata was, you pretty much have to be pulling a Mystery Science Theater on the cutscenes to be able to stomach it. And the best way to do that is through co-op play, so every player is invested in the characters they control.

I didn’t discover that Final Fantasy IX shared the same feature until later.  I already loved the game. But one summer, my roommate and I popped the FFIX PS1 disc into my backwards-compatible PS3. We split the characters between the two of us, and had an absolute blast playing through it.

Solitary experience

RPGs are usually a solitary experience. You absorb the story, fall in love with the characters, and feel a personal connection to the game world. They’re more like books than movies. But playing through Eternal Sonata and FFIX co-op, even if it was just the battles, was a gaming experience I’ll never forget.

FFIX Co-Oop
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alduinx/16558079596/

And it all had to do with one simple feature: allowing you to switch controller inputs for different characters.

Sure, if you wanted, you could pass the controller around. But it’s not the same, is it? It’s not co-op—it’s taking turns in the driver’s seat.

Turn-based RPGs make the feature easy to implement. After all, you’re not actively controlling multiple characters at a time. There is little difference to the game system to have the controller inputs switch for different characters. Especially when you can only control one character at a time anyway.

Indie developers and JRPG remaster…ers take note: adding that tiny feature to turn a single-player RPG into a co-op one makes a big difference to anyone who still enjoys a good couch co-op experience.

5 RPGs That We All Forgot But Are Still Awesome

Final Fantasy XII

RPGs

2016 has been a great year for Role-Playing Games (RPGs) and just to name a few, we have XCOM 2, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, and Final Fantasy XV. Also, a tormenting torture device called Dark Souls III came out last 2016. While these games have their own share of glory and fame, some wonderful RPGs were forgotten in the box down in our basements. To give you a drop of that nostalgia potion, here are 5 RPGs that we all forgot but are still awesome.

Vagrant Story (also known as “The Phantom Pain”)

RPGs Gem: Vagrant Story
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Once upon a time, in the year 2000, the developers of Final Fantasy (Square Co., Ltd. which is now known as Square Enix after merging with Enix) decided to make a game with a lot of puzzles, a unique battle system, and a weapon and crafting system that is comparable to a lot of modern games like Fallout 3 and the Elder Scrolls Series. That game was Vagrant Story. Also known as “The Phantom Pain”, Vagrant story is an action role-playing game that has elements of a dungeon crawler game, a hack and slash game, and a rhythm game.

The game received high ratings from various video game critics. Knowing Final Fantasy developers, they sure hid a lot of gems in the game for you to discover. Go add Vagrant Story in your list of “to-play” games and enjoy the world of Valendia.

Valkyrie Profile Series

RPGs Gem: Valkyrie Profile
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Valkyrie Profile is a series of RPGs based on the Norse mythology and follows the story of three Goddesses of Fate namely – Silmeria, Lenneth, and Hrist – as they (well, mostly Lenneth) venture into the world of mortals, in the realm of Midgard, in order to gather brave human souls to serve as ‘einherjar’ or warriors for the coming Ragnarok, the final battle which decides the fate of all creation.

The game has a unique battle mechanics wherein, you link or assign the characters to the buttons on the controller and when pressed, the respective character linked to that button performs an action. It’s a mechanic worth experiencing and the story is fine, especially it covers human behavior and honor. If you want to play this forgotten gem, it’s available on the PlayStation Portable. Enjoy and defeat those enemies, Nibelung Valesti!

Final Fantasy Tactics (Original and the “War of the Lions” version)

RPGs Gem: Final Fantasy Tactics
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Who doesn’t love Final Fantasy Tactics? Well, that is probably because you haven’t played it yet, young squire. This entry in the Final Fantasy franchise was made last 1997 and was re-released for the PSP in 2007 as “Final Fantasy Tactics: The war of the Lions”. Which added new movies, scenarios, jobs, and a lot of words that made me grab a dictionary. You can’t miss a single point in the wonderful story of greed, revenge, corruption, friendship, and betrayal that gave life to the world of Ivalice.

