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Trine 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Trine 2's simple concepts, easy controls, goregous graphics and quirky humor provide that 'fun for all ages' feeling that is often refered to on the back of the box, but rarely ever captures.

The Pros: 

+Beautiful art work.

+Quirky sense of humor.

+Great use of co-op

+'Short and sweet' story campaign.

The Cons: 

-Playing in multiplayer, only Player 1 can purchase upgrades for his team.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

While the site went in a bit of a ‘black out’ mode over the holiday seasons, believe it or not, video games continued to be released. One of them was a game that I was eagerly anticipating, but didn’t manage to get around to until the new year.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an Action-RPG.  That's not to say that the RPG elements are weakened like most others are, as a matter of fact, the game screams a traditional western-RPG and holds nothing back about its depth considering character management and story. I say Action-RPG because it's one of the only games in recent memory where one gameplay mechanic is just as strong as the other, and KOAR's combat is an absolute blast. This last bit actually broke my brain for the first few hours into the experience; the thought that I could have a game that delivers a true RPG experience and offer fun, fast, and challenging combat did not compute, but I am sure glad it came along, and if you are looking for game that has bang for its buck this year that you can spends enormous amounts of time on, you will be too.

The Pros: 

+ An interesting story that brings a lot of lore into a new world

+ Amazing combat that could stand alone as an action game

+ Environments are beautiful with tons of rewarding loot to find

+ Being able to Re-customize your characters stats and look in game

+ Voice acting is truly spectacular

The Cons: 

- Side quests are all rather similar and can start to feel like a tedious single player MMO

- Some of the creature models don’t quite meet the expectations set by the environment

- None of the NPCs really feel like they have a purpose other then to get quests from

- Sometimes during combat the camera angle is not the greatest

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

2011 was one hell of a year for video games.  Platformers, action/adventure, and shooter games and yes, especially RPG's, Game developers on all fronts delivered us hit after hit last year, and even though I found myself running thin on time to take in all of the awesome, I was still very thankful for the high caliber software at my finger tips. So you can see why I felt that the first "big" RPG of 2012 had a lot to live up to.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Easily the most requested/talked about franchise in gaming, people have been clamouring for a sequel to Oblivion since its release in 2006. For the last five years it has been one of the top questions we’ve been asked to relay to developers/publishers at every event/trade-show. “When?” we were asked, time and time again, and now finally we have a successor, and it is every bit worth the wait.

The Pros: 

+Breath-taking scenery that spans every type of terrain imaginable, and is all available for exploration.

+Improved magic system keeping everything simple, effective and rewarding.

+Potentially one of the best stories in gaming this year, with side-quests on a scale so large they wind up feeling like ‘main’ quests in their own rights.

+Easily the most atmospheric and engrossing title released this year.

The Cons: 

-The PC release of the game seems to have a metric TONNE of glitches, many of which can end the game; in some cases permanently.

-Considering the development cycle and the history of the franchise, along with the large PC fan-base, it’s disappointing to see the PC version feeling like little more than a poor-port of the console version.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

I'd like to apologize for the delay of the Skyrim review. The intention is always to get a review up as timely as possible, especially for something this widely anticipated, but sometimes it's just not logistically possible; no matter how hard we fight to make it happen. That being said, the timing of this review comes with two interesting side-benefits that I hope everyone can enjoy:

Sonic Generations [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Sonic Generations is simply the best idea for a long-running video game franchise that a fan-boy could ask for. It builds on the classic gameplay that fans have been crying out for since the end of the 16-bit era, and offers up a whole lot of fan-service to those who have stuck by the Blue Blur during his descent over the last dozen or so years. It melds beautiful the classic 2D speed-based platforming of yore with the modern graphics and gameplay mechanics that gamers will no doubt expect from anything released on a modern platform.

The Pros: 

+The presentation of the game is phenominal, and provides some much needed love to the fans of the franchise.

+The return of “Classic Sonic” is everything that a fan could have wanted, backdropped with some gorgeous reimaginings of iconic Sonic locales.

+The writing is funny and unfiltered, providing tons of allusions to previous Sonic titles throughout.

+The over-world navigation is simple, clean, easy to progress through and offers an end to the convolution of most modern Sonic titles 3D ‘hub worlds.’

The Cons: 

-Considering the amount of ‘Sonic Friend’ models that are in the game and featured in the ‘challenge zones’ multiplayer seems like a no brainer, but was left out.

-The 3D or “Modern” segments of Sonic Generations could have used a little more tweaking and still run into the same old problems of poor handling and unintelligent camera angles. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Fans of the site, or Sonic in general, are probably aware of the fact that I am and have always been a pretty big Sonic fan. This year I went far enough to solidify my love of the Blue Blur by permanently inking myself with the Sonic Team logo on Sonic's anniversary. I say this upfront, because Sega has given me a rare opportunity: The ability to speak positively about a new Sonic game.

Dead Rising 2: Off the Record [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Overall it was very difficult to find play value in this $40 title if you've already played Dead Rising 2. If you happened to skip it because you felt that a Dead Rising without Frank West wasn't worth it (it was still good in its own right, though) then this is all you were looking for.

