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Final Fantasy XI: Vana’diel Collection 2008

Overall: OVERALL I love this game and I still continue to play it the gameplay is spectacular even though it basically forces you *though you don't need to* to play in a party it is an amazing game worth the money put into it. I mean being able to raise your own mount, decide how it turns out to be, enchant animals, summon monsters to help you out in fights. All of this is extremely enjoyable, but like I said in the begining it is tough but it gets fun as you level up unlock more things find easier way to make money and meet new people. I would suggest this to people who have patience who basically love MMO's or to those who have never played an MMO before. By what I think, this will give you some experience in responsibility, seeing as you need to be responsible for everything you do while playing this because if you mess up, you're dead nearly all the time.

All in all I love this game it's an acquired taste as long as you have patience you'll be good at this game.

Gameplay: Oh where to start where to start, for this to be the first M@!%#*!ively Multiplayer Game for the Xbox 360 and one that's been out now for roughly five maybe six years I think this is extraordinarily enjoyable. There are four cl@!%#*!es that you can choose between Hume (human), Tarutaru (little bear cub looking bipedal characters), Galkan (More like a full grown bipedal bear), Mithra (Cat women if you watch anime they look like neko's), and finally the Elvaan (elves basically). Along with that you get to choose what cl@!%#*! you want to use and at the beginning there are six to choose from: Thief, Warrior, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage, and Red Mage (basically a mix of black and white mage and warrior). As you can imagine each cl@!%#*! has it's own roles in groups known as parties, Thiefs go get the creatures, warriors and monks tank (basically keep the monster on them and not the mages), White mage heals, Black mage uses offensive spells, while the red mage can either help the tanks by attacking with them or back up the other two Mages.

Now when you start the game after choosing your race, cl@!%#*!, and town you are basically dumped wherever you chose and are entertained by a cut scene. After the cut scene is finished you're well basically left to figure things out on your own, friends are a good thing to have in this game, and I recommend you have one. Why you ask? Well if you have a good high level friend they can help you greatly, as they can help power level you. But this kinda power level is a lot different than most games like WoW. In FFXI you gain less experience when you're in a party with someone that is two or more levels than you, your experience is what we call... 'gimped' basically you don't gain as much as you would with out him or her in your party. In FFXI they Power level you by healing you when you need it, you basically can take on monsters higher than your level without worrying about dieing.

I must say at lower levels this game is boring, you can't afford much and will most likely depend on friends or people in your linkshell *basically a guild chat* for help. Although after you get up to say maybe Level 20 it'd be more fun seeing as by then you can ride the mounts called chocobo's. Chocobo's are big yellow birds that run faster than you can, even at level 20 you can do a quest to get a chocobo egg that if you raise it properly it will become your own. If you go up to level 30 you can unlock a multitude of different 'advanced jobs' like: Blue mage, Dark Knight, Paladin, Puppeteer (these guys have a puppet that will fight in their place or along side them and can also level up), Beast Master (you can take actual monsters from the field and enchant them provided your enchanting works, and they'll fight along side you or for you for a limited time), Dragoons (they control their own dragons), along with a few more.

This game heavily enforces party based playing, you can solo some monsters here with certain jobs but you staying alive is not guaranteed, which is one aspect that new people to this game will find boring. Well most people anyways, this game is most like an acquired taste you have to play this game to like it a lot. I sure do.

Graphics: Visual description, well, seeing as this game comes from the Play Station two this game doesn't have very good graphics, these certainly are not what is considered 'Next Generation Graphics'. Although the graphics that come from when you cast things like spells and such they are somewhat nice looking and make you want to strive to get that spell or set of spells, at least it made me do so. What this game lacks in visual enticement it makes up for in game play.

Audio: Well I can't say to much for audio, although they had some songs that I did like which was more like background music, so in my opinion I love the music there are different sounds to which spells make after they're cast, but other than that the background music differs from area to area. No two areas have the same music so that's a good thing.

Suggestions: I would suggest they add an off-line story mode but I can understand why they did not implement it. I would like to see cheaper armor and weapons for the lower levels because it's extremely difficult to save money for one thing then by the time you get it you leveled up to the point where you need something else. So lower the prices and keep them stable especially for the chocobo rentals.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10

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