Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

Game review by Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Excellent remake of older classic adds many new features.

Parents say

age 14+

Based on 1 review

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Community Reviews

age 14+

A Solid Tale/Adventure for Older Kids and Up, Notable Patience and Sophistication Required

Final Fantasy XII, when you fully analyze it, is a sophisticated, artistic and very in-depth game, from its interface to its world-building lore, all the way to the way how many locations are pretty massive. It is, however, a very long-winded game, even in this version that has a speed-up feature - As such, while I could certainly recommend the game for kids 14 and older, I would extend the caveat that the individual, kid or adult, would require an intense mental discipline to see it through. Some games I refer to as a "thinking person's game", but usually these are ones that require a considerable amount of concentration on the task, such as a massive Real-Time Strategy, but Final Fantasy XII is different -- It tells a very long story with many, perhaps too many, secondary characters, and as such keeping track of how everything plays out requires a considerable amount of memory. Think of this as long-term complex thinking, like reading a Tolkien novel, as the number of moving parts that you need to keep track of in the long-term are quite considerable (and many of which are largely irrelevant, one of the few things I would say genuinely against the story the game tells). It also deals with rather adult themes such as how often times tyrants and oppressive rulers will often times operate as a friend of the people, or how attempting to help those around you can have adverse affects, and that not all allies are permanent as your overall objectives might be considerably different, only in-line with each other in the short-term. The game also features a Shakespearian prose for many characters, so one requires a careful ear for any younger gamers. In terms of the game itself, it has sharp dialogue, some wonderful symphonic music, a fun playstyle, varied landscapes and enemy types, a complex, multi-layered world of differing races and societies, and a solid art style that is unique but doesn't go overly extravagant as some entries like X and XIII. It's a competent Quasi-Action/RPG that requires strategy and long-term concentration in regards to the storytelling, and for this I would recommend it for smart older children, and adults.

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