Oh and, various characters from the ‘main’ Final Fantasy franchise also appeared in FFT. Having trouble where to get it? Well, worry no more. The game was made available on the smartphone last 2011. Go on and visit your app store and grab a copy of this critically acclaimed entry in the Final Fantasy universe.

Breath of Fire III

RPGs Gem: Breath of Fire
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First off, I’ve also played Breath of Fire IV but I never finished it…and I apologize for that, my dear BOF IV fans out there. That being said, I chose Breath of Fire III, the first three-dimensional entry in the series. It offers a lot of mechanics that will make you play for hours and hours. Collecting all of Ryu’s Dragon Genes, fishing, and learning all the skills, are just some of the things that will make you come back and play some more. Battles occur quite similarly to another RPG – ehem, Final Fantasy – which is random. I won’t spoil the story, because there are a lot of plot twists in this game accompanied by a very gorgeous soundtrack. Plus, the diverse characters that will make you properly plan the composition of your party in order to defeat the myriad of enemies that will cross your path.

The game was re-released for the PlayStation Portable for you, guys, to pick up and enjoy.

Xenogears

RPGs Gem: The Xenogears Title Screen
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Have you ever heard of that game that has a long-haired main character? The one that fights with his fists and has a giant Gundam-like robot? Well, that is Fei Fong Wong. He is the protagonist of the gem that I think is lost in the back of the minds of most people, Xenogears. This game tackles a lot of social issues that makes it more appealing to more matured audiences. Issues include slavery, war, prejudice, and corruption. A lot of critics hailed Xenogears for its somewhat controversial take on religion, humanism, and psychology.

The gameplay involves the use of Action Points or AP in order to execute combos. The Triangle, Square, and X buttons on the controller are used to perform those combos. Then, there are gears. These are combat robots, fighting machines that bear a similar fighting style as the owner or pilot. For example, one character in the game, Bart, uses a whip when outside his whip-wielding Gear. Xenogears has anime-style cutscenes which are backed by gorgeous soundtracks composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, the composer for Chrono Trigger, Xenosaga, Soul Sacrifice Delta, and a lot more.

You can get it from the PlayStation Network and enjoy the brain-teasing world of Xenogears.

I hope you enjoyed my list of some of the top RPGs of the previous generations that seem to have been forgotten. If you are looking for games to play while waiting for that next-level role-playing game coming out in just a few months, you can try the games above. You will not regret it.

How about you? If you know any role-playing games, that made you feel like you live in another world, that seem to have been forgotten now? Let us know in the comments down below and happy gaming!

NES Classic Edition Announced By Nintendo

While we’ll be left waiting for the Codename NX until early 2017, Nintendo has a much more old-school system in the works for this year’s holiday season.  The NES Classic Edition was announced via the official Nintendo Twitter feed and will come preloaded with 30 beloved games of the 8-bit era.  The system has been shown on all of Nintendo’s official Twitter feeds, such as their Spanish, French, and Russian accounts, suggesting a global release.

While the new system is designed after the original Nintendo Entertainment System, it will not actually be able to play old NES cartridges.  Instead, the machine will have a selection of games preloaded onto it that can be readily played after plugging it in.  Many of the games included will be classic first-party games including the Super Mario trilogy, the first two Legend of Zelda games, Metroid, Excitebike, and StarTropics.

It will also feature a variety of third-party titles, including Pac-Man, Mega Man 2, Final Fantasy, Double Dragon II, the first two Castlevania games, and Tecmo Bowl.  You can check out the full list of games here.  The system isn’t designed for internet access or external media, so these 30 will be the only games you’ll be able to play with the system.

There have been plenty of preloaded consoles in the past, some with dubious legality, but rarely has a major developer like Nintendo delved into such a concept.  SNK Playmore released a handheld version of their Neo Geo console called the Neo Geo X in 2012, but infamously ran into trouble with their manufacturer.  While the Classic Mini seems like an easy ticket for printing money, but there is a fair share of potential mishaps that could harm it.  Given Nintendo’s recent problems with supplying hardware like amiibos and the Gamecube controller adapter, there’s a chance that Nintendo may see this as nothing more than a collector’s item and understock it.

