According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood, Mild Language and Mild Violence

Trauma Center: Second Opinion Screenshot

Parents shouldn't be too concerned. Naturally there's a bit of blood since this IS a surgery game, and you can't really operate without seeing some red stuff. I can't really figure out what the violence is since I don't think the operations count, and there's only one brief scene in the whole game that features a small altercation, it's all of two frames and nobody even gets shot. The language is negligible… not anything even worth mentioning. I suppose the ESRB is getting highly sensitive these days and erring on the side of over-caution. It's a hard game, but nothing that will corrupt your kids. They may even learn something from it what with all the medical terms and talk of responsibility.

Wii Gamers, just go buy it. If you own a Wii for the sake of new experiences and innovative gameplay and you haven't tried this on the DS for some crazy reason, here you go… it's a perfect example of how the Wiimote and Nunchuk should be used. ‘Nuff said.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers get full text for all conversation in-game. However, during tense procedures it's sometimes easier to hear when something happens than to visually try and see it. For example, when a patient's life drops into the danger zone an audio cue is given, but without hearing a player would have to take their eyes off the action to look at a life bar at the top of the screen. A small effort, but sometimes a second can make all the difference. Still, I'd say that it's equally accessible in the vast majority of play.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Drug References, Strong Language and Violence

Chili Con Carnage Screenshot

Parents will probably want to steer young ones away from this game. To begin with, the play is entirely centered around shooting bad guys in the head. I imagine this might not exactly be the sort of entertainment most moms and dads will think is appropriate for little Jimmy or Susie. Besides that, the tone and attitude of the game is focused squarely at older teens and adults. The main antagonist is a drug dealer surrounded by bikini-clad babes, the hero's father (holding a box of kittens) gets chopped up by a combine in the opening cinematic, and there are about a thousand other things that are quite entertaining for those who are old enough, but not appropriate for kids.

Action gamers will find a basic, formulaic entry that's best enjoyed in small doses. I have to admit that flying through the air in slow-motion and headshotting a goon from five hundred feet away did bring a smile to my face, but I'd guess that many people will find this title a little too simple and repetitive, especially if they don't get into the humor.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers have access to full subtitles during the cutscenes and major chunks of dialogue, but the phrases and quips are not signaled, and there are a few times when the ability to hear an enemy that's not on screen would be helpful. (If you play this game and find that you're instantly dead from one explosion, look around for a thug with a rocket launcher somewhere above you.) It's definitely playable without sound, but some optional on-screen indicators to help locate enemies would have been nice.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Violence

The Red Star Screenshot

Parents don't have anything to worry about. There is no questionable language in the game, and no sexual content. The "violence" mentioned by the ESRB is basic, run-of-the-mill shooting and punching. Although this violence does take place against humans (as well as robots and mutants) it's not at all explicit or gory. Parents with aversions to gunplay may want to steer children clear, but I'd say this content is suitable for most players, as long as they can handle the difficulty level. 

Shoot-‘Em-Up and Action Fans will find an absolute gem. Not only is the game a perfect melding of two fading genres, it's a great example of the sort of gameplay that we very seldom see stateside in the current environment. It's safe to say that this game easily earns its "hardcore" stripes and will bring a smile to the face of anyone who can enjoy old-school sensibility.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have no problems. There is no dialogue during gameplay, and all conversations between levels are presented through text. Although many characters do give a scream or a moan when they are defeated, it's a very insignificant cue accompanied by a visual signal. I feel comfortable in saying that this game is completely accessible and will present no communication barriers.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Violence, Animated Blood and Mild Language

Earth Defense Force 2017 Screenshot

Parents don't have a lot to worry about, unless they object to the use of guns, rocket launchers, and other various firearms in the course of normal gameplay. The violence mentioned on the back of the box consists of blowing away insane numbers of giant ants, giant bugs, giant robots, giant dinosaurs, and basically anything that qualifies as being a "giant" of any kind. It's all extremely cartoonish and silly-looking, at least in the sense that it's next to impossible to take seriously. The mild language is hardly worth mentioning; I didn't come across anything that was saltier then the language you'd see on any number of afternoon TV programs. There is no sexual content.

Action Gamers—don't be suckered into buying this piece of garbage. A surprising number of reviewers are giving this game a "pass" and calling it arcade-style action. If you ask me, it's a structure-free, crude and artless game that looks like it was created by two guys and a 12-pack. Just because you shoot a gun like crazy and blow away everything that moves doesn't qualify it as "arcade-style"… it just qualifies it as extremely basic and repetitive. If you absolutely must try the game, wait until it's $10.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers won't have any problems. All you need to know is that anything that moves must be killed, and any dialogue even peripherally relevant to the mission is provided through text before starting play. The battle cries and gung-ho shouts of your fellow EDF soldiers aren't subtitled during play, but they have no impact on gameplay and losing them won't affect the play experience.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Suggestive Themes, Tobacco Reference, and Mild Fantasy Violence

Gurumin Screenshot

Parents have absolutely nothing to worry about. The game is colorful, safe, and aimed at younger players. In fact, by taking the path of least resistance I'd say that it was a perfect beginners' action-platformer for kids. The fantasy violence consists of using a drill to attack harmless-looking monsters shaped like colorful blobs with feet, and the "suggestive themes" are concerned with one character in town who asks the player out on a date. It's pretty harmless stuff, and I'd be quite comfortable letting my own son play this game.

