A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy! is a role-playing adventure game available for download on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The game is an HD remaster of Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, originally released on the Nintendo Wii in 2008. Players take the role of a Chocobo, one of the creatures from the Final Fantasy series, and team up with a party of other characters to explore fantasy dungeons, fighting against various monsters and other enemies in the process. Combat is a regular occurrence, but the violence is neither bloody nor graphic. The game's relatively easy to pick up and play, but does feature a fairly steep difficulty curve. Players can also take on the adventure solo or, with the new "buddy" system, team up with friends via local co-op play.
What's it about?
CHOCOBO'S MYSTERY DUNGEON EVERY BUDDY! is a high-definition remastered edition of the original Final Fantasy spin-off game, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon. During their latest escapade, treasure seeker Cid and his sidekick Chocobo get whisked away on an all-new adventure after their airship is pulled through a strange magical portal. On the other side, the duo find themselves stranded in Lostime, a mysterious town that legends say vanished more than 50 years ago. Adding to the intrigue, every time the bell in the town's clock tower tolls, the people of Lostime seem to have their memories stolen. The same night of Cid and Chocobo's arrival, an egg falls from the sky and hatches, revealing a young boy inside with no memory of his own, yet with the ability to craft labyrinths from these lost memories. With danger closing in at every turn and the people in need of a hero, it's up to Chocobo to brave these mystic dungeons, restore the people's memories, and hopefully find a way back home in the process. Chocobo won't have to fight alone though; thanks to the game's brand-new buddy system, which allows players to earn the friendship of the defeated foes and have them join Chocobo on his quest, either as a new party member or under the control of a friend via the game's local co-op.
Is it any good?
Over the years, the Final Fantasy franchise has grown right alongside its fans, occasionally putting forth some more kid-friendly offerings, especially in its spin-offs. Chobobo's Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy!, an HD remake of the Wii Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, is one of those friendly games. With its colorful and cartoonish style, as well as an irresistibly adorable star, the game has a look and feel that's inviting for all ages. But while it's inviting to younger fans, how long they choose to stay will depend on their patience. Make no mistake: The game can be punishingly difficult. This can make progress feel extra rewarding, but it can also frustrate younger or less hardcore RPG (role-playing game) fans to the point of wanting to just move on to something else.
For those willing to stick it out through the challenge, Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy! has a lot to offer. While the plot might leave you scratching your head from time to time, it's still a cute tale of adventure, compassion, and even a bit of redemption. It's also easy to navigate and control. In fact, if not for the random nature of the dungeons coupled with the harsh difficulty spikes, the game would be a near perfect introduction for younger gamers to the role-playing genre. One new feature that's sure to make things easier is the "buddy system." This time around, Chocobo can actually make friends with many of the monsters he faces, eventually recruiting them to aid him in his escapades. Having a little extra backup while traversing the dungeons is great, but the option of handing control of the buddy to a real-life friend for couch co-op is even better. Playing with a friend and sharing the adventure, while splitting the frustration, is fantastic. Final Fantasy has always brought characters together to face evil, and Every Buddy! brings that feeling of cooperation over to the real world in fun fashion.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about positive life skills like teamwork. What are some of the benefits to working with others to accomplish your goals or overcome obstacles? What are some of the ways that playing games together can help bring people together?
What sort of balance do people look for when it comes to playability and difficulty in gaming? Do you see a difficult game as a fun challenge or a frustration? What level of difficulty do kids find fun, and when could a game become "too hard"?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: March 20, 2019
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Alcohol Reference
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.