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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?

Prototype 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

I know I’ll catch flack for the amount of times I make this reference, if not from the publisher directly than from the readership, but this is Hulk Ultimate Destruction all over again and I’m pretty okay with it. The game is all about massive, senseless destruction, and it’s done well. The ability to tear a helicopter in two never gets old, and there’s plenty of ways to mix-and-match the violence through concepts like tearing weapons off tanks and attack choppers to keep things fluid, and cause ridiculous amounts of explosions and death.

The Pros: 

+The scope of the destruction is nearly unparalleled, and something I’ve been sorely missing in gaming for a while now.

+The amount of options presented for messing things up, and making it look cool are absolutely stunning.

+The revenge story of the game is a classic one, and the concept of making the original game’s protagonist the villain in part 2 excites me on many nerd-levels. 

The Cons: 

-The story gets a little convoluted by the time the ‘villain’ of the story is recast for the third time.

-There are two moves in the game that over-power all others, rendering anything else you might conceive of using useless.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Remember back in 2005 when Radical created the single best Hulk game of all time? Ultimate Destruction was a fantastic game because it allowed you to wreak ungodly amounts of destruction upon a city swarming with innocent civilians and a never-ending tidal wave of US army troops that would never, ever give up on their futile attempts to stop you. It was one of the best examples of a game just being pure, mindless fun, and time and time again I’ve had discussions with my friends regarding a potential sequel to that game.

The Walking Dead [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

AMC’s adaptation of The Walking Dead is a hard sell because it turned the genre of zombie films over on its head. In the same way that the concept of a human drama back-lit by the zombie apocalypse might confuse/bore people jumping into a series (who were likely expecting more action/slaughter) it’s hard to describe what exactly makes Telltale’s video game adaptation magical to nerds like myself who get off on player interaction and debate. 

The Pros: 

+The twist Telltale put on the zombie survival game genre is nothing short of magic.

+The world is filled with characters who truly come alive through your interaction with them (minus the zombies of course).

+Telltale has provided a companion piece to a TV series that, for once, manages to capture the tone and concept of the original source material.

The Cons: 

-Chapter 1 is far, far too short for my liking. It can be wrapped inside of two hours. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

I think that we can all agree that zombies, as a whole, have kind of reached their critical mass in terms of being ‘a thing.’ They’ve always been around, but in the last couple of years their popularity has surged to a point where a game without zombies in it seems almost as obscene as a game without multiplayer. It’s a fiercely competitive genre right now, with no shortage of options for how it can be represented… and honestly, I thought we’d seen it all, but Telltale’s take, based on the world of the Walking Dead, has brought something entirely new to the table: the human angle.

Trials Evolution [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Trials Evolution takes the simple concept of riding a motorcycle though a series of obstacles and elevates it to frustrating and satisfying new heights. There’s a great wealth of content here, from a lengthy single player career, to online multiplayer and one of the most robust track editors ever. Aside from some minor issues with gated progress and an overdramatic camera, Trials Evolution stands as one of the most addicting games available on the Xbox Live marketplace.

The Pros: 

+ Great locales and level design

+ Track editor provides infinite content

+ Simple, addictive gameplay is easy to learn, hard to master

The Cons: 

- Extremely frustrating at times

- Learning curve is solid up through Medium difficulty, but rises sharply thereafter

- Gated progress means replaying tracks for better times and fault counts 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

According to the best times posted for Way of the Ninja, one of the Extreme difficulty tracks in RedLynx’s Trials Evolution, the ride should only take about two minutes. It’s just a trip around a short racetrack with some obstacles scattered between the goal and I. Fifteen minutes later, I’m given the warning that I can only fault 250 more times before I automatically fail. That means I’ve faulted about as many times already, and I’m still only on the second jump.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition

Overall Feeling: 

CD Projekt Red brings their savage, gritty, and mature title: The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings to the 360 in their console debut.  All the amazing and intricate things that made this fantasy RPG one of the best games last year on the PC are here on the 360 in full stride.  Controls feel very fluid and combat is more fun than ever. The intriguing political story will have RPG fans new to the series invested right from the start, and will give players who are revisiting it satisfaction with the new elements that were added in the Enhanced Edition.  The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings is one of the best titles I have played so far this year.

The Pros: 

+Fantastic story with intriguing plotlines and characters

+Terrific and rewarding combat system

+The use of the 360 controller feels even smoother than when you could use it on the PC version

+New cut scenes are very cool and help guide the story

+Holds nothing back on its mature rating.

