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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The lines between good and evil are pretty clearly drawn. Rango puts the safety of the townspeople before his own safety.
Positive Role Models
Rango is the sheriff in town, fighting to keep law and order. In the game, though, he resorts to physical combat a lot more than he does in the movie.
Ease of Play
The controls are poorly planned out. In order for Rango to use a different mode of attack -- like switching from his gun's ranged attack to melee hand-to-hand combat -- he needs to switch "roles" (i.e., change costumes). Having to do that in the middle of a heavy action sequence is overly demanding. Especially since it involves using your left hand to hold down the L button and press the directional pad at the same time. And enemies continue hitting you while you try to change. Also, there's no gradual increase in difficulty -- the game is just hard from the very first level.
Violence & Scariness
The game is about one quarter exploration, three quarters fighting. The latter part consists of Rango dispatching enemy critters through either hand-to-hand combat or by blasting them with his cartoony "pea shooter." Enemies vanish when they are defeated.
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Products & Purchases
The game is a tie-in to the animated film, Rango.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rango DS has far more violence than the film on which it's based. The fighting in the game may be less realistic here, but it's more frequent. There's a massive amount of reading required, and the vocabulary level is quite high. Also, the difficulty of the game makes it feel aimed more toward experienced gamers rather than young kids.
Is It Any Good?
Rango DS has the same type of depth and variety that helped make the Rango console game a fun experience, but its incredibly poor control scheme and way-too-high difficulty level make it a far less successful game than its counterpart. The idea of making Rango switch into different "roles" is an interesting one that fits the theme of the movie (since Rango was an actor in the film), but if you're shooting at some bad guys far away, and then they get too close to you and you need to start punching and kicking, you simply don't have time to call up a costume-swapping wheel on screen and pick the one that will allow you to perform melee combat. And it's all the worse that the button combination needed to search that swap wheel is an awkward one for your fingers to pull off. Also, with very tough, very frequent enemies, it would be nice if the game had more than one difficulty level.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.