A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game's story is difficult to follow but it appears to be a classic struggle between good and evil. The characters you're in control of are "good guys," but violence is at the core of these single- and multiplayer- game modes. Plus, the characters are often dressed suggestively, and there is a dialogue-based comment or two about women's breasts.
Positive Role Models
You can choose to play as many beloved Final Fantasy characters from past games in this popular series. Most appear to be teenage heroes who are fighting for good, but because there is sword play, guns, and hand-to-hand violence, these characters are not be the most suitable role models for kids. Plus, many of the female characters show a lot of cleavage and there are some somewhat nude character portraits (though you don't see any specifics).
Ease of Play
The PlayStation Portable game is pretty easy to play, as the controls are layered on successively. The analog stick, face and d-pad buttons, and shoulder ("trigger") buttons are all used during navigation and battles.
Violence & Scariness
Much of the game revolves around fantasy violence between characters from the Final Fantasy universe. Battles include hand-to-hand combat, sword slashes, shotguns, and grenades -- depending on whom you're using and depending on whether the fighting takes place on the ground or in the air. You can slow down time and perform more dramatic moves to finish off enemies. There is no blood in this game but it is a combat-heavy RPG.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The game has female and male characters that dress suggestively, including outfits that show off a lot of skin, plus there are women who show a lot of cleavage (and bouncing breasts during combat). An unlockable portrait gallery shows some partially nude characters -- they show skin, but no nipples or genitalia.
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While nothing too strong, mild profanity can be heard during the (many) dialogue sequences. This includes words like "ass," "damn" and "hell."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy folds two gaming genres into one: fighting and role-playing. The main characters you choose to play vary in abilities, but they're using swords, axes, magic, guns, and bombs to defeat one another, often with in-air acrobatics, and with the ability to slow down time for dramatic effect. While there is plenty of fantasy violence, there is no blood in the game. Parents should also be aware some of these young-looking characters show cleavage and other skin (hips, stomach, etc.) and breasts sometimes jiggle during battles. A portrait gallery shows partially nude women, too.
Is It Any Good?
Despite its nonsensical story that feels like a lame and loose way to string together very enjoyable fighting sequences, this new Final Fantasy offshoot for PSP is a highly gratifying fighting game wrapped up in a fantasy role-playing adventure. Even if you haven't played the first Dissidia (which is half the size of this new game), Dissidia 012 is ideal for those who enjoy fighting games with more depth, expansive environments, great graphics, tight controls, and plenty of solo and multiplayer "ad hoc" (local wireless) modes for those with nearby friends. While moving along the game board, you'll enter battles with a number of different weapons, combos, and fighting styles to choose from. Plus, you'll enjoy ground- and aerial-based attacks, summon help from others to help take down tougher baddies, and of course, level up to become more powerful. While there's no online support, multiplayer play -- head-to-head or cooperatively -- should also help add some longevity to this attractive and engaging fantasy brawler.
Online interaction: While Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy isn't played online against strangers, the game does support local wireless ("ad hoc") play for two to 10 players. Some modes are built for a multiplayer experience. There is no chatting support for these head-to-head modes.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.