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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

Best MMO


A follow up to Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion, Heavensward, has some big shoes to fill. Thankfully, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood was able to take up the challenge and show that Yoshi-P and crew still have what it takes. While it takes a little time to get going and offers a different focus than the prior expansion, eventually the story takes off, the characters start to shine, new areas show their beauty, and new jobs become a blast to play.

When Stormblood shifts from Ala Mhigo towards Doma, the story really opens up as some of the NPCs met there are fantastically written and well-developed. The main antagonist, Zenos yae Galvus, is a brutal fiend who gives you many reasons to hate him and want to take him down. Doma and the rebellion rising that takes place there is a wonderful story of hope that is made more real by the bright visuals that contrast starkly with the dark oppression the people are facing.

Though the story and characters are a highlight, the new jobs, dungeons, and bosses are also a positive. Both the Red Mage and Samurai classes bring something new to the table for DPS fans, and the armor for each is classic Final Fantasy, while some of the changes to the old jobs also breathe new life into them. Dungeons are often more than just basic enemy swarms, adding new mechanics that keep players focused throughout. Finally, the real gameplay highlight of this entire expansion is The Royal Menagerie trial. This battle might frustrate those seeking to breeze through the game without much thought, but for those who appreciate a fair challenge and don't give up easily, it is easily one of the most enjoyable fights in the main story line. All of these things add up to make Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood the best MMO of 2017.

by Michael A. Cunningham


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