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Brave - Playstation 3
Format: Video Game|Change
Price:$19.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on July 27, 2012
Brave can be the perfect introduction to 'big' games so... if you'd like to see your pre-teen kid taking on the 'gamer' path, I can't think of a better introduction to large RPGs. Especially if your pre-teen kid happens to be a girl who actually watched the movie. And, yes, there is a movie ticket in the game box.

It may sound like I am over-enthusiastic but, to me, Brave is the best kids RPG so far and it's so because developers are treating their little gamers audience with the respect they deserve rather than looking down at them. Yes, the game is not as complex as Dark Souls or Skyrim but playing it is challenging and interesting even when the players are grownups. I consider Brave an RPG primer because many if not all RPG elements are in the game and they are not only well implemented but everything is packaged in a way that makes the game appealing to a little girl in the process of developing her gamer skills.

The story... it's based on Pixar's movie, of course. The hero is little princess Merida whose mother and little brothers need to be rescued because they've been turned into bears by some evil... thing. But it's easier said than done. There are ghosts and other bad enemies to defeat, puzzles to solve, charms to collect, skills to develop and there is a lot of exploring, strategising and combat, maybe not grownup hard but hard enough to challenge a player to the point where she learns new skills. But let me discuss some of the RPG elements that are experienced in Brave.

- Combat - It's as good as it gets. Merida fights with swords and bows and she can't win unless she learns how to do combos, roll and dodge and manage her health.
- Weapons - There's a variety of swords and bows including some quite familiar to us, experienced RPG players. Would you be surprised to learn that Merida can swing a Claymore? Well... she does. It's only a few swords and bows but it's enough of them to make the game interesting and to maintain the feeling of 'progress' as the game is played.
- Armor - Again, just a few armor sets but, as in many RPGs, you have the choice of 'pretty' vs. 'effective' and just about everything in the game needs to be earned through combat or discovery and exploration.
- Treasures - Getting to treasure chests and getting the loot is one of the more exciting part of an RPG and Brave is no exception. There aren't many chests but the loot is almost always awesome.
- Trading - Victories in battle earn you gold pieces and you can use it to by yourself upgrades and learn new skills.
- Combos - Mentioned that already. Combat is easy in the beginning but it gets harder soon and the more skills you learn the more likely you are to win the battle. If you lose... it's back to more practice.
- Leveling up - Merida becomes stronger as she progresses through the game. She becomes better as she finds more charms, learns more skills, gets more powerful weapons.
- Elementals - Many RPGs would let you buff your weapons with elementals such as 'fire'. Brave too allows Merida to use one of the four elemental charms (earth, fire, wind, water) in combat. And the trick is to use the right buff to defeat each specific enemy.
- Co-op - There is an online element to the game. We aren't there yet but I will update my review once we play it a little.
- Puzzle solving and exploration - Getting to most new areas is usually preceded by a boss battle or some puzzle solving and neither are always easy.

All of the above come in a game with stunning graphics (Pixar, right?), great voice acting and surprisingly responsive controls. You always play in a 'third person' mode and all is implemented right except for the absence of a 'camera' control because the developers mapped 'motion and direction' to the PS3's left joystick and the bow to the right one. And, no, they don't allow you to remap the controls. The other major limitation is the game not being exactly 'open world'. You can go back and forth through different areas but there is no unified open map. Anyone familiar with Demon's Souls may understand how this works: there is a central 'nexus' and gateways to several areas of world. At any time during the game you have to ability to either walk back or teleport to the nexus and go explore some other area.

Somewhat related to the game, but not an essential part of it is the Archery Range. On a PS3 you are going to need Move. It's nice archery practice and it makes use of the Move but you do not get better at using the bow in the game after doing the Move-based practice. It's just... Move-based practice. Which is a good news for those who don't have Move yet. You can play and finish the game without doing the Archery part. In fact, I don't believe there is any Archery Range based trophy (I will correct myself if it turns out that I am wrong) so you should be able to get your Platinum without a Move.

My final thoughts are: both our daughter and myself are very, very, very happy with this game. This is the first one me and my daughter are both playing, separately (not me helping her or she just watching me). She's been playing it and making progress daily for the past few days and... I've been playing it too. The game comes with four levels of difficulty so, even for a grownup it can be challenging. And it's fun for us to be sharing tips and strategies and watch each other and learn from each other playing our first common game.

__________________________________________________

NOTE:

I guess I need to note that there is a lot of combat in Brave, which explains the swords and the bows. Merida can't save her 'mum' and her little brothers unless she defeats her enemies which usually requires killing them and they fight back and they can hurt Merida and sometimes they 'kill' her. Yes, she respawns immediately back with full health but you can hear her from time to time saying that she doesn't feel too well. Anyone who would rather not see their little ones playing violent games should not buy it. On the other hand, if the kids are mature enough to understand the difference between make-believe violence (playing games) and the real-life gruesome things taking place in our real world, this game can be a lot of fun - there is no blood and no one screams in agony and so far all enemies are ghosts and non-human.