+Years into the 360’s lifespan it takes advantage of both discs and the visuals are great

The Cons: 

-Clunky menu navigation that they should have fixed when moving to a console

-Some long loading times (when installed on your hard drive it helps a lot)

-Some voice actors are not on par with other terrific ones

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

I was a big fan of CD Projekt Red and their game The Witcher back in 2007.  So when the sequel was announced a couple of years ago for PC’s I was very excited.  Then I heard about how amazing the brand new engine was they made themselves, and that it would take a powerful PC to run it.  I was less thrilled then, since at the time I had not updated my PC for a few years and knew it was not going to work by any means. 

Fable Heroes [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Lionhead Studios put in a valiant effort towards breathing new life into their RPG series Fable. While its charm shines through in character design, it’s overshadowed by repetitive and simple minded gameplay.  This is defiantly made for the gaming impaired... namely kids. Hardcore Fable fans tread lightly.

The Pros: 

+Lionhead succefully crafted both charming characters and a vibrant world

The Cons: 

-Repetitive gameplay leaves this title dead in the water

-Difficulty progression is none existent 

-Player customization is long and exhausting

-Good and evil decision should have been left on the sidelines

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
4

 

Fable Heroes is a step back from the RPG roots it’s garnered its fame from. Now a 4-player beat ‘em up, players cross the universe of Fable hacking and slashing through familiar enemies and new ones.  You take the role of a puppet hero from a library of 12 characters. As you finish each world, you’re able to customize your stats, and character appearance. 

Fez [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Fez bends the platforming genre to its will by allowing players to rotate a 3D world and traverse across it as if it were a 2D structure. Along with some relaxing, low-stakes platforming and a focus on collection, Fez features some incredibly complex and demanding puzzles that require some serious attention to detail to solve. This is a game that rewards players according to how deep they want to go, and stands as an example of the level of quality indie games should aspire to.

The Pros: 

+ Perspective-shifting gimmick never gets old

+ Hidden puzzles are challenging and intelligently designed

+ Atmospheric, calm environments are accompanied by a wonderful 8-bit soundtrack

The Cons: 

- Platforming isn’t overly challenging

- Puzzle clues can be impossibly subtle at times

- Occasional slowdown can be a bit disruptive

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Fez, from indie developer Polytron, isn’t an easy game to review. That’s not because it’s bad, disappointing, or polarizing. Fez is a remarkable achievement, and a new touchstone for what indie games can aspire to. It’s difficult to talk about Fez because the less said about the game and its mysteries, the better.

Skullgirls [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Skullgirls is a quirky, fun, and deep 2D fighter with a particularly distinct aesthetic style. With its roots in respected fighters, like Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and BlazBlue, Skullgirls offers a deliberately paced fighting that rewards high-level combo execution and adaptability. The content offered is a little sparse, and the game is a bit unfriendly to new players, but as far as sprite-based 2D fighters go, Skullgirls is a knockout.

The Pros: 

+ All-female cast may seem scarce, but each fighter is unique and fully realized

+ Visual style is daring and evocative

+ Combat system developed and refined by tournament player Mike Z, resulting in some great balance

The Cons: 

- Lacking in content. Most notable omission is a move list for each fighter, a genre standard

- AI is brutal, even on lower settings

- Steep learning curve for new players, even compared to other modern fighters

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Creating a fighting game isn’t easy. All it takes is one balance issue or design flaw to turn an entire community against your best efforts. This goes double for indie fighters, which generally lack the tuning and quality control necessary to be accepted by one of the most rabid and hard-to-please fan bases in the industry.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City offers a really interesting concept by casting aside traditional survival horror elements for a squad-based 3rd person shooter. Playing as the bad guys during the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3 could have made for a memorable title, but the poor gunplay, control issues, and overall lack of excitement make for a rather dull single player campaign. The multiplayer fares slightly better, but it’s not enough to bring Operation Raccoon City up to an acceptable level.

The Pros: 

+ Great premise and setting

+ Provides an interesting side story to Resident Evil 2 and 3’s events

+ Heroes mode is an interesting take on classic team deathmatch gameplay

The Cons: 

- Too focused on co-op, which hurts the single player campaign

- Guns feel underpowered, which makes the shooting pretty stale

- Melee combat system lets opponents juggle you endlessly or kill you instantly

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
5

For a venerable Japanese company like Capcom, it’s a risky proposition to hand off one of your franchises to a Western developer. You could get lucky and end up with another Dead Rising 2, but pick the wrong studio, and something more like the 2009 version of Bionic Commando may be in store.

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