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Batman: The Telltale Series: Realm of Shadows [Review]

Batman: The Telltale Series: Realm of Shadows [Review]

History remembers the story-telling, gamers will complain about the tech issues.

Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo 2016 : New Feel, New Venue!

Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo 2016 : New Feel, New Venue!

The VRGE "Levels Up" and evolves into something a little nicer than before.

Overwatch [Review]

Overwatch [Review]

From MMO to FPS, Blizzard's banking big on the future of eSports.

Ratchet & Clank 2016 [Review]

Ratchet & Clank 2016 [Review]

Not just an up-rez.

Quantum Break [Review]

Quantum Break [Review]

Remedy ups the ante on in-game TV once again.

Batman: The Telltale Series: Realm of Shadows [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

As with virtually all Telltale games, Batman: The Telltale Series is a unique, original take on the story of the titual franchise marred by the weight of the name "video game." Technical issues and a lack of gameplay hold it back from being something truly impressive, though fans of the developer will of course forgive it for its very obvious sins.

The Pros: 

+Creative and original story
+A few unique/interesting sequences that take advantage of the title character

The Cons: 

-Frame rate issues
-Obvious animation issues
-Gameplay glitches in several versions of the release

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

One of the most interesting, and unexpected, reveals of last year's E3 was the announcement that the kings of interactive story-telling, Telltale Interactive, was working with Warner Brothers to produce a game experience under the franchise banner of Batman.

Hot on the heels of titles under staple franchises like AMC's The Walking Dead and HBO's Game of Thrones, it seems that there's no property that Telltale hasn't been able to brand with their unique spin.

Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo 2016 : New Feel, New Venue!

This year represented a transition year for the Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo. For years it's operated in a very similar structure and location. Primarily as a venue for vendors to pedal their wares of the old-timey video game variety, and out of New West's historic Columbia. Now the convention "Beta Tests" it's fit with the new Anvil Centre (recently built) to define the next generation of the convention and it's crowd.

Overwatch [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Overwatch has been referred to as the "mixed martial arts" of competitive gaming and that feels like the most apt analogy anyone will make. It brings together a little bit of everything, shooters, MOBAs, even RTS and fighting games. All in a way that doesn't feel to convulted or overcomplicated.

The Pros: 

+Quick and easy game types.
+Easy to learn, difficult to master.
+Blends a little of everything, from the competitive gaming scene.
+Insane attention to detail, from map design to audio queues.

The Cons: 

N/A

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

Overwatch has broken ground on a few industry firsts during its production. Many are already aware of the long development history and transition from Titan to Overwatch, changing a massive multiplayer online role playing game into a first person team-based shooter. Not only did it make history in that unprecedented change, but it also has one of the longest running beta periods I've ever seen (about 6 months). So for all that work, all that testing and tweaking, has Blizzard truly created the next big thing? Or is the novelty due to fade?

Ratchet & Clank 2016 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Ratchet and Clank is much more than the standard "remaster" or HD remake that we've been inundated with over the last couple of years. It not only improves the graphics, but adjusts the maps players are used to and re-writes portions of the story to modernize it and give it a new spin while making jokes at its own expense. The game is not only beautiful, but a whole lot of fun to run through (even if it's not your first time).

The Pros: 

+Beautiful remasters character models and landscapes.

+Fun story with plenty of nods at it being a remaster.

+Solid mechanics that have been updated for the modern area.

The Cons: 

-As with all remasters: I would have preferred a full new title.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Over the last couple of years I may have become an Xbox "fanboy" due to Microsoft being my perferred platform over the last two generations of console. Coming up as a kid though, my roots are firmly planted in the Sony Playstation lineage. Well, if you don't go too far back anyways where you'll find that I bleed blue and have been and always will be a Sega fanboy.

Quantum Break [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Quantum Break is a risky gamble, one that might not pay off for the general public, but one that a review and lover of story crafting and world building like myself deeply appreciates. While the general public might not love the idea of sitting down to watch 20 minutes of TV at the end of each chapter, I found it a beautiful combination of my love for marathoning Netflix TV and gaming.

The Pros: 

+Live action is well shot and well acted.
+Story and world are deep, interesting, and will keep you guessing.
+Time-manipulation powers are a lot of fun to abuse.

The Cons: 

-Core shooting mechanics are weak, compared even to previous Remedy action-shooters.
-Easy to see people not being interested in 20 minute "cut scenes" at the end of each chapter.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

From the end of the first chapter I knew that Quantum Break was going to be a controversial title. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to sit and watch a 22 minute "cut scene" at the end of each level. That being said, this is hardly the first time we've been asked to sit and watch either. Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid have found success with elongated cut scenes to close out chapters of the game, so why is the idea of watching a full TV show quality bumper so unreasonable?

The Division [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The Division represents all the promise that Destiny promised. It's a solid shooter title with RPG elements and a squad-based online system that actually works. The game offers moments of zen run-about and baddie killing, with an option for some of the most intense moments of competitive gaming within its "Dark Zone."

