When your gut and past experience tells you one thing and your friends are all telling you another, it’s sometimes easy to get persuaded to get out of your comfort zone and give a new thing a try. In this case it’s where so many people seem to be playing, raving about, and enjoying Final Fantasy XIV following its relaunch, to the point where I got persuaded to drop $30 for a copy the other day.
And that’s a $30 I really regret spending. I has the buyer’s remorse, I do. But since it was an impulsive purchase, I have only myself to blame.
So yeah, it wasn’t even on my radar because the initial launch was a laughable mess and the relaunch looked to be pretty niche. But whether it’s people starved for a major release right now in the latter part of 2013 or a tsunami of word-of-mouth raves, it’s been doing quite well for itself. And it was strange for me to see a really wide range of gamers and bloggers that I know being won over by it. So what did I have to lose?
$30. Don’t remind me. I shall do that myself.
Anyway, I should’ve listened to my gut. It’s not that FFXIV is a bad game in any way that I can discern. Downloading it and setting it up was pretty smooth, and I didn’t even have to enter in credit card info. Hearing the music was a nice high point — the Final Fantasy series always does well there. But this game was not made for me at all.
For starters, I’ve just soured on the Final Fantasy experience: the aesthetic, the trappings, the overused rehash of elements that some may love as “tradition” and I’ve started to frown at as “unimaginative leftovers.” I’ve really not been into Final Fantasy since, oh, 10, and even that wasn’t too fun for me. Final Fantasy XI just turned me off within the first couple days of trying it out way back in 2003 or so, and even retro versions of FF games on mobile devices have lost their luster.
So there wasn’t a lot to like about my first half-hour or so in FFXIV. I don’t like the look of the characters, chocobos make my eyes roll so dang much, and most of the races just irk me. I felt really grumpy through the whole thing and that’s probably not fair at all to the game. Sure, it looked pretty. But so do a lot of MMOs these days. It had quests. It had me running. It had me clicking through a lot of text bubbles that were dull as carp. Hey, carp are not the most interesting fish, okay?
And how much combat did I clock in that first hour or so? None. It was like the world’s slowest tutorial-slash-hand-holding, and I’m going cross-eyed because what little story I’m seeing is dull and I want to see how the combat handles. I’m asking myself what others were seeing in this game.
So short story short, I didn’t have the patience to stick it out. It just wasn’t for me, and that’s OK; not all MMOs will be. Maybe it’s just about the best game in the world past that opening hour and maybe I’m too antsy. But considering that I don’t need another subscription right now for a game that — even if I ended up liking it — I won’t be paying for when WildStar hits anyway. So we’ll part amiably and shan’t mention it again.
Just wish I had that $30 back.