Excerpt: After successful launches across two continents, Final Fantasy XI received its second expansion: Chains of Promathia . While the first expansion, Rise of the Zilart , brought new areas, missions, and jobs, Chains of Promathia bestowed only new areas and missions on the citizens of Vana'diel.
Excerpt: Launching for the PC in the fall of 2003, Final Fantasy XI quickly brought Final Fantasy fans into the world of online role playing. This title features a persistent, online world called Vana'diel in which RPGamers from the US to Japan and beyond would interact through adventuring and creating an online world economy.
Excerpt: With ten ordinary RPG predecessors, fans received quite a shock when they discovered that Final Fantasy XI was going to be a MMORPG. Of course, the largest question is how well the world would carry over to a massively multiple setting. The answer was quite interesting: aside from a few things like Chocobos and Moogles, very little would actually carry over at all. In fact, virtually everything has been reworked from the battle system up.
Excerpt: Sometimes you got to do what you got to do to play Final Fantasy. You know? No one likes jumping through hoops to get what they want and I’m no exception, but for me -- well, let’s just say I’ve done my fair share of jumping. In the name of temporarily satisfying my perpetual need for that magical feeling you can only get from loading up a new Final Fantasy game, I’ve gone through numerous trials and tribulations that no man should ever be exposed to.
Excerpt: Square-Enix surprised the gaming industry with the announcement and subsequent release of Final Fantasy XI. The Final Fantasy series has been through various evolutionary processes throughout the years, but its core remained the same: it was a console RPG. That legacy ended with the release of XI, a massive-multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG).
Excerpt: Like any successful MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI is getting its latest expansion pack in the near future. Those playing the game, or interested in giving it a try, should find quite a bit to keep themselves busy. What is particularly nice about Chains of Promathia (CoP) is that it is striving to give players across a wide range of levels something to sink their teeth into.
Excerpt: Everyone has at least heard of Final Fantasy. Even my Mom has. The series has been around for years, since the wacky 8-bit days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, and is far from final, pardon the pun.
Conclusion: Online RPGs are some of the most inaccessible games out there, for reasons that include their lack of an offline component, their steep learning curves, the time commitment they typically demand from the player, and their relatively costly monthly fees. Unfortunately, Final Fantasy XI doesn't buck any of these bad trends. In fact, Final Fantasy XI seems to do its worst to give you a negative first impression.
Summary: By now, it isn't easy for a massively multiplayer online role-playing game to distinguish itself. Years ago, games like Ultima Online and especially 1998's EverQuest set the standards for this unique style of gaming, which today spans a seemingly countless number of similarly styled games that look identical on the surface--and, in many ways, actually are virtually identical.