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Xbox 360

Official Super Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition - Chun Li [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Takes a little getting used to, compared to a pad or even american arcade sticks, but once you get a handle on the sensitivity and response of this stick... well there'll be no stopping you.

The Pros: 

Satisfying button feel/sound. Super sensitive control stick reads. Gorgeous artwork. Slick new semi-transparent wall-design. Easy to open/mod design means changing anything you don't like (or have a preference for) is quick and simple.

The Cons: 

The square-gate may take a little getting used to (American consoles rock a eight-way or circle-gate generally). Chun Li is NOT Ibuki.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Header Photo By Cynthia Griffiths

A couple of weekends ago the Shogun Gamer crew was offered the opportunity to head down and check out the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX Prime) and report on the events there-in. Of course we jumped on the chance, being that PAX (both East and West) have been so good to us in the past. This year’s show was definitely one of the best there has been, and a big part of that was the connections that we were able to make. 

Shank [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Shank is a game with terrific art design that’s well produced but doesn’t have everything at optimum levels as far the gameplay side of things is concerned. Klei has laid down a good foundation for the side-scrolling action of Shank, but things don’t feel as entirely fleshed out as they could be and ultimately the last few stages get really repetitive. Despite the gameplay issues, Shank still feels like a fresh experience in the side-scrolling genre and should be checked out by those looking for an entertaining brawler.

The Pros: 

The comic book/cartoon inspired art design is amazing, both in the cutscenes and the in-game visuals. Shank has a nice arsenal of weapons at his disposal which are all fun to use. Even though it’s short, the co-op mode is fun. Fun boss battles all of which surpass the standard run and gun mechanics.

The Cons: 

Combat doesn’t feel as deep as it could be. The slight button input delay can be slightly annoying at times. The game gets really repetitive towards the end with only a few standout sections. Unless you look online, the game doesn’t tell you what the criteria are for unlocking the bonus costumes.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Most games these days often rely on style over substance. Of course such a thing is to be expected at times since video games are often meant to be showpieces of amazing graphics and awe-inspiring art design.  That’s not to say every video game follows the Michael Bay mantra of “blow sh!t up, have cool camera angles and everything else is just fluff” but that’s most often the case these days.  Klei Entertainment’s side-scrolling brawler Shank is a game that’s high on the style and originality department.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light [Review] [Summer of Arcade]

Overall Feeling: 

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light feels like a rebirth for the Tomb Raider franchise. It is a reminder that this series was once a pinnacle of gaming, and could be again in the right venue with the right "vibe".

The Pros: 

The best Lara Croft-centric title in years. Addictive arcade-themed gameplay: challenge rooms, bonus objectives, score, and co-op. Best co-op experience for Xbox Live in quite some time. Plenty of content for re-runs both co-op and solo.

The Cons: 

After you've played co-op the solo campaign can feel a little lacking. Live co-op disabled 'til Sept 28th, wtf?

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

 

Monday Night Combat [Review] [Summer of Arcade]

Overall Feeling: 

A blend of tower defense and third-person class-based shooters, MNC is a unique take on two genres that works a whole lot better then I would have originally expected.

The Pros: 

Quick, easy fun. Interesting character/level design art. Unique characters that provide for every game-type. Addictive game-play that will bring you back over and over.

The Cons: 

Really only one game-type varied in two ways, so not much change up.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Yesterday the fourth instalment of Xbox’s Summer of Arcade series dropped: Monday Night Combat. This is a game that I’ve been following with a medium level of anticipation. It’s a great concept with some goofy marketing that seemed like it could end up falling quite easily on to either side of the fence. So when I finally got around to downloading a copy for myself, I approached with a very cautious optimism. For those unaware, the basic idea of the game is a blend between tower defense and third-person class-based shooters.

Clash of the Titans: The Video Game [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Clash of the Titans: The Video Game is an epic waste of time to play. Those who enjoyed the movie are likely to be burned by a game that is extremely dull and fails to capture the Greek mythology essence. Even those looking for a mindless action game are sure to be disappointed by a combat engine that feels like it belongs in a PS1 game.

The Pros: 

There’s laughter to be had by some of the bad voice acting and production values. Smashing skeletons to pieces is mildly entertaining for the first twenty minutes.

The Cons: 

Visually unimpressive in almost every way, especially the lifeless cutscenes. The combat lacks a spark and doesn’t offer much we haven’t seen before. Most of the missions and levels are extremely boring.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
4

Being an avid gamer, I like to support as many games as I can, whether they’re big budget AAA titles or lesser known IPs/indie games. Sometimes my openness to support a game, not necessarily hyping it up to others, can backfire on me in such an ugly way that I can’t help but feel like an ass.  One such game that my anticipation of has completely punched me in the gut is the game adaptation of the recent Clash of the Titans remake. 

