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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Developer / Publisher: Square Enix
27 August 2013
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - cover art
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3.36 / 5.0
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488 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#1,373 All-time
#44 for 2013
In the wake of the Seventh Umbral Calamity, Eorzea must rebuild- even as the looming threats of the Garlean Empire and the beast tribes' Primals rise.
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2013 Square Enix  
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Title
Is the stuff after ARR good? Yeah. Is it worth it? Probably not.
I never played 1.0 of 14 and I don't think even if I had to ability to I would bother, but watching some videos and talking with some people who did, it's both easy to see why things got reset like they did, but also baffling in some respects because of how certain things got cut.

ARR (as of 2021 when I finished it) is still abysmal. It's just ass all around, and anyone who tells you otherwise is being way too kind. MMO writing in general is pretty hit or miss, but ARR is essentially an attempt to """shorten""" everything you """need""" to know from 1.0 up to Heavensward to provide context for events in all the subsequent expansions; nothing crazy there. The problem is it leaves in so much utterly pointless fluff, but cut out a lot of the character building that would've made ARR bearable.

Take Minfilia. I won't get into the details of where he character ends up, but suffice to say that throughout ARR she is one of the most useless characters I've ever had the displeasure of interacting with. She's a cardboard cutout who's continued existence is surely only due to being the waifu of some higher-up on the dev team. Effectively, you're just told "she's the leader, do what she says" and then she sends you on asinine fetch quests that really do not matter, always requiring you to come back to her location which doesn't have any convenient fast travel nodes in town, solely for her to go "oooooo the primals, the primals are so bad" every single time. She never does anything herself in any cutscenes besides be vaguely worried about the big bads. You do this for effectively 40-60 hours. I am not joking or exaggerating.

Thing is, from what I understand, in the original iteration of the game, she was apparently a well respected miner turned revolutionary, with a slightly different design, and you got to see her actually doing things and being a leader. Why the FUCK was that cut? Why would you cut out everything that established who this character is and why we should care to do all their banal questchains and replace it with LITERALLY NOTHING? It's absurd.

For what it's worth, Heavensward is legitimately well written, and while I didn't get to finish Stormblood, while people say it's the weakest of the expansions, it's still miles ahead of ARR. But this isn't a review of the expansions. ARR as it exists is a nightmarish slog and while it MIGHT be true that you need some of the information it provides - supposedly the crystal tower raid series is direly important to shadowbringers, but I could not tell you how unless it's a direct continuation of the not very good plotline within that raid series - but I don't care and you shouldn't either. I'm sure it's easy enough to catch up to the plot starting from Heavensward, and worst case scenario someones probably done plot recaps you can watch on youtube. Just don't bother unless you're an absolute purist with these kinds of things.
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Pinks 2023-03-30T20:16:27Z
2023-03-30T20:16:27Z
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A revolutionary landmark in gaming.
It's difficult to describe 'FFXIV: A Realm Reborn' because its importance in the overall MMORPG scene overshadows the game itself. The original 'Final Fantasy XIV' was released in a broken state and was filled with inconveniences and ignorant design choices. When Naoki Yoshida took over as producer, he set in motion a plan that would not only reinvigorate the mess of a game they had been given, but simultaneously create a new title for everyone to migrate to.

When 'A Realm Reborn' launched, it was met with acclaim and fanfare by current players. However, the damage to the original game's reputation carried over to the new one and most people who heard about it assumed it was nothing more than a patch or bandage and paid it no heed. Over time, though, the stigma faded as more and more people spread the word of this miraculous recovery. It was something completely unheard of: the developers pulled a dying MMO from the brink of destruction by, ironically, destroying it themselves.

What followed is a long tale of triumph and dedication, a testament to the willpower and leadership provided by Naoki Yoshida. 'A Realm Reborn', as it stands today, is vastly different than it was when it first released back in 2013. The story and major gameplay events have been overhauled and improved and the experience is now but a footnote in the storied history of FFXIV as a whole. If one were to play it today, it would function as nothing more than the first stepping stone, a humble beginning to a much grander arc.
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A rough relaunch of a deeply broken game. commendable for saving the game and producing something playable. Rough around the edges but lays the groundwork for expansions that are genuinely fantastic. Unfortunately this is the sort of game that only gets good around the 60 hour mark, which is a big ask and an undeniable mark against it. Sorry.
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CypressPunk 2022-03-18T03:04:00Z
2022-03-18T03:04:00Z
3.5
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This review only concerns the content in the base game; i.e. everything before the Heavensward expansion.

I've never been especially interested in MMOs, and I don't really think that's changed after playing this game. It's a good game - a very good game which I greatly enjoy. But a lot of the MMO, genre-specific stuff - all the currencies, the PvP battles, the Gold Saucer minigames, the microtransactions, the timed events - I don't really care about any of that, even though all that stuff seems great. (The Gold Saucer minigames are better than any of the ones I've seen in the mainline Final Fantasy games.) I'm a boring old coot who more or less plays this as a straightforward RPG that has multiplayer dungeons and bosses.

And I'll be straight - played that way, there are looooooooong stretches where it doesn't feel like the game's offering you a lot. Every class is boring as hell until at least level 30, and it's not really feasible to maintain multiple classes at once. (I tried to keep up with all the melee DPS classes but eventually I had to pony up and pick one. I feel good with my choice of ninja, though; you get to hit a lot of buttons.) The quests often bounce you around from place to place and make you generally just do random shit that doesn't start to take on much meaning until very late in the story. And actually, if I'm being honest... The entire 2.0 story, right up to level 50, is generic crap. Your main adversary, the Garlean Empire barely qualify as real characters, and the story's climax isn't all that exciting.

