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: In the sixteen years that the Final Fantasy series has been around, players have been treated to some of the most cinematic games ever seen. With production values that rival those of Hollywood blockbusters, every title produced by Squaresoft has established new benchmarks for graphics, plotlines and gameplay. Even better, there were plenty of mini-games, secrets and side quests to keep players interested and eager for the next installment.
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.
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.
Excerpt: Those accustomed to MMORPGs will quickly adapt to Vana’diel. This may be the first foray into an online world for some players, thanks to their love of all things Square, and they may find things tricky at the start. The map feature is truly invaluable to the would-be explorer and coordinates help parties meet one another or give directions to dungeons, a sorely needed ability in a world as large as this.