Action-Platformer fans will definitely want to check this came out. Falcom knows exactly what they are doing, and beneath the kiddie exterior lies a game crafted by experts. Don't be fooled by its friendliness towards newcomers, there is a serious amount of challenge for players who want it. And besides, this game is better than 90% of the other PSP games available, so pick it up for that reason alone.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers won't have any problems. All dialogue in the game is accompanied by subtitles, and anything important that happens onscreen is accompanied by visual cues and (most of the time) slow-motion close-ups and scripted direction. Falcom has done a great job making this title accessible.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Animated Blood, Violence

Capcom Classics Collection Remix Screenshot

Parents can feel safe letting children play this one for the most part. Although there are a few vaguely questionable elements like the spurts of blood in Strider or the S&M ladies in Captain Commando and Final Fight, most of the content here is completely safe, low-impact arcade-style action. There's lots of shooting robots and bugs and so forth since many of the titles of yesteryear were based on that simple gameplay mechanic, but these titles are clearly from another era of gaming and never approach the kinds of content that may be included in some modern titles.

Arcade lovers or old-school gamers should snap this one up for sure. The variety of games on this collection is much better than the first one Capcom released on the PSP, and most of them are legitimately good titles. The ability to have infinite continues and to adjust settings for each game are also big pluses, taking the edge off games that were designed to extract as many quarters as possible from unwitting players. By far, this is one of my favorite compilation releases overall.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have no problems. Almost none of the games require reading to actually play, the little dialogue or information that's present is in the form of text…after all, many of these games were created before it was possible to include full voice samples. None of the games rely on auditory cues and hearing is not necessary to enjoy them; it's all about fast reflexes and a strong button-thumb.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Animated Blood, Suggestive Themes and Violence

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Screenshot

Parents should be aware that this game is aimed squarely at mature players. Although none of its content is anything that I would label as extreme, the tone and approach set by the Kojima team is clearly not meant for young ones. The "Suggestive Themes" are slight and tangential, though there is a fair amount of violence in the game's cutscenes not to mention during actual play. Opponents are clearly human and players can employ various weapons or hand-to-hand combat to take them out. Discretion is advised.

Metal Gear fans will not want to miss this game. Although the action is only lukewarm and the strategic elements could use a little work, the story revealed surrounding Big Boss and the events leading up to the original NES game are quite interesting, and should not be missed by anyone who has been following the series's story arc. Juicy stuff.

Developers—don't bury your online features and make them accessible only by progressing through the story. Another thing: don't re-bury them after a person has already completed the game. I didn't even attempt the online portion until completing the story mode, only to discover that I had to unlock things again. After putting in 15 hours with the game, I failed to see the point of making me re-access things I had already earned. The issues with camera and controls are already offputting—throw in the inconvenience factor and there's no reason to tolerate this nonsense when my 360 is at the ready and most of its games are willing.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will be pleased to know that the game is fully subtitled. Although there are a few instances when it's not exactly clear who is speaking (adding name prompts or different colors of text would help) most of the story bits are smooth sailing. The game includes a new sort of radar to indicate enemy locations, but I found that it wasn't entirely effective. Having the ability to hear enemies is definitely an asset, though the lack of that ability can be partially compensated for by the radar's visual display.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Suggestive Themes, Language, and Mild Fantasy Violence

Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner Screenshot

Parents don't need to be too concerned. The game definitely skews towards the teen demographic in terms of presentation, but in that regard the only item of note is that the female characters' outfits are vaguely revealing. Otherwise, everything is quite harmless—the monsters featured in combat don't even touch each other, instead striking at the air or doing some sort of dance all by themselves and having the damage magically assigned to the opponent.

PSP gamers craving a quality RPG experience will most likely be disappointed. Although the mechanics and ideas here are solid when looking at combat, the game is absolutely drowned by having half (if not more) of the total playtime consist of clicking through insipid dialogue. I'm a gamer who loves a good story, but this game does not have a good story. If you've got the patience of a saint, go for it. Otherwise, steer clear.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have no problems. The game has a very solid subtitle option and due to the turn-based nature of gameplay, there are never any auditory cues or other sound signals that factor into the enjoyment of the core experience. RPGs are generally the most Deaf-friendly genre, and this holds true here as well.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood, Mild Fantasy Violence, and Use of Alcohol

Mazes of Fate ScreenshotMazes of Fate Screenshot

Parents don't have anything to worry about. The game's animation is so poor that there's no real chance to see anything approaching influential blood or gore. Parts of the game take place in a tavern which accounts for the "alcohol" in the ESRB's caution, but otherwise everything is fairly harmless.

GBA gamers looking for those last few hidden gems can feel safe skipping this one. It has a few good ideas, but the execution is poor and the game feels like far more trouble than it's worth. There are tons of other games which provide a better dungeon crawl experience than this one. My advice is to instead pick up the ultra-hard-to-find Back to Stone from the same publisher—it's not quite the same genre, but is a far superior product.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers won't have any problems. Everything in the game is presented either visually or through text during conversations, so no hearing is needed to fully "enjoy" the adventure. I may have other issues with it, but it is fully accessible.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Alcohol Reference, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Simulated Gambling and Suggestive Themes

Enchanted Arms Screenshot

Parents should be aware that game contains more than the average amount of sexual innuendo and eyebrow-raising quips. None of it is extremely graphic, but it's definitely noticeable. Also, two of the characters are clearly engaged in a homosexual relationship that is portrayed in a very normal, positive light. Personally, I don't see this as cause for alarm—though it may raise a few interesting questions, so heads up. Otherwise, it's all standard RPG stuff that the average older child has seen a million times before with bloodless violence and tame language.

