Killer Guides has released its Final Fantasy XIV Strategy Guide, a massive 80-page digital book containing leveling and class walkthroughs for the reworked version of the game, A Realm Reborn.
The guide gives gamers all the sweet tips and tricks while adventuring in Eorzea without spoiling all the sweet story tidbits. The guide covers a lot of the topics with impressive depth and clarity, a surprising feat given its cheap $29.99 price tag.
If I make it sound like the guide is perfect, it’s only because there are only a few others I can compare it to – and of those, this is definitely the best. Overall, the writing quality and tips offered are superb.
- Well-organized. I use a dual-monitor gaming PC, so I can keep this guide open in one screen and play Final Fantasy XIV in the other. I can easily go to different sections by typing in the page, and I even use it as reading material when I’m in the toilet since it displays well on mobile devices as well. The chapters are arranged logically, and important sections and tips are marked so you can skim them in between fights.
- Lots of insider tips. As a gamer who has followed the Final Fantasy XIV rework, I am familiar with the new features and areas in A Realm Reborn. But reading through this guide still surprised me with its insight and sheer insider knowledge. A lot of advice comes from actually playing the game, completing quests, running dungeons, testing out builds, and just exploring every nook and cranny of the game world.
- Layman’s approach without dumbing it down. The guide is a very easy read, and explains a lot of things that a new gamer will want to know about Final Fantasy XIV. It does not assume that you played or are even familiar with the clunky old version. But it is never condescending – while reading, you feel like it’s one of your gaming buddies talking to you about the game and sharing all his best secrets.
- Keeps the time-strapped gamer in mind. Another appealing thing about this Killer Guides walkthrough is that it understands why I and probably thousands of other gamers bought the guide: We simply don’t have the time to play the game aimlessly. We want to play with purpose and objectives and end each session feeling like we accomplished something like hit a certain level or beat a boss. The guide is really geared towards helping real gamers get things done in the fraction of the time it would otherwise take them without any help.
- Constant updates. Arguably the best thing for me is that this guide will stay relevant even as the game gets new content. This is because Killer Guides has promised to release free updates to the guide. You will only have to re-download updated versions that will adapt to the changing content in Final Fantasy XIV.
I only have minor criticisms against the guide, and some might even find them as bordering on nitpicking.
- Less visuals, more text. If you’re the type who wants a lot of pictures – gorgeous art, screenshots, and frame-by-frame breakdowns — then you might be a bit disappointed with this guide. Still, it does contain maps and other essential visuals.
- Omits database info. The guide assumes that you have access to a full database, so you won’t find a total list of items in the guide, for example. It does have reference tables for class skills and such, but these are not as exhaustive as what you would find in full database like xivdb.com.
For more hardcore players
As a casual player, I find that the Strategy and Leveling guide already gives me everything I want. But I can see more hardcore players wanting more. In which case I also heartily recommend the other Killer Guides-made guides for FFXIV for their affordable cost and remarkable coverage. Their Class guide and Gil guide are equally excellent, and those who plan to buy all three can do so cheaply through the 3-in-1 Complete Package bundle.