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Gears of War Ultimate Edition [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

You never know what to expect when you revisit an older game; especially one that's almost a decade old. Many games don't tend to age well, either because of its aged graphics or dated mechanics. Suffice it to say, the original Gears of War finally gets the remake treatment 9 years later and I'm quite surprised. Not only by how well the game has held up after all these years but with how fun it was to revisit Marcus and shoot some Locust; all with a new coat of paint to put it over the top.

The Pros: 

+60 FPS multiplayer

+The Cole Train credit song is intact

+A slew of small but important improvements

+Previously PC exclusive maps and campaign levels are included

+New multiplayer progression system

The Cons: 

-The odd glitch and bugs

-Some purists might not like all the 'improvements' and changes in multiplayer

-Only multiplayer is 60FPS, not campaign.

 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Gears

Her Story [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Sam Barlow's latest deconstruction of narrative is a game by necessity. It expertly leaves just enough of the story and mechanics to player imagination while capitalizing on the best that the adventure-genre has to offer. It uses familiar visual vocabulary without falling into the trappings of contemporary game design. Her Story manipulates time and space as deftly as the best works in any medium and never overstays it's welcome. It is a must-play for mystery fans, adventure game fans, FMV fans, or people just looking for something fresh.

The Pros: 

+Excellently integrated interface design
+Wonderful FMV acting
+A compelling mystery
+Short and sweet

The Cons: 

-The story can be intimidating to parse
-It can be easy to get lost
-There aren't many others like it
-Silent Hill: Shattered Memories wasn't a huge success

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

People of a certain age or fondness for game history are familiar with the text parser - adventure games were built around them in the early days. Being thrown into a world where all you had was a rudimentary text input interface and your imagination is what made adventure games so compelling.

Batman: Arkham Knight [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Arkham Knight feels like an intelligent evolution of a franchise that is probably one chapter too long (looking at you Origins). Being The Batman has never been as deep or as interesting, thanks to the best story line in the franchise history. Unfortunately, the over-extension of the franchise means that Rocksteady has had to clutter the gameplay a little too much to keep things continuously fresh for the Dark Knight and at the end of the day a great story is weighed down with the clutter of too many attempts to iterate on their classic gameplay and fighting mechanics.

The Pros: 

+The best Batman story to date. 
+The Batmobile is a blast and makes getting around the expansive game map a breeze. 
+Rocksteady has the balls to pull the trigger on a bunch of major story changes.
+Gotham has never looked sexier.

The Cons: 

-Constant additions to the fight mechanics make brawls a little cluttered. 
-Overuse of the "Bat Tank" ruins what would have otherwise been one of the best evolutions of the franchise.
-Bat Tank fights feel out of place and constantly grind the story to a hault.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

One of the biggest issues that I’ve had with the gaming experience, especially within the last few years, is the fact that very few developers are willing to take risks. Rocksteady, with their latest installment of the Batman/Arkham franchise, has just proven that they have some of the biggest balls in the industry to date.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

It's not without its minor issues, but you'll continually be impressed either by the writing, voice acting, setting, combat, or freedom that you'll forget the trivial issues and immerse yourself in one of the most captivating games to date. There's going to have to be something amazing to release this year to dethrone The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from Game of the Year 2015 status in my opinion.

The Pros: 

+Top notch writing and voice acting
+Visuals are absolutely stunning
+Side quests have meaning and are written incredibly well
+Hundreds of hours of gameplay
+Gwent is an amazing distraction and very addictive

The Cons: 

-Movement can feel stiff and awkward
-Random smaller bugs
-Gwent isn't purchasable in physical for

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

The Witcher 2 was my Game of the Year for 2012, so to say that I had very high expectations for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, would be putting it mildly. I'm happy to report that not only have they lived up to expectations, but vastly succeeded them and improved on many facets from Geralt's previous outing. New hardware has released since the last time we played with Geralt, so needless to say, CD Projeckt Red has made great use from the new hardware and is pushing them to the limits on console.

Slow Down, Bull [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Created by only five people from a renowned AAA console game studio, Slow Down, Bull is an adorable title suited for a younger audience and their first entry into PC gaming. Controlling a bull with a temper problem collecting art decorations might not sound like your dream game from the people who made Ratchet and Clank, Resistance, and Sunset Overdrive, but they are donating half of the proceeds to charity and the game itself is only a few bucks on Steam. Even with its awkward controls and frustrating level design, it would be a game for a family to enjoy together who don't game often and want to feel good knowing part of their purchase is going to a good cause.

The Pros: 

+Very colorful and cute art style
+New challenges constantly being introduced
+50% of proceeds go to charity

The Cons: 

-Awkward and stiff controls
-Random difficulty spikes

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

Esteban the bull doesn't like to become stressed out, so it's your job to help him collect the art decorations he wants but without stressing him out and making him loose his cool. You'll control Esteban across 5 different areas, each with multiple levels, in search of beautiful art decorations that he can use to create and share his art. Slow Down, Bull is created by a small group of people at Insomniac Games, best known for Ratchet and Clank, Resistance, and Sunset Overdrive and may seem like an odd title for their foray into PC gaming.

Neverwinter Xbox One [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The popular free to play MMO on PC for the past two years finally lands on Xbox One and is much better than expected. Yes it has flaws and is essentially a console-ized version of the PC version, but it is a great experience and is completely free for anyone to play (Xbox Live required). It’s very simple to ease into and understand but has depth and an endgame, with more content on its way, and surely almost something for everyone, even if you’re not an MMO veteran. Neverwinter is a great first step for MMO’s on Xbox One and if other MMO’s come that are similar in quality and content, I would be very happy. 

