A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D pits dinosaurs against each other in one-on-one combat. The creatures look real and animate naturally, but the violence is moderate; despite being bitten and tail-whipped, they show no sign of blood. It’s clearly designed to appeal to kids who are passionate about these powerful reptiles. Players can also unlock “fun facts” that provide more information about the animals they see. Parents need to remember that Nintendo is warning parents not to allow kids age six and under to view the graphics in 3D because that viewing "may cause vision damage." The Nintendo 3DS offers parents the ability to lock out the use of 3D graphics in the system's Parental Controls.
What's it about?
COMBAT OF GIANTS: DINOSAURS 3D tells of the story of good dinosaurs battling the most powerful of predators and his minions. Players select a dinosaur from one of four groups -- defenders, chargers, predators, and hunters -- and begin lumbering through jungles and deserts looking for one-on-one battles. These fights see the huge reptiles taking turns attacking and dodging until one of them falls over, life meter depleted, or is pushed off a cliff. As the game progresses players collect equipment, such as armor plating, claws, and tails, that are used to improve their dino's battle prowess, as well as bones that can unlock fun facts about some of the game's creatures. Players can also trade items via local WiFi connections, or have them battle each other automatically and without guidance in StreetPass mode.
Is it any good?
Kids who love dinosaurs will probably love this game, which is a showcase for the 3DS’ graphical power. The creatures here look terrific, lumbering and prancing around with great realism. The battles only serve to enhance the realism, foregoing over-the-top moves in favor of semi-realistic looking tail strikes and horn-filled headbutts. Dino fans will also appreciate the factoids they unlock while playing.
That said, the action tends toward monotony. Our dinos wander along extremely linear paths until they bump into an enemy. Once you do find a fight, all players need do to win is pay attention to onscreen instructions and watch their enemies for simple cues. After you've developed a feel for the battle's rhythm, the action becomes easy and repetitious. Upgrades and special costumes add a bit of spice, but this one is best left in the hands of those for whom it was intended: kids who are crazy about giant lizards.
Online interaction: Players can trade dinosaur items with friends in local WiFi mode. Two players' dinosaurs can automatically battle each other or exchange gifts in StreetPass mode. No communication is involved, and no personal information is exchanged.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about other ways to learn more about dinosaurs. Does your local science center offer dinosaur camps? Will your teachers permit special dinosaur projects? Have you looked for books on dinosaurs at your local library?
How did you like using the 3D effect? Did it make the dinosaurs seem more real? Did your eyes feel any strain?
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