FEATURE: "Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn" (PS4 Version) Review

Baker takes a look at the newest, sharpest-looking version of FFXIV yet on Sony's next-gen system!

by Baker McDonald
Hey everyone!  Bjaker back for another look at Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn!

I've been playing something fierce since the initial relaunch on PC back in August, when I did that team-up review with Nate, Karkarov and Beardfist! Here's a look at my character, who I've been focusing on crafting with recently.
For the sake of this review I really wanted to get down and dirty with a new character to get the feel of starting fresh on a new platform! Enter Hamburger Patty, my lovely Roegadyn Thaumaturge.
Before I got around to playing though, I did have a few issues! When I first downloaded the game I did it under one of my flatmate's profiles.  Excited to play, I fired it up and tried logging into my account, however... no go, because I had set it up on my PS3 prior.

No big deal!

I then created my own profile on the PS4 and logged in then went and launched the software and tried to log in... and no, you can't do that because you didn't download the software. Unlike other games like Knack which show a lock icon for account-specific software, FFXIV did not, so I'm not sure if that was a bug or not.

Okay! So yeah, at this point it's log out, log back in, delete the software, log out, log back in, download and wait another hour... and are we good? Yes!!! Now that I'm finally in the game, I'm reminded of why I enjoy it so much: it's gorgeous, the music is great, the story is fun. Yeah, just breathtaking!

Visually, the game definitely looks better than my PC! I initially built my home computer for the very first launch of Final Fantasy XIV, so he's getting on in years.  Going from PS3 to PS4, the only comparison I can make is that it was like going from FFXI to the first iteration of FFXIV.  The jump in graphics is really apparent.  Also the draw distance is SO good.  The environments really do look amazing and the PS4 does a great job showcasing how detailed the zones are!
On the controls: having been a console gamer most of my life, I'm horrendous when it comes to using a keyboard and mouse setup. That said, handed a controller I'm happy as a clam! I'd previously been playing via PC with an Xbox 360 controller, so going back to the familiar DualShock feel was heaven. I really do feel that as far as controllers go, Sony has the most comfortable, best-laid-out controller on the market (just my opinion!) so it was nice to be able to use it again! It's funny how something as simple as a swapped joystick and d-pad can make such a big difference in gaming. 
Now, for the thing I was most excited to check out: Remote Play! How is this thing going to drive with a Vita??? Snagged my roommates, synced it up to the PS4 and then... nothing. It turns out that like the game, the device has to be linked to the same PSN account that is currently running Final Fantasy XIV, so you can't really just borrow a friend's device to get it a shot.
The initial barrier to entry and the flub around Remote Play aside, it was great to fire up this version of the game. I'm definitely going to be migrating from PC to PS4! Now if only I could copy over my macros and equipment sets. T_T
+ Game is beautiful as ever.
+ Controls so much better with Dual Shock than Xbox 360 gamepad.
- Initial barrier to entry was a little high. Should really be super simple to get logged in.
- Need your own Vita, can't just use a friend's
- The carousel on the log in screen is a little janky.
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