RPG fans… although the game has a few interesting aspects to it, it lacks the fire and spark required to power a long-form adventure. The characters are flat, the story is predictable and unoriginal, and it never comes together the way the great RPGs do. It gets the job done, but like I always say—life's too short for mediocre RPGs.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have no problems. Although there is voice work for a large majority of the game's dialogue, it's all subtitled clearly. Also, since it's an RPG, everything is turn-based and moves at a pace the player dictates, meaning that there are no significant auditory cues required for successful play. It may be dull, but it's fully accessible.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood and Gore, Strong Language and Intense Violence

 Gears of War Screenshot

Parents should keep this game out of the hands of children. The level of graphic violence is quite high, featuring blood-spattered fatalities, dismemberment, and too many instances of violent death to count. The characters in the game also spout salty language that most parents probably wouldn't want to hear their own child repeating, and although there is no sexual content in the game, it's quite clear that this is intended for mature audiences only.

Co-op gamers should celebrate. The ability to go through the entire story-based campaign with a friend (splitscreen or over Live) is awesome, and basically turns what would otherwise be an extremely beautiful but straightforward game into a must-play.

Action fans will have undoubtedly already been through the game by the time this review sees publication but for those who haven't, it's an extremely solid third-person shooter that excels individuals and plays it safe everywhere else. Although the playtime is relatively short, it wisely ends before wearing out its welcome. The gameplay emphasizing the utilization of cover is nothing new, an extension of several other games which employ the same mechanic. However, it's worth noting that this game absolutely nails the controls and has an extremely low learning curve.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers have the option to turn on subtitles for the game's dialogue, a very welcome addition. Although all of the pertinent information is displayed on-screen, being alerted to enemies by sound plays an important role during firefights. It may not be a crucial element, but it is a small advantage that hearing-impaired gamers will have to do without. Even so, the game is extremely playable and the lack of sound is not a significant problem.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Crude Humor, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence

Bully Screenshot

Parents will want to exercise caution with this game. Although the level of violence is nowhere near where it is in the standard GTA-style entry, there's a ton of brawling and shooting things at people like bottle rockets and slingshots. No one ever gets killed or seriously injured, but it's not exactly the sort of thing that most parents would see as "OK.” The level of humor and writing are clearly aimed at teenagers, and though not as graphic as any of the American Pie films, some of the sexual content like “making out” to regain health may be inappropriate for younger players. I'm not a prude and I'm not condemning the game, but I think it's safe to say that there’s a little bit of everything that may be offensive to some people, so this is a great instance where parents should take the time to go through the game with their kids or at least supervise occasionally.

Grand Theft Auto fans will most definitely want to check the game out. It's the same basic formula and structure, only downsized and civilized to fit the high school/boarding school theme. With tons of side missions and activities, there's plenty to do. The formula is also slightly more player-friendly with a few shortcuts that have been added, though it still needs a little more work in this aspect. If the idea of being 15 and running rampant around a school and the surrounding towns sound like a good idea to you, it probably will be. However, those players who are growing tired of the GTA formula won't find enough new material here to make it feel fresh again.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will be just fine. Although random comments heard from people walking by are not captioned, all of the important dialogue and mission objectives are accompanied by subtitles via an option in the menu, and I did not encounter any instances where sound played an important role in the gameplay. Onscreen displays provide all relevant information, and the game came off as being very friendly towards those with hearing impairments. Thumbs up in this department, Rockstar.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Alcohol Reference

Parents don't have anything to worry about. There is no questionable language, no sexual content, and no violence. The game completely revolves around food preparation and cooking, and the "Alcohol Reference" mentioned on the back of the box refers only to using cooking wine or Japanese sake as an ingredient. If there's a cleaner, more harmless game out there, I'd love to see it.

DS fans who can appreciate a little bit of weirdness should check the game out. Released at a bargain price, it's easy on the wallet and will make an interesting conversation piece in any DS owner's library. Unfortunately, it doesn't have much staying power and its charm wears off too soon, but it's fun in short bursts.

Cooking fans will get a giggle out of how faithful the game is in regards to portraying the actual process of cooking. Meats brown, rice must be washed, and all manner of things must be chopped. I have to say that I don't understand how ketchup ends up being an ingredient in so many recipes (?!?) but I guess that must be a Japanese thing.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have no problems. There is no speech or important auditory cues. All directions are given via text, and each minigame has specific visual icons that help the process along. Everything here is completely accessible.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, and Strong Language

Parents will want to steer children away.  The main character uses profanity several times throughout the game, and although it's used appropriately, it's not exactly something that parents probably want young ones exposed to.  However, language is a trivial concern when compared to the game's level of violence.  Alien guns are used to dispatch extraterrestrials that come in several varieties, each more misshapen and gooey than the last. There is a strong biological element in the level design (certain doors look exactly like shaved vaginas), and some of the graphics and situations can be fairly intense.  The M rating is well deserved here, so take heed.enter content here. 

