Welcome to the third and final MMO Log before we slap a review on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and call it the better part of a month. This week I'm taking a look at the PlayStation 3 version of the game, which is just like the PC version after three or four beers.
First off, an update on my activities. My main character, Mister Fahey, achieved his goal of becoming a Dragoon in spectacular fashion. Folks warned me that it wouldn't be a spectacular transition — the Dragoon gets a new skill (Jump) and the goes about his business, but drama is in the eye of the beholder, and it was a pretty great moment for me.
Goal achieved, I focused on gathering up some of the other classes in the game. I picked up Conjurer so I'd have access to Protect, an essential soloing spell. I grabbed a little Thaumaturge, because I wanted to blow things up. I leveled my cooking up to 12, because I wanted a constant supply of stat-enhancing food on hand.
Last week folks were wondering why I created a separate character to act as a caster, instead of just acquiring the class through Mister Fahey. The answer was I wanted to experience all the quests, but they had a good point — as long as I can enjoy class quests, there's no reason for me to stray. Mister will eventually have all of the classes. I plan on playing a good long time.
So, for the PlayStation 3 version of the game, I created a whole new character. I am a bit of an alt-aholic, but the real reason was I wanted to ease myself into gamepad controls. Abruptly jumping from bars to buttons was a bit confusing, and starting fresh helped the learning process.
I've been hesitant to play on the PlayStation 3, because what I saw of the console version in beta was pretty ugly. It's pretty jarring to go from a Nvidia GTX Titan running at 1080p to a PS3 running at 720p on low settings.
Here's my test character, Xheh Kaatapoh (Coeurl server, if you must know) on PC:
And here she is on PlayStation 3:
There's a huge drop in sharpness, enemies and other players tend to pop in pretty close, rather than being seen by a distance. Character and creature animations become stuttered in large groups to conserve resources. These are the allowances made to bring a gorgeous PC MMO to an underpowered console.
Still, after a day of playing on the PlayStation 3 I only really notice I am playing on a console when it comes time to chat with people or go into the menus, which are intuitive for a gamepad user but take a bit getting used to for the mouse and keyboard crowd.
For die-hard PlayStation fans, these issues are only temporary. The PlayStation 4 is coming, and owners of the PS3 version of the game get to upgrade for free and a spot in the beta test, launching in February of 2014.
The gist is this: I'm having a great time with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, no matter which platform I play it on. I'm more involved in this game than I have been in any other MMO for ages, which is a good thing. Also a horrible thing. All depends on how you look at it.
When next we meet, it will be on the review battlefield. Wear something pretty.