WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

If you're a classic game lover, then the name Kid Icarus will surely ring your bell. Otherwise you're probably right now conjuring up images of a mythological teen with makeshift wings who flew a little too close to the sun and came crashing down in a ball of feathers and melted wax. But breaking out those old lit books for background info on this game'll get you nowhere. There's a lot of Greek-style mythology to be found here, but very little of it is actually recognizable.

The new Nintendo 3DS game Kid Icarus: Uprising is an updated homage to a highly praised blocky NES game from two decades ago. The story wings in and around a young laurel wreath-wearing hero named Pit, a "flightless angel" who's been called forth to save humanity from the evil forces of the underworld.

It seems Hades, who lured Pit into action with help from the snake-haired villainess Medusa, has tricked mankind into longing after an ancient artifact that can supposedly grant wishes. This tempting treasure throws the nations into a massive warring conflict while Hades and other god-like baddies go about gleefully picking folks off from the fringes. As the schemes and power plots unravel, there's only Pit to fight for mankind and hold it all together.

Is That Feather Ticking?
Of course, if Pit had to do all his arrow slinging and sword swinging with nothing but a sturdy pair of dusty sandals to get him from here to there, that would make his job a bit too difficult. Especially since he has to take aim at hundreds and hundreds of magical minions of all shapes and sizes. So a beautiful "goddess of light" named Palutena takes pity on her young charge and grants him the gift of flight—but only for five minutes at a stretch. He can stay in the fight even when his nefarious foes take to the air—at least for a little while.

Gameplay wise, what that all boils down to is something of a two-front fighting game. Each chapter is divided into an air-based target-shooting section and a grounded platforming battling and treasure-finding section.

There are an assortment of weapons to grab, from staffs and claws to clubs and blades to arrows and cannons. Each type has its own speed, distance and strength in the melee and ranged attacks. And they can be upgraded and even fused together in new customized configurations. There are also special powers to be earned from time to time—such as quick healing and wide-range meteor showers.

In the midst of all that dangerous-sounding weaponry, though, things are kept quite colorful and cartoony—with shots and slashes resulting in bright bursts of energy that strike down the fantastical foes, not blood-soaked carnage that drips from dark and dank monsters. Comical wordplay zips between Pit and Palutena and all their small-g god enemies. "Jeez" and "darn" are as coarse as their words get. And as for the quips, we hear nothing much more menacing than the goddess winkingly warning Pit against any "naughty" thoughts. It's all notably light and fun when you stop to remember that you're playing a shooter of sorts.

What's a Hades, Dad?
The game's biggest chance for a case of melting wings probably comes from two completely different areas. The controls for Pit's quick-paced movement and targeting consists of flipping a thumb pad with one finger while repeatedly triggering a bumper button with another and using the 3DS stylus on the touchscreen at the same time. When you combine that with trying to keep your handheld console upright, well, it can be a clumsy and uncomfortable proposition—especially for younger gamers.

And once they get the knack of that, they have to continue dealing with the game's odd mix of myth, magic and hints of Eastern spirituality. As mentioned, there are gods and goddesses and dragons and beasties of various stripes to deal with, "sacred artifacts" to gather and weaponize, and a twisting heaven vs. underworld storyline to traverse.

Without question, this E10+ title is bright, playful and engaging. Just keep in mind that it's a wax-winged trip that requires a bit of mom's or dad's navigational help.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!