The NES Classic Edition is set to release on November 11th later this year for $60.  It will include one NES Controller and will be compatible with the Wii Classic Controller and Wii Classic Controller Pro.  Will you be picking one up yourself?  What NES titles do you wish had been included?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

The Problem With Final Fantasy X’s Story

Growing up my favourite Final Fantasy game was always Final Fantasy X (FFX). To this day it is the only Final Fantasy game that I have ever managed to truly get into. In my opinion it is not a story about the fight to rid the land of a great monster but the examination of how people react differently to loss.

Tidus and Jecht both accpet the loss of their homes and choose to do what they believe is right, regardless of the consequences to themselves. Seymour, unable to accept the pain brought on by loss instead decides to lash out, in a twisted attempt to end all lost, and Yu Yevon tries to avoid loss all together. It is the third philosophy that the society of Spira is based on (unbeknownst to most of its citizens).

But what does this have to do with my title? It seems strange to declare that there is a problem with a story and then spend two paragraphs praising it. The problem with FFX’s story, in my opinion comes from the society of Spira and how it is presented in FFX. During the course of FFX’s story it becomes apparent the religious structure that governs the country is corrupt and crumbling. Operation Mi’ihen is a sign of this, with methods being used that were in open defiance of religious law. Events that take place later in the game would indicate that this event is symptomatic of a wider discontent among the people but this discontent is never shown. When Yevon (the religion of Spira)is brought up by anyone who isn’t a main character in the game it is to show how devoted the people of Spira are to that religion.

During Yuna’s pilgrimage she comes in to contact with many of the people of Spira, almost all of them express faith in her mission. Anyone who speaks up against Yevon belongs to the Al-Bhed, a group long held as outsiders by the people of Yevon. After operation Mi’ihen Yuna does not come across anyone who questions the tenants of Yevon and those who took part in operation Mi’ihen speak of seeking redemption.

By omitting such people from the story FFX commits the cardinal storytelling of show don’t tell. We are told that the leaders of Spira are desperate to gain favour with the people but we never see any evidence of their control slipping beyond one event, and that event is never built upon. We see the actions of a religious organisation which is desperate to wipe out its enemies but we never see those enemies.

This problem is present when the extent of the corruption within Yevon is revealed. At this point it is close to the end of the story and we do not see the characters interact much with anyone else. We never get to see what the position of Yevon in Spira truly is, either in build up to key revelations or in the fallout of those revelations. Despite this story involving the fate of a whole country and a society that has held place for 1000 years FFX feels far too insular in scope.

Despite all of the things that it does right FFX feels like a story that is missing a few key beats. The scenes in Bevelle should be major story notes but they aren’t given the weight they deserve because they do not have a strong foundation to build on. This is due to the story not connecting with the land that it is trying to depict as well as it could, despite the setting of a pilgrimage being an ideal way to tell such a story. I still think FFX tells a good story, but I also think that it could have been told better.

Top 7 HD Remasters I Need In My Life

This generation of consoles seems to be all about the remasters. Every week you go to your favourite gaming blog and find that yet another game has been remastered for release on the new consoles. It is the biggest trend in gaming right now and it seems like it will not slow until every last title can be scraped from the bottom of the barrel.

Not all remasters or remakes are bad. On the contrary, many are excellent and the very idea of a remaster means that potential fans get to try something they would’ve otherwise missed. Furthermore, those who really adored the game(s) can trek back into the world once more with a nice coat of paint and occasionally some new features.

All of this remake talk we see made me ponder what I’d personally love to see remade or remastered. After much thought and a ton of procrastination, this is what I came up with.

twilight princess
VII – The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

When Wind Waker was announced to be remastered for the Wii-U, many people wondered if we’d receive Twilight Princess at a later date. Twilight Princess was an incredible Zelda experience chock full of memorable moments, locales, and dungeons to explore. If any Zelda game deserves a remaster it is Twilight Princess.

