A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Heroes of Ruin is a dungeon-crawling role-playing game with lots of swords-and-sorcery fighting against fantastical creatures, but only a little blood. Its threadbare story doesn't offer much in the way of commentary or messages, and the game's heroes don't say much, preferring instead to let their weapons and magic do the talking. Parents should note that this is a rare 3DS title in which online play can become a major part of the experience, and that the game facilitates voice communication with strangers. Parents also need to remember that Nintendo is warning all 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.
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What's it about?
The action role-playing game HEROES OF RUIN begins with players creating a character -- you can choose between classes that specialize in swords, magic, pistols, and brawling -- before setting out on a quest to cure a cursed Ruinlord. But the story plays second fiddle to the action, a mix of hack 'n' slash dungeon crawling and treasure hunting. Players accept simple quests -- fetch this, kill that -- then set off to explore and battle their way through new areas teeming with monsters and demons, always keeping a lookout for better gear that will improve their character's stats. While the game can be completed alone, players are encouraged to journey in groups, either locally or online, which not only makes the adventure easier, but also increases the likelihood of finding better weapons and armor.
Is it any good?
While competent in design and free of glitches, there's not much that's meaningfully separates Heroes of Ruin from most other action-oriented RPGs. It tells a trite and predictable fantasy story, offers up run-of-the-mill melee combat, and delivers little in the way of memorable skills, abilities, and gear. Plus, its mildly cartoonish presentation is decidedly middling, featuring washed-out looking character designs, bland and blurry environments, and not nearly enough voiced dialogue. The ability to join up with other players online is a nice -- though not unique -- perk for a portable RPG. The promise of additional downloadable content has potential to add some new elements to the experience, but there's little here that will appeal to anyone beyond devoted fans of the genre.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about fantasy. What sort of wild and unbelievable things do you like to conjure up in your imagination? Have you ever considered putting them to paper in a story? What is it about fantasy that has made it an enduring human interest?
Families can also discuss online safety. What are some examples of appropriate things to talk about with strangers in online games? What might be considered inappropriate, or even dangerous?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Subjects: Hobbies: collecting
Language & Reading: reading
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making, strategy
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: July 17, 2012
- Genre: Role Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language
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