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Hard Corps: Uprising [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Hard Corps is a grueling, 2D, side-scrolling, bullet-hell of a shoot-'em-up and exactly what the Xbox Live Arcade needs. In a world of gamers gone soft, it is incredibly unforgiving in a way that makes you appreciate each step of the journey that you're able to complete.

The Pros: 

+Solid game mechanics

+Multiplayer Online/Offline

+Ability to upgrade your character's abilities/weapons through Uprising Mode

+Strong sense of accomplishment for any progress in the game

The Cons: 

-Very high learning curve

-Not a whole lot of help with the platforming

-Difficult for someone to jump into

-Not a game with 'wide-appeal'

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

The one good thing about the over-saturation of video game/movie titles has become that there is truth in advertising these days. Starting back with Snakes On A Plane, the necessity to start naming media based on what it is, rather than a really super-cool sounding title with no attachment has become more and more prevalent. Still though, there are periods in time when a catch title can lead one to question what is in store.

Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Removing of the individuality of "the jumping-less platformer" hinders the game in a major way, though the addition of co-op and new challenge levels do go a long way to repair an otherwise mediocre game.

The Pros: 

+The swing mechanic is still fun and satisfying +Co-op is a lot of fun, and winds up being the best way to play +Challenge modes provide that need for competition and self-improvement

The Cons: 

-Adding jump removes the originality of the concept -Additional pick-ups (weapons and upgrades) feel pretty much useless -Boss battles are pretty bland and slow

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
5

Back in 2008 Capcom did me a solid and revamped the classic Bionic Commando, added achievements, and let me download it on the Xbox 360. It’s always been one of those titles that I had a warm affiliation for, and rendering it into 3D art, providing new challenge modes, and providing an option to relive the classic NES platform’s hay-day proved the concept still worked in the modern era. The idea of someone taking a big leap like removing jumping from a platforming side-scroller was mind-blowing. Having the ability to do it again in 2008 and still rope me in, even bigger of a revelation.

Dead Rising 2: Case West [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Case West is a solid game that's packaged at just the right size. It melds camp with semi-serious story telling the same interesting way that the other games did, and the buddy-action-flick relationship between heavy-hitters Frank West and Chuck Greene turns out to be pretty damn awesome.

The Pros: 

+Perfect Length
+Same fun gameplay
+Co-op with two heavy hitters
+Great sense of humor

The Cons: 

-Very easy to plow through in one sitting
-Doesn't seem to link with DR2 too much

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

 

Just under the wire Capcom/Blue Castle has released their second book-end to their second instalment of the Dead Rising franchise. Dead Rising 2: Case West is the third instalment for Dead Rising 2, and features both previous games protagonists: DR2’s Chuck Greene, and DR1’s Frank West. Along with new weapons, a new story, a new location, and the same unique game-play that built the franchise Case West incorporates a bit of the ol’ photography game-play that was dropped after the first game.

Hydrophobia [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Hydrophobia gets a much deserved shot at redemption thanks to the Pure patch, and thankfully the core issues the game had have been fixed and the game is a blast to play. Delving into a destroyed ship overrun by water, fire and electrical hazards provides an experience that I hadn’t experience in a game before, yes that even includes BioShock. While Hydrophobia still has a few issues concerning level variety, how many puzzles are present and a somewhat one-note story, the game has incredible promise and thanks to the fixes made by developer Dark Energy Digital the game is more than playable and is one of the more enjoyable games to be offered on XBLA.

The Pros: 

Water effects are really fluid and feel quite natural at times, even if they sometimes look a bit gelatinous in a way. Using the water to solve puzzles or kill enemies is cool and allowed me to think out of the box in a few scenarios. The action in the levels and their length is rather brisk and the overall length of the game on a first play session is perfect for the price of 800 MS points.

The Cons: 

The story is there but things don’t feel like they’re pushed as much as they could’ve been, even if you look at the game as merely Chapter 1 of a bigger tale. Would like if the designs of the Malthusians were more diverse and there were more enemy types. The levels are designed in a nice fashion, but there’s not enough variety to the world as it’s just one industrial room after another. Would’ve been nice if there were more puzzles instead of merely activating switches or unlocking doors.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

When a game comes out it’s pretty much over and done with.  In the eyes of gamers once a product is on the shelves or placed on the imaginary shelf space that digital services offer, there’s not much else one can do.  Developers can definitely fine tune things via patching, but at times we only get minimal improvements or we see such a thing used as a crutch for developers who either don’t know what they’re doing or were far too incompetent to realize that there were major issues that needed to be addressed originally.  But now we find ourselves in an interesting scenario as

Dead Rising 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

A fun feeling "Sunday" game. Casual, laid back, not particularly engaging or in-depth, but a whole heck of a lot of fun to mess around in.

The Pros: 

Fun gameplay. Improved weapon system, with combination weapon creation system. Co-op addition from the previous title. Online multiplayer (aka free in-game money). Big, crazier world in which to wreak havoc.

The Cons: 

Same restrictive time-sensitive mission structure of the previous game. Restrictive, manual save feature that will have you cursing out your Xbox/PS3/PC at least once or twice.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

The original Dead Rising game was one that I wound up having a bit of a love/hate relationship with. While I love the “core” idea of hacking through hordes of zombies – specifically within the confines of a mall – the idea of having to abide by a time restriction throughout the game, and constantly saving to ensure you maintain your progress did irk me something fierce.

Borderlands: Claptrap's New Robot Revolution DLC [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Claptrap's New Robot Revolution offers a bittersweet
goodbye to a well enjoyed game that delivers the usual dose of offbeat humor mixed in with hours of treasure hunter's fun.

The Pros: 

New areas to explore, wacky Claptrap humor, weapon looting never gets old.

The Cons: 

Should had more new original enemies rather than re-using most of the previous enemies, a reminder of how tedious this game can get when playing single player only, really short play-through.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Claptrap's New Robot Revolution DLC is Borderlands' swan song and as nice it would had been to say that the game closes out with a bang, it doesn't but come pretty damn close. The last DLC brings us back to Pandora and stars the one wheeled comedians known as Claptraps.

Halo: Reach [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

It's like all the pieces that Bungie has been building over the years finally came together. With all the options for changing the game that players are provided, this is a title that you could get YEARS of enjoyment out of.

The Pros: 

Best story from the Halo-verse yet. Most engaging characters so far. Unparalleled level of customization, both for games and characters. Addictive and fun gameplay. Most comprehensive Halo multiplayer ever. "Psych profile" feature actually pairs you with like-minded gamers!

The Cons: 

If you really truly find yourself needing more than what this game provides you are spoiled. This is the reason you can't have nice things.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

Though I’ve played through virtually every Halo title (I took a pass on Halo: Wars like three missions in but that doesn’t really even count right?) I’m not exactly what you’d call a “fan” of the series. Halo and I have had a bit of back and forth; some games tickled me while others left me feeling more than a little disappointed. Know that Bungie was stepping up to the plate for one last swing at gaming nirvana though; I knew Reach was going to be something special.

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. 

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.

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