FPS fans will find a fairly straightforward adventure spiced up by creative level designs and use of gravity.  Negotiating some of the environments is a little mind bending, although the linear nature of progress always keeps the game moving forward.  However, don't see linearity as a negative in this case.  If the game gave players more freedom, it would be far too easy to become hopelessly lost in the maze of up, down, in portals, and out.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will most likely not be satisfied.  There is a subtitle option in the menu, but the text appears on-screen in a microscopically unreadable size that's impossible to see clearly, let alone in the middle of battle.  Also, some of the voice work for the game's main bad guy (girl, actually) does not have subtitles for some reason, so players making it to the end of the game will only get half of the conversation.  It's not a large omission, but a very annoying one.  Additionally, hearing noises of nearby monsters and the sounds of incoming gunfire can be crucial.  The game's resurrection feature helps lessen the significance of hearing these auditory cues, but it's still worth noting.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Language, Violence

Parents have nothing to worry about, although I doubt that very many younger children will select this game in the first place. Since all combat takes place between robotic machines, there is no blood, gore or graphic violence. Similarly, there is absolutely no sexual content and no significant questionable language. It's as clean as a game about warfare can be, almost to the point of being a little bit sterile.

Armored Core addicts will definitely see the connection with Hounds that are customizable from the ground up, just like FromSoft's other franchise. However, be aware that there aren't as many options and construction is a little bit more limited. Additionally, the majority of parts for customization are only available online, and must be purchased with money that is earned from online battles.

Solo players should be aware that the majority of the game's content is dedicated towards online multiplayer. The training missions are interesting and enjoyable, especially in the way that each "role" functions differently than the others, but there's not enough content here to call the single player mode an actual "game" all by itself. There are ten additional single player missions available online, but they're all straightforward "kill" missions that aren't very interesting.

Multiplayer fanatics will be treated to a game that is made especially for them, although it's not nearly as fast or blood-soaked as some might want. The pace is a lot slower and requires a high degree of teamwork and strategic planning, so jumping on late at night for an impromptu "quick game" probably wouldn't be a very fun thing.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have access to the single player story mode since the dialogue comes with subtitles, but being able to hear gunfire and explosions on the battlefield is helpful. Additionally, people with hearing impairment will be at a disadvantage during any online play since communication will be more difficult, if not impossible. Definitely try before you buy. 

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Alcohol Reference, Language, Mild Fantasy Violence

Parents, you're on your own with this one. I could see the "mild fantasy violence" from the pathetic battles that looked more like a crowd of people milling around than any sort of fighting, but I can't speak to the rest of it. There may be alcohol references and language, but the game was so confusing and such a mess that I could not finish it or even make much progress. If your kids can figure this game out, put them into your school's "gifted" program and start saving up for college.

Gifted kids—stay away. And, if for some reason you do get this game and you like it, tell your parents to start saving up for behavioral therapy.

Everyone else, this is the worst game I have played on PSP, bar none. With no instruction, no tutorial, and absolutely no way to tell what is going on or what the point of the game is, the experience is more frustrating than trying to learn Japanese while stuck inside a soundproof booth.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers should stay away because the game is rotten, but if for some crazy reason they do decide to pick this up, know that there are subtitles for all the dialogue in game. I can't say for a fact that there are no significant auditory cues, but my impression is that the game is totally stat-based and methodical, so my guess is that there aren't.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to the ESRB, this game contains: Mild Lyrics

Parents might want to get a complete song list and look the lyrics up on the Internet, but other than the occasional word here and there during a song, there's nothing to be concerned about. There's no violence and no sexual content— the game is all about watching notes and playing the guitar.

People who like music games must own this one.

People who don't like music games must own this one. The only reason to not pick this up is if someone has a strong aversion to rock music, and even that person might want to think about it.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers… well, what can I say? The game revolves around playing a mock musical instrument and incorporates huge amounts of auditory input. It's possible to play the game based on visuals alone, but without the music accompanying it, there's really no point. I'm sorry to report it, but people with a hearing impairment are pretty much out of luck.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol

Parents should steer kids clear of this game. The bulk of play involves gunfighting, and it can be graphic at times. Heads explode, limbs are severed, and it's possible to scalp a downed opponent with a healthy gout of blood accompanying. Later in the game, there are scenes of dead bodies on display which had obviously been tortured, certain characters are executed, and one poor gentleman has fingers shot off in an interrogation. The main character restores his health by taking swigs from a flask, so people sensitive to alcohol usage should be aware of this issue. There are also several examples of salty language, and although there is no explicit sexual content there are a few references and the saloon girls are scantily clad. Basically, this is a game aimed at mature players, so please treat it as such and be aware that much of this material will be inappropriate for younger people.

Action gamers will find a standard GTA-style skeleton fleshed out with Western trappings. The game is short, the main quest easily finished in six to eight hours. Adjusting the difficulty settings will provide the appropriate level of challenge, and I strongly recommend exploring the side quests. In my opinion, these are what make the game what it is, and anyone skipping over them will be missing out on much of the game's appeal.

Fans of the old West will most definitely want to pick the game up. It doesn't have the same cool factor that Red Dead Revolver does, but it's way more solid and deeper all-around. Straight up, this is the best Western game out there, although it sort of wins by default.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have no problems. Gun offers full subtitling for all cutscenes and voiceovers, providing for a very smooth and playable experience without audio. The game also provides a small radar function to aid in the location of enemies, so there are no vital auditory cues to trip up hearing impaired players. Neversoft has done an excellent job in this regard. Top marks for accessibility.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Cartoon Violence

Parents have absolutely nothing to worry about. There is no questionable language and no sexual situations (Fish sex? Would anyone even know it if they saw it?), so it's about as squeaky-clean as they come. The graphics are bright and colorful, and the only violence is Finny eating small animals, or fighting off larger fish. The difficulty will most likely be too much for younger children, but there's nothing harmful or offensive here at all.

