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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

From incredibly fun combat and how rewardingly violent Talion deals with his Uruk enemies, to roaming around vast parts of Mordor in a variety of acrobatic ways, I had a surprisingly great time with this title. Shadow of Mordor's key feature, the newly introduced Nemesis System, was for sure the standout here and the source of most of my mischievous fun I had.  The side missions can get repetitive and the story isn't anything spectacular, but there was more than enough to have me coming back and decapitating Uruk after Uruk.

The Pros: 

+Nemesis System is excellent.
+Combat is an absolute blast.
+RPG elements aren’t deep, but very well used.

The Cons: 

-Side quests get repetitive.
-Story is nothing amazing.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Destiny [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Destiny is a really good game that shys just short of true greatness by being a fairly standard feeling FPS game at its core. It has the potential to be a really great game franchise down the road, but the current iteration is held back by a lot of little things that annoy slightly, like taking a lovely family vacation but not being able to ignore the mosquitos. 

The Pros: 

+ Solid mechanics

+ Addictive 'bread-crumb' style gameplay

+ Large, expansive scenes to explore

+ Plenty of varity in game modes and play styles

The Cons: 

- Derivitive feeling story and characters

- Nagging UI/flow issues

- Character fatigue online (not enough customization)

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

The amount of hype that Destiny has been able to generate, for a new IP, is simply unprecedented.

Some of that is natural; the fans saw something new and exciting, and they flocked to it.

Some of that is manufactured. The amount that was spent on marketing the game was a little beyond ridiculous as well… But it all in all it’s paid off.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Blood Dragons is a love-letter to b-movie sci-fi films from the 1980s. It is genius in its satirical take on the iconic sub-culture of the material itself as well as video games in general. Fans of action movies, the 80s, satire, or just goofy action games in general will fall in love with this game before the tutorial is completed.

The Pros: 

+Great sense of humor. 

+Sense of loyality its inspiration (80s action films).

+Same great gameplay of its predecessor (Far Cry 3). 

+Stunning visuals (both the neon in-game, and the 16-bit cut-scenes).

The Cons: 

-Character customization has been almost completely removed to make way for a straight forward leveling system (earn a level, get a new game-choosen ability).

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

Far Cry: Blood Dragon is a perfect, or rather the only, example of what fans of the 80s sci-fi/action b-movie genre have been hoping for out of video games for about the last 30 years. Of course that’s a pretty ridiculous standard for Ubisoft to try and live up to… but it was refreshing to see how serious, or rather not-serious, the team building the game took the project.

[Review] WWE 13 - One of the Worst Games in Recent Memory.

Overall Feeling: 

The fact this game was released is astounding. Any positive points from WWE Attitude Mode or player creation are fully eclipsed by an absurd number of bugs and poor game design.

The Pros: 

+ Attitude Era Nostalgia Bomb.

+ Deep and impressive player content creation tools. 

The Cons: 

- Frequent game crashes.

- Unpolished and riddled with glitches and bugs.

- Online servers keep erasing data.

- 3GB save file on PS3 makes PS+ Cloud storage useless.

- Broken Universe mode design.

- Pay-Per-View matches have no purpose.

- Terrible game audio issues.

- David Otunga's Music. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
3

THQ's latest installment of their long lived World Wrestling Entertainment licence hit the shelves on October 30th 2012. While many publications, blog and fans rushed to get their reviews of WWE 13 up on day one, I waited. Patiently.  Now that we’re over a month since its release, I'm rather glad I sat on this and really took the time to explore this game. 

Forza Horizon [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

A brilliant blend between high-stakes, full-throttle racing and meditative country drive in your dream car, Forza Horizon takes a well-loved, established franchise and dares to do something a little different. Fans of the franchise may miss the game’s simulation edge, but for a game that offers so much variety strung together, quite nicely, with a core concept that holds throughout, it’s hard to stay angry at the decision to change for more than a couple minutes into the game.

The Pros: 

+Intelligent use of the world, environment, menus and audio to create a unified theme throughout.

+Combines the best of both worlds: full-throttle super-speed racing, and a relaxing Sunday drive through the country.

+Slightly more relaxed atmosphere/controls than the previous games, lowering the barrier of entry for new/casual players.

The Cons: 

-Some of the “challenges” push the boundaries of casual into straightforward boredom, i.e. the photo challenges (where you just need to get your car to a visually stimulating point without wrecking the car, without any form of time challenge).

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Forza has spent the last seven years working its way into my heart. Originally a franchise I passed off as Microsoft’s attempt to be Gran Turismo. It’s grown over the years in leaps and bounds, the most recent iteration, Forza 4, becoming one of my favorite racing games of all time. When Horizon was announced, so shortly after the launch of four, I found myself wondering if it was a bit too soon for a sequel.

Dance Central 3 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Dance Central, with two previous titles, is a well-established series. It’s not something that needs any further explanation at this point beyond “That Harmonix game where you dance like a lunatic in front of your TV for the bemusement of your drunken friends.” If you’ve picked up Dance Central 3, or are considering it, you likely know exactly what you’re getting into.

The Pros: 

+Far more diverse set-list then the previous games.

+Funny, if not slightly cheesy, ‘story mode’ in the vein of Elite Beat Agents.

+Gangnam Style DLC announced.

