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

Monster Hunter Tri wants you to imagine living in a world filled with … monsters. These dinosaurs/dragons come in all shapes and sizes—some almost petite and cute, others lumbering in at the 30-foot range, with fire-breathing, ragged-toothed maws or blow-out-all-your-circuits electrical shock tails. And a tribe of friendly fishermen and merchants are looking to you as their monster-whooping savior. Gulp!

Common sense will tell you that just picking up a big stick and running out to thump the nasties isn't the best course of action. So you'll need to build up your slashing and smashing skills or, with a little foraging and experimentation, concoct some heavy-duty weaponry and fire-proof armor. A little hard work on the front end could very well help you avoid becoming a lump of overly eager toe jam on the back end.

A Beastly Beauty
Reading this review could easily be the very first time you've heard of this 100-plus hour role-playing game. But the Monster Hunter series has actually been around for a while. It's a big, multimillion-selling franchise in Japan that's now hoping to gain a clawhold here in the U.S., too.

Aiding that pursuit is the fact that this is one of the more visually interesting games that's been released for the Wii console. The primitive paradise that gamers run around in is varied and beautiful—ranging from shadowed forests to lava-encrusted volcanoes to dank caverns to mountainous crags to underwater chasms.

To explore it, you pick up your wireless remote (or the optional Classic Controller Pro) and create a young hunter who's called on to help the residents of the Moga fishing village. You slowly sharpen your tracking and monster-mashing skills by taking on village missions and then larger guild quests that send you into the surrounding wilds to kill bigger and bigger beasties.

During the course of things, hunters harvest meat and other valuable materials from the fallen critters, plant and gather special herbs and mushrooms, dig up rocks, bones and ore for armor and weapon building. When you're ready (or at least the game thinks you're ready), it's on to the big headliners. Unlike a lot of video game creatures, these raging beasts have a nature-documentary realism about them. And you're never quite sure how the sometimes screeching, sometimes wheezing, sometimes thundering, sometimes deceptively quick behemoths will react. Will they battle alone or unexpectedly bellow and call other snarlers into the fray? Will your scaly opponent stare you down with fiery eyes and flaring nostrils or just go berserk and become a whirling, 30-ton buzz saw? Whatever the outcome, the monsters' organic AI reactions are always a challenge to second-guess.

The Temperature of the Tar Pits
There is a lot of close-combat colossus-killing going on in Monster Hunter. An arsenal of blades, hammers, axes, lances and blowguns generate dark splashes when players wallop sea dragons, giant insects and dino-like adversaries. Dying creatures sometimes spasm. (Flesh is never visually rent and the fallen quickly disappear.) If you end up on the short end of a claw, you give off your own dark splash—and the game reboots at the nearby camp.

Conversations are filled with witticisms and stories of the village—not innuendo or cursing. When your big strong monster hunter visits a female merchant, he might receive an "oh, you're so brave and handsome" wink, but nothing more. But players can link up with friends for an online monster hunt—complemented by teammates sitting down together and getting drunk.

Still, this game's biggest drawback may well be its many long hours spent wandering through virtual woods plucking special mushrooms or snipping obscure herbs. And it's a price you must pay for the chance to puff up your digital chest and carry the really big stone hammer in this neck of the jungle.

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






April 20, 2010

On Video

Year Published



Bob Hoose

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!