What is surprising about the game is that despite not having vibrant, cartoony cel-shaded art like Wind Waker, it still manages to hold up as an astoundingly beautiful game. Varied environments, lovely and dark characters, and a slew of bizarre enemies to duel means that you’re missing out on seeing the game at it’s maximum potential.

Come on Nintendo. Your console is starving for games, and it’d be a great way to build hype for the next true Zelda game.

Jade-Empire-2

VI – Jade Empire

It is very disheartening to know that many people are unaware that Bioware crafted such a beautiful and memorable experience on the original Xbox. Jade Empire had all the elements that make up a Bioware RPG. Great characters, terrific dialogue with freedom of choice, a morality system, interesting combat, an engaging and well-realised world to explore with many quests to embark on.

It would be truly wonderful to see this fantastic gem re-released and enhanced for those of you who missed out.

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V – Final Fantasy XII

When Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy X got remastered,  all I did was scream to my friends about how one of my favourite RPGs, Final Fantasy XII, should come next.

With the north american release not receiving the Zodiac job system or the extra bosses, it would be a nice way for Square-Enix to give back to the fans that have supported the series for years. I loved the extra content in the Kingdom Hearts releases, and the new bosses in Final Fantasy X were great for someone who always wanted to give them a try.

You can do it with one of your most underrated titles Square. Please.

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IV  – Pikmin

With the Pikmin games being expensive and rare, it is probably no surprise that people missed them when they first came out. They were bizarre little games that many probably ignored, and that is very sad as they are uniquely engaging games that deserve to see the light of day once more.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a collection of all three Pikmin games on the Wii U, each utilizing the Gamepad like Pikmin 3 did? Maybe a nice art-book and a limited Captain Olimar Amiibo that functioned with not only the third game, but the first two as well.

There are a lot of possibilities for this series to once again come into the limelight, and I’m not against any of these ideas.

Xenoblade-Chronicles-Eyrth-Sea-Screenshot

III – Operation Rainfall

The Last Story, Xenoblade Chronicles, Pandora’s Tower. What do all three of these games have in common? They’re annoyingly difficult to find, they’ve had a price hike which makes them a difficult purchase, and they’re not on the Wii U.

Each of these games alone were worth all the work the fans put into Operation Rainfall, and each game deserves some polishing and a re-release for those that inevitably missed them the first time.

With Xenoblade Chronicles X coming out soon and many fans craving traditional JRPGs. now is a great time Nintendo!

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II – Persona

Persona 5 is coming. You’re excited, I’m excited, we’re all excited. What isn’t coming and what never came was Persona 4 Golden on the PS3 or PS4. Why is this Atlus? Why only the Vita?

Regardless of the answer, I will forever dream of seeing the entire Persona series on a single Blu-ray disc with a shiny metal case and some nice goodies that reference the game à la Catherine’s ‘Love Is Over’ collector’s set.

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I – .Hack

If you go to Ebay or Amazon and type in ‘.Hack’ you’re likely to see a game with a funky name that is priced at approximately 150-300 dollars. This is because .Hack is an extremely rare series and each game, while varied in price, got hiked to an almost unbelievable degree.

These games gave me endless hours of pure enjoyment with their wonderful recreation of an MMO, their gorgeous soundtracks, their interesting characters, their unique and surprise-laden story.

It’s really upsetting because the only way you’ll ever play these games is if you drop that kind of money, know a person who owns them, or do something illegal to obtain them. It’s sad because although flawed, they are terrific games that should not sit on only a few shelves.

More than anything on this list, I’d love to see all seven games in the series put onto a singular disc, soundtracks included. The goodies could be anything from Chim-Chim plushies to a Statue of Haseo. Regardless of what, this would be an amazing collection for the fans that want it and the people who missed out.

Isn’t that what Remasters are about at their core?