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair [Review] [Summer of Arcade]

Overall Feeling: 

It feels like a Gameboy Advance title that got lost somewhere in Konami's vault and then was thrown on Xbox Live Arcade without anyone bothering to check if it worked, or was worth paying money for.

The Pros: 

6-person multiplayer, that's rare for any title. The core gameplay works alright. Collecting gear for your character could definitely be addictive with the right group of people.

The Cons: 

Terrible graphics. Eye-hurting menu systems. Ridiculous decisions for playing from a map-view, which when zoomed in upon feels like you just blew up a thumbnail (and distorted the image). Single-player experience feels almost broken. Loading pages are annoying.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
4

The third entry in Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade series has now come and gone, and honestly this one has been the hardest for me to try and formulate an opinion on. You see the problem is that I’m a pretty big fan of the Castlevania series, and the road to the title had me all kinds of hyped for the game… unfortunately it turned out to be… well not so great. Castlevania Harmony of Despair feels like a cheeky little ploy to throw “HD” in the title, and in the menus on the Xbox they actually do abbreviate it down to just “Castlevania HD” which in the end becomes ironic.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane [Review] [Summer of Arcade]

Overall Feeling: 

A slick upgrade on the classic arcade franchise, Hurricane offers the return of everything that drew people into the original along with some sexy graphical updates and plenty of new gameplay.

The Pros: 

Classic arcade racing action, modernized. Split-screen multiplayer, that can go online! Sleek new models for the classic boats. Tons of new play types. Original arcade/fun feel to everything.

The Cons: 

Not the original voice over for announcer. Unable to smash boats into the air with boost. Control of some boats changed to much for them to be used in the same fashion as the previous title.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

One of my favourite things about the Xbox Live Arcade platform is the ability to resurrect old arcade/console classics and bring in modern graphics and features (especially online play). This week’s Summer of Arcade release returns one of my all-time favourite arcade classics, and allows me the opportunity to jump online and really test my skills behind the wheel… of a power boat.

Limbo XBLA [Summer of Arcade]

Overall Feeling: 

Dark, creepy, atmospheric puzzle/platformer that hits all the right notes and creates a truly unique experience, but the price may be a little too much for what's provided.

The Pros: 

Dark, simple, attractive art-style. Creative puzzles that will give you a head-scratch. Fun, simplistic gaming and controls.

The Cons: 

Very short. No additional play modes. $15 price tag, with little to no replay value.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Finally summer has arrived; beaches, warm weather, sun, and blockbuster films… But for a gamer there’s really one event that trumps them all: Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade. Each year we receive a collection of new arcade titles featured on the Xbox Live Marketplace that offer a variety of gaming experiences; a sort of video-game-buffet for those of us who are easily offended by the sun. This year’s first entry into the Summer-time fun is Limbo.

Crackdown 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Crackdown 2 is pure and un-adulterated fun. From start to finish the game is all about creating your own experience. Whether you want to spend hours roaming rooftops for agility orbs, or pound the pavement to clean up the streets with up to three friends, there's a little something for everyone that makes this a must-have for any Xbox owner.

The Pros: 

Plenty of fun to be had. Multiple options of gameplay/style. One of the best multiplayer experiences to date. A focus on gameplay rather then trying to make an amazing story, or re-inviting competitive multiplayer.

The Cons: 

Cars no longer transform when you level up. The graphics don't seem to have improved all that much. The campaign is rather short, especially if you have help.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

The original Crackdown is a game that not a lot of people got to appreciate, until the end of the Halo 3 beta. While the title received plenty of attention, and garnered plenty of purchases, the main draw originally was to Halo fans looking to obtain copies of the Beta key for early entry into the world of Halo 3 multiplayer. To people that actually played the game; this was a bit of a disappointment, considering that Crackdown turned out to be a whole lot of fun.

Singularity Single Player [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The game is pure fun. While it might not be the most in-depth or technical shooter that you ever play, you will have a lot of fun with the weapons and abilities that the game offers up.

The Pros: 

Fun gameplay. Interesting weapons. Proper uses of time manipulation (finally). Compelling story. Interesting characters. Solid voice-acting.

The Cons: 

Short single player experience. Texture pop-in issues on the PC version. Predictable story "twists." Weak feeling "morality choice" at the game's finale.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Time Manipulation is an idea that I have always thought would work perfectly for video games. The ability to slow time down and dodge bullets, or run in and hit people from behind while they are frozen in time. Of course there are much more elaborate uses as well, but these are the main ones that I’ve been waiting a long while for. Singularity finally allows for this kind of gameplay, and plenty of other interesting twists on the usage of time through localized time distortion.

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