As I write this post, I have Final Fantasy in playing in the background and I have a stupidly wide grin as I listen to the awesome music and let myself be immersed in its world. I will never tire of Ishgard’s music.

When I first returned to FFXIV, I did so expecting it to be a summer game – something to keep me entertained during the sweltering heat. I didn’t know if I’d stick around for more, I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it a whole lot and I certainly didn’t think that I’d be playing it with such enthusiasm. Yet here I am – they have clearly won my Lalafellin heart over.

In thinking about what they did I mulled over story, gameplay, music, art and mechanics…. but it really boils down to a simple thing they did right after which everything followed.

THEY PUT THE FANTASY BACK INTO THE WORLD FOR ME.

This is the stuff I love – new worlds, fun exploration, dragons, magic – all of it. I mean, at the end of it, we all embrace our inner kids and geeks when we play these magical games that take us away to far off lands. And nothing said fantasy to me like the Dragonsong War.

ffxiv_07122015_233124It’s a beautifully told story with the age old man versus dragon element. It’s developed well with each part unfolding slowly through the course of the game. And without giving much away, it gives me the feeling that I’m tucked in with my favourite fantasy book and a cup of hot chocolate.

The immense detail on the politics, plots, strategies of the Holy See of Ishgard and ultimately, the world of Eorzea. Ishgardian culture in general has a very old world Baroque feel to it. I love that the music reflects this in the coolest of ways – it features a lot of organ music which always makes me think of Baroque music and Bach. It’s little details like this that are simply awesome.

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I’ve missed this old world fantasy elsewhere. The knights, the power of religion, the push and pull of politics and finally ofcourse, the coming of war. This is the fantasy I signed up for and the one I’m more than happy to spend my precious down time being immersed in.

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