A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There are things out there that we can't see, but which can hurt us. This message can be seen either as paranoia-inducing fear-mongering, or as a helpful anti-germ, hygeine message.
Positive Role Models
As the hero, you are saving the world from a threat it doesn't even realize exists. There's a selflessness in taking on the responsibility yourself, without wanting to frighten the general populace.
Ease of Play
The controls are simple and the action starts off very easy.The game gets much, much more difficult as it goes on, but the challenge factor rises on a gradual scale over the course of 99 levels.
Violence & Scariness
Tiny floating aliens (some of which are no more than blobs, but others have hair, fangs, and are a bit scary looking) are blasted with lasers. Blasted aliens vanish with a sizzle and a pop. Some let out a cry as they are obliterated. Some of the boss creatures have body parts (tentacles, etc.) that need to be destroyed individually.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this high-concept first-person-shooter game takes place in the real world, but then adds a fantasy element. Wherever the player is -- at the mall, in the backyard, in his or her bedroom, etc. -- that place will be infested with little blob-like aliens. The DSi's camera is used to create an enhanced reality, in which players feel as if they are looking "through" the DSi and shooting aliens that are right in front of them. Any other people around the player will also be seen in the game, meaning that a player may end up blasting lasers at or around his little sister, the pet cat, or you (or anyone else). Parents should also be aware, though, that this is the first DSi game that can truly be considered "active gaming." As players need to constantly shift their line of sight, move forward and back, and spin around to get aliens behind them, the game is impossible to play sitting down.
Is It Any Good?
The concept of System Flaw is spectacularly unique. By using the DSi as both a viewer and a weapon, you're forced to move around constantly. The game takes place in three dimensions, so you're not just shifting the DSi left and right, but aiming it up and down as well. And spinning around in 360 degrees. There are even some monsters whose attacks you need to dodge -- physically. The action is fast and frantic, and while you can argue that the graphics are less than state-of-the-art, there's no denying that the System Flaw experience is a wildly fascinating one unlike anything video gamers have seen before.
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.