Final Fantasy XI Mmorpg Fun

by : Bob Janeway

You may have grown up with characters like Cloud Strife, Sepiroth, Tifa, Squall Lionheart, Yuna, and the likes. These are characters that have been integrated in popular culture, thanks to the wide success enjoyed by the franchise that spawned them. Indeed, the Final Fantasy series is anything but final. It is an enduring succession of wonderfully prepared and genre-breaking games that has captured the hearts of millions and millions of people around the world.

The Legend That Gave Birth To Final Fantasy XI

Let's look at the facts. Every time a Final Fantasy game is released in Japan, their country stops. Students skip school. Urban professionals file for vacation or sick leaves. Long lines form outside retail stores. And the whole nation is engaged in a perpetual race as to who will get to finish the game first.

The same success was repeated in the United States since the release of Final Fantasy VII for the original Playstation. It was the first time that US gamers were introduced to polygonal characters in a role-playing game, and it heralded the start of America's love affair with the beloved franchise.

But previous games had limited hours of play. Once you defeat the final boss, the game ends and the credit rolls.

The newest incarnation of the series, Final Fantasy XI, deviates from that. It takes the form of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) where players participate in a persistent world that will never end. Indeed, Final Fantasy XI is the fantasy that will never end.

Final Fantasy XI: Not Just Your Ordinary MMORPG

It's been two and a half years since the original release of Final Fantasy XI, together with its expansion pack Rise of the Zilart, for the personal computer, but the game shows no sign of slowing down, despite strong competition from newer MMORPG offerings like World of Warcraft, Star Wars Galaxies and Everquest II. The reason for this is simple. Final Fantasy XI is the only MMORPG that has been released for two platforms. Playstation II owners have the option to participate in this MMORPG game world through their consoles. And very soon, Xbox 360 owners will also be given such an opportunity. The result? More players are expected to join in the months to come, making the MMORPG world remain dynamic, diverse, and exciting.

If you're a veteran MMORPG campaigner, you might find the Final Fantasy XI experience as completely unconventional. First of all, the control scheme utilizes the mouse as well as the keyboard for movement, which is far different from the simple point and click that other MMORPG systems employ. Second, the other aspects of the game are simplified, and you won't have access to the maximized leveling up that other MMORPG systems afford. This is both good and bad. Good because customization can take hours in most MMORPG systems, which can prove dragging. Bad because some players do prefer total control over how their characters develop.

These aside, the MMORPG world of Vana'diel promises to offer a lot of fascinating adventures for the gamer. With close to a dozen classes and jobs, a world at the crossroads of magic, warfare, and technology, and the backing of the most successful RPG developer in history, Final Fantasy XI is an experience that would define this age of MMORPG gaming.

Is Final Fantasy XI Worth $12.95 A Month?

Square Interactive, a division of Square Enix, does charge $12.95 per month of play, as well as an additional $1 per new character created under the same account. Relatively speaking, Final Fantasy XI is one of the most expensive MMORPG programs today.

The question is not really a matter of how much. Rather, it is a matter of whether or not the experience is worth it.

The answer is a resounding yes!

Final Fantasy XI offers a different flavor compared to your usual MMORPG flair. The difference is as great as that of an American-developed RPG and a Japanese-developed game. Japan is the home of console RPGs, while America is where PC RPGs reign supreme. Both genres offer a diverse experience. While some people prefer the feel and the atmosphere of PC RPGs, a lot actually enjoy console RPGs better.

Final Fantasy XI has the console RPG feel, which is quite an accomplishment for an MMORPG. It's definitely one of a kind, and stands proud for its uniqueness in a world populated by different MMORPG programs that come in different skins but offer the same experience.

And with its recently released expansion, Chains of Promathia, as well as the Treasures of Ath Urhgan in the horizons, Final Fantasy XI solidifies itself as an investment very much worth making. It is truly an MMORPG that has, and will continue to, withstand the test of time.