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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players are engaged in defeating evil, but violence plays a significant role in gameplay and is the primary means to many ends.
Positive Role Models
Although there are the more colorful characters around the towns, all main characters are heroic or overcome disadvantages to achieve their goals.
Ease of Play
This franchise has historically had a steep learning curve. This latest iteration may be friendlier than its predecessor, but nevertheless is still challenging to understand and master.
Violence & Scariness
Players fight forces of evil with swords, bows and arrows, magic, and other weapons both realistic and fantastical. Cut scenes display acts of violence where humans are hurt and monsters killed, with colored blood spilling.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some outfits for character avatars can be sexy and there is some sexy talk, as when a character in a town of pirates talks about "polishing his mast."
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The word "s--t" can be heard in dialogue and character text. And women are called "whores."
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Products & Purchases
Not an issue. Although this franchise is merchandised in movies, action figures, and such, players will not see these products in the game.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are referred to as "drunks," and there are inns where adventurers gather and drink ale and wine.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.