31a3f238a4055aa7cd07ec2b92ce6d7b How I Became a Meteor Survivor: Hands On With Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

A brave Gladiator warrior faces off against the sinister Ifrit in an epic battle to the death.

The battle was truly epic in nature, and the adrenaline was pumping as I launched a furious flurry of attacks. The pitch of the skirmish was perfectly captured via the headphones equipped at each station, and every strike and casted ability was a wondrous site that truly enveloped that sense of mythical fantasy.

Here we were, a team of seven stoic warriors, each with our own proficiency in battle, teaming up to take down a snarling, towering fireboss and claim victory. An announcer was following the progress of the teams of gamers at the stations, chronicling their progress with live on-screen footage and updates which literally made it feel like a high-stakes sports match–adding to the excitement and enjoyability.

Despite the efforts of our culminated charge and barrage of attacks, our team was slain the first time around, succumbing to the inferno of Ifrit’s blazing hellfire. We were given another chance, though, and we eagerly recuperated from our folly to give it another go.

Revitalized and focused, our team stepped through the portal, once again facing off against Ifrit: and this time we were out for blood. The Conjurer kept everyone’s HP nice and high, and the Archers were busy launching volleys of destructive arrow-fire from afar while my Dragoon leaped into battle, swinging his lance in ferocious arcs and dishing out damage with each strike.

As Ifrit’s massive health bar slowly depleted, the tempo of the battle increased, and everyone was pumped up: we were close now, close to taking down the firelord and claiming our victory. Leaping out of the way of the hellfire, I slashed at some of Ifrit’s nearby summons, working alongside my team to tear them to shreds.

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Boss fights can culminate in a series of amazing visual spectacles as multiple allies unleash powerful spells and abilities at the same target.

Ifrit’s powerful slashes and mighty torrents of blazing fire ignited much of our team, and it was all that our Conjurer could do to keep us well-supplied with protective and healing magicks so we could continue on. The HP bars to various players were dropping fast, and all I could do was try to get Ifrit’s attention and mitigate some of that damage, as the Dragoon has no real protective spells (or at lest he didn’t during the demo).

Then we aimed our sights back at the hulking fire-breathing monster, my Dragoon taking a lot of damage, and at this point Ifrit’s HP has been depleted to just less than a quarter–but my HP is also falling. Luckily the Conjurer supplied me with a dose of precious vita, and I was back in action.

Ifrit isn’t a small fry, though, and unleashed his fair share of abuse to our team. As it stood, much of our team of heroes had been slain, and it was up to me and a few others to finish Ifrit off once and for all. Using the abilities that cost the most TP and dished out the most damage, I mixed and matched using these skills, running around to target Ifrit’s back so his spells wouldn’t hurt as much.

After an intense and quite epic quest, Ifrit’s death cry sounded across our screen: we had slain the firelord, and it was time to claim our prize.

The match was very close, and the surviving members of our team were just about dead when Ifrit was finally put to rest–yet we came out victorious nonetheless, and our team let out a cheer to celebrate. For our win, we were all given token slips that awarded us with snazzy “FFXIV Meteor Survivor” t-shirts and a sticker.

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The Dragoon in all of his glory, wearing a full set of snazzy armor and ready for battle.

Conclusion

Overall my experience with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was quite memorable, even if the battle was somewhat brief. The game’s distinct MMO style left quite an impression on me, especially with the overall dynamic feel and the distinct Final Fantasy elements thrown into the mix.

The boss battle was epic in nature and it took all of us working together to take down Ifrit, a sentiment which is adequately mirrored in many fan-favorite MMORPGs on the market. The special effects for each of the skills were remarkable, and the battlefield was ablaze with both fire and a myriad of dazzling spells that made quite a visual spectacle to behold.

Partaking in this adventure was something that stood out as one of my favorite moments at E3, and Final Fantasy XIV: ARR looks to be one of the most impressive MMORPG’s of the year due to many things, including the title’s expansive combat elements, distinct visual style, and dynamic teamwork-based battles that truly immerse you into an engaging and action-packed epic struggle against an indomitable boss.

While the E3 Battle Challenge didn’t showcase many of the game’s aspects including the title’s expansive and lush world, or the various quests, factions, or additional classes, it did showcase Final Fantasy XIV: ARR’s explosive and addicting team-based combat.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is scheduled for a release on Aug. 27, 2013 for PC and PlayStation 3. To sign up for the game’s official beta or for more information, please visit the game’s official website.

The Good

+ Surprisingly fluid controls
+ Distinct Final Fantasy style
+ Dynamic MMORPG elements
+ Emphasis on team-based strategy
+ Charming graphics & visuals
+ Amazing spell FX
+ Engaging boss battles
+ No lag whatsoever
+ Immersive real-time action combat

The Bad

- Some minor on-screen hiccups
- On-the-fly explanations of skill-sets
- PS3 controller is complicated for new users