Some Things I Forgot To Mention
The Playstation 2 version and the PC version connect to the same servers, which is pretty cool. Playing on the PC, Gabe asked someone for help on how to heal himself - and the felpful traveller told him to press the square button. After a fruitless search for this key he realized what had actually occurred.
The other thing: I often see disparaging remarks about the game as relates to the graphics, and I would counter that by establishing how selective that critique actually is. Cities, I’d agree with them to a certain extent. They don’t look as good as city might in the sequel to Asheron’s Call. On the other hand, the game plays well enough to enjoy it on a Gigahertz machine, something I would challenge you to do in AC2. In San d’Oria, the town we’re haning out in, it has side streets that have a lot of architectural character, and large open areas that are sort of bland - but the player characters themselves, as well as monsters, are works of art. I’d put FFXI’s angry fungi, orcs and goblins up detail wise against any game you’d care to name. The animation, also, is top-drawer. Combats feel substantial because the all participants are represented in dramatic ways with smooth, purposeful animations.
The user interface that gets you into everything, PlayOnline, is interesting to look at but suffers from the same things you see in any console to PC port - things are never scaled right for our resolutions and you see a lot of pixels. I’m not sure why they didn’t just re-render some of this stuff, but if I’m only going to see that crap on my way into the game I can probably deal with it.