Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past Game Poster Image
Huge, gratifying portable RPG has slightly mature themes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Classic good vs. evil tale sends a positive message about embracing other cultures. But turn-based combat, mature content limits positive impact.

Positive Role Models & Representations

We don't know much about young boy you play or his friends, but they all discover a world outside of his little fishing village he didn't know existed. He seems noble, if a little rebellious, wants to defeat evil, but uses weapons to do so.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn.

Violence

Heavy focus on turn-based combat against creatures, humans alike. It's cartoon-like, fantasy-based unrealistic violence, but lots of it; one character represented by a bloody hand.

Sex

Some flirtatious dialogue sequences, such as, "Gah, when I heard it was mixed bathing, I had all kinds of wild ideas” and “If Lavender and Carraway can have their carry-on, why can't we?"

Language

"Hell," "damn." Some bathroom humor, references to urine, feces, vomit.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some references to consuming alcohol, such as, "That there soldier may be drunk as a skunk, but he can still cut a rug!” A drunk character slurs speech, hiccups.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past is a role-playing game (or RPG). There's frequent turn-based fantasy violence against creatures and humans. The game has some subtle references to sex in dialogue. There are also comments about drinking and an inebriated character who hiccups and slurs speech. Parents should also know there's also some mild profanity ("hell," "damn,") and bathroom humor (references to urine, manure, and vomit).

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What's it about?

DRAGON QUEST VII: FRAGMENTS OF THE FORGOTTEN PAST tells of a young boy and his two friends, who leave their small fishing village for the first time. Aside from not knowing that anything existed out their peaceful town, these kids discover an evil force that threatens all life as they know it. They must travel back and forth through time to fight this threat head-on. Players will customize their party of characters (choosing from more than 30 jobs), explore strange lands, meet memorable characters, and engage in turn-based battles using might and magic. This game boasts more than 100 hours of gameplay.

Is it any good?

Whether you're new to the series or remember the original version of this game, this portable adventure offers a ton of fun to sink your sword into. Seriously, we're talking huge dungeons here, as well as big towns and rural areas to explore and battle through. It's a classic Japanese RPG that still holds up all these years later. It does take a while for the first fight to commence, but once it does the game's simple turn-based battle mechanic, streamlined user interface, and strong narrative all work hand in hand to drive the tale further. Side quests offer some variety, too, and you'll have party members with different abilities to keep gameplay fresh, along with many areas to explore. That said, there's a lot of back and forth between areas, and some of the NPCs (non-playable characters) repeat themselves often, but overall, you'll find this game hard to put down.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past also offers rebuilt visuals and new controls (designed for smaller screens and Nintendo 3DS buttons). And if the estimated 100 hours of gameplay wasn't enough, this Dragon's Quest game also supports the Nintendo 3DS' StreetPass, which lets you send and receive traveler's tablets to explore new dungeons that contain rare monsters and unique equipment. Despite a few minor grumbles, this $40 remake is well worth the cost. In fact, it's one of the best Nintendo 3DS games of 2016.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dealing with mature content in games. What are some examples of content in games that would not be appropriate for children? What are some of the effects this content can have on younger kids?

  • Families can also discuss whether they see a difference between video games that pit heroes against monsters and those where the primary enemies are human. Do you think beating up or killing a fantastical creature in a game is less affecting then doing the same to a person?

Game details

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