Think of the Children for March 25

Think of the Children for March 25

Written by Randy Kalista on 3/25/2009 for DS   PC   PS3   PSP   Wii   360  
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If we’re just looking at numbers, Sega and EA are at the head of the class this week down at the ol’ ESRB. Both had five games rated each, and both were hanging out, safe and sound, in the Everyone to Teen ratings. It’s Activision-Blizzard, City Interactive and THQ that bring home the mature, and all three of those will appear on the PC. The PC (with 16 titles) was just edged out by the Wii (with 17 titles) for the number of games rolling onto the platform -- and that is drawn from a total of 49 games rated in these past seven days; folks at the ESRB put in a little overtime to the tune of about 10 games above their average.

Publisher Knowledge Adventure jumped in last week with their Early Childhood-rated JumpStart Preschool title. This week, Knowledge Adventure pushed three more JumpStart titles: Advanced Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade. Funny thing is, they’re all rated E for Everyone, which (by the ESRB’s decree) is suitable for ages six and up. But last time I checked, kids are in kindergarten at about five, six at latest. So I send a heartfelt apology out to all of you pre-kindergartners wanting to get a “JumpStart” on your schooling. Knowledge Adventure’s materials have too high of a rating for you to be playing those games.

The cross-platform award goes to both Virtua Tennis 2009 and Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising. Virtua Tennis will be serving up love on the 360, PC, PS3 and Wii, while Red Alert 3: Uprising gives the Mac some much-needed attention, along with the 360, PC and PS3.

Speaking of the Mac needing some attention: Wish granted. Five new games are rated for the graphic designer’s platform of choice. There Reel Deal Slots Adventure, Guitar Hero World Tour, the aforementioned Red Alert 3: Uprising, Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Warlords, and Pageant Princess. Three out of five of those are some heavy-hitters compared to the usual gameshow faire that lands on the Mac’s tray.

This week’s best bet goes to Batman Arkham Asylum. I mean, it’s Batman, right? And while our own Cyril Lachel will rightly argue that Batman hasn’t always had the best video games to back him, the initial buzz around this one is all warm and fuzzy. I’m not even seeing anyone toss around this year’s passed-around sentiment: “cautious optimism.” Except for Cyril, of course. Who’s just “cautious.” Nevertheless, Batman makes this week’s best bet, if for no other reason than the fact that he’s going to batarang a whole lot of money on this one. You don’t have to be Webush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter to predict that. Either Batman Arkham Asylum or X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I mean, sheesh, can’t get enough comic book guys into video games nowadays. (Please click on my name in the yellow header at the top of the page to send me hate mail.)

The Intriguing Title of the Week goes Help Wanted. Not only is its title wildly out of place in the video game market (unless you count the game Wanted: Weapons of Fate, I guess), but its premise is pure nuttiness. In this action/simulation game for the Wii, the players search for employment (as nurses, teachers, and even ninja warriors) in order to accumulate enough money to try and save the world from an approaching meteor. I don’t know either. The list of mini-games could start to rival a Grand Theft Auto game, at least on paper, as players will pose in a bodybuilding competition, engage in firefighting, and put their ninja training to good use fighting off other ninjas. But here’s the kicker: The “meteor” is actually a mosaic-censored object that is “unspeakable” and might embarrass innocent people…while a brief female moaning sound can be heard in the background. Rated Everyone 10+, folks! There’s a warm cup of Mild Suggestive Themes for you to ruminate on!

