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3DS

Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

There's no doubt that Puzzle & Dragons is addictive, but there's also a lot of substance behind it. Sometimes that substance is over-bearing and intimidating, but underneath is a very polished, very satisfying character-driven puzzle game that I can safely say has earned it's place on my 3DS next to other classics like Pokemon Puzzle Challenge. Some people will get more mileage out of it than others, even between the two different versions included in this package, but it's perfect for pick-up-and-play sessions at any time of day for any skill level.

The Pros: 

+Excellent foundational puzzle mechanics
+A mountain of content that will keep you busy for ages
+Charming localization that has a lot of fun
+A great transposition of a mobile game onto a dedicated system

The Cons: 

-A lot of bells and whistles that can get in the way for people who just want puzzles
-An unadventurous use of the Mario license
-Some unappealing animations and graphic designs
-Numbers everywhere all the time. So many stats. So many things -Everything explodes in a flurry of colour and light. Rainbows have lost all meaning to me.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Originally designed as a mobile game by GungHo, the Puzzle and Dragons franchise has dominated a huge portion of the market share for fans of puzzles and also fans of dragons in Japan. It's free-to-play model and RPG mechanics have secured its place on the phones of millions of people. But far too often we're reminded that mobile and console game design don't always work on the same wavelengths. Can a fresh coat of Mario-themed paint and a 2-games-in-1 deal make this retail release worth diving into?

The New 3DS XL [Hardware Review]

Overall Feeling: 

If you're someone who puts a lot of time into their 3DS library as is, the New 3DS XL is a pretty worthwhile upgrade. While the differences between the new console and the 3DS XL are pretty minimal, they are super handy. The face-tracking 3D makes a huge difference. I'm sure that when New 3DS-specific software comes out we'll see some good use from the additional shoulder buttons and right thumbstick. If you're like me and still rocking the original 3DS regularly though, I wholly advise you to go and get one right now and then maybe play some Mario Kart with me.

The Pros: 

+ Massively improved face-tracking 3D makes slight movement during gameplay a reality
+ New right thumbstick-nipple for sexy romps and additional controls
+ Improved battery life means you can play with the thumbstick-nipple for even longer during those lonely nights
+ Additional shoulder buttons that might be implemented in a game someday
+ Amiibo support
+ Did I mention nipples

The Cons: 

- Due to comparable specs, might not be a worthwhile investment for current 3DS XL owners
- It is not packaged with a charger, which is a detriment to new owners
- SD card slot not super easily accessible

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

The eternal burning question: should you upgrade your console hardware? What if the new system isn’t really even “next-gen”? What upgrades do you get? What new games are immediately available for it? Has the string of questions become annoying yet? Should I stop? I’ll stop.

Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Majora's Mask 3D is a beautifully remastered port of one of the best entries in the Zelda series. Along with a fresh coat of rendering come fluidly redone animations, fresh takes on boss battles, and the same time-based, mask-swapping, side-questing gameplay that you either loved or hated the first time around.

The Pros: 

+Beautifully re-rendered
+Thankfully, minimal touch-screen integration
+New twists on boss battles, so you have something new to figure out
+Gameplay transfers very well to the 3DS, much like Ocarina of Time 3D
+There's a fishing mini-game. Bitches love fishing mini-games

The Cons: 

-For a die-hard fan, some changes might be annoying
-Fluid camera controls only work with a Circle Pad Pro
-Streamlined Bomber's Notebook now mangled to incorporate any and all quests; storyline based or not

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

I have historically been a massive fan of Majora's Mask. To take something like the Legend of Zelda and steep it in death, darkness and mystery was tantalizing to me, and the ominous sense of foreboding it had against Ocarina of Time's straightforward dungeon-crawling Zelda-ness was so different. I don't fight people who say they couldn't get past the time-constraint gameplay, because it was actually always a gimmick that I hated, too.

Fantasy Life [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Level-5 has built a fairly typical cutesy RPG with a fun new twist - find your calling and take up a job, buy and decorate (and redecorate) your house and create your own goods-based trading system with your friends as you progress through an unfortunately non-interactive story with a talking butterfly by your side. The very same-y feeling of the more standard inclusions in this game are contrasted against what happens to be an excellent gameplay system where you can, if you so choose, beat the bad guy and save the world as a powerful Paladin or a humble Cook.  These aspects create a surprisingly addictive yet easy to put down portable RPG.

The Pros: 

+Surprisingly fun and addictive blue-collar job system
+No job limitations - pick up as many as you want
+Classically adorable Level 5 design
+Online multiplayer encourages turning your craft into an entrepreneurship
+Very detailed character customization when making your avatar

The Cons: 

-Story is very typical dialogue is fluffy
-Combat classes pointless at start of game
-Story missions almost non-interactive

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Over the years, Level-5 has sat on the throne for a very niche concept - build an otherwise typical game and throw in just the right gimmick or twist to make you never want to put your controller down. From Dark Cloud 2's crafting system to Professor Layton's ...Layton-ness, to building a neat RPG concept and then having Studio-freaking-Ghibli animate your cutscenes, this studio has been aces at developing fun and unique games for all audiences.  Once in a while, a portion of the game has to suffer for innovation.

