Saturday, October 4, 2014

She turned me into a Newt! (...I got bettah...)

Hello again, Parents and Gamers!

As you may have noticed, we have been out of commission for nearly a week now without any explanation as to why. Well, we're happy to return and be able to fill you in.

As seen has been a very TRYING week. For absolutely no obvious reason, we suffered a MASSIVE computer failure that persisted through multiple attempts to fix it and finally, only now, after a week of troubleshooting, tweaking, repairing, and over $2000 in parts and pieces, have we repaired the issue. As such, we will be posting our review for Naruto as promptly as we can (should be up by tomorrow) and adjust our schedule to compensate for the lost time.

We're sincerely sorry about any trouble or inconvenience this might have caused. We will be going through e-mails soon to answer any questions you may have had. Thank you for all of your patience.



Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Not-So-News - 09.27.14

Hello again, Parents and Gamers!

We're sad to say that today has had very little going on in the way of game news. However, a fun thought occurred to us when we went to start up Skyrim...given the expansiveness of the game and the ludicrous amount of content available, perhaps we will give "accounts" of our harrowing Journeys as a fun little aside for the time being. We'll see!

 As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about our article today or just Video Games in general, feel free to reach out to us at our e-mail at or simply by clicking on my name below. Make sure to follow us at Facebook and Twitter to get up to the moment updates! See you soon!

The Parent's Guide to Video Games

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The News - 09.25.14

Hello again, Parents and Gamers!

First off, before we begin, take a moment to orient yourself with a small change to the reviews we are doing by clicking here. This is just a quick article regarding the backlog of games that were not reviewed in the last few years and how we might handle that dilemma starting with the hit RPG: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

But, getting away from that, we have two pieces that we would like to cover for you today out of the game industry. We will be starting with an article focused towards Xbox Live Gold members and what Free games they might be able to look forward to this coming October. After that, we have news for all of the Nintendo fans regarding a Tournament that will be hosted Nationwide for Super Smash Bros. players. Let's get started!


For those of you who own an Xbox 360, you may or may not be aware of Xbox Live Gold: the system's paid for online subscription that allows you to access all of its Internet based features.

But, did you know that Microsoft gives away Free games every month as a Thank you for being an Xbox Live Gold member?

This coming month, October, Xbox 360 owners with an Xbox Live Gold subscription will be receiving two games for free. First, the hit First Person Shooter: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 will be available for Free to download between October 1 - 15. This will be followed by the equally popular RolePlaying Title: Darksiders II, which will be available from October 16 - 31. On top of this, if you are an Xbox One owner, you will receive Chariot for Free the entire month.

If you aren't an Xbox Live Gold subscriber but are interested, I would look into it. It's only $25 for 3 months or $60 for a year.

October's Games with Gold are Bad Company 2, Darksiders II, and Chariot -
Games with Gold Revealed for October -
Games with Gold Free October Games for Xbox One and 360 include Battlefield, Darksiders -
Chariot, Darksiders 2 join Games with Gold in October -
October Xbox Live Games with Gold includes a Brand New Game for Xbox One -


The release of the highly anticipated Nintendo fighting game Super Smash Bros. is only a week away on the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo is celebrating: Nintendo will be hosting an official Tournament for the best fighters out there.

Partnering with game retailer GameStop, initial rounds for the tournament will be held at 15 different GameStop locations across the United States as well as the Nintendo World store located in New York on October 4, 2014 (the day after the game's release)

Players will not need to pre-register, however local tournaments are limited to 64 players and are on a first come / first serve basis.

The winners of these tournaments will win a 3DS XL, a copy of Super Smash Bros on 3DS, and a $250 Visa Gift Card as well as a trip to New York City, complete with hotel and airfare for two, to play in the Super Smash Bros. National Open Tournament at the Nintendo World Store the following week on October 11, 2014.