Title   Publisher   Rating   Platforms
Classic Word Games   Ubisoft   Everyone   DS
Fashion Stylist  505 Everyone  DS
Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor  THQ Mature  PC
Pool Hall Pro  Playlogic Everyone  Wii
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian  Majesco Everyone  DS
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian  Majesco Everyone 10+  360, Wii
My Little Baby  CDV Everyone  DS
Jewel Quest  Viva Media Everyone  PC
Virtua Tennis 2009  Sega Everyone  PC, 360, Wii, PS3
Rock Band Unplugged  MTV Games  Teen  PSP
Klonoa Namco Bandai Everyone 10+  Wii
Sands of Destruction  Sega Teen  DS
Star Wars Classic Battles Vol. 1  Jakks Pacific Everyone  Plug-and-Play
Wolf of the Battlefield: Mercs Sega Everyone 10+  Wii
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair  Sega Everyone  Wii
UFC 2009 Undisputed  THQ Teen  360, PS3
Suzuki TT Superbikes - Real Road Racing Championship  Valcon Everyone  PS2
Silver Star Reversi  Agetec Everyone  Wii
Reel Deal Slots Adventure  Phantom EFX Teen  Mac, PC
Reel Fishing Challenge  Natsume Everyone  Wii
Cross Edge  NIS America Teen  PS3
Altered Beast  Sega Everyone 10+  360
X-Men Origins: Wolverine  Activision-Blizzard  Mature  PC, 360, PS3
Monsters vs. Aliens  Activision-Blizzard  Everyone 10+  PS2, Wii
Beaker Creatures  EA Everyone  Web
Boom Blox Bash Party   EA Everyone   Wii
Armed Forces Corp / Terrorist Takedown 2  City Interactive Mature  PC
10 Days Under the Sea  Mumbo Jumbo  Everyone  PC
The Price is Right TV Game  Jakks Pacific Everyone  Plug-and-Play
The Three Musketeers: One for All!  Legendo Everyone  PC, Wii
Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings  Lucasarts  Teen  PS2, Wii
Help Wanted  Hudson Everyone 10+  Wii
Marble Saga: Kororinpa  Hudson Everyone  Wii
EA Sports Active  EA Everyone  Wii
Guitar Hero World Tour  Aspyr Teen  Mac, PC
Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising  EA Teen  Mac, PC, 360, PS3
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords  Aspyr Everyone 10+  Mac
Pageant Princess  iWin Everyone  Mac, PC
Ultimate Duck Hunt  Zoo Teen  Wii
Trainz Simulator 2009: World Builder Edition  Tri Synergy Everyone  PC
Fritz Chess  Koch Everyone  DS
JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade  Knowledge Adventure  Everyone  PC
JumpStart Advanced 2nd Grade  Knowledge Adventure  Everyone  PC
JumpStart Advanced Kindergarten  Knowledge Adventure  Everyone  PC
NCAA Basketball 09 March Madness Edition  EA Everyone  360
You Can Draw  Empire Everyone  DS
Dawn Of Discovery  Ubisoft  Everyone 10+  Wii
Batman Arkham Asylum  Eidos Teen  PC, 360, PS3
Fruit Lockers 2: The Enchanting Island  Viva Media Everyone  PC

Here’s the final tally on who, what and where everything was rated for last week. There were 49 rated titles on 10 platforms (plug-and-play as well as the web reared their heads this week): 360 (8), DS (7), Mac (5), PC (16), Plug-and-Play (2), PS2 (3), PS3 (6), PSP (1), Web (1), and Wii (17). There were 38 of the 49 titles rated Everyone 10+ or lower, 10 rated Teen, and 3 titles (Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the Armed Forces Cop / Terrorist Takedown 2 two-pack) with Mature ratings.

The running tally of game ratings in 2009 is as follows:

Rating   Count
Early Childhood 1
Everyone  237
Everyone 10+  56
Teen  87
Mature  22
Adults Only  0

Got a comment on the article or a rated game? Put it in the comments section or send me an e-mail. Until next week, make sure you know what your kids are playing…

*The weekly Intriguing Title of the Week (and any game that is tossed in that paragraph) is identified based on a game on the list that catches the eye of the author for any number of reasons. Good, bad or otherwise, feel free to agree, disagree or add some constructive input to the discussion.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

About Author

Randy gravitates toward anything open world, open ended, or open to interpretation. He prefers strategy over shooting, introspection over action, and stealth and survival over looting and grinding. A few of his favorites are Red Dead Redemption, Elite Dangerous, and Hyper Light Drifter. He lives with his wife and daughter in Oregon.

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