Final Fantasy XIV
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Final Fantasy XIV is an MMORPG (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game) that requires players to pay not only for the core software but also for a monthly subscription. It has fantasy blood shown as players fight fantasy forces of evil.The game can be incredibly fun to play and may prove addictive. Parents might want to keep a watch on gameplay time limits. Note, too, that online play allows players to communicate by text. Filters are in place to screen many potentially offensive terms, but players can still share personal information.
What's it about?
Set in the fantasy world of Eorzea complete with a pantheon of twelve gods and goddesses, FINAL FANTASY XIV will engage players in myriad missions and see them fighting the forces of evil using a combination of weapons such as swords and spears and magical spells including lightning bolts and fire balls. This is the 14th major installment of the Final Fantasy franchise. It shares themes and elements from earlier games but features a completely new world and story.
Is it any good?
Fans of Final Fantasy will find many of the franchise's iconic elements here, including sweeping musical themes, memorable characters, Chocobos (giant flightless birds we can ride), and movie-like cutscenes that feature the player's protagonist. The story and game world are wonderfully rich and complex. Players are not limited to a single class and consequently can learn many skills -- many of which have nothing to do with fighting, such as fishing, mining, cooking, and leatherworking.
Unfortunately, it's not an easy game to learn. The tutorial and help screens, for example, could use more mouse-over hot-tips. Most players will be forced to rely on fan sites or Square Enix's own web site for tips and explanations. However, once you get used to your interface of choice (the game supports both a PS3 gamepad and a keyboard-and-mouse setup), MMORPG fans will likely find the game a rich and satisfying challenge.
Online interaction: The online experience can vary greatly between players. The game has the usual protections of a default word filter for stronger words such as "f--k" as well as the ability to ignore and report other players. However as it is a teen-rated game, there's a black list of words that cannot be used as opposed to white-lists of allowed words. Note that these filters do not necessarily deter players from sharing personal information.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how online games can be addictive and why setting computer time limits can be a good idea. How long a session do you feel is needed to "get something done" in this game? Do some missions require more time and others less? Can you play the longer missions on a weekend instead of a school night?
Families can also talk about staying safe online. Do you know who you are playing with? Are you exchanging personal information with these people?