For a list of Tournament Locations, please see below. Tournaments begin at 11 a.m. local time, but we HEAVILY recommend getting there sooner rather than later.
  • GameStop / Winfield Shopping Center
    • 966 Blossom Hill Road
    • San Jose, CA 95123
  • GameStop / Anaheim Town Center
    • 2004 East Lincoln AVE.
    • Anaheim, CA 92806
  • GameStop / c/o Barnes & Noble
    • 960 S. Colorado Blvd.
    • Denver, CO 80246
  • GameStop / The Brickyard S/C
    • 6451 W. Diversey Parkway, Suite G-9
    • Chicago, IL 60707
  • GameStop / Dedham Mall
    • 336 Providence Highway
    • Dedham, MA 02026
  • GameStop / St. John's Plaza
    • 9150 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 16
    • Ellicott City, MD 21042
  • GameStop / SWM Skibo S/C
    • 1590 Skibo Road
    • Bonnie Doone, NC 28303
  • GameStop / 32 E. 14th St
    • 32 E. 14th St
    • New York, NY 10003
  • GameStop / Bellevue Square
    • 242 Bellevue Square
    • Bellevue, WA 98004
  • GameStop / Tower Shops
    • 2140 S. Univeristy Dr.
    • Davie, FL 33324
  • GameStop / Lake Brandon Shoppes
    • 11025 Causeway Blvd
    • Brandon, FL 33511
  • GameStop / SWM Sand Lake Corner
    • 8115 S. John Young Parkway
    • Orlando, FL 32819
  • GameStop / Chamblee Village
    • 1841 Chamblee Tucker Rd., Suite 3A
    • Chamblee, GA 30341
  • GameStop / c/o Barnes & Noble
    • 3003 W. Holcombe Blvd.
    • Houston, TX 77025
  • GameStop / c/o Barnes & Noble
    • 2201 Preston Rd., Suite E
    • Plano, TX 75093
  • Nintendo World
    • 10 Rockefeller Plaza
    • New York, NY 10020
Official Nintendo Super Smash Bros. tournament begins on October 4 -
Super Smash Bros. 3DS Nationwide US Tournament Announced -
Nintendo Announces Super Smash Bros. Tournaments across United States -
Super Smash Bros 3DS Tourney in US GameStop Stores -


And that's it for today! As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about our article today or just Video Games in general, feel free to reach out to us at our e-mail at or simply by clicking on my name below. Make sure to follow us at Facebook and Twitter to get up to the moment updates! See you soon!

The Parent's Guide to Video Games

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (to be Reviewed) and maybe more

Hello again, Parents and Gamers!

We wanted to reach out and give everyone a quick update. You will notice that we have added "Elder Scrolls: Skyrim" to our list of reviews with an undetermined date. Allow us to give you a quick explanation why.

Given our absence over the last few years, there is no shortage of titles that we were unable to review properly regarding quality or appropriateness. As such, we've gotten a few requests already regarding additional titles from the last few years that people would like information on. One of the resounding ones we have heard a few times already is the ever popular Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.

So, in response, we're going to have Skyrim (perhaps a few other titles as well) which will be back-up reviews we will work on as time goes on. Since we already have a full breakdown of games coming out this holiday season, we can't easily work them into a standard weekly schedule (unless there is an opening one week here or there). Instead, since Skyrim is an older title, we're going to dig into in our down time so we can build a review for you within the comes weeks instead of the unofficial e-mails we've sent here or there.

But LabR@, you ask, why not put it out in a week? Well, some older titles would be relatively easy to pound out quickly, however Skyrim presents an interesting problem. The game is of the largest and most complex titles on the gaming market today. As such, given we will be working in and out on the project, we will give ourselves a little bit of extra time to dive in more appropriately.

Now please understand, you are more than welcome to ask any questions or concerning any title...we're more than willing to answer them. We simply have seen such a demand already, we figured we'd put together a plan to deal with the backlog. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about our article today or just Video Games in general, feel free to reach out to us at our e-mail at or simply by clicking on my name below. Make sure to follow us at Facebook and Twitter to get up to the moment updates! See you soon!

