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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn begins its free two-week trial

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn begins its free two-week trial

The near enough fourteenth Final Fantasy game is throwing open its doors today and inviting buy-curious players to sample a fourteen-day trial of the MMO, free of charge.

The trial will limit dabbling players to level 20, which is still a fairly hefty chunk of Eorzea to get stuck into. Eorzea, in case you are wondering, is the random collaboration of syllables assigned to the world in which Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is set.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2.3 calls on Eorzea's defenders today

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2.3 calls on Eorzea's defenders today

Final Fantasy XIV’s chunky 2.3 update, complete with gargantuan beards and new dungeons, has just launched today. New questlines, challenging boss battles, chocobo raising and a mountain of other additions have being thrown into the MMO.  

It’s come a long way since it was shut down and rebranded as A Realm Reborn, which our Nick became very fond when he worked away on his Final Fantasy XIV review, and called it one of the best MMORPGs on PC. Have you had a chance to dip into any of the new content? 

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2.3 adds new dungeons, chocobo raising and one hell of a beard

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2.3 adds new dungeons, chocobo raising and one hell of a beard

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s 2.3 update, Defenders of Eorzea, is a big one, apparently requiring an 8 minute trailer. There does seem to be quite a lot to get through, including Chocobo rearing, new quests, a boss with the most magnificent beard ever conceived of by the human brain and a slew of new dungeons. It's come a long way since our A Realm Reborn review last year.

Direct your eyes towards the trailer below. 

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Square Enix updates 14-year-old Final Fantasy VIII with lots of cheats

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Square Enix updates 14-year-old Final Fantasy VIII with lots of cheats

Final Fantasy VIII was released over 14 years ago on PC. Square Enix have decided to give it an update, possibly thanks to increased attention after becoming available on Steam late last year. 

Squall, Seifer and all their SEED chums will benefit from what are, effectively, cheats. Those roguish teens, never playing by the rules. What will they get up to next?

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A Realm in Peril: villainy has an oddly-masked new face in Final Fantasy XIV

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A Realm in Peril: villainy has an oddly-masked new face in Final Fantasy XIV

This trailer for A Realm Reborn’s next big plot twist ticks off plenty of JRPG stereotypes - a stellar soundtrack; unparalleled boss fights; unbearable cuteness; dialogue so unnatural as to be irritating, if the voice acting weren’t so entertaining.

But MMOs are the sphere where Eastern genre conventions meet West - storytelling standards are low, all battles are real-time, and a game like Final Fantasy XIV can be the best place to quest on any continent according to our A Realm Reborn review.

So, er - go easy on it, yeah? It's actually very good.

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Final Fantasy XIV boasts 2 million registered accounts, causing moogle habitats to shrink

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Final Fantasy XIV boasts 2 million registered accounts, causing moogle habitats to shrink

Some people have been playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. 2 million of them, according to Square Enix, and it's, no surprise when you read our A Realm Reborn review.

This isn’t 2 million active players, instead counting every registered account worldwide. That’s still 2 million copies sold, however, since Square Enix’s MMO is one of the few subscription based MMOs left.

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Deus XIV: the Illuminati arrive to populate hard mode dungeons in A Realm Reborn patch 2.2

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Deus XIV: the Illuminati arrive to populate hard mode dungeons in A Realm Reborn patch 2.2

After thousands of years pulling the strings from the shadows, the Illuminati have finally emerged in the guise of goblin scholars to overrun the swamp dungeon of Brayflox’s Longstop. The dungeon is situated somewhere in Eorzea, Final Fantasy XIV’s reborn realm. 

If this was their long game, I didn’t read anything about it in any of those private emails dotted about Deus Ex.

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FFXIV: A Realm Reborn patch 2.2 video previews Leviathan and more

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FFXIV: A Realm Reborn patch 2.2 video previews Leviathan and more

Square Enix has released today a new video detailing the contents of the new patch coming to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Through the Maelstrom. The headline feature: the appearance of the water serpent primal, Leviathan. Along with additional quests, more hard mode dungeons and gear glamouring, the patch will also introduce the The Second Coil of Bahamut: a continuation of the games end-game raid.

This is the second patch to hit Final Fantasy XIV since it's release; you can read what we thought in our A Realm Reborn review.

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FFXIV: A Realm Reborn patch 2.2 screenshots surface from the depths

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FFXIV: A Realm Reborn patch 2.2 screenshots surface from the depths

A new primal stirs in the lands of Eorzea. The Sahagin, a beast tribe of the Indigo Deep have finally succeeded in summoning their ruthless god, Leviathan. Patch 2.2 for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will put players head on with this new threat in an all new main story quest. Also in is a new system for altering the appearance of gear using “glamour" magicks.

If you've not set foot in Eorzea, you might want to give my A Realm Reborn review a read. Meanwhile we’ve fished up some screenshots of the upcoming patch, featuring many of the main story characters and the dreaded Leviathan himself.

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Final Fantasy VII re-release was "quite popular", opens the door for more FF on Steam

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Final Fantasy VII re-release was "quite popular", opens the door for more FF on Steam

Is there a series more stubbornly console-bound than Final Fantasy? Thankfully, developing MMOs forced Squeenix’s hand and we got the exquisite Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on PC - plus a welcome redo of Final Fantasy VII on Steam, though it took a while to reach its full, musical potential.

