A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
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What's it about?
In SYSTEM FLAW, the world is being invaded by tiny nano-creatures. The beastly little things are flying all around us, but invisible to the naked eye. You, the player, are given a special device (your DSi), through which you alone can see the aliens -- and blast them to oblivion. The game takes place in wherever you decide to play it, as you patrol your real environment, following a radar to find the nano-monsters that may be on your bed, in your kitchen sink, or hovering around your brother's head.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the concept of "enhanced reality" games. How does it affect your playing experience if you feel like you're really in the game? Could there be negative effects? In this game in particular, do you like the idea of fighting aliens in your own home, rather than in some computer-generated landscape? Or does that make this game a little off-putting?
This is a shooter game where you are killing little blob-like aliens. How does this violence compare to other violent media?
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