Super Smash Bros. 3DS [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Smash Bros. 3DS may not even ATTEMPT a reinvention of the wheel with the latest iteration of the fan-favourite... but it at least devotes a noticable amount of effort into shining everything up nice and pretty like for the 3DS debut of the ridiculously hype cross-brand fighter. That being said, avoid the 3D feature at all costs.

The Pros: 

+Massive cross-brand character roster
+Solid Play Controls
+Full featured game, with plenty of new modes/items
+Fantastic attention to detail

The Cons: 

-Insanely obnoxious 3D
-Inherent feel of missing something, due to the time-gap with the Wii U version
-Poor platform choice for a 'serious' fighter

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Luigi's Mansion 2: Dark Moon

Overall Feeling: 

Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon is a “Summer Blockbuster” of a video game. While you don’t walk away with anything of substance or any real lasting effect from the game, the enjoyment you get out of it is worth the cost of admission. As long as you’re not expecting deep game play, character development, or a compelling story-line, you’re sure to be happy with this particular 3DS purchase.

The Pros: 

+Fun and interesting game play

+Unique combat mechanic that never really gets old

+Inventive boss battles beyond the “hit me three times in the weak-spot” tedium

The Cons: 

-3D doesn’t really add anything to the game

-Some progression of Luigi would have been nice (he’s still terrified of his own shadow after clearing multiple mansions?)

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Luigi has been a character that’s lived in his brother, Mario’s shadow for nearly three decades now. Sure, he’s had the odd outing of his own, most notably Mario’s Missing and Luigi’s Mansion, but at the top of this year Shigeru Miyamoto promised us this would be Luigi’s year. The focus, for once, is on the perpetual “player 2” this year, and it begins with a sequel to what is (easily) the best game that Luigi has ever stared in: Luigi’s Mansion.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The sticker gimmick seems to run dry pretty quickly in this not-RPG follow up in the Paper Mario universe; however, it does have its good points, and would be a worthwhile purchase if not for its full-release $44.99 price tag.

The Pros: 

+Sticker gimmick is cool when using it to solve puzzles

+Graphically very nice-looking

The Cons: 

-Touch screen is very under-used

-3D gets boring for the style

-Sticker gimmick gets very old quickly for everything except puzzles

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the 3DS is, in two words, vastly underwhelming. The core concept, which might have been very cool, was jumbled and confused in spite of its simplicity: it's not an RPG, but it retains a turn-based battle system; it's a platformer with a turn-based battle system, but it's also a puzzle-solving adventure game at its core; you paste stickers on everything but you don't even use the touch screen to do so, instead relying on the analog stick or D-pad.

Code of Princess [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Code of Princess tries very hard to recapture the spirit and charm of its spiritual predecessor, Guardian Heroes, but ultimately fails to provide the same fast-paced, tight experience that it tries to emulate. There are rumblings of a greater game underneath the sluggish, frustrating combat that Code of Princess provides, but these never quite resonate, and remain buried under poor design choices.

The Pros: 

+ Fun, quirky characters

+ Robust combat system with a lot of room for personalized combos

The Cons: 

- Action feels sluggish and unrewarding

- Grinding is necessary to come close to scratching the game’s harder encounters

- Visuals are stunning up close, but drop in quality drastically when more than three enemies appear on-screen

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
4

A legacy is a double-edged sword. For a game with a great legacy, there’s a good chance that gamers will be into your concept based solely on a name drop. Conversely, if your game isn’t a worthy successor to a beloved classic, chances are it’ll get more flak than a bomber flying over France circa WWII.

Mario Tennis Open [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Mario Tennis Open is one of those things that might be a hard sell to your friends, but for those that give it the chance, it will utterly consume you. The game play is some simple and addictive that it’s easy to lose days completing the game’s tournaments and mini-game challenges under the guise of short form gaming that continually has you bargaining for ‘just one more round’.  

The Pros: 

+Simple, addictive gaming.

+The bright, colourful cast of Mario characters that we’ve all come to know and love.

+Plenty of options for modifying your character, unlockables to collect/buy and challenges to pit yourself against.

The Cons: 

-The traditional character-specific ‘super shots’ have been removed in favour of reaction-based skill-shots.

-3D really doesn’t add much, and its generally better kept to off (if you want to make a real go of things in the later levels). 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

 

Kid Icarus: Uprising [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

If someone had once asked me what franchise I’d like to see return (even if you were to go as specific as asking for Nintendo only) Kid Icarus is not a title I would have picked. It is not something I have a personal affinity for, but having played the newest iteration of the franchise, I’m glad that there were enough people out there crying for more Pit-centric action that this game got made. 

The Pros: 

+The control scheme works!

+There is a lot of fun to be had, both in the sky and on land.

+The voice acting is awesome, Pit is legitimately entertaining.

+There are so many additional features to the game that it's hard to even name them all.  

The Cons: 

-The multiplayer is lacking the polish of the single-player.

-The AR card integration feels like little more than a cash-grab.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Honestly, Kid Icarus: Uprising wasn’t a title that I would have considered “on my radar” until about two weeks ago at GDC when I finally spent some time with it. The idea of another re-hash (as epic as that first teaser trailer at E3 was) didn’t really get its hooks into me from the jump. It took actually going hands-on with the completed version of the game to see why fans were excited to see a return to this ancient franchise that would have been all-but forgotten if not for Pit’s return in Smash Brothers.

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