Action gamers may want to check it out if they can appreciate the off-the-wall adventures. It's a very short game (six hours or less) and easy for the most part with the exception of two or three segments, but it's very different and engaging. Liking either fish or weird Japanese games (or both) will probably increase your appreciation for its brand of charm.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will do fairly well, though there are a few holes in the accessibility. Most of the in-game speech is accompanied by text, but some audio speech during cutscenes is not, and the opening cinema lacks text as well. Also, there are important audio cues, like the sound of nearby predators or the call of friends in need, that are not represented onscreen visually. I would still recommend it to gamers with hearing issues, but they should be aware of these oversights.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Parents would be well-advised to keep children away from the game. It's not that any of the ESRB's warning nouns are really all that warranted, but more that the game will be abominably hard for younger players. However, there is a significant level of violent gunplay in the game, and although I wouldn't say it was very gory, it's pretty clear that enemy soldiers are getting drilled full of holes by automatic weapons. I'm not clear where the "suggestive themes" were unless you count the faux porno magazines that Snake can drop to distract guards, and I don't. The story is written at an adult level so the tone is very serious and intricate at times, and there is a small sprinkling of very mild swear words, almost unnoticeably present. Still, despite all that, I'd say the game would be safe for most older kids if they can cope with the game's difficulty.

Metal Gear fans should know what they're getting into. The story, tone, and characters are all in line with the rest of the franchise, but the gameplay is radically different. Those willing to learn the ins and outs of a hybrid strategy system will ultimately find a worthwhile game, but those wanting fast-paced espionage action should look elsewhere.

Strategy RPG fans will likely get more out of Ac!d than the average Metal Gear player, but they should be prepared to learn a system that initially looks like others in the genre, but has enough odd quirks to throw them for a loop. Once the mechanics are mastered, the second half of the game is a very fine experience.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have no problems since all communication is delivered through on-screen text. There are no auditory cues that are not co-represented visually through alarm meters, or other such devices. I'm very happy to report that Ac!d offers full access.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Sexual Themes

Parents should be aware that this game is not for children under any circumstances. The violence is extremely brutal and graphic, featuring many different kinds of fatalities and explicit slaughter. There are also several instances of topless or nearly topless women, although the sexual situations listed on the box's ESRB warning only occurred one time, (and were very low key, without anything graphic). I did not notice any strong language during the game itself, but in the commentaries given by the developers afterwards there were a few expletives used. This game is obviously aimed at an older audience, so do not make the mistake of getting it for younger children or those who might be sensitive to such content.

Action gamers will definitely want to check into the title. It's one of the most solid hack and slash adventures that's been created, and the effort and thought that went into making it shows. The controls are tight, the action moves briskly, and there is certainly no shortage of flashy maneuvers or entertaining violence. Without a doubt this is one of the most brutal and bloody adventures on the PlayStation 2, but it's not just for show—the gore is also backed up by mechanics that hold up under scrutiny. As far as I'm concerned, it easily eclipses Devil May Cry or the Xbox's Ninja Gaiden.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers are completely screwed. There were no subtitles or text during any of the cutscenes or dramatic moments, meaning that the game's plot is completely inaccessible. This was an extremely disappointing choice, especially in light of the fact that the developers went the extra mile on nearly every other facet of the game. Being cinematic does not necessarily mean removing all text from the game during play, and it would've been a very simple thing to include this option. There are no significant auditory cues during gameplay.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Fantasy Violence

Parents don't have anything to worry about. Everything about tork is colorful and friendly. The combat is very harmless, with no blood or gore to be seen anywhere. Bopping dinosaurs is about as rough as it gets, and it's a lot of fun too, so this is a great one for the kids. There are no sexual situations and no questionable language.

Action gamers and platforming fans will be treated to a little gem that should not be passed up. Tork may not have the charisma of a Mario or a Sly, but he's not that bad, and his action hits all the right marks. At $20 brand-new, this game is a must-buy.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will be just fine. The cut scenes are short, and the spoken dialogue comes with subtitles. During gameplay there are no significant audio cues as most of the enemies and action is visible before it is heard thanks to the solid camera positioning.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Language, Violence

Parents don't have anything to worry about. There are no sexual situations, no violence, and no questionable language. It's totally safe, although you may need to have a chair handy for shorter players to be recognized by the camera.

EyeToy owners and techno geeks will probably want to pick up the game just for its uniqueness. It's weird and amazing, and will undoubtedly go down as a piece of videogame history.

Extreme gamers should probably stay away. The game isn't actually as exciting as it looks once you get past the exotic control, being a very pale imitation of SSX and other games of its ilk. If you want this game for any reason other than to use the EyeToy, look elsewhere.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers are slightly screwed. The Eye Toy intro movie does not come with subtitles, and neither does the AntiGrav tutorial. Once you get past these hurdles, everything is smooth sailing because there are no significant audio cues necessary to play the game. Still, subbing info is something that should be standard these days. Come on, Sony and Harmonix.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Alcohol Reference, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Parents really don't have much to fear from Galleon. The alcohol reference occurs when the character drinks "grog" one time while shopping for provisions, and I don't recall any "suggestive themes" at all. The violence is extremely mild, the enemy pirates and monsters disappearing from sight after being dispatched without the slightest hint of blood or gore. The difficulty level will most likely be beyond younger gamers due to the brainpower and skill required to navigate the 3D environments, but the game won't corrupt anyone's childhood.

