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Iron Man 2 (DS)
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Iron Man 2 is a shoot-em-up game with lots of gunfire and explosions, but that this DS version is much more cartoonish in its action than any of the other Iron Man 2 video game versions on the market right now. This is a different game from the console versions of Iron Man 2, which are more graphically violent than this DS iteration.
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What's it about?
IRON MAN 2, the video game, doesn't rehash the story of the movie that inspired it. Instead, it presents an entirely new plot that takes place after the events of the movie (without much in the way of spoilers). In the game, an evil organization tries to steal Tony Stark's technology to create an evil robot army. Iron Man and his armored buddy, War Machine (you can play as either of them), set out to retrieve the pilfered tech and stop the bad guys. As you traverse various levels, you'll reach decision points at which you can alter the course of the action.
Is it any good?
The Nintendo DS version of Iron Man 2 is arguably better than its console counterparts. The graphics may be no comparison, but the control schemes make more sense and are easier to handle. The game is a 2-D side-scrolling adventure, as opposed to a third-person shooter like the other Iron Man 2 games, but the gameplay experience doesn't suffer for it. In this DS version, Iron Man zips speedily through the air like the high-flying superhero we know and love. The somewhat complex story, while it must be read (there is no voice over), is more easily followed. There are nice features that allow you to upgrade your armor suits and find a secret collection of hidden comic book covers as you play. But mostly, this DS version is a better choice for younger Iron Man fans. It makes sense that a game based on a PG-13 movie might have mild language and violence in it, as the console versions do, but it's nice that there's a somewhat more palatable version for the younger superhero lovers we all know are out there.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Iron Man 2. For the most part, the enemies Iron Man fights are robots. Is violence against robots less disturbing that that against people? What about when Iron Man fights other men in armored suits?
Are some superheroes more heroic than others? How does a superhero like Iron Man, who uses rockets and lasers, compare to a superhero like Spider-Man or Batman who fight hand-to-hand more often? Is there a difference in how they appear to kids?
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