PC Game Review – Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers

So after my long winding road of catch up, I have finally arrived at the culmination of 2 years worth of extra content.

Our poor Scions are all now trapped in slumber, the world of Eorzea is on the bring of a massive world war with the empire, and I am whisked away to some foreign land by a mysterious hooded figure.

The game opens in the new realm of the First. Bathed in a horrible unending daylight, a world that lost the battle between light and dark, when light won and destroyed everything in its wake. Wait what?!?! How can the light be bad? We are in fact the Warrior of Light, we fight for good, how could this be?

Well that brings us to the main hook of Shadowbringers, balance.

All this time we have been fighting to snuff out the darkness, all the while not realizing the world needs balance, for with the absence of darkness would mean another Calamity would overtake us, as the scale tipped too far in one direction.

That is pretty much the crux of the whole story in Shadowbringers, restoring balance to the world of the First, in hopes of staving off a full blown Calamity that would destroy both the First and Eorzea in one fell swoop.

What is sadly omitted here si the main struggle in Eorzea, what we have built up to over the last 2 years is the final showdown with the Empire, but due to our poorly timed abduction, things back home have to wait, and as time passes different in the First, us being gone for years is only a matter of days back home.

So it is a sneaky way for Square to not wrap things up back in the real world. This is both good and bad, on one hand, it allowed us to see a lot of places we otherwise could not have explained in Eorzea, on the other it seems like a bit of a cop out in story telling. Right when the central story was about to be finally resolved, poof you are taken to a place where time moves differently so it does not screw with the main plot.

But I digress.

The core of the game has seen a massive overhaul. From abilities changing, shared skills no longer being a part of the jobs, to the overall ease added to tanking (and from what I have read, Healing too)

What Shadowbringers has done is somewhat give us a FF14 casual edition.

Now on one hand, for someone returning to the game after 2 years, it is a welcome change. I was always scared to tank as I recall in v2.0 it was seriously hard to keep hate, you had lots to balance.

Now, you just pop a enemity stance and that is it, little to no effort to keep the hate.

Same goes for Bard now sadly. You used to have songs that buffed the party, you would want to pop them at the proper time. Now, your sweet music if for your ears only, nothing more than a button mashing dps, little to no skill needed.

What this did however was push me to seek out other jobs for a challenge.

I dove into my level 50 BLM and took her all the way to 80.

While that may sound like a daunting task, it really isn’t anymore. Exp is so plentiful in Shadowbringers, that just through the main story I was able to get 4 jobs (Brd, Blm, Rdm and Drg) to level 80 with just main story and side quest experience.

Everything over 70 sees massive exp in dungeons as well. So it is a pretty easy run from 70-80 now, which is also good and bad. Sure I can turbo through levels but it feels too casual friendly, like I have not earned it per se.

All in all though, Shadowbringers added some stellar story to the lore of FF14.

We finally understand Hydalean and Eorzea, from millennia of time, back to the very seeds of creation and how the worlds came to be, how the calamities happen, all of it.

This was hands down the biggest bump in lore of any FF14 expansion to date.

A lot of questions we have had for a decade got answered.

In addition to the new story, we also got 2 new jobs thrown into the mix. Gunbreaker and Dancer. A tank and a ranger dps job.

Gunbreaker is a bit of a mix of Pld and War with a side of Machinist thrown in for good measure. You have a gunblade like Squall from FF8. You build up a gauge for the ability to use magic bullets pretty much to deal massive damage.

In my opinion it feels a little too much like a DPS job and not enough support.

And that is a real downfall of FF14, there are no real support roles. I miss the days of FF11 where things like enfeebling were paramount in killing bosses.

Now it is just about timing and dps, the higher the dps, the better chance you have of winning.

The second job is a very convoluted dps job. To be fair I have not played it much outside of the initial unlocking story, but Dancer seems like ti has the potential for some real fun. Maybe I will take her for a spin in the next expansion.

