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."


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!"


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.

Pokémon X/Y

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Game Review

The "pocket monsters" of Pokémon are back in a sixth generation of games. I know, I know, you'd think those little Pikachus and Charmanders would have grown full grandpa beards by now. Or, for that matter, maybe it would be time to expect a complete top-to-bottom reboot, like so many other franchises have done before. But, nope, the creators and fans of this series are a dedicated lot. And so, other than making a small handful of minor adjustments, this latest Poké alphabet soup will look pretty familiar to anybody who's digitally tossed a Poké ball before.

If you're wondering what the deal is with two titled games being released at the same time—Pokémon X and Pokémon Y for the 3DS—then maybe you actually haven't tossed a Poké ball. Because the two-title thing is old hat for these Nintendo game creators. There's really very little difference between one Pokémon game and another except for a few variations or substitutions of some of the creatures inside. So for many kids ready to buy something new, it comes down to which legendary Pokémon you want to control later in the game—the one that looks like a big red Y (Yveltal) or the one that looks something like a big blue X (Xerneas).

Oui, Oui, Pokémon Amie
So forget about chromosome comparisons, as far as the story is concerned, both latter-alphabet titles are set in Kalos, a world that appears to be France-inspired—even down to a large Eiffel Tower-like landmark in the center of its largest city. Gamers play as a self-named boy or girl who's just moved into a little neighboring town and gets a special invitation to come meet with a mysterious Professor Sycamore.

It turns out that this charming and well-coiffed guy has chosen a handful of unique kids to participate in an experiment. When you all meet together, the professor hands everyone a starter Pokémon—a cute and cuddly critter that will become a boy or girl's best friend/pet. Then the prof sends them off to explore the region, gather a variety of wild Poké specimens and battle other Poké trainers.

There's also a sub-story involving a group of trainer "villains" who wear slick red suits and are up to some world-dominating schemes. But the truth of it all is that these games are far less about the story than they are about the individual Pokémon critters. You want to collect 'em and grow 'em and match 'em up in creature battles. (There are by now some 700-plus different creatures to gather.)

Rock-Paper-Flaming Ball
That battling gameplay is pretty straightforward. It involves roaming through open fields, town squares and trainer gyms, talking to nearly everyone you meet and then matching your Pokémon against other mini-monsters in a rock-paper-scissors-like "war." If your pocket monster has fire-based attacks or defenses, for instance, and you're facing a grass monster, well, you're going to be doing A-OK. If you're wandering through the weeds and a water monster pops up, however, then the going will likely be much tougher for your fire-breathing pal. The ensuing conflict involves power blasts and melee strikes, but nothing scary or bloody. The loser simply faints away when he runs out of strength. (He can be revived later on.)

So Y might kids want to buy a game named X instead of, say, an older one named  Black or White? Well, for one thing, X and Y introduce a new type of Pokémon. Along with rock, psychic, flying, bug, ice, ground, ghost, fire, poison and the other types that already exist, now you can gather up a fairy-type creature that has an advantage over the dragon types that have long dominated in other games.

There's something called "super training" that young gamers can put their favorite Pokémon through, too. In the past, your creatures only leveled up through one-on-one battles. And certain areas of strength or weakness were pretty much out of your control. But now, minigame training sessions can level-up specific stats—such as speed or defense—and make your gregarious little guy a more well-rounded opponent. "Mega-evolution" chimes in with the ability to advance further than even the highest standard stage of development. By holding a special stone, some of the creatures mega-evolve at the touch of a button, gaining stat boosts and unlocking new abilities.

What to Do With 'Em When You Catch 'Em
Which, of course, leads us into one last area of the Pokémon franchise that's always been part of the mix: spirituality and evolutionary underpinnings. The Pokémon world is without a doubt a cartoony and pleasant place filled with generally pleasing Poké people. Its neighbors and friends promote ideals of fairness and being kind to everyone and everything around you. But it also boasts an Eastern-influenced fantasy mindset (mysticism) and ever-evolving (in some cases demonic-looking) creatures.

Some of these pocket monsters, both new and old, lend themselves to pretty outlandish philosophies if you care to look at 'em closely when you catch 'em.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews




Readability Age Range


Role-Playing, Combat







Record Label






October 12, 2013


Year Published



Bob Hoose

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!