A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this compelling adventure game is Teen-rated and features plenty of animated violence, but it's not overly realistic (magic spells, flying airships, and over-the-top creatures). The game also showcases the sci-fi heroines, large-breasted women wearing revealing clothing and bustiers.
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What's it about?
FINAL FANTASY XII takes place in Ivalice, a once-prosperous world, now subjugated by an invasion by the malevolent Archadian Empire. The game involves a feisty princess and a young rebel, Vaan, who vows revenge against the Empire for taking the life of his brother. But as with most other Final Fantasy adventures, which balance exploration, combat and dialogue, players will work toward unraveling a grand mystery by traveling the huge world with a unique group of characters (some of whom leave or join the \"party\" over the course of the game). The most dramatic change over past Final Fantasy games is how the combat sequences play out: The Japanese developers successfully fused \"turn-based\" combat -- where players can choose their offensive or defensive strategy in between turns with the enemies -- with \"real-time\" fighting, where there is no break in the action.
Is it any good?
Unlike past Final Fantasy games, enemies can now be seen while walking around the environment instead of unexpectedly entering the combat screen. Also new to the series is the use of "gambits," a kind of programmable behavior you can give your characters before a battle plays out. Another interesting gameplay mechanic is a license system, which means characters must obtain skills before using them, such as melee attacks or magic.
Final Fantasy XII is one of the finest adventures in the longstanding series. is known for its gorgeous visuals -- and this game will certainly not disappoint. Both the non-interactive CG cut-scene sequences and in-game 3-D graphics are worthy of art direction awards, not to mention the game offers a widescreen mode (16:9 aspect ratio) for high-definition or enhanced-definition televisions.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what they like or dislike about this fantasy world, and how it deals with issues such as ethics, trust, and loyalty. To fully appreciate what their children are playing, parents might want to sit down to watch them play the game, view the fighting, read the dialogue, and enjoy the breathtakingly gorgeous cinematic sequences.
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