The Pros: 

+It’s FREE
+A true MMO on Xbox One
+Incorporates your Xbox Live friends list for easy party and group invites
+Smartglass and USB keyboard support
+Feels natural on a controller

The Cons: 

-Cash shop prices are quite expensive
-Massive framerate issues
-Convoluted and confusing currencies

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

It’s almost Neverwinter’s two-year anniversary on PC and us Xbox One owners now to get to enjoy basically the same game finally on our TV and couch. These days if an MMO can not only stay alive, but thrive, then they’re doing something right, and Neverwinter doesn’t seem to be losing any steam, especially considering they’re about to drop their newest mod (expansion) for free, for PC players that is. Why am I mentioning the PC version of Neverwinter?

Review: Battlefield Hardline

Overall Feeling: 

Battlefield is known for being a military shooter but Hardline is looking to change all of that by completely shifting the setting and tone of the game to the tried-and-true Cops versus Robbers instead. Even traditional Battlefield game modes for multiplayer have been tweaked to make for a new experience, and while longtime fans of the series might be thrown off initially, give it a chance and you'll most likely think Hardline is the good cop instead of the bad one. 

The Pros: 

+Hotwire Mode is very refreshing and a fun twist on Conquest.
+The Cops vs Robbers campaign is a great new angle instead of world factions against each other.
+New weapon unlocking progression is money-based instead of rank and time sinks.

The Cons: 

-The 'flash your badge' mechanic in campaign works seldom when needed and seems silly at times.
-No big memorable set pieces for the campaign.
-Campaign tries to force you to play it as a stealth game instead of a true Battlefield.
-Aside from a few campaign sections, Hardline doesn't look current-gen at all.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Best known as a militaristic shooter, Battlefield Hardline changes the formula completely, which can be a little jarring at first but eventually welcomed once you learn its offerings and simply accept it. The multiplayer is once again present and easily the biggest piece of Hardline that will keep you playing, but the campaign also returns with a much smaller scale story instead of world factions fighting it out across the globe. Visceral Games has dramatically changed Battlefield's setting and tone, but the core multiplayer gameplay still feels like a Battlefield at its heart.

Evolve [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Evolve has the unfortunate feeling of being a part of a game. While the concept is fully realized, and there's plenty of gameplay hours, character diversity, and maps/modes to explore... it will always feel like a multiplayer-only disc release like this is lacking, perhaps thanks to the release of Team Fortress 2 in the Orange Box.

The Pros: 

+Interesting and original game-play style
+Diverse character roster
+Well balanced gameplay
+Awesome character design (monsters and hunters alike!)

The Cons: 

-Limited appeal that will drop off quickly over time
-Feels like it's lacking real "meat" to the overall package

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

The concept of a 4-v-1 multiplayer game-style is something that I just happen to find exciting. It's doubly interesting for me when you throw in a class-based shooter system, where the 4 that are working against the 1 are forced to play complementary roles. Team-based gameplay at its finest, if you ask me. When Evolve was announced, and I heard we could not only have all of that, but got to play as a big bad-ass monster, I was totally sold.

Dying Light [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Dying Light is a natural evolution of the first-person zombie-survival genre that Techland created with 2011's Dead Island. It will remain, for the foreseeable future, as the best argument for a developer ditching the chains of an established franchise and trying something new (even if it is in the same realm/genre).

The Pros: 

+Smooth Gameplay
+Impressive Graphics
+Intelligent Advancement of the Genre
+Slick Movement and Game Mechanics

The Cons: 

-"Unique" Controls Serve Only to Confuse
-The Story Ends Up Being a Bit Bland and Predictable

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

I was a pretty big fan of Dead Island. When it first dropped, I was under the impression it was going to be nothing more than a cool concept, and one of the best game trailers ever released. However, the prospect of surviving a zombie outbreak in the first-person, building and maintaining your own catalogue of weapons, and being able to bash zombie-brains with a friend or three ended up being one of the more enjoyable experiences I had in 2011.

Broken Age: Episode One [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

As a lifelong fan of both point and click adventures, and Tim Schafer, I had some pretty high expectations for Broken Age; probably too high. I went into my first playthrough expecting to be at least a little bit disappointed based on my unreasonable expectations, but it never happened. Double Fine has crafted an amazing experience that feels so close to the games I remember playing growing up, while still feeling like it belongs in the modern gaming world. The writing is brilliantly witty, a little dark, and in ways I can’t explain without going into spoilers, very clever. It’s not going to win over gamers who want non-stop action, and explosions (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I can’t recommend this game enough to anyone who is looking for a good story, and some laughs.

The Pros: 

+ Stylistic art makes every scene a joy to look at.
+ Witty writing creates some real laugh out loud moments.
+ A fantastic cast of voice actors brings every character to life.

The Cons: 

- Some visual glitches litter the game.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Since Double Fine launched their Kickstarter campaign back in February of 2012, Broken Age, Previously known as Double Fine Adventure, has had a fair amount of hype surrounding it. Being one of the largest Kickstarter campaigns ever, and the highest funded Kickstarter game at the time, Broken Age had a lot to live up to. Though the game has been split up into two episodes with only the first being available right now, signs are good that we are not being let down.

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