What does Square-Enix's Final Fantasy XIII do to earn its "T" rating by the ESRB? It shows sideboob - oh, and there's some violence too, I guess.
In case you haven't heard, Square-Enix's long-awaited Final Fantasy XIII is rated "T for Teen" by the ESRB. This isn't exactly surprising, considering that every other Final Fantasy since FF7 has been rated "T for Teen" as well, falling neatly into that spectrum where it's a bit too advanced for the kiddos but not as gory or over-the-top to warrant an "M for Mature." So while the rating itself isn't surprising, Siliconera noted a very-slightly-spoileriffic in-depth explanation of the game's rating:
Players assume the roles of heroes caught in a war between two opposing forces in this fantasy role-playing game. Players travel between the planet Pulse and a moon named Cocoon to engage in missions for magical beings called the "fal'Cie. Missions involve battling enemy soldiers and creatures by using melee attacks (swords, knives, staffs, etc.), firearms, and magic spells (lightning strikes, fire blasts, etc.).
Combat is executed through a modified turn-based system in which players select various commands from a menu while freely moving one of three heroes through the battlefield. Players can also summon elemental creatures to battle an assortment of goblins, golems, zombies, wolves, frogs, bats, and robots.
The game's cinematic cutscenes contain the most intense depictions of violence: machine gunfire from space ships strafe human characters below; humans and robotic soldiers exchange gunfire-aboard vessels, on the ground; a slow-motion gunfight depicts the cracked lens of a robot shot in the head by two semi-automatics.
Cutscenes occasionally depict female characters dressed in revealing outfits: Holographic dancers-clad in bikini tops, skimpy leotards, and backless chaps-glide above the city during a festivity performance; flying-motorcycle models wear skin-tight tops that expose deep cleavage. And during one elaborate sequence, a female character transforms from a crystal statue back to her human form-sparkle effects, camera panning, and shimmering lights partially obscure the nude character, though side-portions of her breasts are visible (fleeting-one-to-two seconds). The game also contains the expletives "a*s," "damn," and "hell"; however, it is the violent content, the suggestive themes that account for the Teen rating.
So there you have it, folks: Sideboob and cutscene-specific violence as well as a smattering of not-really-that-naughty language. When it hits North America and the EU in March, remember to keep your non-teenage kids away at all costs.