A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Final Fantasy XIII is Teen-rated, mostly because the gameplay is combat-heavy. Your party of characters will square off against enemies and engage in a turn-based fights, but with the ability to make some decisions during the battle. There is no blood or gore and most of the enemies are nasty creatures. You are also defending your homeworld and way of life instead of aggressively attacking enemies for no reason. The game has some scantily clad female characters and an occasional suggestive scenes (such as a holographic dancer). There is also some mild cussing in the game, too.
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What's it about?
If you can get past the irony of a thirteenth \"Final Fantasy\" game -- not to mention dozens of offshoots over the years -- Square Enix's latest cinematic epic is ready for action. Available on both high-definition consoles at launch (for the first time), FINAL FANTASY XIII focuses heavily on a moon called Cocoon, once a floating utopia, but now a target of the hostile fal'Cie from the seedy lowerworld. The combat-heavy mechanics should be familiar to fans of past games, though new features have been added including the ability to execute numerous commands in a single turn, the summoning of creatures (called Eidolons), and support for a specialized party of fighters (commando, medic, and so on).
Is it any good?
Yes, especially for longtime fans of the series. Final Fantasy XIII once again brings together the talents of producer Kitase Yoshinori, director Motomu Toriyama, character designer Tetsuya Nomura, and art director Isamu Kamikokuryo, to deliver a stunningly deep and breathtakingly beautiful role-playing game that plays out more like an interactive movie -- complete with orchestrated soundtrack and the theme song "My Hands" by Leona Lewis. The modified turn-based battle mechanic should also please veterans as it provides more freedom and tactical options during gameplay.
The game, however, is quite linear, which might disappoint those looking to roam in this gorgeous fantasy world. But this ambitious single-player adventure features an interweaving storyline, new characters, and tweaked battle mechanics that should excite and delight Final Fantasy enthusiasts and RPG fans alike.
Platform Note: Both versions of the game play and look the same.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether they like a game with so many non-interactive sequences. As with many other Final Fantasy games, do you like all the mini-movies designed to help push the story along or would you rather play without the cutscenes that break up the action? What do you prefer? Or did the developers do a decent job balancing the two?
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