A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that 3-D Dot Game Heroes is a satire with non-graphic violence (i.e. cartoony, unrealistic fighting) that is meant to be humorous. The hero's sword, for instance, can be big enough to almost fill the screen at times. Parents should also be aware that players can upload custom-created characters to the PlayStation Network and that there's no guarantee those characters will be completely unobjectionable. If you are concerned, make sure you learn how to use the parental controls on your PS3.
What's it about?
If the plot to 3-D DOT HEROES -- an ancient evil returns to a mystical kingdom and the people look to a new young hero who they believe is the reincarnation of the legendary warrior who saved them all the first time -- sounds familiar, that's because it's the same as the plot to every Legend of Zelda game. The similarity is intentional, as 3-D Dot Game Heroes works simultaneously as both a spoof of and homage to those classic adventure games.
Is it any good?
Anyone familiar with The Legend of Zelda, especially the older 2-D Zelda titles, will adore all the in-jokes of 3-D Dot Game Heroes. There are gags, for example, about Sir Signe, the knight who traveled the kingdom posting wooden signs in random, hard-to-reach places. The wonderful thing about 3-D Dot Game Heroes, though, is that it works as a fun adventure of its own, even if you have no idea who Zelda is. Everything that made Zelda games so enjoyable -- epic quests, puzzle-filled dungeons, hint-giving villages, a spunky fairy guide -- are in full effect here, too. There's plenty of humor, action, and creativity. And as the characters are made of three-dimensional pixels, the build-a-hero mode allows you complete and total freedom to create the avatar of your dreams. The pre-made heroes you can choose from the start -- like a dog, briefcase-carrying accountant, and Santa -- give you an idea of how creative you can be.
Online interaction: The PlayStation network hosts a character-sharing hub to which players can upload their custom-made heroes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that the character creation tool in this game gives you complete freedom to create any kind of avatar you want. What kind of characters have your children created? Are they based on real people? Are they male or female? Why did they make the avatars they did?
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