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Xbox 360

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Easily the most requested/talked about franchise in gaming, people have been clamouring for a sequel to Oblivion since its release in 2006. For the last five years it has been one of the top questions we’ve been asked to relay to developers/publishers at every event/trade-show. “When?” we were asked, time and time again, and now finally we have a successor, and it is every bit worth the wait.

The Pros: 

+Breath-taking scenery that spans every type of terrain imaginable, and is all available for exploration.

+Improved magic system keeping everything simple, effective and rewarding.

+Potentially one of the best stories in gaming this year, with side-quests on a scale so large they wind up feeling like ‘main’ quests in their own rights.

+Easily the most atmospheric and engrossing title released this year.

The Cons: 

-The PC release of the game seems to have a metric TONNE of glitches, many of which can end the game; in some cases permanently.

-Considering the development cycle and the history of the franchise, along with the large PC fan-base, it’s disappointing to see the PC version feeling like little more than a poor-port of the console version.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

I'd like to apologize for the delay of the Skyrim review. The intention is always to get a review up as timely as possible, especially for something this widely anticipated, but sometimes it's just not logistically possible; no matter how hard we fight to make it happen. That being said, the timing of this review comes with two interesting side-benefits that I hope everyone can enjoy:

Sonic Generations [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Sonic Generations is simply the best idea for a long-running video game franchise that a fan-boy could ask for. It builds on the classic gameplay that fans have been crying out for since the end of the 16-bit era, and offers up a whole lot of fan-service to those who have stuck by the Blue Blur during his descent over the last dozen or so years. It melds beautiful the classic 2D speed-based platforming of yore with the modern graphics and gameplay mechanics that gamers will no doubt expect from anything released on a modern platform.

The Pros: 

+The presentation of the game is phenominal, and provides some much needed love to the fans of the franchise.

+The return of “Classic Sonic” is everything that a fan could have wanted, backdropped with some gorgeous reimaginings of iconic Sonic locales.

+The writing is funny and unfiltered, providing tons of allusions to previous Sonic titles throughout.

+The over-world navigation is simple, clean, easy to progress through and offers an end to the convolution of most modern Sonic titles 3D ‘hub worlds.’

The Cons: 

-Considering the amount of ‘Sonic Friend’ models that are in the game and featured in the ‘challenge zones’ multiplayer seems like a no brainer, but was left out.

-The 3D or “Modern” segments of Sonic Generations could have used a little more tweaking and still run into the same old problems of poor handling and unintelligent camera angles. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Fans of the site, or Sonic in general, are probably aware of the fact that I am and have always been a pretty big Sonic fan. This year I went far enough to solidify my love of the Blue Blur by permanently inking myself with the Sonic Team logo on Sonic's anniversary. I say this upfront, because Sega has given me a rare opportunity: The ability to speak positively about a new Sonic game.

Dead Rising 2: Off the Record [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Overall it was very difficult to find play value in this $40 title if you've already played Dead Rising 2. If you happened to skip it because you felt that a Dead Rising without Frank West wasn't worth it (it was still good in its own right, though) then this is all you were looking for.

The Pros: 

+Sandbox Mode means hordes of zombies will die without the hindrance of time limits

+Interesting look into the life of Frank West, who now looks like Dan Aykroyd; post-Dead Rising

+New weapon combos

The Cons: 

-It's basically an expansion pack for Dead Rising 2

-You can't get around the Zombrex this time

-Only real new addition is the just-opened Uranus Zone

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

Right off the bat, Dead Rising 2 seemed a little too much like Capcom wanted to rush out another Dead Rising title as soon as possible. Not that the game felt broken or sloppy at all, but really just that, as a full release, it didn't seem to have a lot to offer to the series other than a "what-if" scenario where Frank was on the scene at Fortune City instead of Chuck. While it was nice to see the addition of at least one new area and some fresh weapon combos, the whole thing felt like something that should have been DLC instead.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The campaign mode provides an epic conclusion to the Modern Warfare 3, wrapping up the tangled storylines of Captain Price and McTavish in a crazy large-scale Hollywood-esque thrill ride. However, a large number of 'on rails' style gunner-style sequences and a rather uninspired take on the multiplayer leave a little something to be desired... At the end of the day, there's not much to complain about, considering everything was well established with the first two games, but it would have been nice to have a little further departure and a couple of more risks taken to truly advance the franchise.