The Parent's Guide to Video Games

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beta (Test)

Beta (Test)

  • The term Beta Test is not restricted to the video game industry and is often used loosely across different computer products.
  • Beta Testing refers to the release of a largely finished product, most likely a game in this case, before the official release date in order to insure product quality.
  •  While Beta Testing can occur within a "Closed Beta" (i.e. by invite only) or an "Open Beta" (open to the general public), the purpose of releasing a product (game) to Beta Test is to provide it real world testing outside of a lab or development team to insure that the product is ready and doesn't have any bugs or issues that need to be fixed before release.
  • Beta Testing is often used in the video game industry as a means of providing a demonstration of the game to hype sales while also allowing the development team to put the finishing touches on the title.
  • Beta Testing is preceded by a "Alpha Testing" which generally involves a much rougher version of the product and is less often exposed to the public.

The Not-So-News - 09.24.14

Hello again, Parents and Gamers!

We're sad to say that today has had very little going on in the way of game news. So, in turn, we may rustle up a few definitions here and there to get you going, but there isn't much to offer in the way of industry info. Sorry! But, As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about our article today or just Video Games in general, feel free to reach out to us at our e-mail at or simply by clicking on my name below. Make sure to follow us at Facebook and Twitter to get up to the moment updates! See you soon!

The Parent's Guide to Video Games

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Destiny Review

Destiny Review

      Kid Safe: High (8.0 / 10)    Game Quality: High (8.0 / 10)

Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter
-          While this sounds like one heck of a mouthful, it's not overly complicated. First off, as a First Person Shooter, players will control a character as if they were looking through their eyes down the barrel of a firearm. The primary purpose being to shoot/fight/kill opponents in a variety of environments. Similar examples could include Halo or Call of Duty. As a Massively Multiplayer Online game, this means that the game takes place via the internet was several hundred players are able to actively interact with and enjoy the game together rather than playing it alone.

Internet Requirements: Very High
-          Being a Massively Multiplayer Online title, Destiny must have internet. The game does not have any form of single player function that can be played without an active internet connection as well as a paid for online service for the applicable systems. PlayStation 3 has free internet service, however Xbox 360 and Xbox One will require Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation 4 will require PlayStation Plus in order to function appropriately.

Story Summary:
-          In Destiny, you play the role as one of Earth's last remaining "Guardians"; an elite warrior hand selected by a mysterious robotic being of light called "The Traveler" who helped bring Humans and Earth to a golden age of space travel and colonization. However, creatures of darkness, the robotic "Fallen" and insectoid "Hive", have followed the "Traveler" with the intent to consume all life and light in the galaxy. Now, with the help of the other Guardians, you must fight back on Earth, the Moon, Venus, and Mars to protect that Last City on Earth and push back these invaders before mankind is destroyed forever.

Kid Safe: High (8.0 / 10)

-          Foul Language: None
o   From what we have seen, Destiny does not contain any amount of Foul Language (at least on the part of the humans...who knows what those evil robots are saying).

o   Special Note: While playing online, players have a chat option available to them. Use discretion while letting your player online as they are able to send and receive foul language via the chat function.

-          Violence and Gore: High
o   Being a First Person Shooter, the primary focus of this title is to fight/shoot/kill your enemies. In the multiplayer competitive mode, players are able to fight other Guardians which consist of Humans, a blue skinned alien race called the "Awoken", and a race of robotic war machines called "Exos". In the normal story mode, players will fight against the robotic race of "The Fallen" and the insectoid race of "The Hive".

o   Players will utilize a variety of weaponry including pistols, rifles, machine guns, energy weapons, rocket launchers, various sci-fi war machines with lasers and explosives, as well as close range weapons like fists and knives. This is accompanied by semi-realistic sounds of gunfire. Players' primary focus in combat is to kill their enemies. Players gain increased points for shooting enemies in vital locations like the head, which results in "The Fallen" spraying gaseous vapor from their now missing head and/or "The Hive" turning to cinders and disintegrating. With the use of certain weapons or powers, enemies will disintegrate in a flash of light or cinders.

o   Enemies, when shot or injured, will occasionally spray black or white fluids representing alien blood.

