A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the game contains some fantasy violence with blood shown. Players will use guns and swords to kill monsters, and when the monsters are dead, they can consume the monsters' bones and hearts to gain health and ability boosts. This game offers a full, deep story and that there's a fair amount of reading involved. YouTube generation kids may be too impatient to read through the story and deal with the manual. Also, this is one of the more difficult role playing games ever put on the market. But if you and your child love the story, you'll delegate the time to figure out the puzzles.
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What's it about?
BAROQUE is Atlus' unfortunate remake of an old Sega Saturn role-playing game. The best part of this single player disk is the fantasy story that unfolds incrementally as you play. While the story and the writing are key components to video games, this tale (accompanied by stylized background graphics) is the best thing this sad offering has going for it. In Baroque, you'll be taken to a nightmarish world that's been devastated by an evil force called The Blaze. It's not only wreaked massive physical destruction; it's crushed the spirit of the populace as well. The only hope that these people have is their strange fantasies, also known as their baroques.
You'll play Baroque as you play most role-playing games – by collecting items to increase your health or to upgrade your weapons. Store as many as 20 of these collectibles to move from level to level as you play (that said, 20 goodies in your cache aren't enough: you really should be able to store twice that amount or more in your inventory).
Is it any good?
The problem is that you have to deal with lot of the characters to glean the true story, and that's fairly annoying since many of the characters are vague or secretive. You'll be hitting the manual or forums on the Web far too often to make this game worthwhile – unless you fall more on the hardcore side of gaming.
In the Wii version, the camera angles confuse and thwart your movement, and that's being kind. Although you'll swing the Wii remote to slash and cut as you fight, there's no way to block when your monstrous foes attack you. Faces don't really move when they speak, either. In other words, though Baroque has been remade, it hasn't been refined and updated properly. Atlus should have spent far more time to bring this game to the demanding specs of 2008. The upshot? It feels like an old game, albeit one with a compelling premise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about this game's compelling, sometimes circuitous, story in which a horrible disaster, known as The Blaze, has made life terribly difficult. Does this dark theme make the game difficult to enjoy? You can also discuss the unique background artwork, which recalls many of the graphic novels on the market today. Did you find the puzzles to be maddeningly hard to figure out?
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