Yet there is something compelling about the constant sense of progress, constantly being able to clear new quests and unlock new dungeons or abilities or game modes. Getting through a lot of this is a chore, but it's a weirdly compelling chore even if you're not playing much with friends. (Though to be clear - I do have friends who play this game. I promise.) It often reminds me of the deluge of quests to be found in Xenoblade Chronicles, but with constant rewards that you can share with the strangers around you. And that's the thing; even though I don't care about a lot of the MMO content, there's a degree to which the passive bustle of other people around you truly does make for a better experience, especially as the game has absolutely exploded in popularity lately. It's fun to look around and see what characters other people have created, to see people moving alongside you as they happen to be doing the same story quests as you, to see what activities they generate themselves. (I first starting playing when Dark Knights were pitching their bonfires in tribute of the late Kentaro Miura, which was a very touching introduction.) Regardless of how much you interact, it feels like you're playing within a community.

It's a pretty nice community, too! (For now, at least; the influx of new players is bound to bring in some assholes.) You have to interact with players to a certain extent when you go on raids, and I've never really walked away from one annoyed by the people I was playing with. Veterans are often patient in explaining how to beat bosses to new players, and if you happen to get an entire team of newbies there's a separate joy in figuring out a boss's gimmicks as a group. When you falter - and I know personally I have failed many times - people don't berate, but try to figure where the team went wrong and how they can do better. (Which usually helps!) I honestly have no idea why people are generally so welcoming, because there's certainly space in the game for people to be assholes, but I am very grateful for it. The only hindrance is that it's difficult to use the chat function on a PlayStation controller, but to be honest I'm stunned that the game plays as well as it does on a controller without sacrificing the gameplay function of an MMORPG on a mouse and keyboard. It looks incredibly overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of things it works surprisingly well.

Still; if the game was only dungeons and raids, it'd lose my interest eventually, because there are certain limitations to that gameplay. So I'm glad that the game actually does pick up steam after 2.0. A lot of the same problems are there; you get jerked around a lot without much of a good reason to do generic stuff. But the game gradually starts moving pieces into place that make you realize how much worldbuilding has actually been happening. As you move through the game doing your quests, often revisiting the same places, you start to realize that a lot of settings, characters and organizations do have a lot of genuine character and logic, and so when things actually start moving around in the plot, it's surprisingly engaging. Doubly so because the meat of the post-2.0 story is entirely politics, dealing with refugees, foreign policy, and the entire political structure of Ul'Dah. It snuck up on me how invested I became in the story, eventually culminating in a rousing climax that managed to subvert expectations even as it telegraphed many ways in which it was going.

This game gets so much right that I'm tempted to knock it up a grade, but the fact is that there are too, too many dull hours of story and leveling up your underwhelming character in this game to really call it great. It's a shame that there's such a big, long barrier to get to the good stuff - and conventional wisdom is that the game really shines in its expansion - but thankfully the baseline worldbuilding and MMO stylings are good enough to keep players hanging around until it finally finds its footing.
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Azdiff 2021-08-05T02:14:13Z
2021-08-05T02:14:13Z
3.5
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FFXIV is one of my favorite games but the story of this expansion specifically is pretty mid. Expansions are where this game shines.
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Catalog

Nanaca Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-03-02T10:53:25Z
2024-03-02T10:53:25Z
7.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Raising_Heart Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-02-29T08:09:45Z
Windows
2024-02-29T08:09:45Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Aerids Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-02-17T23:18:57Z
2024-02-17T23:18:57Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
aeTH74 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-02-13T21:07:43Z
2024-02-13T21:07:43Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
azkeaa Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-02-07T13:50:48Z
Windows
2024-02-07T13:50:48Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Crackerhead Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-02-06T00:35:36Z
2024-02-06T00:35:36Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
AvehRage Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-01-29T00:57:38Z
2024-01-29T00:57:38Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jiux Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-01-25T12:18:27Z
2024-01-25T12:18:27Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
elonileaf Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-01-22T01:13:51Z
2024-01-22T01:13:51Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cefu Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-01-20T10:00:03Z
2024-01-20T10:00:03Z
3.2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
zooglezoogle Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-01-20T09:59:40Z
2024-01-20T09:59:40Z
6.9
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ArcanaNoctis Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2024-01-19T21:27:01Z
2024-01-19T21:27:01Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
PEGI: 16+
Media
1x Blu-ray
Multiplayer options
Online
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  • Previous comments (22) Loading...
  • dontwannaknow 2023-03-06 04:25:59.034563+00
    ARR MSQ isn’t that bad but the patch MSQ to ARR are fckin terrible
    reply
    • dontwannaknow 2023-03-09 21:42:23.922548+00
      Like there’s a cutscene after every interaction like oh my goodness
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  • tsuugakulow 2023-03-13 23:58:08.683538+00
    É bem devagar, depois de anos desse gênero ainda é lotado de quests de mate ali e volte para o cá.
    reply
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  • dontwannaknow 2023-03-19 06:00:00.97259+00
    Hooks have been placed, change of pace in the first expansion and storytelling makes me want more
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  • almafang 2023-05-07 11:57:07.203997+00
    Did you know that the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV has a free trial, and includes the entirety of A Realm Reborn AND the award-winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 with no restrictions on playtime? Sign up, and enjoy Eorzea today!
    reply
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  • Tarafaeryn 2023-08-10 21:23:39.285868+00
    The best of the worst genre ever created. Still extremely tedious and dated, but I could stomach this when I was 19. Apparently it got a lot better, but I can't try out the new expansions for free.
    reply
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  • alunet 2024-01-03 20:00:15.329439+00
    "visual novel" is such a funny secondary
    reply
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