Tomb Raider fans and platformer nuts, Galleon is required playing. It feels a lot like Tomb Raider except that it doesn't suck, it moves faster, flows better, and holds together than Lara Croft ever did. If you've been craving adventure-filled 3D exploration and haven't been satisfied with recent offerings, this is your ticket.

Graphics whores: you're missing out, but in all honesty, you'd better stay away from Galleon if you can't stand anything less than the cutting edge.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers get equal access with full text accompanying all voiceovers with no problems at all.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Mild Langage

Parents don't have a lot to be careful of. I honestly can't recall the alcohol reference or the mild language, so I feel confident in saying that there was nothing excessive. Fantasy violence must mean firing a gun or getting hit with a grenade, though there's never any blood or gore… very chaste stuff here. The difficulty might make your kids squeal, but it's otherwise safe.

Strategy nuts might be thrown for a loop with the game's heavy action emphasis but it's worthy of having the word "tactics" in the title… it's just a different way of thinking. But if you're looking for Final Fantasy Tactics part two, you'd better steer clear.

Multiplayer maniacs get a pretty robust set of goodies and options. Choices of things to modify include team makeup, turn structure, all of the maps from the main game and more, though many of these features have to be unlocked by meeting requirements in Story Mode. I can't say the main game translates into the best multiplayer I've ever seen, but the effort is there.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers have no problems. Text is available for all dialogue, and there are no significant auditory cues. Full access here.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Violence

Parents don't have much to worry about. There's nothing very graphic in the game, and the only thing that might alarm some would be seeing downed civilians in the middle of intense fires. Still, even this is quite tame compared to other games.

Fans of weird games might want to take a look just for curiosity's sake, but there's really nothing here that would merit a purchase. Rent it if you must.

Action gamers shouldn't bother. The game sports a fairly arcade-like experience, but it's not a very addicting or even interesting one. Your time is better spent elsewhere.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have no problems. The game features a text option for all dialogue, and there are no major auditory cues.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
Brad Gallaway

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According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood, Violence

Parents shouldn't worry too much. When the camera is zoomed out everything is far too small to see any details, and the violence is pretty lightweight stuff to begin with. There is some blood, but it's by-the-numbers, and never gets very graphic. There are no instances of sexual situations or questionable language.

Curious gamers might want to check it out just to see something that's unlike the majority of console offerings. Of course, I'd imagine there are many better examples of the genre on PC, but if you're console-only it might be worth a rent.

Real-time strategy (RTS) fans—I may not know a lot about what makes your genre great, but my guess is that if I found the game to be too simple to satisfy, you probably will too.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have no problems. There are no significant auditory cues and text subtitles are available for all dialogue.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Violence

Parents
will want to steer young ones clear, though bigger kids should be okay with the often-steep difficulty curve. As you can probably guess, the content is all about soldier-to-soldier gunplay, although none of the deaths are bloody or gruesome. There are no sexual situations or any questionable language.

Action gamers will find an action-packed experience that's smooth and fast-moving. The team mechanics work great, and the environments are impressive. The feeling of repetition sets in early, but there's enough adrenaline to keep you playing until the end.

Military sim fans may initially be turned off by the lack of options, open-ended strategy, or unit customization. It delivers most of the goods, but Freedom Fighters is tightly focused and console-centric, far from what you'd expect from the Tom Clancy games and their ilk. Not a complaint, just a heads-up.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers are at a slight disadvantage. Hearing attack choppers circling is vital in some missions and may make for a few frustrating deaths. It's the only significant audio cue, but it's a fairly important one. On the plus side, all in-game dialogue is accompanied by text.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood and Gore, Violence

Parents should steer younger children away and might want to offer guidance to older ones. The tone of the game is clearly adult-oriented. There are no sexual elements of any kind, but there are graphic scenes of blood and explicit violence.

Action Gamers—Play this. 'Nuff said. Fans of the first Zone Of The Enders (and there aren't many) will be in absolute bliss. Everything that was good about the first game is even better, and everything else has been totally overhauled and improved. If you own the first game, you need this one.

Fans of Mecha and Anime, look no further. The designs of the Orbital Frames are excellent, and nothing else out there comes as close as 2nd Runner does in terms of capturing the look and feel of an ultra-slick, slam-bang anime.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers are treated to completely equal access with the option to have full text visible for all of the game's spoken dialogue.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Violence

Parents don't have much to worry about. There aren't any sexual situations, there is no questionable language and no explicit violence.

Fans of the source material should check out the playable DVDs that were recently released for around $15-$20 each. They contain the original games, bonus material, and cut footage, plus they run on any standard DVD player. Out of the three (Dragon's Lair, Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp, and Space Ace) Dragon's lair II: Time Warp is the best title. The animation still holds up quite nicely after all these years. Ah, the memories.

Action fans, stay away. While I love the characters and think the franchise still has promise, the game is a rental at absolute best. It's been outdone by practically every other action/platformer on shelves today, and the license itself isn't enough to justify the purchase price.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Violence

Parents don't have anything to fear. The difficulty may be a wee bit higher than you'd want for young kids, but there aren't any scenes containing sex, graphic violence or questionable language. With the name "Disney" on the front, you pretty much know what you're in for.

Platformer fans might be interested, but only if you've played through the genre's "big names" like Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank and Sly Cooper. Treasure Planet isn't the worst game out there, but the platforming action is uninspired and becomes monotonous far too soon.

