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Her Story [Review]

Her Story [Review]

Her Story Redefines Adventure Storytelling

What I wanted to see at E3 2015

What I wanted to see at E3 2015

E3 2015 as great, but I wanted to see more!

Nintendo Press Event at E3 2015 - Part 2

Nintendo Press Event at E3 2015 - Part 2

Part 2 analysis of Nintendo's showing at E3

Batman: Arkham Knight [Review]

Batman: Arkham Knight [Review]

Gotham's Dark Knight receives his final(?) chapter.

Sunset Creator Tale of Tales Leaving Game Development

Sunset Creator Tale of Tales Leaving Game Development

And artist’s everywhere shed a tear for sustainability

Her Story [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Sam Barlow's latest deconstruction of narrative is a game by necessity. It expertly leaves just enough of the story and mechanics to player imagination while capitalizing on the best that the adventure-genre has to offer. It uses familiar visual vocabulary without falling into the trappings of contemporary game design. Her Story manipulates time and space as deftly as the best works in any medium and never overstays it's welcome. It is a must-play for mystery fans, adventure game fans, FMV fans, or people just looking for something fresh.

The Pros: 

+Excellently integrated interface design
+Wonderful FMV acting
+A compelling mystery
+Short and sweet

The Cons: 

-The story can be intimidating to parse
-It can be easy to get lost
-There aren't many others like it
-Silent Hill: Shattered Memories wasn't a huge success

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

People of a certain age or fondness for game history are familiar with the text parser - adventure games were built around them in the early days. Being thrown into a world where all you had was a rudimentary text input interface and your imagination is what made adventure games so compelling.

What I wanted to see at E3 2015

It's no secret that E3 2015 was absolutely fantastic for gamers. The big names had some bombs to drop and the real winners were us the gamers. To say that it's going to be a very expensive Holiday this year is a massive understatement. But there were some things that stood out for me, a few things that I wanted to see at E3 that weren't shown or mentioned.

Nintendo Press Event at E3 2015 - Part 2

Fire Emblem has never really been my bag but it's clear that Fire Emblem Fates is going to build on what made Awakening such a success: classic Fire Emblem combat, a bevy of character relationships to forge, and excellent character design by Yusuke Kozaki. Nintendo hasn't addressed whether or not Fates will be releasing in two separate retail versions with DLC story scenarios like it will in Japan, but either way this might be one of the summer must-haves. With a June 25th release date there's not much of a wait left for the quintessential strategy RPG series' return.

Batman: Arkham Knight [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Arkham Knight feels like an intelligent evolution of a franchise that is probably one chapter too long (looking at you Origins). Being The Batman has never been as deep or as interesting, thanks to the best story line in the franchise history. Unfortunately, the over-extension of the franchise means that Rocksteady has had to clutter the gameplay a little too much to keep things continuously fresh for the Dark Knight and at the end of the day a great story is weighed down with the clutter of too many attempts to iterate on their classic gameplay and fighting mechanics.

The Pros: 

+The best Batman story to date. 
+The Batmobile is a blast and makes getting around the expansive game map a breeze. 
+Rocksteady has the balls to pull the trigger on a bunch of major story changes.
+Gotham has never looked sexier.

The Cons: 

-Constant additions to the fight mechanics make brawls a little cluttered. 
-Overuse of the "Bat Tank" ruins what would have otherwise been one of the best evolutions of the franchise.
-Bat Tank fights feel out of place and constantly grind the story to a hault.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

One of the biggest issues that I’ve had with the gaming experience, especially within the last few years, is the fact that very few developers are willing to take risks. Rocksteady, with their latest installment of the Batman/Arkham franchise, has just proven that they have some of the biggest balls in the industry to date.

Sunset Creator Tale of Tales Leaving Game Development

(Full disclosure: Victor contributed to Sunset's Kickstarter. Not very much though. Because he's very poor.)

In an announcement on their website, indie game developer Tale of Tales has announced that due to the poor sales of last month's Sunset they will be leaving game development to pursue other artistic avenues.

Fallout 4 – Best. Fallout. Ever.

We were not left in the lurch when Bethesda unrolled all the cool new features in their next iteration.

Oh my God, you guys. That was awesome, wasn't it? It was just phenomenal. I'm legit having trouble pacing myself, because even looking down on my caringly crafted notes so I could talk about everything in cohesive order, I just want to regurgitate fangirl rainbows all over my screen.

Nintendo Press Event at E3 2015 - Part 1

Let's take a look at the first half of the Big N's Tuesday announcements.

Nintendo's E3 approach has been shifting for the last few years. They've discovered that they can still get the same kind of groundswell and keep the conversation Nintendo-centric even without spending millions on a massive staged press event.

BE3: The Bethesda Show

Oh, Bethesda. My faith in you is well-placed.

