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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn PS3 Beta Impressions

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn PS3 Beta Impressions

Written by Spencer — 09 Aug 2013

Final Fantasy XIV is about to launch at the end of August on PC and PS3. The beta is now coming to a close and now I will take a look back at how the beta went. I will be taking a look at many different aspects that happened during the beta such as combat, exploration, presentation, and many more elements from the beta of the game.

To start off I would like to explain that I have barley played the original Final Fantasy XIV on PC. I was waiting for the PS3 version that never ended up releasing and there wasn't a reason to jump systems for such a mediocre MMORPG. Still, after years of being addicted to Final Fantasy XI on PS2 I couldn't just give up on the game that got me into playing MMORPGs.

Now enough about my personal past with Final Fantasy XIV since many console players have gone through the same thing as me. Getting past all of the skeptical feelings from Final Fantasy XIV will actually end up leading to potentially one of the best MMORPGs on the market. The only question left now is if Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn can survive without being a free-to-play game.

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After installing and signing into the game, you are able to start creating your own character. The character creator does not lack in features in the slightest in terms of making someone you wouldn't mind looking at for hundreds of hours. The five races available to choose from are the Hyur, Elezen, Lalafell, Roegadyn, and Miqo'te.

After selecting my Miqo'te and looking over every option available to tweak, I got lost in my own creation. Being able to tune every aspect of my character's body, looks, and personality kept me busy for over an hour. This could be a good thing if in depth character creators are something you are a fan of. Although if you are just looking to hop into the game as soon as possible, it might just be an annoyance with all of the menus it wants you to fill out before even starting.

Once you do start you are immediately welcomed into the beautiful world of Erozea. Learning to play FFXIV is actually a lot more complicated than you might expect, but it isn't always smooth translating PC controls to a Dualshock controller. The basics such as movement, combat, and even typing work fine. When you get to the more particular controls such as selecting where to chat, selecting quests to complete, and even working the map become needlessly complicated.

Any option in the game that isn't easily accessible from your controller normally is hidden unless you press select enough times to hover over what you want to interact with. The development team has done a good job at including many adjustable control setting with updates and hopefully this will be all squared away by the game launch. Until then, if you can't stand using the PS3 controller there is always the ability to hook up a mouse and keyboard to your system.

After your character is made and you have learned how to control them, FFXIV really starts to open up. You can start by doing very simple missions to get a grasp of the layout of the world and will eventually have to join a guild. Joining a certain guild will assign you a certain class and a job. These can range from gladiators, alchemist, and even a botanist.

The variation and usability of each class actually makes me interested to try something other than the generic fighters. Who knows what kind of adventures I could have with a whole party of fishermen/women? Sadly I spent my whole time in the beta as a gladiator, but that just leave more room for surprises in the full game once it releases.

Exploring the large open environments of FFXIV are surprisingly interesting for being the beginning of an MMORPG. Along with the new Full Active Time Events (FATE) system, interacting with large groups of players to take down a huge enemy or even a small hoard. Rewards from participating in these events can vary, but these large scale encounters every few minutes bring a nice change of pace to things.

A big problem when it came to playing FFXI was the fact that playing it alone felt like self inflicted torture. FFXIV on the other hand surprisingly adapts well at tackling quests along on in a large party/guild. So if you have never played an MMORPG before and want to play this latest Final Fantasy game alone, A Realm Reborn can easily be many peoples first MMO.

In case you were wondering why I have not talked at all about FFXIV's story that is because I tried to stay away from it as much as possible. Since this was a Beta,none of the progress made would transfer over to the full game so I wanted to have a chance to take in the fully polished story quests once the game had launched. I will say this though, while it pails in comparison to along any other Final Fantasy game's story, it does a rather nice job compared to every other MMO on the market today.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has a whole lot of potential and after spending many hours in the Beta I was pleased my excitement had not feigned at all. Now all we have to do now is wait for the game to release at the end of the month and see if using a phoenix down on this failed MMO was a good idea in the long run.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn comes out August 27th, 2013 on PS3 and PC. A PS4 version is currently in the works for a 2014 release. All three versions of the game will be able to have characters play with each other no matter what system they are on.

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If you have been playing any of the Beta for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn be sure to share your thoughts on the game so far or even share a story from playing the bata in the comments below.

Spencer is something of a veteran around these parts, as a previous podcast host. He has a desperate love for Persona, but that just makes his love for Final Fantasy grow even stronger! You can follow his confused JRPG ramblings on Twitter.