This game is one of the few RPGs of our day that fully lives up to the meaning of epic. Stunning graphics, amazing monsters, sweet armor and weapons, epic quests, and a pretty good story. You take on the role of a hunter who's mission is to defeat or capture large monsters that are causing problems for the villagers. On your journey, you collect thousands of different items and create hundreds of weapons and armor sets. After progressing through the first two tiers of quests, you are joined by a small, impish looking creature named Cha Cha who helps fight monsters, takes hits for you, and provides some necessary humor.
This game reminds me a lot of the Zelda series. It is set in a bright, happy, breathing world, has awesome (never scary) music, and amazing gameplay. I'm an experienced gamer (if I do say so myself) and I have had and am still having serious difficulty with this game. Unlike most games these days, even if you have super overpowered armor and a great weapon, button jamming won't win the battle. You have to strafe, dodge, stab, hide, and track your prey before bringing it down.
This game also has a great multi-player aspect. You can team up with your friends locally (on 3ds), or go online with strangers (or friends if they have the WiiU version too). This game supports the accessory "Wii Speak" that lets you talk to your teammates online, so there is a slight possibility for vulgar language. HOWEVER, you have to have already friended them, so unless you know the person you're playing with, you can't actually talk to them.
Now, the question you all want answered: Can my kids handle it? I obviously don't know your children and I realize that different kids can handle different games better than others can, but I would say that an experienced 11-year-old could play this game and be completely fine with it. Yes, the ESRB rated it Teen, but if there was a middle-ground between e10 and Teen, this game would definitely be put in that category. It has some very brief spurts of blood when your sword makes contact with a monster, but this can be turned down to a tiny flash that is necessary to indicate a hit on the Options Menu on the title screen. At the beginning of the game when you are creating your hero, the outfit he/she is wearing could be a bit more modest, but as soon as you start the game, he/she is provided with a set of leather armor that covers the whole body. The main reason this game is rated Teen is for the violence. It's really nothing to get worked up over though. Your fighting monsters (not people) to protect your village, the violence is never brutal, and your weapon is ridiculously large and slow.
Overall, I would rate this game "Tween" for: Mild Blood, Fantasy Violence, and Mild Suggestive Themes.
In conclusion, if your child is an experienced gamer who is over 10 years old, I strongly recommend this game. It's extremely difficult (and I'll admit, a little boring in the first couple tiers of quests), but it's well worth sticking with until at least the second Lagiacrus fight. I hope to see you all online soon!!! Until then, peace out and God bless!!
- Swag Anderson
P.S. If you're getting the 3ds version (like I did), I highly recommend the Circle Pad Pro accessory. The Touch Screen camera controls are really hard to use and make water battles virtually impossible. The CPP is definitely worth 20 bucks.
Also, for the WiiU version, I suggest the WiiU Lan Adapter. It makes the online multi-player waaaaaay smoother and removes almost all lag.