If you were able to catch the conference last night then you were probably as slippery and wet from salivating as I was. We weren't given a slew of games to look forward to over the next year like with other conferences, but we were given less a buffet and more tapas: smaller morsels, but oh god they're so delicious. Maybe I should stop talking while I'm waiting for dinner.

Xbox @ E3 2015

Bethesda started E3 a day early with their first ever press conference. It had some monumental moments of its own, like the gameplay reveal of Fallout 4 and its crazy crafting system that is sure to have gamers pouring hundreds of hours into the game later this year. Not to mention finally seeing what DOOM is going to look and play like. Now Microsoft finished their press conference for Xbox, and if you know me at all you know how much of an Xbox fan I am. To say I left their conference excited is quite an understatement.

Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

There's no doubt that Puzzle & Dragons is addictive, but there's also a lot of substance behind it. Sometimes that substance is over-bearing and intimidating, but underneath is a very polished, very satisfying character-driven puzzle game that I can safely say has earned it's place on my 3DS next to other classics like Pokemon Puzzle Challenge. Some people will get more mileage out of it than others, even between the two different versions included in this package, but it's perfect for pick-up-and-play sessions at any time of day for any skill level.

The Pros: 

+Excellent foundational puzzle mechanics
+A mountain of content that will keep you busy for ages
+Charming localization that has a lot of fun
+A great transposition of a mobile game onto a dedicated system

The Cons: 

-A lot of bells and whistles that can get in the way for people who just want puzzles
-An unadventurous use of the Mario license
-Some unappealing animations and graphic designs
-Numbers everywhere all the time. So many stats. So many things -Everything explodes in a flurry of colour and light. Rainbows have lost all meaning to me.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Originally designed as a mobile game by GungHo, the Puzzle and Dragons franchise has dominated a huge portion of the market share for fans of puzzles and also fans of dragons in Japan. It's free-to-play model and RPG mechanics have secured its place on the phones of millions of people. But far too often we're reminded that mobile and console game design don't always work on the same wavelengths. Can a fresh coat of Mario-themed paint and a 2-games-in-1 deal make this retail release worth diving into?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

It's not without its minor issues, but you'll continually be impressed either by the writing, voice acting, setting, combat, or freedom that you'll forget the trivial issues and immerse yourself in one of the most captivating games to date. There's going to have to be something amazing to release this year to dethrone The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from Game of the Year 2015 status in my opinion.

The Pros: 

+Top notch writing and voice acting
+Visuals are absolutely stunning
+Side quests have meaning and are written incredibly well
+Hundreds of hours of gameplay
+Gwent is an amazing distraction and very addictive

The Cons: 

-Movement can feel stiff and awkward
-Random smaller bugs
-Gwent isn't purchasable in physical for

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

The Witcher 2 was my Game of the Year for 2012, so to say that I had very high expectations for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, would be putting it mildly. I'm happy to report that not only have they lived up to expectations, but vastly succeeded them and improved on many facets from Geralt's previous outing. New hardware has released since the last time we played with Geralt, so needless to say, CD Projeckt Red has made great use from the new hardware and is pushing them to the limits on console.

Slow Down, Bull [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Created by only five people from a renowned AAA console game studio, Slow Down, Bull is an adorable title suited for a younger audience and their first entry into PC gaming. Controlling a bull with a temper problem collecting art decorations might not sound like your dream game from the people who made Ratchet and Clank, Resistance, and Sunset Overdrive, but they are donating half of the proceeds to charity and the game itself is only a few bucks on Steam. Even with its awkward controls and frustrating level design, it would be a game for a family to enjoy together who don't game often and want to feel good knowing part of their purchase is going to a good cause.

The Pros: 

+Very colorful and cute art style
+New challenges constantly being introduced
+50% of proceeds go to charity

The Cons: 

-Awkward and stiff controls
-Random difficulty spikes

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

Esteban the bull doesn't like to become stressed out, so it's your job to help him collect the art decorations he wants but without stressing him out and making him loose his cool. You'll control Esteban across 5 different areas, each with multiple levels, in search of beautiful art decorations that he can use to create and share his art. Slow Down, Bull is created by a small group of people at Insomniac Games, best known for Ratchet and Clank, Resistance, and Sunset Overdrive and may seem like an odd title for their foray into PC gaming.

Nintendo’s Wonderful Terrifying Fatal Frame Gamble

For all of the bizarre, backwards localization choices Nintendo makes (or doesn't make), every once in a while The Big N decides to take a chance on something outside their ordinary wheelhouse. It's been happening since as long as the idea of localization existed.

Neverwinter Xbox One [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The popular free to play MMO on PC for the past two years finally lands on Xbox One and is much better than expected. Yes it has flaws and is essentially a console-ized version of the PC version, but it is a great experience and is completely free for anyone to play (Xbox Live required). It’s very simple to ease into and understand but has depth and an endgame, with more content on its way, and surely almost something for everyone, even if you’re not an MMO veteran. Neverwinter is a great first step for MMO’s on Xbox One and if other MMO’s come that are similar in quality and content, I would be very happy. 