All in all Shadowbringers adds a lot to the old world. I have put in about 300 hours into the expansion and it shows no sighs of slowing. With the new raid and the new alliance raid on the horizon, there is plenty of content to still master.

All in all well worth the price of admission.

A solid 9/10 and a must play for anyone interested in MMOs

PC Game Chat – Final Fantasy 14 – 4.2 to 4.5

How does one write about a game that has taken 3 months to finish, somewhere in the 400 hour range.

A game that spans continents and universes?

A game that is a continuation of almost 10 years of play?

To be honest, I am not even sure where to begin.

After a 2 year hiatus I stepped back into Eorzea with trepidation, not even remembering how to play the game, where I left off, what jobs I preferred. All of it lost to the passage of time.

My beloved game causing a bit of anxiety with the sheer overwhelming size and scope, all of this even before the expansion dropped as I had a month worth of grinding the back content to get caught up enough to even play the expansion.

I eased myself in, much like a child in a pool trying not to drown. Checking out Gold Saucer and the mini games that I had never even seen, I grabbed my level 50 DRG and ventured into dungeons telling people I was pretty much a noob here. A lie that was not so much a lie, as all of this felt fresh to me.

All coming to a culmination so I could play Shadowbringers in July.

The massive amount of content was staggering, having seen 4 full on stories unfold, new raids and dungeons, and old story treads come to a head, all leading to SB.

Once I finally found my feet I started to get braver, started to dive into some old raids, get caught up on Heavensward and Stormblood content I just never got around to finishing.

What these last 5 months have taught me is, there is never a shortage of content to be had in FF14. Not that I doubted it, but it seems even to this day that I am still finding new missions and quests I never knew existed on a weekly basis.

I have been going through the Achievement section finding things I have not finished, that lead me on a never ending wild goose chase to new stories.

I have finished the last 2 raids now, I have forged a top tier Anima weapon for my Bard, I have leveled not only my 2 mains (Redmage and Bard) to 80, but also decided to bring up 5 other jobs. (Drg, Blm, Pld, Gnb and War) as well as level up my Carpenter to 80 as well.

All the while unlocking new story content for those jobs as well.

So it is no small surprise since I allowed myself to indulge in Final Fantasy 14, that I have had a hard time moving on. As there really seems no end in sight to what it has to offer.

Even though I am playing other things at the moment, I still pop in for my daily deliveries and weekend Catpot tickets.

So that pretty much takes us up to date for Shadowbrings, stay tuned for impression coming soon.

Where oh where has CCG been?

So 2019 has been a bit of a strange year for both Lego and video games.

From Sony pulling out of E3, to Lepin being seized by the Chinese police, things have been weird all over the world.

With the lack of Sony and new games coming down the pipe, a lot of my year was spent diving into my 165 game backlog, but even that didn’t really get chipped down too much. Primarily due to this little thing called Final Fantasy 14.

For the first time in a bout 7 or 8 years, I allowed myself to just indulgently game. To play FF14 until I no longer felt like do it.

Well that still has not happened. I have been going strong now since May and for the first time since then, I am taking a small break to play through Call of Duty Modern Warfare, and also some Death Stranding (reviews coming soon)

But what this meant for The Compulsive Canadian Gamer is a lack of content, because really, I have not played anything I can review for you folks.

I will get something out for FF14 Shadowbringers shortly, but that is the only thing on the roster so far.

As for the Lepin / Lego side of things, the situation is similar.

When Lepin went under, there was a market lull for about 6 months, they are jsut making a comeback now, but it essentially killed the block-off business for 2019.

What did happen though is a influx of MOC sets, as small retailers tried to find a way to eek out a living still, and they looked to the MOC community to create some pretty great sets, just sadly, none that interest me that much.

I do have a couple things to put out, notably the Empire over Jedha and the Colonial Viper, as well as a replacement B-Wing for my legitimate Lego version.

I have decided I want to replace all my current on-brand Lego sets with block-offs, and put the originals aside for sale down the road. So I will have a few reviews there as well, but maybe not until the new year.

So please check back soon as I get caught up.

Thanks for reading!