The Pros: 

+Massive-scale story mode, and dramatic conclusion to the MW franchise.

+Addition of the Survival Mode is an intelligent one.

+Class-based system helps to shake up the game's competitve multiplayer a bit.

The Cons: 

-Everything feels like it leans a little too hard on the previous title.

-Campaign mode features a lot of 'on rails' moments that can detract from the challenge of the story-mode.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

To be completely honest, Modern Warfare 3 was a title I'd almost entirely wrote off. With the drama surrounding the majority of the Infinity Ward team walking away after Modern Warfare 2, I didn't think it was going to be a proper "Modern Warfare" title now with the bulk of the creative team having walked away from the franchise.

Dance Central 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The games mechanics and tech have all been given the upgrades that the fans requested. The new options for voice control on the menu system and the integrated co-op that allows you to dance with your friends at the same time are welcome additions to the game. The track-list however is a little south of 'impressive' and could have used a little more of that classic Harmonix awesomeness.

The Pros: 

+Voice controlled menus make navigation quick and easy.

+The integrated multiplayer allows you to dance together.

+The same gameplay that made DC1 the best launch title for the Kinect is back and refined.

The Cons: 

-The track list is pretty weak, which is kind of important for a game that's supposed to make you want to get up and dance.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

When Dance Central launched alongside Xbox's newest peripheral, the Kinect, one year ago (Happy Anniversary Kinect!) it was hands-down the best received game to take advantage of the hardware. To be fair, it wasn't a particularly stellar launch line-up to be fair... but even still a rhythm-based game from Harmonix is always a welcome addition to any new medium.

Spider-man: Edge of Time [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Fans of Spider-man as a series may appreciate the all-star voice-acting cast that bridges together the iconic Peter Parkers of the past and the numerous nods to the franchise's hertitage. It's just unfortunate the whole thing is wrapped around lacklustre combat and a game that forgot that it's swinging that brings the true visceral thrill of being Spider-man to life. 

The Pros: 

+The best voice-acting cast of a Spider-man game, ever.

+Tons of references to the TV series and comics, both braisen and obscure.

+Stellar writing that takes advantage of the classic Spider-man wit and intelligence.

The Cons: 

-Bland combat that forsakes the classic free-flow style of the previous series.

-Everything takes place inside in-doors which means there's not a lot of room to swing.

-Everything 'game' about the title feels uninspired, and worse like a back-track for the series as a whole.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

To provide this review with a little bit of a context, Spider-man has been the only comic book series I've followed with any regularity since the early 90s when I first got into comics. While my interest in other series waned, and I found myself focusing more on other pursuit, Spider-man has always had a knack for swinging me back around and keeping my interest over these many years. Oh, and you can add on to that the fact that a number of Spider-man games will forever be on the top of my lists: Spider-man 2, Maximum Carnage, Separation Anxiety, etc.

X-Men Destiny [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Everything you will experience in X-Men Destiny you have had before, and better.  The repetitive button mashing combat, the basic dialogue choices, the subpar levelling up system all fail to bring anything fresh to the table.  That's not to say that there is no fun to be had in (insert developer hear) title.  If you are indeed an X-Men fan you still might have to dig deep, but the enjoyable moments will happen.

The Pros: 

+X-men characters look great and they use a healthy variety of them.

+Certain moments in the game pay off and you're left feeling happy that you are a nerd.

+Voice acting for all the main characters feels proper.

The Cons: 

-None of the elements of gameplay feel polished.

-Way too much unused potential for this universe.

