Last week I took a day off since I was on vacation before starting back on chemo (today), but it did see me finish up Final Fantasy XI. I'm so happy to have finally completed the stories in this game, and while I would find it hard to recommend to anyone these days, my love for it has not diminished over the years. Yes, it has flaws, and they are major, but it's just so good. Now I just need to decide what's next.
If you want to catch up on my prior pieces, here's a link to Issue 20 from two weeks ago.
Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin (PC)
I finally got through Seekers of Adoulin, and am so glad that it's over. It's hard to believe that this released in 2013, a decade after Final Fantasy XI launched in North America, but it did and it still has some of the biggest problems in the game to date. There are places where the game hinders your progression until you complete annoying side quests that teach you how to make it past barriers. The realms you explore are maze-like, and while lovely, have very little of interest in them. The story picks up, but it just doesn't stand out compared to the others. It's over and done with, but I'm still glad I was able to do it.
Rhapsodies of Vana'diel was even more nostalgic, as it was a road trip back through all of the great NPCs throughout the prior scenarios. While the missions mostly involved traveling back and forth to watch cutscenes, some of the new areas provide endgame quests for top level players. I ignored most of the endgame mess in favor of completing the story, which was a challenge unto itself. Though the game has lots of new solo-friendly features, they don't always apply to the final boss fights, mainly because the NPC party members called trusts, cannot multitask well and cannot be controlled directly. They do a good job trying to help out, but it's just not enough at times. With some help from my old Linkshell friends from over a decade ago, I was able to beat the final main scenario boss. It was a sad throwback to another Final Fantasy game, one of the many unimpressive final bosses in the series, but at least the music was enjoyable.
My feelings towards this game will never change. Its problems are huge and will never be fixed, but I don't care because it still fills me with nostalgia. The job system is a huge twenty-two job collection, the music is all fantastic, and the story and characters are deep and meaningful. I could spend more time listing its problems, but why worry about that now? The game is done, and I am happy.