PlayStation 2



The gameplay for FFXI is a bit different then what I?m used to. This is my first real experience with a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) and I find many of the elements to particular o say the least. It is a bit daunting at first, but the gameplay boils down to this: At all times you can view your character from a third or first person POV. There is never a time where you have a full party to control, although depending on which class you get you can have monsters and summoned creatures by your side. You walk around the spacious land of Vana?diel in cities and outer areas, talking to Nonpayer Characters (NPCs), Player Characters (PCs), doing missions, solving quests, and fighting monsters. You also have a choice of various jobs and guilds to join. Your job is what you do in the game, Warrior, Mage, (White, Black, or Red), Thief, and many others. One good thing about FFXI is that you can change jobs whenever you want; don?t like being a warrior? Change and start leveling up a thief. This is an option that have been cribbed by other MMORPGs since the inception of FFXI. (but then again, FFXI cribbed much off of earlier MMORPGs.) To level up, as in any good RPG, you have to fight monsters. You can level up playing by yourself, but you can maximize your Experience point (XP) gathering by grouping in parties. This is something to get used to early on, as many of the later quests involve at least one party of people, if not more the one party in an alliance. The actual fighting itself isn?t quite real-time, but it isn?t exactly turn based either. It?s based on the stats you have, combined with your weapons ability and damage. You attack and wait for the animations to go through. You have options, of course, which you can cycle through. It?s not an action game by any means, but neither is it purely watch and wait turn based strategy. Of course as you advance you can do more with what you have, both on the magic and weapon side of things. If your familiar with Final Fantasy of the past, present, or future, fighting should be second nature. If not, ask around. People are more then happy to help a newbie.


This game is created from the ground up to be a Multiplayer game. It works well at that, forcing people to have to party at some point in the game, if only to solve certain quests and missions. You gain XP faster in parties and the much coveted items drop in more abundance in them as well. This is a Massively Multiplayer game and it shows, from top to bottom. However you can go it solo. Fighting, living, loving, and dying can all be accomplished by your self. Some jobs are better at this then others; yet even I soloed for many levels as a Black Mage, the hardest job to solo in the game. So it can be done and it can be enjoyable. However a bit part of the attraction of this game is the interacting with other players while online. Even if you?re not in a party, it is nice to be able to talk to your Link Shell (LS) mates when you?re halfway across the world on a boat headed to nowhere. It helps pass the more monotonous times that creep up during game time.


Honestly the graphics can be at the same time awe inspiring and then down right lackluster. In places your jaw just drops at the supreme grandeur of it all, especially if you?ve come across an unexpected place through hard fought battles and exploration. However many places begin to blur into one another; a mountain in one canyon pretty much looks like a canyon in another. Yet I realize this is the same problem many places have in real life; no matter where you are in the world some terrain is the same. Yet, in real life as in FFXI, if you look around an area long enough you will find something that is both inspirational and beautiful. As for the character models? There isn?t much variation in the actual creation process of the character. However through acquiring different items and clothing you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. I would?ve liked more variety in the character models even so. One area I must commend the creators of this game is the variety of cities and towns in this game. You know which city your in just by looking around. You?ll never confuse the subtle earthy and naturalistic delights of Windhurst with the depressing and industrial mecca of Bastok for example. It is a delight to discover new places that you?ve only just heard about, exploring every nook and cranny just to see what things look like. This does not reflect the PC version of the game. At High Resolution everything is beautiful on that version.


The sound is your typical Final Fantasy fare. (Ah, alliteration!) You?ll probably love this or hate this, as the sounds and music in the Final Fantasy games take on a life of their own. Swords clan, magic explodes, characters feet hit the ground when they walk or run. The music is often like and peppy, mixed with melancholy tunes that contain more then a hint of sadness and loss. Each city sports its own theme, yet the wondering the stretches in-between you can only here the sound of your footsteps. Fighting has its own, distinct, military theme influenced music, as all Final Fantasy?s in the past have had. As for character sounds? There are really no voices to be heard. You have the roaring, battle, and dying sounds of the monsters. You the happy squeaks of the taru and the sour grunts of the Galka. The humes, mithra, and Elvaan each of their own grunt, but voices are pretty much none existent out side the excellent introduction.

Fun Factor

Ah, how fun is this game? This game is as fun as you want it to be. There are times when I think this is the best game ever made, but there are also times where monotony sets in, as you travel to yet another far off destination (by walking) or sit to level up, yet again. However partying with people you know is very fun, seeing your character grows from a mere stripling to a full fledged, take no prisoner warrior is rewarding. The interaction with other people is what sets this game apart from single player and multiplayer death match games. You are all working to achieve a goal; and although there is Player versus Player combat, it isn?t something that you can do right off. Also be aware that this game is addicting, although that isn?t often the same as fun. Don?t let it overtake your personal life; real people are better then virtual ones. So there is fun to be had here; but your mileage may vary. Get with a good group of people when starting and you may not even notice the monotonous times of leveling up.


This will depend on your tolerance of fantasy related material. If you?re not easily offended by magic use or the other Fantasy related staples, there is nothing in the content of the actual game to find offensive. It isn?t a Christian game by any means, but as we exist in this world that isn?t Christian, so can we exist in the world of Vana?diel. The magic use is very abstract and you can choose a nonmagic using character if you wish, they are many and of great use Even so you will come across and need the services of White, Black, and Red mages as you go through this game. Let your conscious be your guide on this issue. Outside of the actual game content, most of the real people online seem to be aware that this is a social situation. You have your malcontents, to be sure, but I have crossed nothing harsher then a few mild expletives. Harsher words then that can be filtered out with an automatic language filter. However, as we all know, any place humans gather can lead to trouble. If you feel deeply offended, you can always call on a Game Master (GM) to settle disputes or keep a character from being to vulgar.


I really enjoy this game. I played it for two or three months as my only game and even now I play it once or twice a week. I feel that the money I put into it is worth every penny; it?s not often I get this kind of life out of any game. I like that this game does have an overarching story, although the characters don?t really start to get into that until their teen levels. The world is huge; I have the game and the expansion pack and haven?t covered near all of it. I love interacting with real people in a noncombative environment. I can take only so much of fragging someone before I want something else. However this isn?t a Christian game. Some of the concepts and ideas presented in are very oriental in nature; the mythos presented isn?t from a Christian perspective. I view this as I view all things in the world: They just don?t know better. There is a greater force in Vana?diel, just like earth, that controls everything. Even if the Players don?t recognize it. And that, my friends, is all I have to say about that.

Final Ratings

Gameplay: A Graphics: B - Sound: B Fun Factor: A to C (varies) Appropriateness: 13 and older

Overall: B

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Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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