-Levels are very linear with a ton of invisible walls.

-None of your choices in the game really feel like they have an affect.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
5

Some of my fondest memories as a kid were waking up on Saturday mornings, getting a bowl of the cereal that had the most sugar in it, and sitting a foot away from the TV and watching the 1990's X-Men cartoons.  So you should understand the excitement I originally felt over a year ago when an X-Men action/RPG was announced for current Gen consoles.  You might also, upon further reading, understand my disappointments with how it simply falls short...on almost every occasion.

Battlefield 3 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Battlefield has always been a series focused on co-operative team play, massive battles encompassing land, sea, and air as well as a showcase of a variety of different military vehicles. The 'third' instalment of the series doesn't diverge from the tried and true formula, but does make some much-needed tweaks to the over-all gameplay to advance the series into the modern generation of FPS titles and beyond.

The Pros: 

+Team-focused combat sees a return, and gets some balance tweaks.

+Impressive graphical upgrades over the series predacessors. 

+A more compelling single-player campaign then previous ventures.

+Bigger better battles that let you take the fight on virtually every front.

The Cons: 

-The main story feels like it cribs a little to heavily from Call of Duty.

-A couple of bad-apples can ruin the experience real quick, as you are reliant on your teammates.

-The flashlight/laser sight system can be abused for annoyance VERY easily.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Outside of the Bad Company sub-series, Battlefield has never been a series that's been held up by its deep or interesting story. What story was offered in the games previous was little more than an introduction to the mechanics of the game; an extended tutorial if you would. That's probably the reason why Battlefield 3's story-mode isn't getting a whole lot of focus from reviewers. Reviewers and gamers alike will be jumping into the game with one focus in mind, and everything else as a secondary.

Batman: Arkham City [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The fact of the matter is that if you haven’t played the original Arkham Asylum, you missed out. If you did, you probably already own this game, and might have even wrapped it before me. Either way, this is a stellar title that absolutely everyone should have to play to continue holding the title “gamer,” “geek,” “nerd,” or even “Batman Fan.” 

The Pros: 

+Improved free-flow combat system.

+Enhanced 'side-quest' system, featuring all of Gotham's fave villains.

+Bigger, badder world of Batman to explore.

+One of the single most impressive Batman stories of any medium, ever. 

+Awesome new gadgets that change-up the combat and stealth.

+Everything in the game has a purpose, time-line and consiquence, making even mundane collecting tasks become 'life or death' situations.

The Cons: 

-Review scales simply don't go high enough to represent this game accurately.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

It would probably be a little bit of an understatement to say that Rocksteady had a bit of a high bar to hurdle, expectations wise, when they decided to release a sequel to Arkham Asylum. It was a game that was heralded by many game critics as the best of the superhero (and for Batman I do use that term loosely) genre. Beyond that it was considered to be one of the best games of 2009, winning all kinds of awards on all kinds of gaming enthusiast sites, including a game of the year nod from Shogun Gamer.

SpeedRunner HD [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

SpeedRunner HD does a lot of the same things other indie platformers do.  However with its fantastic competitive multiplayer, this one stands out a touch further than the rest, and at 240 Microsoft Points, if you have a friend, it is well worth it.

The Pros: 

+Easy controls to get you right into the game

+Multiplayer is an absolute blast!

+Decent price point for amount of fun

The Cons: 

-You can beat the single player in less than one hour

-Never changes enough to feel like you are going anywhere

-If you don't have any friends, there is hardly any replay value.

 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

DoubleDutch Games bring us SpeedRunner HD: a fast-paced, superhero, 2D-platformer, which relies on elements of parkour to get you from start to finish.

As this SpeedRunner, you will find yourself zipping through levels against the clock to stop the evil Mad Bomber and foil his mad bombing plots.  To do this you will have quite a few tricks up your oh-so-fast sleeves, such as: grappling hooks, speed boosts, a handy slide move, and of course a good ol' fashion double jump.

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