Game Reviews PC Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
 
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Hot

Editor rating
 
9.1
User rating
 
0.0 (0)


Accessibility At A Glance Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

9.1

   
Precision > Maybe Read the detailed review please
One-Handed > Yes One-Handed gamers shoud be okay
Deaf Gamers > Yes You should have no issues with this game
Subtitles > Yes This Game is Perfect in this department
Colorblind > Yes Colorblind gamers should be okay

About the Game

Class
Commercial
Genre
Maker
Square Enix
Release Date
August 27, 2013
Multi-player
Yes
Licence Category
commercial

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the latest massively multiplayer online game from Square-Enix. Final Fantasy XIV was originally released in 2010, and after being critically panned, was shut down by the developers to be rebuilt from the ground up. Three years later, A Realm Reborn is the latest incantation of the once struggling game, but vastly superior to the original in every way.

Editor review

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2013-10-31 15:13:07 Joseph Giampapa
Overall rating 
 
9.1
Mobility 
 
8.5
Visual 
 
9.5
Hearing 
 
10.0
Joseph Giampapa Reviewed by Joseph Giampapa    October 31, 2013
Last updated: January 27, 2014
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews

FF14

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is very much a traditional MMO, you can choose your gender, race and class, customize your appearance, and unleash your character upon the world of Eorzea. Similar to other MMOs such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2, your character completes quests and fights monsters to level up, unlocking you knew gear, stronger weapons, tougher monsters and more of the beautiful map to explore. There is also the deep main story, which is carried out through specialized quests and tied together with big cinematic cut scenes, something relatively new to the MMO genre.

One of the most appealing aspects of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (especially to the disabled gamer) is the extraordinary amount of customization options the game has. Almost everything can be tweaked and fine tuned to the gamers preference, from movement to sights and sounds. What is even more reassuring is that all these options can be found in an easy to navigate menu, so you don’t have to search through preferences and help desks to implement the changes you want.

Note: Being an online centric game, Square-Enix will update the game periodically by way of downloadable patches that will add new features to the game. Some of these patches will include added accessibility options in the future, as developers are dedicated to listening to the feedback of their players and adding requested features. In December, Square-Enix released their 2.1 update that added additional quests, boss battles and dungeons, as well as a host of new “quality-of-life” features that makes everything smoother and more accessible. One of these new features is a built in virtual keyboard on the game launcher that will assist gamers in entering their ID and password, and logging into the game. You can be sure that over time the game will become even more accessible and enjoyable.

In order to request a feature or place a suggestion, you can choose the “Contact Us” option under the Support Desk, then go to “Leave a Suggestion.”


Gameplay:

Since this is an MMO and you are sharing the world with thousands of other players, there is no way to adjust the difficulty to make it easier, which can be a roadblock for some gamers with disabilities. While the game is fairly simple at an early level, later on it requires you to join a party with other players and take on dungeons and bosses to continue the story.

Since the game requires a heavy amount of teamwork during cooperative play, it could be hard for some to advance in the game if they are unable to move their character as fast as expected in these instances. While playing solo however, at least at an early level, you are given ample time to choose your actions and press the correct buttons.

Mobility:

Gamers with mobility concerns can find solace in knowing that the game allows you full customization of your characters movement and actions. To start, gamers can play with either a keyboard and mouse (or touchpad), or any controller they wish to plug in. Once plugged in, you can configure your controller any way you want. Each action your character has can be mapped to any key or button of your choosing, including menu shortcuts and the use of macros.

The ability to customize every aspect of the user interface (UI) is another feature that appeals to every gamer. Everything you see on the screen, from the map to the health bar can be moved, resized, or deleted either by dragging it with a mouse or by unchecking it in the menu. The on screen skill buttons can be sized and placed in any position you want. On the PC version, you can create macros to display pre-typed text with one click to help you communicate.


Your characters movement speed as well as the camera can be customized to fit your play style, including an option that allows you to change the speed your character turns their body. The game can be played solely by way of the keyboard with the help of the key mapping feature, allowing you to lay out everything so it is comfortable. Every character action can be bound to an open key on the keyboard, and on game pads each specific button can be programmed a corresponding key on the keyboard. The game can also read the keyboard and a joystick at the same time, allowing you to move your character with a joystick while imputing actions with the mouse or keyboard.




The one feature that is missing is the option to use the mouse to move your character. The problem with the key binding system is that you can assign keys to actions, not the other way around. There is no option to tell the game what the left or right-click can do, while only keyboard buttons and additional mouse buttons (function keys on a gaming mouse) can be bound to the listed character actions. The mouse can only be used to select items on screen and dragging and rotating the camera, which doesn’t change the direction the character moves, only the camera placement. The camera options themselves can be bound to a keystroke, but will always be bound to the mouse as well by default. This only becomes a problem when a player wishes to move the character with a mouse. It never gets in the way anywhere else. For the gamepad, you can choose any button on the controller to bind to the W key, allowing full customizable movement there.