The Cons: 

-Shorter set-list than other games in the genre.

-Dance party mode only offers the set-list via SmartGlass.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

When the Kinect originally launched, two years ago now, there was only one thing that had me excited for the hardware (I mean, aside from the potential and the games we were all dreaming up; I mean real, announced titles). That game was Dance Central. “Harmonix is allowing gamers an excuse to dance like fools in the safety of their own living rooms?” I thought.

Assassins Creed 3 [Review] - Loading Woes and Small Issues Steal the Show.

Overall Feeling: 

Assassins Creed 3 ends up feeling rushed and forced in a lot of areas. While the naval combat system is by far the shining star of this title, it feels like a lackluster ending to what I’ve felt is one of the most promising and interesting franchises in gaming.

The Pros: 

+Naval combat is so good it could be a stand alone game.

+Impressive graphics and cinematics make for solid presentation.

+A concise (theoretical) ending to the franchise.

+Beautiful and fun hand to hand combat.

The Cons: 

-Story is not friendly to casual franchise fans.

-Terrible loading design.

-Lackluster and shallow missions.

-User interface is needlessly cumbersome.

-New features meant to expand on past games are just tedious and meaningless.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

I’ve had a rather love/hate relationship with the Assassins Creed franchise. For me, it seems to be a never-ending cycle where Ubisoft announces a game that sounds amazing on paper (and looks incredible in trailers!), but when I sit down to play it, a huge amount of small-issues add up to ruin the experience of what should have been an incredible game. Assassins Creed 3 (AC3) managed to once again follow this trend. I guess they get points for consistency.

Hybrid [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Hybrid takes your typical third person shooter, turns it on its head, adds a jetpack and says go at. While it certainly carries a unique and refreshing twist on the genre, Hybrid's fast pace gameplay is not for everyone. Not to mention the lack of single player... Sup with dat? If you're a run and gun shooter fan, this game is for you.

The Pros: 

- Cover to cover warfare provides a unqiue flare to the third person genre

- The multiplayer map interface awards players with bonus experience

- Delivers all the basic game modes a multiplayer game should

- 3 on 3 action keeps the intensity on high

The Cons: 

- Lobby finder takes forever to locate a game

- No story mode

- Fast pace gameplay is not for everyone

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Hybrid is some crazy stuff... and after playing it sporadically over the past week I'm still trying to figure out if that's a good or bad thing.

5th Cell, the team behind the awesome, if you think it, you can make it, Scribblenauts, took the idea of a third person shooter and changed it as we know it. Is it ground breaking? Meh. Is it unique? Hell yeah!

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Ghost Recon Future Soldier takes the core concepts of the Clancy franchise of games, and in particular Advanced Warfighter, then speeds everything up. The political intrigue and complex plot-lines involving world powers playing covert games behind the scenes are still there, with a much more fluid and quick-feeling gameplay. Fans of Tom Clancy will appreciate the themes of the game, while gamers in general will appreciate how fluid everything feels now.

The Pros: 

+The speed of the gameplay has been greatly improved and feels more fluid.

+The toys offered by the game, flying drones, magnetic vision, EMP grenades, etc. are a lot of fun.

+Gun Smith mode should be the new benchmark in video game weapon customization.

The Cons: 

-The multiplayer is extremely niche, requiring a specific kind of gamer-mentality to be enjoyed.

-Kinect features feel a little tacked on and still have that ‘novelty’ feel.

-The story has a tendency to be lost in the game’s more fast-paced/action oriented style.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

I think my love of shooters in general is pretty well known by this point. Generally speaking if there’s an action/shooter than needs to get the ‘professional opinion’ on Shogun Gamer, it’s something that’s slid across my desk. What a lot of people probably don’t know though is that I’m an even bigger fan of the sub-genre of ‘tactical shooter’. I’ve been following along with game series like Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon since their inception. Rainbow Six still has my favorite moments in gaming, of all time.

Diablo III [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Diablo III is what I would personally consider a solid ‘meets expectations’. It does exactly what’s expected of it, which was, to be fair, a lot. However, the whole thing feels a little ‘safe’ and doesn’t push the franchise as far as Blizzard managed to go with their other game series, in specific StarCraft II.  

The Pros: 

+The game scales well, meaning almost anyone can play it.

+The inclusion of Nightmare, Hell, Inferno and the Hardcore Mode mean there’s plenty of options for replay.

+Each character is unique and viable. Everyone has opportunity to develop a character to their play style that’s fun and personalized.

+The multiplayer experience is seamless, jumping between games to meet up with friends is not only easy, but elemental. 

The Cons: 

-The story of the game is pretty short at around 6 hours.

-A lot of the game’s features are cribbed from either previous iterations of the franchise, or Blizzards library of other games.

-Everything feels a little ‘safe’ no boundaries felt like they were pushed or even tested. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Let’s be honest, the ‘dungeon crawler’ genre has become kind of over-saturated at this point. For years now, 16 of them in fact, people have been doing what they can to capture a little bit of the magic that Blizzard unleashed on the world with the original Diablo games. Now, 11 years after the release of the franchise’s last bit of content (Lords of Destruction) we finally have a true successor to the game that defined ‘dungeon crawler’ and the hype surrounding the game has been surreal. Does it, however, meet with the lofty expectations that we’d set for the game ourselves?

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