Rather than sating our appetites for pointy hats and po-faced walking haircuts, however, these games have only served to bounce noisily about our otherwise empty stomachs. Across oceans, thankfully, the high-ups at Squeenix have heard our clamour.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a tenner for its Steam launch - 30 free days included

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a tenner for its Steam launch - 30 free days included

Steam’s ‘You’ve played’ hour counter is open to interpretation - and not just because it’s unreliable. It’s a number which, when cross-referenced with your progress in Dark Souls, can quantifiably define how rubbish you are. It can be a badge of honour. Or it can be a timely reminder to maybe go for a walk instead, just this once.

I mention this because it’s something Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn players might want to consider before they begin playing it via Steam, where it’s just been added. You can lie to yourself, and you probably will if you liked it as much as Nick in his A Realm Reborn review, but the hour counter will not lie to you.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn expansion will double what was there at launch (and that was good)

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn expansion will double what was there at launch (and that was good)

You have to call Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn by its full, overlong title, because otherwise you risk dismissing the years of rebuilding that went on after its original crummy release, and eventually resulted in the most polished MMO our Nick’s ever played according to his A Realm Reborn review - and gosh, does he play them.

It’s going to be tricky on the tongue, though. Square Enix are readying another colon and another phrase to append to their game’s title. There's an expansion coming, and it’ll be a biggie.

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Square Enix back in the black thanks to Final Fantasy XIV

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Square Enix back in the black thanks to Final Fantasy XIV

Square Enix has published their financial results for March through December. While the publisher’s sales total is marginally less than it was the year prior, its net income has improved substantially. 

Sales amounted to ¥102.5bn, compared with ¥102.8 for the previous year. But net income was up by ¥10.9bn. 2012 saw a loss of ¥5.7bn, but 2013 ended with ¥5.2 in profit. Square Enix cites the release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as one of the main reasons for this upswing.

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Final Fantasy Tactics designer taps Kickstarter to bring his new thing to PC

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Final Fantasy Tactics designer taps Kickstarter to bring his new thing to PC

Final Fantasy Tactics! The console counterpart to Laser Squad et al that meant we could all meet as grown-ups in Firaxis’ XCOM and understand what the hell was going on. For that game and its director, Yasumi Matsuno, let us spend all our action points on gratitude.

The especially thankful among you might wish to spend your cash, too. Matsuno’s Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians is the subject of a new Kickstarter campaign designed to pull it from the screens of mobile phones and plonk it on the rather larger displays of PCs.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn free weekend begins tomorrow

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn free weekend begins tomorrow

Square Enix have announced a Free Login Weekend for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, starting tomorrow. Users who have lapsed their subscription can return to the world of Eorzea to discover what’s new. The weekend is to celebrate the recent release of their patch 2.1 update, aptly named “A Realm Awoken". Inside is brand new 24-man raid, the Labyrinth of the Ancients. Primals have had a whole new difficulty added, extreme mode, to test your mettle against. New dungeons, a PVP arena, housing and adventuring, there’s something for everyone.

You should certainly give it a shot if my A Realm Reborn review is anything to go by. But can you cram it all in on one weekend?

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Final Fantasy XIV update 2.1 is A Realm Awoken

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Final Fantasy XIV update 2.1 is A Realm Awoken

Earlier this year, Square Enix claimed that Final Fantasy XIV was ‘A Realm Reborn’ after its extensive redesign. Now, with the advent of update 2.1, Square are announcing that their MMO is ‘A Realm Awoken’. Wait, does this mean that Final Fantasy XIV has been asleep this whole time? And if a game can be this good a MMO in its sleep, what will it be like post-patch?

For an idea on what a wide-awake realm will be like, take a look at these here patch notes. 

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What is the best MMORPG on PC?

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What is the best MMORPG on PC?

Ever since I was a tiny child, I've had a love affair with an MMORPG. From Runescape, through to World of Warcraft, to more complicated fare like Eve Online - MMO RPG games remain my preferred way to play. 

And I think that if you choose the right game, they could be yours, too. Here’s my list of the 10 best PC MMO games on the PC. They’re in no particular order, but whichever place you choose to explore, will be stay with you. Here’s to growing old in strange new worlds.

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Quite a lot of people have decided to play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

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Quite a lot of people have decided to play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

I say decided, because Square Enix have only announced the number of registrations to date for their revamped, redeemed MMO across the PC and PS3. All of those players might have moved on after 30 days and nights of free trial, like uncommitted Jesus Christs. Or drifted off to sleep lullabasking in the game’s gorgeous main theme, trapped in a sonic net of synthesised narcolepsy.

Nonetheless, the fact remains: 1.5 million people had every intention of playing Final Fantasy XIV, and they should according to our A Realm Reborn review.

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Square Enix assembles Final Fantasy Quality Assurance Committee

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Square Enix assembles Final Fantasy Quality Assurance Committee

The PC has a bit of an off/on relationship with the Final Fantasy series. You may fondly remember playing the PC versions of Final Fantasy VII and VIII, but after those releases we were forced to wait for MMO Final Fantasy XI, and then a few years more for Final Fantasy XIV. Consoles, on the other hand, have seen Final Fantasy entries IX, X, X-2, XII, XII, XII-2, and the upcoming XII-3. Some of them are incredible. Some of them.. well they’re pretty damn awful. 

To prevent another terrible Final Fantasy game, Square Enix have assembled a team that will work together to ensure the quality of future Final Fantasy games is kept high. 

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Final Fantasy XIV now live, launch trailer has all the pretties

Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV now live, launch trailer has all the pretties