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.

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

I'm not saying that Link is going bald or that Zelda is putting on a few pounds, but in video game years (which can be calculated much the same as dog years) these two have been around the block a few times. The Legend of Zelda franchise started out on the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, way back in the mid-'80s—when Link was a tiny cartoonish squiggle, and the monsters and foes looked like they were transplanted straight from Space Invaders. But even at that, the game was light-years ahead of anything else on the market and kick-started adventure/puzzle-solving video games.

Some 13 renditions later The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess climbs to new heights of artistic direction and detail that leaves the rest of series in the dust. On the other hand, it also turns a well-defined dark corner where dust is the least of your problems (but more on that in a minute). This Zelda story essentially employs the same basic elements as all its predecessors: The land has been taken over by a mysterious evil and the task of saving everyone has fallen to an unassuming lad named Link. With friends who help give him the knowledge, weapons and skills to face the most daunting adversaries, Link sets out to undo the powerful forces that control Princess Zelda and her kingdom.

The Sunshine Before the Storm
We play, of course, as Link, a kindhearted pointy-eared sheepherder who lives in a sun-dappled village. And as a way to learn the mechanics of the game, we start out by rescuing lost pets, helping workers with their daily chores, wrangling sheep, and learning how to fish, call an eagle and handle a slingshot. In fact, the rather lengthy opening segment is so cheery and filled with simple puzzles that you'll start to think you might as well hand it over to little Jared and let him finish it. But then the clouds gather.

Literally. Before Link sets off on his courageous journey, a dark twilight creeps across the land. And he turns into a wolf. That's when all the creepy-crawly, dark and ghostly things start coming out of the crevices. The screen darkens, the music turns ominous and the fighting becomes intense and relentless (earning the game the harshest rating ever given to a series installment—T). Link's new wolf sense reveals harmless-looking orbs of light to be the stuff of nightmares: ghoulish and grotesque creatures ready to pounce and pillage. He rips into these uglies with his teeth or, when he learns to turn human again, his trusty sword. Bow and arrows, bombs, a slingshot and a boomerang round out his arsenal, but there's, thankfully, no blood, no guts, and corpses simply puff into blackness.

Thankfully, too, the typically enjoyable and increasingly demanding puzzles don't disappear with the dwindling sunshine. As Link travels to the kingdom's provinces to help restore light to the land, he must solve elaborate dungeon and temple challenges. These logic puzzles can be real brain-twisters at times, but always seem to be head-slappingly obvious once you finally solve them. And to help you toward the next self-inflicted cuff, you slowly gain a kit bag full of tools such as magnetized boots and grapple hooks.

Another source of help is a spooky imp-like character named Midna. She's a cynical, miniature, blue individual with a devilishly playful sense of humor who meets up with Link when darkness first falls. She mysteriously trails along (riding on Link's back when he's in wolf form), but proves to be an invaluable helper and hint-giver throughout the game. And although you wonder at first if she's just manipulating Link, in the end she changes her tune—thanks in large part to an important self-sacrificing choice that Zelda makes.

T is for Twilight and ... Tarts?
Of course, Midna isn't the only new character in Twilight Princess. There are a bunch of interesting additions. But for all their fun, the new graphic realism makes some of them stand out as further justification for that new T rating. The game has a few more overtly accentuated female figures than fans may be used to. And some low-cut, cleavage-baring tops, too. One particular flirtatious tavern maid has a very, um ... full figure.

That hasn't kept scores of vocal Zelda fanatics from heralding this 21st-century incarnation as one of the genre's best. It should, however, serve as warning to parents who have nostalgic childhood memories of hooking a blocky NES to a black-and-white TV and playing that first really cool Zelda. You'll want to think twice before tossing young Derek or Donna (Jared, too) into a dank pit to battle well-defined and artistically rendered ghoulies with ichor-dripping mandibles. And you'll want to think even harder than that about Twilight's zombies and polytheism. Grim supernatural elements include possessed characters and a level called "Arbiter's Grounds" where gamers enter a pagan temple and collect souls ripped from ghostly, demonic-looking creatures.

As that oft-abused saying goes: This isn't your grandfather's Zelda—even though, by my video game calendar, Zelda and Link are old enough to actually be grandparents.

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







Record Label


Wii, GameCube




On Video

Year Published



Bob Hoose Scott DeNicola

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!