Futuristic racing fans should definitely check out the game's outstanding Solar Surfing, but only if you think you'll be able to tolerate the tedious platforming in between the good stuff.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers get the old "half and half". The game does feature subtitles for the in-game dialogue, but leaves the text out for all of the animated scenes from the film.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Violence

Parents don't have much to worry about with either title. Dual Hearts is completely harmless, and although Rygar does have some blood spurts when killing bugs or monstrous enemies, it's nothing that hasn't been done in a thousand other games before it. Neither game has any questionable language or sexual content.

Fans of Devil May Cry will definitely want to check out Rygar. It has none of the keyfetching or odd FPS action that Devil May Cry did, yet has all of the action. To be perfectly honest, if I had to pick just one, it would be Rygar.

Action-adventure gamers owe it to themselves to track down a copy of Dual Hearts. It's one of those unappreciated games that shows up in discussions years after it's disappeared. It does nearly everything right and is as solid as they come. It may be a bit cuter and less edgy than other titles out there, but the gameplay will win you over.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will have no problem with either game. Both offer full text throughout all dialogue and cutscenes.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
Brad Gallaway

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According to ESRB, this game contains: Animated Violence

Parents shouldn't worry too much about EverGrace since there's no harsh language and no sexual content. The game's violence contains no blood or gore. Very tame stuff here.

Neither gamers in general nor action gamers have any reason to play EverGrace. The graphics are shockingly subpar, the story is completely uninvolving and the only thing going for it is a good variety of armor and weapons. It's so droll and lifeless in every way that I can't see anybody playing this and honestly enjoying it. If EverGrace were the only thing you had to play on a desert island, you'd be really good at juggling coconuts.

FromSoft fans, prepare to be devastated. EverGrace may initially appear to be another FromSoft classic, but don't be deceived by first impressions. It's a shoddy, almost worthless title that I still can't quite believe was released from one of my favorite companies of all time. I wish I could say it ain't so, but it's so.

Hearing Impaired gamers have access to full text accompanying all voiceovers in the game. Reading the story doesn't make it any better, but the text is still appreciated.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Violence

Parents should probably stay away from purchasing Lilo & Stitch. It's wholesome Disneyana completely free of sex or foul language, but the difficulty will overwhelm younger or less experienced fans of the film.

Gamers in general will find a solid but uninspired game that looks great and has a keen license. Before buying, please be aware that players with platforming skills will polish the game off in record time and there's very little replay to be had.

Lilo & Stitch fans get a simple game that respects the film and fits in well with the established subject material. The still pictures are nice, the animation is great, and how can you not like a game starring someone as CUTE AND FUZZY as Stitch? If you like the film you won't regret the purchase, but it certainly won't go down in history as the best license-based game ever.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to the ESRB, this game contains: Blood and Gore, Violence

Parents should be aware that Eternal Darkness features large amounts of blood and gore, dismemberment, graphic violence, and a significant amount of occult themes throughout the game. There is no sexual content, and very little to be concerned with in the way of profanity. Its definitely not for the little ones.

Gamers in general will get a mixed bag. The game features a very interesting plot held back by simplistic and repetitive elements. It's basically a good, solid game, but some people may be turned off by the one-note gameplay.

Silicon Knights fans will enjoy the trademark high-quality voiceovers and complex story elements that made the developers so popular in the first place. Eternal Darkness may not be the blockbuster it was made out to be, but it's a solid game and a good return to form.

Survival horror fans won't get the same formula they may be used to. Eternal Darkness fixes many problems that plague the genre, but the tone and mood are different enough that I wouldn't call it survival horror. Still, if you like creepy stuff, its definitely worth a look.

Hearing Impaired gamers have the option of viewing full text during all dialogue and cutscenes. However, one puzzle late in the game can only be solved by auditory clues. If you don't have an FAQ with some very detailed information, this may be a problem.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Language, Violence

Parents should be aware of the game's semi-political content featuring terrorists and war. In light of the events of September 11th, you might want to sit down with your kids and discuss any issues that might be raised. There is no blood, no sexual content, and only a small number of mild expletives along the lines of "hell" and "damn." Be advised that the game has an astronomically high level of difficulty, though… younger kids (and a lot of older ones) won't be able to play it with any measure of enjoyment.

Military or Flight Game fans are in for a treat since the mechanic of a Dropship has rarely, if ever, been used before. The atmosphere is great and the factual approach to proactive military peacekeeping is done right. While just about every element clicks neatly into place, it's a little on the "excruciatingly hard" side.

Hearing Impaired gamers are treated to full text accompanying all mission briefings as well as mid-game chatter. However, make sure you wear your reading glasses since the font size of the messages is extremely small. It might lead to some missed information during heated battles, but it's basically OK.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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Parents don't have a thing to worry about. In fact, the game's bizarre intro sequence features a real-life family sitting around a TV and enjoying the game. The enjoyment portrayed is entirely fictitious, but the game's family slant is not. It may bore your kids into submission, but there's no language, violence or sexual content to be concerned about.

Gamers in general shouldn't bother. Fantavision is a boring tech demo disguised as a game, and probably won't even keep the average person busy for more than twenty minutes.

Puzzle gamers aren't missing out on anything. The onscreen visuals become quite chaotic, and the game is basically a jazzed-up version of Missile Command crossed with Connect-The-Dots, minus the fun.