Final Fantasy Type-0 Release Date and System Requirements Revealed

Originally from the PSP, which then came to the PS4, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is due to make its debut to PC on August 18

Square Enix – the developer behind the Final Fantasy franchise – has stated that the version that will come on Steam platform will “bring a selection of updated features including an improved in-game battle camera, full Steam achievements and trading cards, scalable motion blur settings and a customizable dynamic screen shot mode.”It will also feature some better resolution features for the PCs that can handle it.

Also, Valve and Square Enix have confirmed that the people who bought the pre-order for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on Steam will receive “the Master Chocobo as your courier” and you can have ward in DOTA2 of Moogle (Class Zero).

Here are the Specs:

Minimum System Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 64bit
Processor: CPU Core i3 2.5GHz
Memory: RAM 4GB
Disk Space: HDD/SSD 30GB
Video: GTX560Ti or AMD Radeon 7790 mp4 [H.264]
Sound: DirectX XAudio2API
DirectX: 11 and over

Recommended System Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 64bit
Processor: CPU Core i5 2.7GHz
Memory: RAM 6GB
Disk Space: HDD/SSD 30GB
Video: GTX750 mp4 [H.264]
Sound: DirectX XAudio2API
DirectX: 11 and over

For more on Final Fantasy related, stay tuned to VGamerZ.

Alexander Has Risen – Guide to Gearing For and Benefiting From FFXIV’s New Raid

FFXIV’s

Over the past few weeks, Final Fantasy XIV’s (FFXIV’s) design team has done a great job pacing the content from the release of the Heavensward expansion in order to give the majority of the player base time to level from 50 to 60 and gather enough Tomestones of Law to purchase the next tear of gear that will serve as the stepping stone into endgame content.

The tomestones are gained from completing dungeons via daily roulettes, or simply running through the three new level 60 dungeons  (each yields 80 tomestones before the new player bonus of an additional 60), and from killing hunt monsters. These tomestones are required to purchase the new Doman gear at item level 170.

Additionally, the hunt targets and daily/weekly allotment of hunt bills from the Clan Hunt Board in Foundation will also grant Centurio Seals which are used to purchase what seems like insignificant Doman materials in the Forgotten Knight pub. These materials are important, however, as they are also used as currency to purchase the item level 180 version upgrade of the i170 Doman gear, weapon included.

The Doman Whetstone, which costs 395 Centurio Seals, will upgrade your weapon. The Doman Urushi will cost you 300 seals and is used to purchase the upgraded armor pieces (excluding a belt), while the Raw Doman Urushi only costs 150 seals and will allow for the purchase of i180 accessories (and a belt).

There are also two Extreme modes for each of the primal fights, Bismarck and Ravana, which will drop weapons, or provide tokens for the purchase of weapons, that are higher item level than the base Doman weapon at i170. Bismarck’s weapons are i175 while Ravana’s are i190 (making them best in slot going into the Alexander raid.)

As of this morning, FFXIV’s patch 3.0.1 is live, which means that groups have undoubtedly already bested the four levels of Alexander’s Story Mode version, and can confirm the precious loot table information we’re all looking for.

First off, the raid can be unlocked by speaking to Slowfix at Idyllshire (X:7, Y:6) and completing the resulting questline, but it requires a minimum item level of 170 to enter.

Each floor in this raid has a chance to drop a token (Tarnished Gordian Lens, Shaft, Crank, Chain, Spring, Pedal, or Bolt) which correspond with a body part (Head, Body, Arms, Belt, Legs, Feet, or Accessories). Each piece of gear requires a certain number of tokens for purchase (4 for Body and Legs, 2 for Head, Arms, and Feet, and 1 for Belt and Accessories), but each floor has its own respective lockout for tokens lotted on by either Need or Greed limiting you to only one piece per floor, and each floor only drops specific tokens. It should also be noted that completing the raid nets you a Bolt for free, but we won’t know until next week if that is a weekly bonus or not.

Floor 1 drops a Pedal (Feet), Chain (Waist/Belt), and a Bolt (Accessory). Floor 2 drops a Lens (Head), Pedal, and Bolt. Floor 3 a Spring (Legs), Lens, and Crank (Hands). Floor 4 a Shaft (Chest), Spring, and Crank.

