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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 2.4 Dreams of Ice Content Patch
Square Enix has breathed a bit of new life into Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn with their newest content patch, Dreams of Ice. It’s enjoyable enough, but like most MMO content patches, it feels like there should have been more content that just got pushed back to the next content patch, like the Gold Saucer and its mini-game extravaganzas, to distract players from the daily grind that is Final Fantasy XIV.
**Note: This article contains spoilers!**
First things first, Rogue and Ninja are now a class and job combo. Players can unlock the dual-wielding, high-kicking class and dart around doing their fancy ninja runs along with 50% of their server. One thing that has come of the new class is that a lot of the leveling areas have gotten some much needed vitality as the FATEs were difficult to complete solo or even in a small party compared to earlier days when FATEs were plowed through. This is allowing a lot of people to blast through levels. That is never a bad thing and certainly beats just queuing for dungeons day after day. As for the Rogue/Ninja combo, there are a lot of interesting mechanics. They have an elemental ninjutsu wheel, similar to how it worked in Final Fantasy XI where using one elemental attack would lower the enemies resistance to the next element in the rotation.
When using the ninjutsu, you need to enter a hand sign before you use a specific attack, so you end up doing this weird stance dancing with your character’s fingers (which looks pretty cool). In addition, the class itself has some neat abilities: you can mug enemies for a better drop rate on items, you can leap behind enemies for an assassinate (this animation locks like a Dragoon’s jump, so you see a lot of ninjas dying with this ability when they’re not careful), and you can drop poison on the ground for a dot. The ninja class itself also has some good support abilities. It gives back TP with its Goad ability, as well as making an enemy just take 10% more damage from attacks for a short period.
We also get a new storyline and a new primal: Shiva, everyone’s favorite ice lady. Unlike Ramuh, who could be very brutal when he changed phases depending on adds, Shiva is a much more straightforward fight and has some interesting mechanics, like making the ground slippery to restrict movement. She drops item Level 110 weapons and 120 accessories, so a lot of players can expect to be farming her once they understand what mechanics she has.
We get three new hard modes for the expert roulette, two of which are hard modes. We have Sunken Temple of Qarn (Hard Mode), Hard Mode Sastasha (complete with a recycled Kraken fight for the final boss), and Snowcloak. Sunken Temple of Qarn has some pretty fun fights, such as a giant golden warrior who, as he fights you, has legions of mummies run around the area in lines attacking you. Sastasha shows us what an actual kraken fight should be like and how annoying it is when you’re constantly blinded via his ink.
Snowcloak gets special mention for having a relaxing theme, and it is a shame that the normal battle music and boss themes play during them. Part of me wishes that there wasn’t any fight music (outside of maybe the last boss) to create this weird dissonance. The boss fights aren’t that difficult; you fight a yeti that you throw snowballs at, a snow golem who makes it hail and deep freezes people in place, and Fenrir. Yes, Fenrir makes a return and looks similar to his Final Fantasy XI incarnation. This time around, the lunar wolf summons pillars of ice that rotate between exploding and shooting AoE attacks to hit opponents while you try and cling to them to avoid Fenrir’s Lunar Cry ability. It’s a fun dungeon, but I wish Fenrir had unique music.
Lastly, the last section of the Binding Coil of Bahamut has opened up. I myself have not done anything with this coil yet, but I hope it’s difficult enough to keep people satisfied and challenged at least for a month or so before it goes on farm status forever.
Overall, the patch adds some more content for the playerbase to devour like starved animals, but it feels like it has the same issue that 2.3 did in that pushing back things like Gold Saucer and not delivering another form of PvP besides territory control or arena leaves a bit to be desired. The content will satisfy people, but my concern is for how long.