Thursday, September 9, 2010

Final Fantasy... not a review

Final Fantasy is getting no shortage of coverage from me. If I was only as famous as Tobold it would matter… Anyways here is where I stand. I found a “patch”, it’s a patch not a hack, that changes how the mouse pointer operates. When you use the stock game interface the mouse has some sort of software lag; not sure of the technical specifics behind it. The bottom line is the mouse pointer is very sluggish and unresponsive. This patch lets your computer hardware take over the mouse pointer operation thus resulting in near perfect mouse control.

The controls for Final Fantasy are… unnatural. I won’t call them bad because I don’t think they are necessarily bad. The controls feel very logical for a console game but considering we are on a PC that has been a point of contention for most gamers trying out Final Fantasy XIV. I guess I’m more forgiving than most. When I first logged on to FFXIV and heard how hard the controls were I didn’t look at it as a handicap, I looked at it as a challenge. I spent 30 minutes messing around with the controls, moving my character, navigating the menus, and checking hotkeys. After the 30 minutes I could control my character well enough to do anything I needed to do.

It’s strange, everyone keeps rattling their blogger cages screaming for something that isn’t a WoW Clone and when they get a new UI that takes some time to learn they scream that the system isn’t intuitive. As a long time MMO gamer, not willing to call myself old yet, I can’t help but notice the similiarties between this and when I went from EverQuest to World of Warcraft. The controls were foreign, unnatural, and yet I learned them. Yes FFXIV’s controls may not be an evolutionary step forward in UI design but that doesn’t mean it’s a step backwards either.

My point of contention with FFXIV… lag. I’m not sure if it’s my computer or the server I’m trying to connect to. I honestly feel it’s both. My computer did fairly poorly on Square Enix’s benchmark test. I can’t turn the graphics up very high without destroying my frame rate and causing a lot of screen tearing… the more I think about it the more I think the majority of my issues are from my computer. I’m not sure if I can handle anything more than the starting areas… and honestly I can’t really handle those at the moment. I know my computer needs an update, the processor is 4 years old and it wasn’t top of the line when I bought it. I’m short on funds right now though and can’t afford the $500 or so it would take for an upgrade.

1 comment:

  1. There is a difference between different controls and bad controls. Sure - that difference is not always easy to spot.

    But a sluiggish mouse cursor is not a different UI, but a bad one. Moreover, I want the challenges to be in the game. Not in the interface.