FFXI Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition Review

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Months ago Square Enix released a new Final Fantasy XI compilation for the PC via digital distribution (Steam), named “Final Fantasy XI Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition”. What’s most notorious is a lack of a Xbox 360 release, but expected, as there is an “Ultimate Collection” available for the console lacking only the Abyssea battle scenarios and may not be worth a new hard media release at least not now.

Final Fantasy XI

Story
Will not focus on the storyline of the game, many of you already know it, taking into mind all the expansions there are, it wont be easy. But a small summary… Why not.
A terrible Crystal War in which the Shadowlord was defeated. 20 years have passed, once again evil is threatening the peace and the Shadow Lord menace arises again, now a new generation of adventurers, the chosen by the crystals (you) must save Vana’diel!

Final Fantasy XI

Gameplay
Final Fantasy XI Online is an MMORPG, a veteran in the field, been around for 9 years and still holding strong, with a good player base. The world of Vana’diel consists of 4 nations, Bastok, Windurst, San’doria and Jeuno. This last one which serves as a central hub for the other 3 nations, controling traffic, commerce, politics and more.
Although it’s an MMORPG, the feeling of the previous Final Fantasy titles remains, letting you be the protagonist and not just another hired sword. Story is extremely rich specially when we sum the expansions and add-ons there are tons of epic adventures, including the huge amount of side quests the game has to offer.

Crafts are available too; cooking, alchemy, woodworking, bonecraft, clothcraft, fishing, goldsmithing, leathercraft, smithing and recently synergy. Hobbies like logging, mining, gardening, digging and you can even hatch and raise your own chocobo, just like my trustworthy “Pendragon Blade”, the most amazing Red chocobo the world has known!

There is a total of 20 classes, 6 being available by default when you create your character, including Warrior, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage, Red Mage and Theif. 14 more that are unlockable by completing quests, such as: Paladin, Dark Knight, Beastmaster, Ranger, Bard, Summoner, Samurai, Ninja, Dragoon, Blue Mage, Corsair, Puppetmaster, Dancer and Scholar.
If you played Final Fantasy III on the DS the way you change classes is very similar, one character can have all the classes, talking to a moogle on your Mog House changes your class as long as you have them unlocked.

Just like in the game each class needs to be leveled, meaning if you take Monk to 95 and you just unlocked Beastmaster it will be level 1, you can go back to Monk without losing level or stats.
When players get access to a Mog House, they can check their inbox for items or gil, sent by friends or the auction house, checking inventory, mog locker, mog safe, sack, changing job, and more.

Final Fantasy XI Online was designed for a console, and is best played by using a control pad, personally i love to play the game with a 360 control pad over a keyboard.
So, what’s in the “Final Fantasy XI Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition”? let’s take a look:

Final Fantasy XI
– 4 Expansions: The Rise of the Zilart, Chains of Promathia, Treasures of Aht Urhgan, Wings of the Goddess.
– 3 Add-on Scenarions: A Crystalline Prophecy: Ode of Life Bestowing, A Moogle Kupo d’Etat: Evil in Small Doses, A Shantotto Ascension: The Legend Torn, Her Empire Born.
– 3 Battle Addons: Vision of Abyssea, Scars of Abyssea and Heroes of Abyssea.

If that’s not enough for you, let me tell you even now that new content is being added, with the new battlefields known as “Voidwatch” with new maps and monsters, amazing loot and much more including new level caps for adventurers.

Final Fantasy XI

Graphics 7.5/10
As this was a title developed for the Playstation 2, graphics start to look dated, especially compared to current standards, still the game is highly enjoyable, models and scenery, looks creative and full of fantastic details, effects for the special techniques both monsters and players used looks fantastic, colorful and detailed.
Fantastic cutscenes accompany the rich storyline of this MMO, keeping the epic feeling of the Final Fantasy series.

Sound 9.5/10
Fabulous and tremendously well done soundtrack, just when you think a game can’t offer more, Final Fantasy XI Online proves you wrong, every new expansion comes with new and amazing new music composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Naoshi Mizuta and Kumi Tanioka.

Extras
This new compilation comes with an exclusive in-game item called Deistrier Beret and is only obtainable by buying this new compilation. People ask me if the in-game item is worth it, the answer is yes, most definitely.
Giving you refresh, auto reraise, fast walking among other benefits and letting you disguise as an adorable baby chocobo! All the stat benefits are available for players at lvl 30 and under, after you hit level 31 the only bonus left is the ability to disguise, which is dandy and a pretty bonus to mess around with friends.

Final Fantasy XI

Downsides
Sadly for achievement hunters, developers have not introduced new achievements with the new expansions added to the game, this is a real shame as it would encourage more Xbox 360 owners and players to play on the console.
That is not the only letdown if you own a 360, old and never resolved bugs are there, disconnecting players from Abyssea zones and specially Besieged, this problem is unexistant if you play on a PC.

PS2 limitations, as much as i love how developers dont want to leave PS2 owners out, i think it’s time, the game can grow much more, but the PS2 Limitations are affecting 360 and PC players and it shouldn’t be like this. If Final Fantasy XI Online wants to improve it needs to be done, cut PS2 support Square Enix.

Final Fantasy XI

Overall
Final Fantasy XI Online has a lot to offer and it’s hard to describe it all in a single review, if you are an old player looking to return or a newcomer to the game, the “Final Fantasy XI Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition” is an excellent choice if you are a PC player.
Remember, the cool people play on the Shiva server, *thumbs up* and we are sexy too! The game is available for PC, Xbox 360 and well the PS2 *which would be hard to find, and a hassle to update). Hope to see you fighting for Vana’diel adventurer, and what else is there to say… LONG LIVE SHANTOTTO!!

Giving this compilation a 7.8 out of 10