*Credit goes to reddit user /u/thendcomes for breaking things down into a nice, neat table.

This loot system is similar to the gear lockouts of the Crystal Tower series of 24-man raids, and it seems to be possible to obtain multiple accessories per week, or one of either the Feet, Hands, Legs, or Head pieces. However, be prepared to wait about a month if you want the chest piece, but by that point we’ll have Esoteric Gear, which is speculated to be the new Artifact Armor shown in the trailers, to supplement our Prototype Gordian Gear. However, for now, the Gordian Gear will be best in slot at i190. The raid does not, however, drop any weapons so for now Thok Ast Thok (Extreme) – Ravana EX – is your best bet for the best weapon available for your job.

The consensus at this point is that Alexander Story Mode is slightly more difficult, and requires more cooperation, than the Crystal Tower raids at their respective launches, but is not quite as difficult as the early turns of the Binding Coil of Bahamut with the Echo stat boost. This means that even those players without a dedicated static raid group can complete the content with a bit of in-game communication, and still benefit by purchasing the new, pretty sweet looking, gear with their allotted tokens.

ff alexander guide1

This pacing should give you a nice chance to get some tokens for new gear this week and maybe work on leveling up an alt or two, so enjoy the rest while you prepare for Alexander Savage in a couple of weeks.

Any though on FFXIV’s? Use the comment box below.

Why is Final Fantasy XIV so good?

Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV

With the extremely successful launch of its first expansion, Heavensward, in the rear view mirror, Final Fantasy XIV has become one of the fastest growing MMO subscriber bases in the current era of MMO’s today. Square Enix proudly announced that they have surpassed two million active subscriptions and are likely well on their way to three, an impressive accomplishment considering the relatively short length of time that the game has been active in comparison with the powerhouse that is World of Warcraft and other competitors. The most impressive feat that this game has accomplished, however, is maintaining these subscriptions as well as growing in popularity considering the complete overhaul of the game’s systems and content making it the great game that is is today.

Disclaimer: This is less of a review and more of my fanboy gushing about how much I love this game. It is also a list of reasons why you should play it too.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was, at one time, simply named Final Fantasy XIV Online. After the huge success of its predecessor, Final Fantasy XI, began to recede, Square Enix made the decision to boot up another MMO in an attempt to revitalize their player base (with some focus on their pocket books as well). The games, ironically, were actually very similar. The five races in XI are nearly identical to the races in XIV with only a few aesthetic differences and, for the races which were gender specific (the cat-like Mithra who could be only female and the gorilla-esque Galka who could be only male) there are male/female options for their counterparts.

FFXI:

Final Fantasy XIV

FFXIV:

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Additionally, the base classes and their advanced jobs are all nods to previous games in the Final Fantasy franchise likely to appeal to long-term fans of the series. The game was clearly aimed at returning players more than new players, and that is even clearer when interacting with the community, as the majority of XIV players came from XI after it started to fall apart.

The original iteration of FFXIV disappointed players with weak color schemes, poor area and class designs, and a clunky, menu-heavy user interface. The game failed so hard in its onset that Square Enix issued a formal apology and made the game free to play for all of their loyal subscribers until they fixed the issues. They scrapped the entire development team and brought in Naoki Yoshida and his team to save the day. So the question now posed is: How is this game so successful after being so very bad to begin with?

Story

Final Fantasy XIV follows the typical quest/sidequest model just like almost every other MMO ever, but what they do absolutely right is lace the questing into a Main Story Questline that follows the current events of the realm. The story begins after the great Calamity wrought by the primal Bahamut. In the opening cinematic illustration, the beast breaks free of his bonds and completely obliterates everything in his path. However, the brave Warriors of Light are whisked away to safety only to return shortly thereafter to an Eorzea filled with sunny happiness and butterflies. This event is the reason the game’s lore can explain why everything looks different, but it also keeps up with the main theme so that the transition for new players is perfectly seamless. Through a number of patches, the story has received add-ons that continued the main quest line, brought in a number of new characters to interact with, and set forth events that impacted the world in a wonderfully immersive fashion. The story has twists and turns, espionage and betrayal, and epic cinematic, voice-acted cutscenes that will drop your jaw while you sit at your computer or television screen as if you were watching a feature film. The writing is top-notch and the voice acting is very well done, making each character unique and bumping the story to another level.