Fireworks fanatics can watch the dazzling, colorful effects until the cows come home since Fantavision is the only game I can think of that features rockets stuffed with gunpowder and chemicals as the main attraction.

Hearing Impaired gamers should be warned that the game's tutorial is presented in spoken English which may present problems if you intend to play it for longer than ten minutes, which is doubtful.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood and Gore, Violence

Parents should be aware that there's a large amount of hand-to-hand combat in Drakan, and some of the death animations are a hair more graphic than the norm. We're not talking Mortal Kombat "Fatality" levels, but some of the beasts clutch their guts after being stabbed and may also squeal or whine in pain. Some will also whimper and beg for their lives. Not surprisingly, blood is graphically represented as well, so moms and dads who want to steer their kids away from such fare will want to avoid Drakan. There is no sexual content or offensive language.

Text Accompanying Audio: Approximately 98% of the game offers text. No difficulties here.

Gamers in general will get a better-than-average fantasy adventure that's held back by a few speedbumps in the overall quality. Still, there's a lot here to like for sword-and-sorcery buffs and its substantial enough to warrant a purchase. One thing to be aware of is that the minimum save space required is a whopping 1500k, so save-happy gamers might want to buy an extra memory card.

Action gamers will find a surprisingly in-depth battle engine, and the game has no shortage of limbs to hack or heads to roll. Theres plenty of high quality weapons-based combat to enjoy here, and shooting fireballs from atop your dragon is always good for a laugh.

Fans of dragons will enjoy having their own personal myth to tag along with, and you really can take to the skies at will. While they don't explore the full range of potential uses for your leathery-winged buddy, Drakan's premise and execution is unique enough to recommend.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood, Violence

Parents won't want to get this game for any child too young to handle this type of horror-film content. There arent any sexual situations, but there are a small handful of phrases that may be considered inappropriate by some. As far as violence goes, the gameplay centers on blowing away mutant organisms and generally filling everything that moves full of oozing holes. The visuals aren't as realistic or as graphic as some other games on the market, but there are clearly dead and mutilated human bodies scattered throughout the facility in addition to the cast of inhuman uglies that plump when you cook 'em. It's nothing worse than what you'd get in a PG-13 film, but be aware of the content before picking this up for a young one.

Gamers in general may want to check out Extermination. For players who are tired of the same old formula, the game is faster and more streamlined than you'd expect, which provides a real horror/sci-fi action-film feeling. While it appears to be more of the same at first glance, it feels and handles significantly different enough to be a new experience worth getting into.

Fans of Resident Evil owe it to themselves to check out Extermination. While the story isn't anything to write home about, it's an excellent contrast to the stale feeling Capcom's flagship series and all of its imitators have fallen victim to in the last few years. If you have an urge to satisfy your Survival Horror craving, this game is a low-fat alternative that not only breaks out of the cookie-cutter mold, but also leaves you feeling light and refreshed.

Hearing Impaired gamers are included in the formula since all of the games spoken dialogue comes with accompanying text. No problems here.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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According to the ESRB, this game contains: Animated Blood & Gore, Animated Violence, Suggestive Themes

Parents—under no circumstances are you to buy this game for your children, no matter what they say or do to try and convince you. First of all, this game is too difficult for anyone who isn't old enough to buy his or her own games, and the multiple instant-deaths and restarts will probably frustrate most children who aren't prepared for it. More importantly, the themes and tone presented are extremely mature and not at all suitable for children. The game contains multiple scenes of graphic violence, featuring large amounts of blood, dismemberment and killing in cold blood. There are also a few healthy doses of sexual innuendo, as well as some undressing/underwear scenes and one instance towards the beginning of the game which appears to show a nonstandard type of "pleasuring device" in action. While I personally enjoyed the content of the game immensely, it's quite clear that it is inappropriate for children, plain and simple. Parents, now that you've been warned against buying this title, please stop writing and calling Joe Lieberman—there are adults out there who enjoy this type of game and don't want to see them driven off the market.

Gamers in general get a bit of a mixed bag. The gameplay present doesn't break any new ground or have much in the way of innovation. It's pretty much the same overused Resident Evil-style engine with a few twists—including some amazing FMV usage in the backgrounds—but its approach to intellectual content and character is one of the few that genuinely capture a darker, more mature and sophisticated feel. For this feature alone it comes recommended, but be warned that most of the enjoyment here is from the dialogue, characters and cinema scenes, rather than how the game actually plays.

Fans of the first Fear Effect should buy this game with no hesitation whatsoever. The same magnetic cast of guns-for-hire return, and newcomer Rain Qin proves herself to be a worthy addition. The gameplay is largely unchanged, though on the whole it struck me as slightly easier overall, which is not necessarily a bad thing. If you enjoyed Fear Effect, Fear Effect 2 is a second helping of the same sweet stuff. (As a side note, Eidos is offering Fear Effect FREE to people who buy Fear Effect 2, only charging for postage. How great is that?)

Fans of survival horror or third-person action fans will feel right at home in Fear Effect 2, and although it's technically not "survival horror," it's close enough to appeal to the same group of players. The control setup and game structure are basically the same, as there are plenty of puzzles and things to shoot. If you have a craving for this type of game, it's an excellent choice with a ton of style, to boot.

Hearing-impaired gamers aren't left out for a change since Kronos has added the option to have subtitles on or off during cinema scenes. This option should be in every game since little things like this make life easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved. Thank you, Kronos—the extra effort is definitely appreciated.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
Brad Gallaway

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