According to ESRB, this game contains: Cartoon Violence

Elebits Screenshot 

Parents: don't let this game's first-person shooting mechanic scare you. At its heart, Elebits is a game of hide and seek; the player's "Capture Gun" catches the little creatures without hurting them. There's plenty of property-destruction involved (you can throw things like TVs and bookcases around to look for more Elebits), but incidents of actual combat are few and far between. Some levels have small tanks, guns, or spiky black Elebits that the player must avoid, but the violence is not at all graphic. As for sexual content and bad language, there's none whatsoever.

People who are too clumsy to get past Red Steel's first mission (like me) will find Elebits a fun introduction to the FPS mechanic. You can practice maneuvering somebody you never see without getting shot at.

Lovers of cute creatures and Japanese weirdness are all playing this game right now, while the plush Elebit they got with their pre-orders watches from the top of the TV set.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers should be able to play Elebits without much trouble. While the Elebits make a lot of noise, their squeaks do nothing to tell you where exactly they are. And for sounds that tell you what the Elebits are doing (e.g., crying, singing, sleeping), the game gives you visual cues, like musical notes over their heads. I played large chunks of the game without sound and had no problems.

Tera Kirk

Tera Kirk

Tera Kirk grew up in a small Nebraska town called Papillion. Although she has a nonverbal learning disability that affects her visual-spatial skills (among other things), she's always loved video games. Her first game system was a Commodore Vic-20, which her mom bought at a garage sale for $20. With this little computer Tera learned to write Mad Libs in BASIC, to play chess and to steal gold from Fort Knox.

But then a friend introduced her to the seedy underworld of the Mario brothers and she spent her saved-up birthday and Christmas money to buy a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Her mom didn't like the Nintendo at first, but The Legend of Zelda changed her mind. (When Tera got Zelda II: The Adventure of Link one Christmas, she suspected it was as much for her mother as for her).

Though she graduated from Agnes Scott College in 2002 and recently learned how to find the movie theater restroom by herself, Tera still loves video games. Far from being a brain-rotting waste of time, they've helped her practice spatial skills and discover new passions. Her love of games like Kid Icarus and The Battle of Olympus led to a degree in Classical Languages and Literatures. She thinks games have a place in discussions on disability and other cultural issues, and is excited to work with the like-minded staff at GameCritics.com.
Tera Kirk

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According to ESRB, this game contains: Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes

Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria Screenshot

Parents: don't let that long list scare you. I don't recall the “alcohol reference” off hand and, although players do break off enemies' body parts, the violence isn't bloody at all. Also, Valkyrie Profile 2 focuses more on its heroines' fighting skills than their bust size, which is more than I can say for most Teen-rated role-playing games out there.

Casual gamers should probably stay away. The battle system takes a little while to get used to, but more than that, Valkyrie Profile 2 is designed for the kind of person who likes to spend 60+ hours poking through every nook and cranny of a single game.

Anyone who fits the above description will have a lot of fun with Valkyrie Profile 2. After playing for over 100 hours, I still haven't found everything.

Girls and women will have a plethora of female characters to play as, and they all kick butt pretty hard. (Most are einherjar, warriors who died in battle that valkyrie bring to Valhalla as soldiers for the god Odin's army).

People who haven't played the first Valkyrie Profile (in either PlayStation or PSP form) shouldn't have too many problems playing this game. I played this game without any previous Valkyrie Profile experience, and understood the story just fine. (Since Valkyrie Profile 2 is a prequel, you don't need backstory from the original to figure it out).

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers should have no problem with the gameplay, but the cut-scenes are a little hard to understand without sound. All speech is captioned, but there's no visual cue for who is speaking. You can't even look for whose mouth is moving, since the lip-synching in this game doesn't always kick in right away.

Tera Kirk

Tera Kirk

Tera Kirk grew up in a small Nebraska town called Papillion. Although she has a nonverbal learning disability that affects her visual-spatial skills (among other things), she's always loved video games. Her first game system was a Commodore Vic-20, which her mom bought at a garage sale for $20. With this little computer Tera learned to write Mad Libs in BASIC, to play chess and to steal gold from Fort Knox.

But then a friend introduced her to the seedy underworld of the Mario brothers and she spent her saved-up birthday and Christmas money to buy a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Her mom didn't like the Nintendo at first, but The Legend of Zelda changed her mind. (When Tera got Zelda II: The Adventure of Link one Christmas, she suspected it was as much for her mother as for her).

Though she graduated from Agnes Scott College in 2002 and recently learned how to find the movie theater restroom by herself, Tera still loves video games. Far from being a brain-rotting waste of time, they've helped her practice spatial skills and discover new passions. Her love of games like Kid Icarus and The Battle of Olympus led to a degree in Classical Languages and Literatures. She thinks games have a place in discussions on disability and other cultural issues, and is excited to work with the like-minded staff at GameCritics.com.
Tera Kirk

Latest posts by Tera Kirk (see all)

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According to ESRB, this game contains: Cartoon Violence

Parents have very little to worry about with this game. While Donkey Kong does punch his foes (often many times in quick successionl), the violence is more cartoonish than anything else. There's no gore, no bad langauge, and no nudity, unless naked apes count.

Fans of the Donkey Kong Country series know the drill: collect bananas, shoot Donkey Kong out of things, and beat bosses. Using the DK Bongos to run and jump and punch makes the standard platforming more interesting, though.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers should have no problems playing Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat. Although sounds measure the player's actions, the player doesn't need to hear those sounds to enjoy the game. Donkey Kong spends his time jumping up walls, swinging from vines and squashing pigs—all things that are done using visual cues. There's no speech whatsoever, and all tutorials use text or video.

Tera Kirk

Tera Kirk

Tera Kirk grew up in a small Nebraska town called Papillion. Although she has a nonverbal learning disability that affects her visual-spatial skills (among other things), she's always loved video games. Her first game system was a Commodore Vic-20, which her mom bought at a garage sale for $20. With this little computer Tera learned to write Mad Libs in BASIC, to play chess and to steal gold from Fort Knox.

But then a friend introduced her to the seedy underworld of the Mario brothers and she spent her saved-up birthday and Christmas money to buy a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Her mom didn't like the Nintendo at first, but The Legend of Zelda changed her mind. (When Tera got Zelda II: The Adventure of Link one Christmas, she suspected it was as much for her mother as for her).

Though she graduated from Agnes Scott College in 2002 and recently learned how to find the movie theater restroom by herself, Tera still loves video games. Far from being a brain-rotting waste of time, they've helped her practice spatial skills and discover new passions. Her love of games like Kid Icarus and The Battle of Olympus led to a degree in Classical Languages and Literatures. She thinks games have a place in discussions on disability and other cultural issues, and is excited to work with the like-minded staff at GameCritics.com.
Tera Kirk

Latest posts by Tera Kirk (see all)

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