Parents' Guide to

Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Clever fights come with limited instructions and controls.

Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier Screen Shot #1

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While visually amazing, the intricate gameplay and limited instructions limits the fun to gamers willing to put in extra work to figure it out. Players don't have to be a huge fan of the franchise to play Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier, because this game is all about action. After being matched with other players, they're dropped into locations like a collapsed expressway and a colosseum. They go looking for opponents, which can be human or a monster, and have a number of ways to attack their targets. They can also pick up items as they play, like a machine gun, which can shoot automatically if you aim it directly at someone, or things like materia, which lets them cast spells. The combat style selected also provides a unique set of skills, like becoming invisible or creating barriers. As gamers advance, they'll pick up more weapons and abilities to use in fights.

While the objective is primarily the same, the elements involved in playing add some complexity. Unfortunately, due to the tiny font that's used, information can be tricky to read on a small screen, making it hard to figure out what's going on. Playing on a phone is tricky because icons on the screen are crowded. It's easy to hit the wrong item and accidentally swing your sword, for example, when you meant to move to the left. Also, players often aren't given a clear goal and need to wander to find an opponent. The game has some decidedly positive points -- the graphics are top-notch, and while there are some pushes to buy things, such as a season pass, the app isn't too ad-heavy. But some rounds may end quickly, and they might need to repeatedly keep trying to live long enough to advance. If players are killed, though, they can stick around to observe gameplay, which might help them learn what to do. But with multiple battle moves to keep straight and fighting comprising most of the gameplay, the Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier experience might ultimately be too intricate for younger players.

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