-          Sexually-Related Content: None
o   From everything that we have seen, Destiny does not appear to contain any amount of sexually related content. Additionally, while players are able to choose either gender to play as, both are heavily armored in combat gear and neither wear any notably revealing clothing.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: None
o   To the best of the reviewer's knowledge, Destiny does not contain any amount of Drug or Alcohol usage

Game Quality:  High (8.0 / 10)

-          Graphics / Visuals: Moderate to High
o   The Graphics and Visuals in Destiny required a bit of extra footwork to investigate. The game is available on both current generation systems (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3) as well as next generation systems (Xbox One and PlayStation 4). The game was pretty clearly developed for next generation systems and anyone playing on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 are going to have a loss in the overall quality. On these systems, all visuals are notably fuzzier with less resolution. Our best comparison would be watching DVD versus BluRay of a movie (since that is LITERALLY what it is).

o   Now, fuzziness aside on the current generation, Destiny spouts some very beautiful visuals. The game features many imaginative locations including the destroyed remnants of an old Russian air-base, the surface and hollowed out core of the Moon, abandoned cities on Mars, and an jungle-like area on Venus. Each location feels and looks notably different, with stark changes in visuals and colors and a lot of interesting little details put into the design. One of the more enjoyable aspects of the game was getting to explore these varied and well-thought out and designed locations.

-          Audio: High
o   Audio was another solid hit. The game features a nice soundtrack that varies from gentle and serene to hard-pumping and stressful for those really intense firefights. Music is well utilized to help bring the right tone and feel to really drive home the emotional impact of the visuals you are seeing. On top of this a strong cast of voice actors adds a range of different people and things to interact with. Whether being guided along by your "Ghost" companion robot, speaking to those individuals valiantly defending Earth in "The Tower", or the story of how this all came about; everything is well delivered. While there is a fault here or there, the tone and delivery is always well done and very rarely missing anything.

-          Gameplay / Playability: High
o   Gameplay and Playability were equally well done. Starting off with Playability, the game's play is based heavily on other First Person Shooters on the market; most notably Halo who was created by the same developers. However, if you aren't familiar with that franchise, the game provides a quick tutorial level as well as introductions to all of the major aspects of how to move, fight, and play in the world of Destiny. There were occasional misses here or there, like how I received a heavy weapon but wasn't told how to even access or use it for another 15 minutes, however, as a whole, the game is pretty easy to pick up and figure out.

o   The same can go for Gameplay. Destiny acts like a cross breeding of several major franchises on the market today. Halo has already been mentioned, however it is also comparable to games like Mass Effect, World of Warcraft, and Borderlands. Players will have access to open worlds (specific to a planet) which they can freely roam and explore if they so choose. As they fight and play, they will unlock new abilities, powers, weapons, and armors which will progressively make them more powerful and ability to fight stronger enemies. Players will also be able to help or be helped by other players as multiple players will be exploring the same open world environments (meaning you could have 30 people all playing on Earth, doing their own thing, and you are able to interact with them if you so choose). Once you hop back to "The Tower", which essentially acts as home base between fights, you can interact with even more players as they go about their business as well as speak to a variety of merchants and story characters.

o   Overall, the game takes many of the solid game aspects from other hit titles and combines it into a great new one. The only thing that players may dislike in the delivery is that the game progressives a little slower both in the Leveling aspect as well as the collection of New Items compared to other similar titles.
-          Dollar-Value: High
o   Overall, Destiny is a pretty high Dollar Value. While it runs at the standard pricing of most new video games ($60 starting), the game offers a fair amount of content. Players will be able to explore several vast new worlds, try out three different types of characters, and have access to a ton of cool weapons and powers to fight off the Darkness. Players will have access to both multiplayer competitive and cooperative gameplay that will let them fight each other as well as follow a decently written storyline about saving the future of Earth and mankind. Plus, unlike many other MMO titles, Destiny DOES NOT have any additional fees regarding playing: the only requirement is that you have an internet subscription to the system that you are playing on (which would be required to play online anyway).

-          Destiny is one of the very few First Person Shooters that does not score too harshly due to adult content. However, if you are itching for other titles, we would initially recommend Halo. While it is M-Rated, it is one of the few titles that many agree does not deserve an M-Rating. Made by Bungie (the developers of Destiny), the game features a similar focus of elite human warriors fighting back against alien invaders. The Halo franchise offers a ton of titles, and has been around for a little while now, so they might be a good one to check out.