The Pros: 

+It’s FREE
+A true MMO on Xbox One
+Incorporates your Xbox Live friends list for easy party and group invites
+Smartglass and USB keyboard support
+Feels natural on a controller

The Cons: 

-Cash shop prices are quite expensive
-Massive framerate issues
-Convoluted and confusing currencies

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

It’s almost Neverwinter’s two-year anniversary on PC and us Xbox One owners now to get to enjoy basically the same game finally on our TV and couch. These days if an MMO can not only stay alive, but thrive, then they’re doing something right, and Neverwinter doesn’t seem to be losing any steam, especially considering they’re about to drop their newest mod (expansion) for free, for PC players that is. Why am I mentioning the PC version of Neverwinter?

Ace Attorney Investigations 2 Enters The Fan-Translation Pantheon

To carve out a path for humanity in this chaotic and uncaring universe, human beings have always sought some level of order and organization; codes that we as a culture can subscribe to so as to ease suffering and bring about balance. And so we developed the concept of justice, and law to establish what is or is not just. Unfortunately, we cannot conceive of justice without its opposite. And so 'injustice' was born.

The Lighthouse Painting Represents The Best Of Transmedia

The idea of telling supplementary stories across two or more mediums is not particularly new nor is it a foreign concept in the world of video games. Since the dawn of marketing people have tried to find ways to dominate mind-share for an IP in as many avenues as possible. It's not hard to be cynical about a sea of paperback tie-ins, phoned-in comics, and empty companion apps all crashing on the shores right around the release date of every AAA release.

Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Fast & Furious is one of the biggest movie franchises out there, and now they are teaming with Forza Horizon 2, one of the best racing games, for an experience that is intended to suck you into the movies and Forza with a bite size offering completely for free. Yes, for free, AND you don't even need to own Forza Horizon 2 to enjoy it. While it may not feel like a true Fast & Furious experience, it's a great showcase of what Forza has to offer for those new to the series.

The Pros: 

+It's FREE (until April 10th)
+Very easy 1000 achievements and only takes 2-3 hours.
+You get to drive some amazing high-end cars.
+Very smart way to promote Fast and Furious plus Forza Horizon 2 demo.
+Ludacris actually voices his character in the game as narrator.

The Cons: 

-Aside from the supercars, it doesn't really feel like a Fast and Furious experience.
-Only one radio station.
-Limited selection of cars.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

While Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious might be a mouthful (simply referred to as Fast & Furious from here on), it's an interesting take on DLC even though it's clearly promoting the upcoming movie (which looks great) that tries to do something different with an already proven franchise. First and foremost, this Fast & Furious DLC is completely free AND is a standalone offering, so you don't even need Forza Horizon 2 to enjoy it.

Radial Dialogue - Episode 13 - YouTube vs. Twitch

Hopefully by now you've all had a chance to look at the Mario Party 10 review that was posted up earlier this week, if not (or if you wanted to see it in operation live) we played through a Bowser Party tonight on Radial Dialogue! Jen played out the role of King Koopa and well... it was interesting, to say the least.

Review: Battlefield Hardline

Overall Feeling: 

Battlefield is known for being a military shooter but Hardline is looking to change all of that by completely shifting the setting and tone of the game to the tried-and-true Cops versus Robbers instead. Even traditional Battlefield game modes for multiplayer have been tweaked to make for a new experience, and while longtime fans of the series might be thrown off initially, give it a chance and you'll most likely think Hardline is the good cop instead of the bad one. 

The Pros: 

+Hotwire Mode is very refreshing and a fun twist on Conquest.
+The Cops vs Robbers campaign is a great new angle instead of world factions against each other.
+New weapon unlocking progression is money-based instead of rank and time sinks.

The Cons: 

-The 'flash your badge' mechanic in campaign works seldom when needed and seems silly at times.
-No big memorable set pieces for the campaign.
-Campaign tries to force you to play it as a stealth game instead of a true Battlefield.
-Aside from a few campaign sections, Hardline doesn't look current-gen at all.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Best known as a militaristic shooter, Battlefield Hardline changes the formula completely, which can be a little jarring at first but eventually welcomed once you learn its offerings and simply accept it. The multiplayer is once again present and easily the biggest piece of Hardline that will keep you playing, but the campaign also returns with a much smaller scale story instead of world factions fighting it out across the globe. Visceral Games has dramatically changed Battlefield's setting and tone, but the core multiplayer gameplay still feels like a Battlefield at its heart.

Radial Dialogue - Episode 12 - X-Files and Preacher

Hopefully some of you were able to join us, it does look like the viewership is (slowly) growing, which is exciting and rewarding for us here! Episode 12 deviates from the video-game centric talk though and allows Jen and I the opportunity to talk about some stuff (outside of gaming) that had us excited today. Chiefly amongst those pieces were the details surrounding a particular casting for the upcoming AMC series Preacher and the return of X-Files to Fox!

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