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Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole

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Game Reviewed: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Krome Studios
Reviewer: Dean Williams
Platform: Xbox 360 (also on PS3 and Wii)
Category: 3rd Person Flight Combat
ESRB Rating: E10+
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Game Description:

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (LotG for short in this review) is a 3rd person flight combat game in which the player takes control of a character named Shard, a fledgling guardian owl who is sent out to investigate the operations of an evil group of owls called the “Pure Ones”. The game is based off of the movie with the same title, which is based off of the book series, “The Guardians of Ga’Hoole”.

The settings of LotG rotate between forests and mountain top peaks, with the occasional cave sequence. The colors and feel of the game give a sense of scale that was definitely unexpected. For a game based on a movie, I was thoroughly surprised by the detail the environments held. In LotG, the player flies Shard through these environments performing all sorts of missions which vary from attacking enemy bases, escorting defenseless convoys, and occasionally fighting boss battles. After each mission, a medal is awarded for how well the mission was completed. Also, throughout each mission, Shard will collect “Shinies”, which equate to the currency in the game. Between missions, players can spend their shinies to upgrade their owl’s armor from a variety of options.

After each set of missions is complete, the player will unlock a bonus mission, which is essentially an open world map where the player can take on special challenges and search for scrolls which will unlock bonus content like concept art from both the game and the film. Also, the player has the option to replay any mission after it is completed to attempt to gain better medals. Finally, the game allows the player to select from 4 owl types at the beginning of the game. Each owl has its own unique attributes, and the game places some emphasis on going back and completing it with all 4 types of owls.

What Parents Need to Know

Violence

The violence in LotG takes place in the air. The player, while controlling Shard, can perform aerial attacks against “Pure Ones”, bats, crows, and other flying enemies. Shard’s basic attacks range from striking with his claws, charging with a head butt, and grabbing enemies in mid-air and giving them a toss, sometimes into rock walls. In some missions, Shard can also pick up hot coals and launch them as projectiles at different enemies or enemy structures.

As far as I could tell, there was no blood when any of the violence is perpetrated. The enemy will let out a groan or a scream of pain when hit, and when an enemy’s life bar is depleted, the enemy will simply dissolve in the air.

Language

There is not any bad language in this game.

Sexual Content

There is not any sexual content in this game.

Spiritual Content

The game makes some minor references to a deity named ‘Glaux’, who is apparently the owl god. The majority of the references fall within the opening cut scene of the game, but beyond that, there are only a couple of situations in which background characters will utter phrases like “Great Glaux!” as an exclamatory remark to the action taking place.

Reviewer’s Thoughts

For a game that was based off of a movie, I must admit that I did not have my hopes set very high for this title. However, I am pleased to say that this game was quite enjoyable, even though it was only about 3 hours in length to complete the main set of missions. I found the environments of the game to be engaging and I thought the flight combat was very well done. The music in the game seems to follow in the same vein as the movie and is implemented nicely into the game. My only qualm with the game is its length. My recommendation would be to RENT this title if the aforementioned spiritual and violence items fit into your family’s entertainment guidelines.



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