The Pros: 

+Tight shooting mechanics that never get old.
+Inivative online multiplayer via its "Dark Zone" mechanics.
+Incentive to grind/replay for late game gear and incoming new content.

The Cons: 

-Severely lacklustre story telling.
-Suffers from the trend of "map clear" games, which has got stale of late.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

The Division is a game I've been sitting on for a little while now. Not so much because I was looking forward to playing as much as humanly possible before I wrote the review but more so because I'm a little confused about my time with it. My experience was that Division burns hot and fast, it was a whole lot of fun to the point of near addiction for about a week... then my desires to continue faded out rather quickly.

Xenoblade Chronicles X [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Xenoblade Chronicles X is complicated.

The Pros: 

+Cohesive design that rewards curiosity and exploration
+An amazing soundtrack that I need to own
+One of the most impressive looking games regardless of platform
+Sexy squid lady

The Cons: 

-Systems and menus that will be intimidating for even the hardest core players
-Anime clichés and designs that might turn some people off
-Sexy squid lady

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

Where do I even start? Xenoblade Chronicles X is positively massive in every sense of the word. The physical space of it’s world is massive, the depth of it’s systems is massive, the amount of content in general is massive. It’s no wonder that Nintendo has provided optional Installation Downloads to keep loading times moving at a steady clip for people playing using the physical disc.

Game of Thrones: Season 1 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Taking into account that Telltale Games has created a fully realized House Forrester, complete with background rich characters from a single line in the novels and stays within TV show and novel cannon is nothing short of amazing. Season 1's decisions will weigh heavily on your conscience and you'll make many sacrifices along the way, direct or otherwise, in typical Game of Thrones fashion.

The Pros: 

+Perfect voice acting
+Incredibly difficult decisions
+Cameos from major show characters (also voiced by the actors)

The Cons: 

-Lack of closure
-Having to wait for Season 2
-Winter is coming

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

It's no secret that Telltale Games has figured out the formula for their great success: Take a pre-established franchise, write a compelling narrative around it full of interesting characters and dialogue, utilize amazing voice actors, make the player decide between incredibly difficult decisions, and finally split up into episodic content with cliffhangers at the end of each episode leaving you wanting more.

Rise of the Tomb Raider [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Crystal Dynamics set a high bar of quality when they rebooted Tomb Raider in 2013, so naturally its sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, needed to up the bar once again; it's done that and more. Built on its solid foundations from the reboot, Lara takes part in an engaging adventure complete with beautiful landscapes, plenty of optional tombs, brain-wracking puzzles, and exciting new combat abilities for a memorable journey that should be had by everyone.

The Pros: 

+Graphically impressive
+Improved crafting system
+Numerous optional tombs and collectibles

The Cons: 

-Bigger focus on mandatory combat sections
-Predictable plot tropes
-Accidental deaths due to controls

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

I don't think many people were expecting Tomb Raider to make as big of a return that it did back in the 2013 reboot, save for Crystal Dynamics. I know it took me by surprise with its exciting traversing and combat coupled with an engaging story and believable voice acting. Tomb Raider was a success at becoming relevant once again and two years later we finally have the much anticipated follow-up to continue Lara's journey.

Xbox One Elite Controller [Review]

It’s no secret I’ve had my opinion of custom/third party controllers swayed within the years since I’ve started writing reviews. Initially, when I was a younger man, the concept of customized controllers was fraught with substandard materials. Cheap parts meant that if you showed up late to your friend’s party you were going to be stuck with some knock-off Nintendo controller that felt like crap and was prone to tech issues.

Tales from the Borderlands [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Telltale is the leading developer when it comes to crafting engaging, emotional, memorable, and now absolutely hysterical narratives with well-known franchises. Tales from the Borderlands is no different, as they've taken the very unique backdrop setting of Gearbox's games and crafted a compelling and immensely entertaining adventure with characters voiced to perfection that I hope to see again one day.

The Pros: 

+Constantly hysterical, especially finger-gun firefights
+Fantastic character development
+Top notch soundtrack and voice acting

The Cons: 

-The original wait between episode releases
-Some choices don't seem to really matter in the end
-It ends

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

One would think that turning the popular shooter Borderlands into a narrative focused adventure with no shooting at all (aside from some amazing pretend finger-gun shootouts) would be asinine. Borderlands has always been about using millions of guns, shooting bandits and psychos, and converting that into a story driven title seems as it was going to be an immense challenge for Telltale.

Halo 5 Guardians [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

There are a lot of changes in Guardians, mechanically and otherwise, most of which are for the better. While the campaign's narrative does have some major shortcomings, it still created some amazing Halo moments that I'll remember forever. The multiplayer has also been updated and refined also adding a completely new Warzone mode that is incredibly fun and will be for quite some time.