--
>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<
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on May 17, 2013
Got this for my 8 year old daughter last Christmas. She still watches the movie as often as she plays the game. She does enjoy the game though. I played it through myself before I gave it to her (testing it out, lol). I thought it was repetitive, but quite enjoyable. I love that you can change the difficulty setting at any point throughout the game, without losing any progress, I also appreciated that while falling (from a miscalculated jump) does take away health, it does NOT kill you. So while I typically play at very little health (since I can't jump for anything) my daughter is much better at it. Also, when I got into a fight after several misjumps, it simply resets the battle. No progress lost. Great game for kids, though as I mentioned, I did enjoy it as well. Still have to get her to use the eye the bow that we have to do some "practice" shooting, as we have yet to use that feature, but it sounds very enjoyable as well.
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on March 15, 2016
We bought this video for Christmas and are not disappointed. The graphics are awesome, the dialogue is fun, and it's easy enough for an eight year old to figure out. The whole family loved this movie and wanted a way to interact with the characters from it. The controls are self explanatory and there are so many levels we have yet to beat the game. It arrived at lightning speed with Amazon Prime and was packaged well. I highly recommend this game if you're a fan of the movie.
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on December 25, 2012
Gave this to my 6 yr old son for an early christmas present. He is very good at ps3 games and has platinumed mini ninjas and cars 2, both are which are much harder than this game. I find some games for kids are so hard that even with the internet, and me helping they are still seemingly impossible to platinum, or we get 96% on cars race o rama and there was a trophey glitch (verified on line) and no matter how many times we completed the task the trophey would not pop....so no platinum either, frustrating for me, tears for my son :( As for BRAVE PS3 it is awesome, not impossible, easy to follow, great graphics and fun to play. In the beginning you pop about 4 tropheys in the 1st hour which draws your child right in. 4 difficulty levels, suggest going through it first on easy then to platinum you need to go through the whole game again on hard difficulty to get the last trophey but you know what your doing by this point. With all our ps3 games I vote this game number one for all younger children....watch the movie then play the game, no regrets or frustrated melt downs, lol
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on October 10, 2016
Bought this game to play with my niece. She was 5. She enjoyed playing this game as the second player willow wisp. She preferred that I played first player Merinda cause she can just keep respawning whenever she dies as the wisp as long as I stayed alive. The wisp would also respawn by Merinda and be spawned over if got left behind. You can upgrade both Merinda and the wisp as long as you can collect enough to do so. It's a fun game, it has some puzzles and some skill involved, but you can always change the difficulty. It has some form or stage select after you beat a level so you can go back if you missed something or you just want to farm/collect for upgrades.
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on December 30, 2012
My 6 and 10 year old just finished this game today, in about 5 hours. So it's pretty short game, but still fun to play.

The "Move" support is really just in a mini-game for archery shooting. The Move controller is not used at all in the main game.

Both of them like the game and are going to play it again on the Normal setting. It's linear game, so there will be little if any replay value for older kids.

Multi-player is limited to two people, where each gets their own character on the same screen, but is implemented very well. One character is the primary one and the camera follows them, the other one must follow or they will go off screen. If the second character goes off screen they can't catch back up in most cases, but they are repositioned on the primary character at the next checkpoint, which come very often.
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on February 16, 2016
my little girls loves it. The game id very fund and has a fast pace. Once you get the hang of the controls its very easy to manage. the game has several levels and can be played in 4 different settings( like easy, medium, hard, and advance). I will be getting her more of these types of games
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on April 10, 2013
I purchased this game for my five year old daughter, who is a huge fan of the movie. It challenges her reading skills, the game play set to easy is very manageable for a child her age and with limited gameplay experience, and it requires minimal assistance from a parent, even though the recommended age is 10+.
The storyline, plot, and gameplay mechanics are all very, very good. I was pleasantly surprised. The forest scenes are captivating and visually appealing and make for a very enjoyable, smooth, gaming experience. My only critique of the game itself is that it cannot be played two player and the dialogue is sometimes overpowerered by the background music, but this may be a simple matter of adjusting a setting in the home menu. I think you will enjoy the game.
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on August 12, 2017
Not a video game person but I gave as a gift. She seemed pleased with it.
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on February 20, 2013
The game is a great game in many aspects, the graphics, the story, the sound, etc. My daughter really loved the game, it is not bad in that sense, the only thing I noticed compared to other video games is that this is too short, she finished it in about 4 hours, that is why I am giving it 3 stars... Not sure if that length is normal or not but she has spent hours finishing other games like Sly and Ratchet...
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