Woo-hoo! Best.stuff.ever! I was super excited when I rode my first Eorzean Chocobo! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed chocobo riding -and the theme! It’s not FFIX’s Ukelele de Chocobo but it is its sufficiently rich-sounding brother :-}
I really need to find a way to take a screenshot without all this info on the screen (especialy the letters).
Anyway and in all seriousness, the whole scene feels extremely authentic: the visuals are top-notch, meaning that they convey a very realistic feel inside this world, the environment feels plausible, accompanying music (here’s a video of that because I don’t think SqEn would be too happy about me posting the ost here 😛 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFoS-625ljY) is pretty good – it feels like your standard SqEn single-player game music which is pretty good.
Gameplay wise, its also very convinient. Chocobo riding convinient: traversing the land not too fast so you wouldn’t be missing details while you’re new to the areas but faster than on legs (somewhere between 2x and 3x faster?). It’s also relatively cheap, at least in Ul’dah.
I will be pointing out more details in the end of the post along with all of my impressions so far.
Let’s take a step back and delve into the scenes: In no particular order, notice the following: the bridge is well built but simple for SqEn’s renaissance-y art standards. There is some detail, personalised to the world’s current craft art trends. The railings and the lamp posts are something I wouldn’t expect to see in a bridge out of the city, into a dangerous wilderness, though. However, look at the amazing detail on the textures! The pathway is an amazingly detailed, well used, stone road that blends very well with the landscape ahead. Although the path textures do not blend seamlessly with the railing textures, the shadowed part look extremely good. The lighting is amazing and the shadows make the details look great. I feel the need to point out that the water textures weren’t as polished as the bridge’s though. The colours of all the environments depicted blend well together, only Nature could provide better. And the placement of the objects: canyons, rocks, cactii (that are not cactuars), trees mechanized constructions and village stuff co-exist in visual harmony. Check out how this circular plaza blends well with the scene in the background. I would do away with the cloths on top of the columns, though and the columns themselves look a little too perfect (no wear while they’re near the sea).
Well, you pay for those graphics, so they ought to be good. And they are!