The Pros: 

+Legendary mode is quite challenging
+Warzone is fantastic and a great addition
+Some memorable set pieces

The Cons: 

-Squad AI is shoddy, at best
-Campaign heavily focuses on Osiris Team
-Short campaign with an unclimactic ending

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

As a massive Halo fan, I always become increasingly excited the closer the launch of a new Halo game nears. Halo 5: Guardians was no different. It's been 3 years since Halo 4, and we'll finally get to continue on with Master Chief's story and face a new world-ending threat that must be stopped. Being the first Halo on the Xbox One, Guardians has a lot to prove and 343 Industries has taken a lot of measures to ensure that this Halo is different in many ways.

Transformers Devastation [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Transformers Devastation may be linear, repetitive, and not have a plethora of replay value included but what it lacks it more than makes up for in its fan service for G1 fans. Devastation offers amazing visuals, the original voice cast, an enjoyable combat system, and frequent boss battles. If you're an old school G1 fan it's the greatest looking Transformers game you've ever seen and feels like it was taken directly from an '80s morning cartoon.

The Pros: 

+Greatest looking Transformers game ever
+Original voice acting cast
+Frequent and entertaining boss battles

The Cons: 

-Very short campaign-
The Touch by Stan Bush nor the classic TV theme song is included
-No playable Decepticons

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

The moment Transformers Devastation was announced, I was all in. The kid in me that grew up with the TV series back in the '80s squealed and it seemed like I was actually going to get the G1 Transformers game I've always dreamt of. Nostalgia is a funny thing though, as you tend to remember things very fondly regardless of how they actually were, so I came in slightly skeptical and tried to keep my expectations manageable as I didn't want to be too let down just in case.

Fatal Frame’s Lost Decade

2005 was a very different landscape for horror games; Resident Evil 4 had only been released that year and exclusively on Gamecube, the now ubiquitous 'over-the-shoulder' view was fresh and new, the emergence of J-horror films in the western market revitalized the genre for a few years, and the cult-classic horror game franchise Fatal Frame would see it's last North American release for an entire decade. It's been a long ten years for a franchise that was held by fans in the same regard as heavy hitters Resident Evil and Silent Hill.

Lego Dimensions [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Who doesn't love Lego? The newest entry into the series is quite a drastic shift from previous games, as Lego is now entering the world of toys-to-life genre where you not only purchase the game, but get a portal to place characters and vehicles on to transport them into the game world. Dimensions takes things a step further and actually uses the portal as a puzzle mechanic and will actually have you building and rebuilding with the included Lego pieces as well. Multiple brands will intersect with one another for a hilarious and unique Lego experience that is fun for all ages provided you can afford it.

The Pros: 

+Fantastic fan service and crossing different IP universes
+Physically have to build with LEGO as a game mechanic
+The game's portal is innovative and more than a simple base

The Cons: 

-It will cost hundreds of dollars to unlock everything
-Vehicle driving
-High cost of entry and you'll certainly want to buy more add-on packs

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

First there was Skylanders, then Disney Infinity, and finally Amiibos. Now LEGO has joined the foray into collectible and adorable physical toys-to-life games / DLC to get you hooked and open up your wallet. And trust me, you're going to feel not only tempted to purchase more add-on packs, but somewhat obligated, especially if you want to see everything LEGO Dimensions has to offer.

20 Years Later, The Lost Zelda Games Still Live

The Legend of Zelda is about as ubiquitous as it gets. Whether they keep up with the series or not, 10- to 35-year olds across the continent will profess their undying love for at least one of the titles. It's no surprise then that Zelda and it's legacy are particularly well-documented. Just take a look at 2013's Hyrule Historia; a compendium of art assets, developer interviews, and in-game lore that spans the first 25 years of Zelda's lifespan.

Halo 5 Collector's Edition Disc Upgrade Process

It's no secret that I'm a massive Halo fan. The amount of Halo related toys, games, and other items I have aside from the games is borderline obscene. The long awaited Halo 5: Guardians is a few short weeks from release and with any major AAA release, there's also an accompanying pricey Collector's Edition that nets you a bunch of physical goodies alongside the game for the massive fans like myself.

Mega Man Legends is coming to PSN!

Mega Man fans rejoice! Mega Man Legends is set to be released next week on PlayStation Network. The title will be available for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.

For players unfamiliar with Legends, Mega Man Legends was the first 3D spin-off of the Mega Man series.

For the last two years, Capcom has steadily released Mega Man PSOne classics on the PSN. A brief timeline:

Razer Mamba Tournament Edition [Review]

While people tend to have personal preferences or brand loyalties when mice and keyboards, I've always steered towards the Razer peripherals. They have always been of a great build quality and there are sure to be a suited match based on your wants and needs when it comes to their products.

I've been a part of the Razer camp for quite some time. Even now,  looking to the side of my desk, I can see my older DeathAdder, Ouroboros, and Naga mice waiting to be used again; based on my gaming needs at any given time.

HALO Master Chief's Helmet - Metal Earth 3D Model

I'm not only an avid gamer but a collector as well, when it comes to anything video game related. So, when I was in a local store and saw a Halo 3D metal model kit, I had to grab it and see what it was all about.

These come in a flat package with all the parts you need cut into the sheet(s) of metal and you're tasked with removing the individual parts from the sheet, then tediously putting it together correctly via the included instructions.

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