I believe it may be possible to bind “Walk Forward” to an additional mouse button on a gaming mouse, but it would be so difficult to use between walking forward and turning the character that it would be hard to recommend as an option. AbleGamers will continue to encourage Square-Enix to add this feature in the future to allow gamers who can only use a mouse or trackball to play the game easily.

Visual:

To go along with the theme of customization, almost everything you see can be customized to fit your needs as well. The chat box on the bottom left of the screen can be resized and be made bigger, and the font size is scalable, from the standard 12 point up to 20 point. Inside the chat box, each different type of communication can be assigned its own color of your choosing if the default colors are hard to see. The game doesn’t supply specific color blind options, but the designers were careful not to overuse sensitive colors. The names and health bars over other character and enemy’s heads can all be customized with various colors and hues.

The majority of the story is delivered through text, but that text doesn’t seem to be as customizable as everything else, which is weird as subtitle options are seemingly the only thing missing from the games large list of options. During major cut scenes and story moments, there is voice acting to supplement the text, though it is few and far between.

Hearing:

As I mentioned above, the majority of the game is relayed to you through text, so you can play the entire game with no sound and not miss anything. The text boxes are dismissed by clicking, so you’ll have plenty of time to read, even during cut scenes. Each text box lists the speaker, and while ambient noise is not included in the text, there are never any instances where ambient noise is used in an impactful way in the story.

In any case, every sound that you can hear has its own volume setting, so you can adjust it any way you want to. There is even an ambient noise slider, and while each setting is at 100 to start, you can adjust them all to get the perfect balance of music and sound effects.

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About the Author
Joseph Giampapa
I\'ve been a gamer for 20 years and a disabled gamer for 5 years. I write reviews.

  • Guest (HeavenlyArmed)

    Um, did you try holding down both mouse buttons to move, ie right and left click at the same time?
    As it stands, your statement about not being able to move using only the mouse is downright wrong, as holding down both mouse buttons will, as I said, move your character forward. Please update the review to fix this.

  • Hi Heavenly Armed,

    Not all gamers can hold both mouse buttons simultaneously. Click-to-move or right-click-and-hold are needed to incorporate full mouse/track ball accessibility.

  • Guest (k52)

    i know clicking down on the mouse wheel will turn auto-run on/off, making the character move forward/stop. does this not meet that requirement? just curious to know the evaluation criteria, thanks.

  • <p>&lt;p&gt;Hi K52,&lt;br /&gt;<br />
    &lt;br /&gt;<br />
    The full guidelines for how all of our reviews are accomplished can be found in the pages of Includification, which is available free online.&lt;br /&gt;<br />
    &lt;br /&gt;<br />
    Basically each additional feature moves the scale up a certain percentage. Toggling the auto run on and off via a button is a good start, but it's not the same thing as holding one side of the mouse down or click to move. In the situation, you can play the game with the keyboard only, or the keyboard and the mouse, but you would need some sort of additional device along with the mouse in order to play the full game.&lt;br /&gt;<br />
    &lt;br /&gt;<br />
    In FF XIV you can hold both mouse buttons to toggle your AutoRun, or hold the left click and then click the right mouse button while moving the mouse left or right. While in World of Warcraft, you can hold one-button, you can hold two, you can toggle auto run, you can click to move, you can remind walking to the mouse or trackball, and you can use the keyboard.&lt;br /&gt;<br />
    &lt;br /&gt;<br />
    So, FF is doing a good job, they just need to add a couple of options for those who are not able to reach the mouse wheel or cannot hold both mouse buttons down at the same time.&lt;/p&gt;</p>

  • Guest (Fen)

    In reply to: Steve

    Hi Steve,

    While not a disabled gamer, my girl plays using the Logitech g600 (except for typing) through to 50 without a hiccup. Though it may not work for all disabled gamers, I'm sure mice like that (and the Naga) can come in handy.

  • Guest (Magi)

    In reply to: Steve

    Fyi, the default key mappings have 'r' and the middle mouse button set to toggle auto-run

  • <p>Hi Fen,<br />
    <br />
    Yep! We love Logitech and Naga. They're both very useful for our one-handed gamers.</p>

  • Guest (Fen)

    In reply to: Steve

    I will say though that programs like GlovePIE allow you to remap certain things temporarily (while the script is running) and I used to use the program while the R2+L2 hotbars weren't available to simulate the function.

    I don't know if you can unbind right click from the game commands (or if it's necessary) but you can definitely make Left/Right Mouse click into W using the program. You can just turn it off afterwards.

  • Fen,

    Yep, but all games are rated without AT, to keep it fair.

  • Guest (Shaun)

    It is also worth mentioning that the game enables mouse acceleration in turning the camera by the mouse, and you cannot disable it.

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