Gameplay

The gameplay is very well balanced for the typical action bar/hotkey type of MMO playstyle. Each of the classes can hold its own in its respective class, whether you’re playing a tank, healer, or damage dealer. The dev team is constantly studying and tweaking each job to make sure that the player has the ability to choose which style they would like to play instead of simply choosing the class based on its pure damage per second output because that is what the raid leader demands. The expansion only amplified this attention to detail with the addition of five new abilities per job that compliment (and sometimes changed) each playstyle, as well as the creation of three entirely new jobs to fit into each of the roles, a greatsword wielding Dark Knight tank, a trigger happy Machinist damage dealer, and a tarot card flipping Astrologian healer. While there are some jobs that perform better than others in certain situations, there is no need for players to be forced into playing something they don’t like just to clear content. Additionally, there are certain rewards and bonuses in place for veteran players to play older content so that new players are not stranded when they start fresh. The best part is that these players do not have to seek out the content, instead a roulette-style party finder groups players together and rewards each group member after successful completion of the task. This keeps older content relevant and, since the rewards benefit the endgame players with endgame currency and items, everyone wins.

Also, while I tend to shy away from crafting, the crafting system in this game is second to none. While most crafting in many MMO’s involves simply clicking two or more materials to create something new. In FFXIV, each crafter has a list of abilities that can be utilized to buff the chance to get a high quality item or the speed with which the item is crafted. There really is no other crafting system like it, and one would be hard-pressed to find an equal.

Upkeep

As with many MMOs, a subscription model that keeps money flowing to the development team will typically motivate them, and provide them with the resources, to produce more content. I have played a few MMOs, with FFXI, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and World of Warcraft listed at the top of my resume, but the flow of content in XIV feels different than all of the others. This could be because I am partial to story, and XIV’s content patches normally include a continuation of storyline to go along with their hotfixes, changes, and new dungeons to tackle, but each patch just feels more complete and cared-for. The game is paced so well that it gives players enough time to finish certain content and become familiar enough with it just before it becomes boring, and then they throw more at you to freshen things up a bit. Before you realize it, you’re geared to the teeth and it’s time for the next expansion. There is just so much love and care that you can feel coming from this game because the team listens to the player base and gives us what we need, not what we want, in addition to what we didn’t know we needed in the first place.

The Heavensward expansion only served to revitalize the few players who began to feel burned out as the content started drying up. It brought back the huge wave of veteran players who were ready for new challenges, and offered a ton of content to interest brand new players as well. I have grouped with new players more in the last two weeks than I did in the past six months in the A Realm Reborn content, and that is just fantastic. I love when a game that I am passionate about gains continued success, and if I’m this excited only a week and a half post-release, just imagine what is in store for us in the future.

Square Enix Games Not Compatible with iOS 9 Beta

Square Enix

Square Enix

Square Enix have posted an important notice regarding the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 9 Beta.

The publisher has revealed that their apps are not compatible with iOS Beta 9 at the moment and, as such, are unable to provide customer support to mobile gamers who are encountering  issues after having installed the new operating system on their device. Square Enix currently offer more than 50 games in the Apple App Store which may be affected, most notably mobile versions of their acclaimed Final Fantasy series of video games.

It’s unclear if this incompatibility will cause any major issues—or any issues at all for that matter—though it seems they’re simply erring on the side of caution with the announcement.

There is no further information on the matter at this time, though they welcome questions from fans, which will be passed onto those who are able to answer them.

If you have any comment or any extra information about this video game, please use the comments box below.

