A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Themes of friendship, family, loyalty through narrative. Also a strong focus on pop idolatry; musicians, celebrities depicted as ultimate role models.
Positive Role Models
Heroes strive to save their friends, families, even the world. They fight willingly but only against monsters, only when attacked. Several characters, including lead female protagonist, obsessed with, deeply crave to be pop stars.
Ease of Play
Complex combat, upgrade systems will take most players several hours to understand. Less experienced players may want to choose easiest of three difficulty settings, which will let them keep progressing through story without running into too many skill walls.
Violence & Scariness
Players fight fantastical "mirages" -- monsters that range from humanoid to bizarre, unrecognizable shapes -- using melee weapons, magical attacks. Flashes of light accompany each strike. Enemies hunch over, breathe heavily when seriously hurt, then fall, disappear when defeated.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters wear revealing clothing that exposes deep cleavage and, in one case, underside of a character's breasts. Camera sometimes lingers on women's midsections, bosoms, which occasionally jiggle unrealistically.
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Some profanity, including "damn" and "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character appears to be drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is a Japanese turn-based role-playing game. Players control well-meaning teenage characters who join with supernatural creatures called "mirages" to fight evil monsters in another dimension. Combat involves melee and magical attacks but no blood or gore. Fallen foes simply disappear from the battlefield. The kids are also seriously obsessed with -- and in some cases want to be -- pop music stars and engage in plenty of typical teenage activities, including shopping, texting, and flirting. Some female characters dress provocatively, with bouncing breasts and deep cleavage. Dialogue includes occasional instances of profanity -- including the word "s--t" -- and one character appears drunk.
Is It Any Good?
If you love traditional role-playing games and have an appreciation for the peculiarities of Japanese pop culture, you're probably not going to play many games more entertaining than this one. Fans of Japanese RPGs will find much of the experience pleasantly familiar. The story is loaded with teenage friendships and melodrama and borrows liberally from Atlus' popular Shin Megami Tensei role-playing games in its themes and tone. There's also a healthy dollop of the Fire Emblem franchise (hinted at in the #FE part of the game's title), noticeable in some of the mirages we meet -- who originally appeared as Fire Emblem characters -- as well as a couple of quick recognizable musical phrases, such as the five-note ditty that accompanies a character leveling up.
But what will keep most people coming back night after night is the game's intricate turn-based action and imaginative Idolosphere design. Players are unlikely to soon forget, for example, manipulating the sleeves of a series of three-story-high dress costumes to run through them and access higher or lower levels of a labyrinthine dungeon. And combat is never dull, thanks to a progression and upgrade system that makes it feel like players are learning new skills every two or three battles. It seems there's always something new for us to figure out how to use, whether it’s a weapon, session combination, or skill. Had Atlus done a better job of localization -- the entire game is voiced in Japanese, and the characters' cult-like embrace of pop celebrity will seem on the verge of zealotry to many Western players -- Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE might have had even broader appeal. As is, the niche audience at which it's targeted will have little reason to complain.
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