Archive for Reviews

Reviews By Kids, For Kids: Undertale

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Undertale – The Fallen Human

Undertale was released on September 15th, and since has spawned a massive fan base obsessed with the ingenuity of creator Toby Fox’s character design, musical talents, and copious amounts of detail. Using 8-bit style graphics, Undertale tells the story of a child who falls into an underground world of monsters, and they must make their way through their kingdom in order to return to the surface.

The game is absolutely outstanding, on some popular websites being named one of the best games of all time. It is made in the RPG style, having a simple end goal and turn-based combat system. However, Fox creates a new aspect to the combat, giving players the opportunity to spare their opponents instead of killing them. The entire journey can be completed without killing a single monster, and through these choices, the story bends in certain ways. Every friend in one playthrough could be an enemy in another, subtly making the player anxious about every choice they make.

The amount of detail in every single area of the game is incredible, with every object having interesting, sometimes comical descriptions. Hidden bits of text and dialogue are still being discovered, two months after the release, due to the characters having countless ways to be interacted with.

The design of the characters is one of the highest points of the game, with their physical designs and personalities feeling almost real, especially combined with the amount of optional dialogue. Ranging from skeleton brothers to amphibian scientists to a spear-wielding fish, the characters are memorable, and the player is forced to fight every single one.

The other area that Undertale shines in is the music construction. Costing nearly $10 for the soundtrack alone shows that some definite work was put into it, as well as listening to it during the game. The intricate, upbeat melodies create fantastic battles, enhancing the gameplay tremendously. The calm, simple music inside of towns and environments can change the mood entirely. The songs are a major contributor to the popularity of the game, in addition to the detail.

Undertale is incredibly enjoyable for almost all audiences, and the bonds created with characters and places influence the player critically. However, the story and characters are the best parts of the game, with the gameplay mechanics being somewhat tedious at certain points. But the best parts are outstanding, and the playtime is not too long. It is expertly designed, formatted, and created, easily making it one of the greatest games of our time.

~Review by Berreh.

Highly recommended. 10/10. Good for ages 10+. Some language, some blood. Much humor, a good amount of reading. Requires extreme determination, dexterity, reflexes, and eye-hand coordination.

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Want more?

Undertale website

Undertale wiki

Undertale on STEAM – UNDERTALE! The RPG game where you don’t have to destroy anyone.  $10

Undertale STEAM community – Welcome to UNDERTALE. In this RPG, you control a human who falls underground into the world of monsters. Now you must find your way out… or stay trapped forever.

Undertale fan art – DeviantArt (there’s a lot!)

Have you played Undertale? What’s your favorite ending? Character? Song? Is Frisk a boy or a girl? Is Sans a human? Is Undertale the ‘best game ever’? Tell us what you think! (Please post spoiler warnings if needed!)

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E3 2015: Nintendo Direct: Reaction – A family of gamers

Nintendo E3

E3 2015: Nintendo Direct

The kids and I were eagerly anticipating Nintendo’s E3 show. We all raced into the living room at 1 minute of, kicked on AppleTV, went to E3.nintendo.com on my iPhone, and grabbed a seat on a sofa for the about-to-start livestream.

So many games! What a jam packed hour! Muppets. StarFox, Mario, amiibo, Zelda, Metroid, Fire Emblem, and more!

Here’s a recap, and our reactions.

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Review: The False Prince, by Jennifer A. Nielsen

TheFalsePrince

It’s morning, and I’m bleary eyed.  The kids and I are reading “The False Prince”, by Jennifer A. Nielsen – the first book in The Ascendance Trilogy.  Except, I started reading ahead. And then, I couldn’t put it down…

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Review: McDonald’s Premium McWrap

McWrap

How good are the new McDonald’s Premium McWraps? Well, I tried to snap a picture, but by the time I had my phone camera in my hand and ready, this was all that remained. Sorry. But, they were delicious.

Coming back from grocery shopping and running errands, I wanted to get the kids a treat for being so good, and it was lunch time. Our local McDonald’s was running a promo – $2 for the new McWrap. I’d wanted to try one earlier, but they’re normally $3.99 each, and I thought that was too much to try something new.

We ordered 3 Sweet Chili, and a Chicken Ranch and a Chicken Bacon. I wasn’t sure it was a good idea to eat a burrito-type item in the car – too messy – so I made them wait until we got home. Then, it was like the Tasmanian Devil whirled through, and soon there was nothing but wrappers and bits of lettuce on the table.

I asked the kids what they thought.

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Review: What Came from the Stars, by Gary D. Schmidt

what came from the stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tommy Pepper is your average 6th grader, who likes football and hates homework.  He’s bright, kind, and sad. Tommy lost his mother in a car accident less than a year ago, and his family’s house by the ocean in Plymouth, Massachusetts seems empty without her. Tommy’s father hasn’t painted since that day, and his little sister, Patty, hasn’t spoken a word. To make things even worse, a local real estate agent is determined to obtain their property – a heavenly little piece of beach – to build a huge condominium complex.

Far, far away, on the other side of the universe, on a planet with 2 suns, a battle between good and evil is waging. The good guys, the Valorim, are losing. They are slowly but surely succumbing to the bad guys, Lord Mondus and his host of O’Mondim, faceless creatures from the watery deep.

As the last few brave Valorim warriors still stand, a pendant is forged – a chain into which is poured the Art of Valorim. Their art, their music, their power, their magic. With a last desperate hope, the pendant is sent up, up, up into the sky, through the atmosphere, across the stars, to a small blue planet with 1 sun.

It lands in Tommy’s lunchbox…

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Review: Wreck It Ralph

For family fun last Saturday night, we decided to watch the animated Disney movie Wreck It Ralph. We all love video games, and the premise – of a downtrodden villain growing weary of doing villainous things, and wanting more – seemed appealing.

My kids mostly play their video games online on their PC, or on their consoles, or on their smart phones or ipods.  When I was a kid, if we wanted to play — we grabbed our quarters and cold hard cash, met up with friends and headed to the local arcade. To spend hours dropping quarters into machines.

But, what really goes on INSIDE those arcade video games?

And thus begins the story, of an 8-bit villain, wanting to be a hero…

wreck-it-ralph

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Top E rated video games for kids – 2012

Today is Cyber Monday, and there’s only 28 days left until Christmas! Time to get cracking on holiday shopping. While the older crowd is playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Halo 4 and Assassin’s Creed III, you need some ideas for games for kids 10 and under.

The hottest video game item right now is the new Nintendo Wii U, just released on 11/18. The Wii U Basic/White has a retail price of $299.99, while the Wii U Deluxe/Black’s retail price is $349.99. I’m looking to buy one for our family for Christmas, but they are sold out everywhere – online and in stores. Checked eBay this morning, and the average selling price of a new Wii U deluxe is $900! One actually sold on 11/22 for $12,700!  Insanity. Again. The same thing as when the original Wii was released – everyone snapped them up to sell on eBay, and none were available to buy and wrap up for Christmas. I’ve got the phone numbers of 5 local stores on hand, and am hoping to get lucky and find one at retail price before 12/24. *crosses fingers* (For week of 11/8, Nintendo sold 400,000+ Wii U’s, 300,00 Wii’s, 275,000 DS’s, and 275,000 3DS’s.)

Here are my latest lists on the top selling and top rated video games that are appropriate for kids – all with an ESRB rating of E or E 10+. Everything is sorted by console, to make it easier for you.

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