A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about strategy and decision-making through this game's sophisticated turn-based combat system. Battles start with a careful analysis of the opposition in order to deduce strengths and weaknesses. Then players make decisions about which of their characters are best suited for specific enemies and which abilities they ought to use. They'll also be forced to adjust their tactics as combat progresses and circumstance evolve. Unlike many battle-oriented games, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster isn't a test of reflexes but rather a mental challenge that encourages players to consider their actions and develop intricate strategies.
Both games entertain via sensational, over-the-top fantasy combat. But that doesn't keep their sprawling and intricate narratives from exploring important questions to do with family, friendship forgiveness, and loyalty. They also touch on the schisms between religion and technology, faith and progress, though without drawing any firm conclusions.
Positive Role Models
There is a wide range of personalities in both games, but all of the primary heroes are good people. Some are forced to deal with family issues, some experience grief, some wrestle with burdensome responsibilities. But they tend to do right in the end, and frequently try to help each other along the way. Just keep in mind that doing the right thing in a game like this often involves killing a whole bunch of fantastical foes.
Ease of Play
These are complex games with combat and character growth systems that will take hours for new players to understand and master. Thankfully, new mechanics are introduced slowly via comprehensive tutorials. Attentive kids shouldn't have too much trouble getting into the swing of things.
Violence & Scariness
Turn-based combat focuses mostly on a mix of melee and magical attacks. Characters either jump forward to swing a weapon or cast a spell that results in lights dancing across the screen. Characters stagger when struck, sometimes crying out. Injured characters appear hunched over and in pain. There's no blood or gore, save one non-interactive scene in which a few quick splashes spurt from a fiendish creature. A massive, town-destroying creature known as Sin often leaves lifeless bodies strewn in its wake.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters are dressed in skimpy clothes, including extremely short, frilly shorts and tops that expose deep cleavage. Final Fantasy X-2 has more scantily clad women than Final Fantasy X, as well as scenes in which the camera provides a view of women's underwear. One narrative event involves a lightly suggestive massage, but there is no sex or nudity.
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Infrequent use of words including "hell," "damn," and "pissed."
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Products & Purchases
These games are part of Square Enix's decades-old and extremely popular Final Fantasy franchise, which has spawned more than a dozen games and an almost endless supply of associated paraphernalia available for purchase online and in stores.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking isn't shown, but one character is described as an alcoholic who accidentally attacked an innocent animal in one of his drunken stupors.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is a pairing of two classic role-playing games that were originally released over a decade ago. These complex and lengthy games feature plenty of over-the-top fantasy combat involving magic and swords, but stop short of showing any blood or gore during battle. Their protagonists -- there are several in both games -- are complex characters dealing with difficult problems, and they rely on one another for guidance, support, and help. Note that many of the female characters in both games wear revealing clothing, and that one scene involves a lightly suggestive massage.
Is It Any Good?
Few works age well in the fast-paced, technology-driven medium of video games, but Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 are exceptions to the rule. Neither game is visually on par with more modern role-playing games, but they're by no means ugly. More importantly, their stories are just as compelling now as they were over a decade ago. From a sports star coming to terms with the lack of affection he received from his drunken father as a child to a young summoner shouldering the unbearable responsibility of being charged with saving the world, the games' characters earn our sympathy from the start and stay interesting throughout. But it's the battle system that's held up best over the years. Sophisticated and satisfying, it allows players to grow their characters as they like while forcing them to think strategically and make proper use of the many skills at their disposal -- especially during memorable boss fights. For players who've ever wondered what all the fuss is over Japanese role-playing games in general or Final Fantasy in particular, this is a great place to start.
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