Beginners Guide to Hunting in Final Fantasy 14

Final Fantasy 14

So, you’re a new adventurer just wandering about the zones in Final Fantasy 14. Maybe you’re questing, or perhaps you have decided to do some mining or gathering in Final Fantasy 14. It’s a low level area so you feel safe enough to stroll on through without a care in the world.

Until you see that level 50 mob right in front of you. If you’re lucky, it’s got a blue symbol and you’re safe. It won’t aggro you until you aggro it. If you’re unlucky, well, chances are you’ll be lying face down on the ground with a total of zero health. Oops. The red symbol means it’ll aggro you on sight. And most pack quite the punch!

Hunts are back with a fury in Heavensward as you need the new tomestones at level 60 for the new armor and jewelry in Final Fantsasy 14, and the new Centurio seals are used to upgrade it. Is it worth doing? Well, in a way yes. You do get more seals from hunts than you do from the clan board(which that entails hunting specific world mobs for experience and 3 seals apiece at level 1 hunts). The seals cap at 500 so be sure to spend before you hit or risk missing out.

There is some hunting etiquette out there that will make the life of a hunter a little bit easier and less stressful(hopefully!). Defeating a certain amount of hunt marks in specific zones will also yield ingame achievements, and some titles come from defeating ex amount! Pretty nifty.

Here is the unspoken ‘rules’ of monster hunting. I use the term very loosely as some are not rules persay but tips to help maximize your ability to get full credit on mobs.

If you find a hunt mob, check it’s name. If there is a blue symbol, it’s a B rank. If there is a red symbol, it’s either an A rank or an S rank. You can usually determine the rank by size as well. B ranks are small sized, A ranks are medium sized while S ranks are usually pretty big.

B ranks are not usually worth going after once you’ve done your weekly hunt. They don’t award any tomestones or seals apart from the weekly hunt bill. That doesn’t mean you can ignore them – others might be on the lookout too.

B ranks spawn every 30 seconds after they’ve been hunted down. A ranks spawn roughly every 4 hours after they go down. S ranks often spawn 36 hours after their last defeat and some with certain conditions that need to be met before they appear.

If you can, join a hunt linkshell. There are plenty out there and if you let it be known that you’re in need, you’ll find yourself invited into one or more.

Before you shout that the mark is there, make sure you use the position tags. It’s the side arrows with pos in the middle. Have the mark selected, use the position tag and it’ll put a flag on the map for easier time seeing where the location is.

Do not ninja pull. This is a surefire way to get you blacklisted. Pulled accidentally? Just say sorry and move on. Sometimes, especially on PS3’s, the monster doesn’t render right away so getting too close without knowing happens. If you do this intentionally, you will be kicked from any hunt linkshell as well as blacklisted. People take monster hunting seriously.

You will miss hunts. Sometimes it gets pulled before you can make it. Don’t let it get to you too much. Shouting and verbally abusing others will land you in trouble with a GM.

A good way to get enough credit for full seals/tomestones is one; joining a party and two; going white mage. Throwing a couple of stones or some holys and then spam medica II. Not only does it build aggro, thus contributing(and attacking a couple of times ensures your participation), but spamming medica II heals everyone in the party. Which is good. But it also allows others a bit more time to join in and get credit.

Also, for healers, is there is status effects in Final Fantasy, try to esuna/leeches if you can. Some debuffs cannot be dispelled and in that case, keep healing. You might need to throw out a revive or two just in case(have I mentioned the big marks pack a nasty punch?).

You can do this on tank jobs but attacking and using all of your aggro generating abilities. As for DPS, just go wild. With a combination of all three, you should get full credit, even if you’re late to the fight!

Don’t just join a hunt and scout party and not be prepared to scout for the marks. Leaving the rest of the party to scout while you sit idly by isn’t very fair.

As of patch 3.0, you can now teleport whilst on a mount. This makes it a little bit quicker since you can teleport to a zone and start moving rather than having to mount up. If you’ve unlocked flying in the new Heavensward expansion zones of Final Fantasy, it makes it even more quicker as you can avoid the ground terrain.

Have fun! If it stresses you out too much, take a break. This is a game and we all play games for fun.