I cracked.

I thought I’d steer clear of it but the temptation was just… too… much.

Like the fanboy I’ve proven to myself that I am, I went out and bought Final Fantasy 11 for the Xbox 360.

Don’t roll your eyes yet. The thing that pushed me to make the buy? The full game and all of the expansions for a mere $14.99 at Gamestop. Even if the game is over 6 years old, that’s a bargain price for arguably the most successful console MMO (only lasting console MMO) ever. And it’s Final Fantasy… come on.

How is it, you wonder? Well, I really don’t know. I haven’t been able to play it yet.

I bought it about six hours ago and it’s been a pretty incredible hassle since. Initially, I figured I’d pop the game in and go except it didn’t turn out that way.

The first thing the game asks you to do is install the PlayOnline Viewer (POL for short — a bloated launcher with email capability) and register for an account. I got done with the registration fine, except I wasn’t going to be able to be home to complete the full game download/update at the moment. So, I shut everything down and went about my business. Unfortunately, when I tried to start the game later that night, I got an “Unrecognized Disc” error. As it turns out, this happens when you don’t fully exit the viewer every time. The only fix at this stage? Format the hard drive. Yeah, my thoughts exactly.

But I did it, losing out on the several Xbox Original games and saves that I’d built up. When that was done, everything seemed to go smooth. Until update time. For some strange reason, I get to about 80% of the way through the update process and get error message POL-0250 which seems to result from server side issues and router configurations. After looking into it, I set my router up with all of the ports they needed (a mere 15-63,000 of them if you’re on a console).

The result? No change. The servers are up, so that shouldn’t be it and I’m at a loss.

Quite simply, *eyeroll*. I will give this game another few attempts over tomorrow. Depending on what happens, FFXI may find itself a new home on my shelf.

Update: Well, I got it to work. The fix? Returning my router to factory settings and older firmware. So, by disabling port forwarding and re-enabling my router firewall (with no exceptions), it worked. Kind of backwards, isn’t it?