In a nutshell:
Denied a release on the PlayStation 2, Square Enixs first ever massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) comes to the Xbox 360 with all new graphics and all the expansion packs and extras from the PC version.
Although this is part of the core, numbered, Final Fantasy series it is a fully fledged MMORPG that cannot be played offline or in single player mode (it also requires a hard drive to work). That said, its easily one of the most accessible and attractive MMORPGs around and the first proper one to be released on a home console. Once youve created and customised a character, the world of Vana 'Diel is yours to explore and adventure in as you like, with complete freedom to focus on exploration or monster hunting to increase your characters skills. The controls and interface can be a bit fussy at times but the game is great at encouraging teamwork between players, and since this is a social experience above everything else thats all important.
Most exciting moment:
Ganging together with the other members of your linkshell (an online clan of friends) to take on a giant monster you could never defeat alone.
Since you ask:
This is the first ever Square Enix game for an Xbox console, but the company has already promised to develop a second, as yet unspecified, title as well.
The bottom line:
The first ever online Final Fantasy has never looked or played better.
Twenty years have passed since the Great Crystal War, when the forces of darkness gathered and evil threatened the peaceful kingdoms of Vana'diel. An alliance was formed to rid Vana'diel of the evil but after a narrow victory, the threat has returned. As the beastmen organize their forces and make their advance towards the nations of San d'Oria, Windurst, and Bastok, a desperate call goes out to adventurers around the globe for help.
Begin your journey into the world of Vana'diel by creating a customized character from a host of physical attributes and jobs. Experience missions, quests, and boss battles by yourself or join up with other party members to form powerful alliances as you explore the incredibly vast environments that make up Vana'diel. In the end, fans will be pleased to discover that Final Fantasy XI will incorporate new features while retaining the renowned series familiar look and feel.
Through the PlayOnline Viewer, players will be able to connect and communicate on Final Fantasy XI. Aside from using the PlayOnline Viewer as your gateway to Final Fantasy XI, players can use other applications including PlayOnline Chat and PlayOnline Mail, access to support, customization tools, and other games, like the enhanced online version of the Tetra Master Card game from Final Fantasy IX.
The Final Fantasy is world-renowned for creating new standards in the RPG genre while redefining the limits of existing technology. And it has entered its next phase of evolution online play.
Now players from around the globe can unite in the exploration of a new and breathtaking fantasy world. With over 100 spectacular locations to visit, players can fight fierce enemies and undertake missions to aid their nations.
Witness the Final Fantasy series' next phase of evolution on Xbox 360. Join parties to explore new frontiers, and form alliances to vanquish the most powerful of foes. The fate of the world rests in your hands!
* Requires Xbox Live Connection
* First MMORPG on Xbox 360: Players will connect to the same gaming world of the renowned Final Fantasy series. Retention of the same FF visual style and deep storylines that have become a staple of this series
* PC and PS2 compatibility: Play in the same servers as the PC and PS2 owners. Jump straight into the action with thousands of other players!
* A persistent world: More than 100 areas to explore including mountains, forests, ice plains, deserts, oceans, rivers, castles, and dungeons. Time and climate changes that range from full day/night cycles to desert sandstorms, thunderstorms, fog, and snow
* Three starting nations: Players can partake in conquests to elevate their nation's standing, missions to build their reputation within a nation, and special quests to discover useful items, new jobs, earn money, and uncover valuable information and discover more about the story of Vana'diel
* Customizable characters: With a host of physical traits and jobs, gain the ability to equip and switch support jobs at any time to overcome any challenge
* An accessible battle system: Experience a complex yet well-balanced battle system fit for beginners and experienced gamers alike allowing the performing of strategic attacks using magic, job abilities, and weapon skills
* Smart control systems: Players will be able to play at their own pace and form parties by utilizing various integrated communication tools, including easy-to-use PlayOnline Chat and PlayOnline Mail
* Expansion packs included: Includes Rise of the Zilart, Chains of Promathia and Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion packs containing 70 original areas, new jobs, items, mission scenarios and quests which will get you closer to solving the mystery of Vana'Diel