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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Beta Test 1&2 Review: A Realm of Hope

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By icarasDate: May 02 2013 Views:

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has quite a lot of history behind it, why many people without even reading about the game are not even going to give it a chance before bashing it and I don't blame them, but this article is to put your fears to rest as I got a chance to join Square Enix's 3rd beta for  Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn which is quite exclusive and I know a lot of you who wanted to take part didn't get picked.

Let's stay with quelling everyone's fears; Yes Final Fantasy XIV tanked back 2 years ago, but not only was it in beta, their development HQ was struck with a national disaster, but we're here to talk about a realm-reborn.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn features five distinctive races, each who will have two special 'societies' they belong to explore the realm of Eorzea! First off we have the Hyur, they have come to be the most populous of the civilized races in Eorzea. Compared to the others, theirs is an average physique, both in terms of height and build. The Hyur champion personal freedom and liberty, and their espousal of an eclectic variety of languages and traditions is a legacy of their diverse heritage―as is their resulting lack of a unified cultural identity. So in short, they are the humans.

Next up we have the Miqo'te. They are easily distinguished by their large, projecting ears and restless, feline tails. The ancestors of this line first made their way to the realm during the Age of Endless Frost in the Fifth Umbral Era, traversing frozen seas in pursuit of the wildlife upon which they subsisted. Instinctual territoriality causes many among them to lead solitary lifestyles. Males in particular are said to shy from contact with others. This is the race I chose, they're cute little cat people and I love their animations. They really make me smile during conversations and quests and their character design is adorable.

As another option, you have the "elves' of Final Fantasy; The Elezen are a characteristically tall people, long of limb and slender of build. They are also possessed of a somewhat extended lifespan in comparison to the Hyur.

What I know a lot of people love to do; is be huge, and huge Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will allow you to do. The Roegadyn are easily identified by their massive, muscular frames. They are descended from a maritime people that roamed the northern seas, though many of their ancestors turned their longships south to brave the crossing into Eorzean waters.

Finally, we have by far the strangest race of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, The Lalafell are a folk both rotund and diminutive. Small by any race's standards and possessed of a childlike countenance, it proves difficult for non-Lalafell to gauge an individual's age with any degree of accuracy. They're adorable and cute; but they sort of weird me out a bit.

So of course I went with the Miqo'te which is a strangely fluent word to type out after you've done it a few times. I decided to have her apart of the Keepers of the Moon clan and make her a Conjurer. In Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn there are 7 classes to choose from, only 3 were unlocked for beta; so I can't really talk much about the classes, besides they have all the arche-types you typically expect to see in an MMORPG and a couple of strange ones. I love strange arche-types so I went with the Conjurer which is basically the equivalent of a FF White Mage. So in to the game world I go!

Before I begin talking about my game experience, I'd just like to say that the music of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is fantastic. It's beyond any other MMORPG you'll ever have played and if you remember any Final Fantasy game from your childhood, strong feelings of nostalgia will burst out of you mixed with the beautiful art style and adorable animations, your heart will melt.

The game starts with a basic tutorial cut-scene and basic quest that explains the 'state' of the region that you are in right now (Everyone is not very trusting, skirmishes are breaking out) and teaches you how to walk and navigate the map. The first order of business is to register yourself as an Adventurer!

The game here on is a beautiful symphony of lore, art work and music as you learn the towns people, districts and guilds. Honestly, I think games as of late have been spoiling me because there are times when you truly have to explore the town and think a little before completing basic quests such as gathering and talking from person to person on rounds quests, like I had to talk to a noble and she wouldn't speak to me and I couldn't figure out why because I had accidently skipped the quest text, I go back and it turns out I had to bow to her first using one of the in-game animations, I had a real good laugh at this as the animations are absolutely beautiful, check out this video for all the animations.

This is just one of the ways this game really brings a smile to my face; it's charming and wonderful, the combat while not "action packed" feels like a Final Fantasy game with the global cool downs and cast times, you have to keep a breaker wall in front of your casters or they'll get interrupted non-stop.

It's just nostalgic. The combat is fluid and the quests are easy to understand and the lore is rich, if you were looking for a new MMORPG to truly sink your teeth into, I honestly and full heartedly think that Final Fantasy XIV: Realm Reborn is the game for you.

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