The Pros: 

+Sandbox Mode means hordes of zombies will die without the hindrance of time limits

+Interesting look into the life of Frank West, who now looks like Dan Aykroyd; post-Dead Rising

+New weapon combos

The Cons: 

-It's basically an expansion pack for Dead Rising 2

-You can't get around the Zombrex this time

-Only real new addition is the just-opened Uranus Zone

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

Right off the bat, Dead Rising 2 seemed a little too much like Capcom wanted to rush out another Dead Rising title as soon as possible. Not that the game felt broken or sloppy at all, but really just that, as a full release, it didn't seem to have a lot to offer to the series other than a "what-if" scenario where Frank was on the scene at Fortune City instead of Chuck. While it was nice to see the addition of at least one new area and some fresh weapon combos, the whole thing felt like something that should have been DLC instead.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The campaign mode provides an epic conclusion to the Modern Warfare 3, wrapping up the tangled storylines of Captain Price and McTavish in a crazy large-scale Hollywood-esque thrill ride. However, a large number of 'on rails' style gunner-style sequences and a rather uninspired take on the multiplayer leave a little something to be desired... At the end of the day, there's not much to complain about, considering everything was well established with the first two games, but it would have been nice to have a little further departure and a couple of more risks taken to truly advance the franchise.

The Pros: 

+Massive-scale story mode, and dramatic conclusion to the MW franchise.

+Addition of the Survival Mode is an intelligent one.

+Class-based system helps to shake up the game's competitve multiplayer a bit.

The Cons: 

-Everything feels like it leans a little too hard on the previous title.

-Campaign mode features a lot of 'on rails' moments that can detract from the challenge of the story-mode.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

To be completely honest, Modern Warfare 3 was a title I'd almost entirely wrote off. With the drama surrounding the majority of the Infinity Ward team walking away after Modern Warfare 2, I didn't think it was going to be a proper "Modern Warfare" title now with the bulk of the creative team having walked away from the franchise.

Battlefield 3 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Battlefield has always been a series focused on co-operative team play, massive battles encompassing land, sea, and air as well as a showcase of a variety of different military vehicles. The 'third' instalment of the series doesn't diverge from the tried and true formula, but does make some much-needed tweaks to the over-all gameplay to advance the series into the modern generation of FPS titles and beyond.

The Pros: 

+Team-focused combat sees a return, and gets some balance tweaks.

+Impressive graphical upgrades over the series predacessors. 

+A more compelling single-player campaign then previous ventures.

+Bigger better battles that let you take the fight on virtually every front.

The Cons: 

-The main story feels like it cribs a little to heavily from Call of Duty.

-A couple of bad-apples can ruin the experience real quick, as you are reliant on your teammates.

-The flashlight/laser sight system can be abused for annoyance VERY easily.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Outside of the Bad Company sub-series, Battlefield has never been a series that's been held up by its deep or interesting story. What story was offered in the games previous was little more than an introduction to the mechanics of the game; an extended tutorial if you would. That's probably the reason why Battlefield 3's story-mode isn't getting a whole lot of focus from reviewers. Reviewers and gamers alike will be jumping into the game with one focus in mind, and everything else as a secondary.

Batman: Arkham City [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The fact of the matter is that if you haven’t played the original Arkham Asylum, you missed out. If you did, you probably already own this game, and might have even wrapped it before me. Either way, this is a stellar title that absolutely everyone should have to play to continue holding the title “gamer,” “geek,” “nerd,” or even “Batman Fan.” 

The Pros: 

+Improved free-flow combat system.

+Enhanced 'side-quest' system, featuring all of Gotham's fave villains.

+Bigger, badder world of Batman to explore.

+One of the single most impressive Batman stories of any medium, ever. 

+Awesome new gadgets that change-up the combat and stealth.

+Everything in the game has a purpose, time-line and consiquence, making even mundane collecting tasks become 'life or death' situations.

The Cons: 

-Review scales simply don't go high enough to represent this game accurately.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

It would probably be a little bit of an understatement to say that Rocksteady had a bit of a high bar to hurdle, expectations wise, when they decided to release a sequel to Arkham Asylum. It was a game that was heralded by many game critics as the best of the superhero (and for Batman I do use that term loosely) genre. Beyond that it was considered to be one of the best games of 2009, winning all kinds of awards on all kinds of gaming enthusiast sites, including a game of the year nod from Shogun Gamer.

Velocity G1 IZ68 Gaming System from Memory Express

Overall Feeling: 

The bottom line is that the system is definitely worth the price-tag. It will slaughter every game currently on the market with ease, and chew up your daily computer-centric routines. If you have always been interested in having a superior gaming rig, but don't trust yourself to build one, or just want someone else to blame when things inevitably go wrong, then you can't really ask for much more than this. 

The Pros: 

+Optimized performance

+Serious bragging rights

+Ability to smoke any game currently on the market

+Support staff behind it, should anything go wrong

The Cons: 

-Rather pricey build

-Caters to an unusual crowd (enthusiasts that don't DIY)

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Over the last couple of weeks I've had the honour of test-driving Memory Express' first over-clock PC build. It was left in my 'capable' hands to try and break the thing, while also testing out what kind of performance it could deal out as both a home computer (handling my day-to-day tasks like editing podcasts, writing, video editing, and other such boring-talk), as well as a gaming rig. Fans of gaming rigs in general are likely to appreciate everything that went into this, but it was also a phenomenal improvement to my work-life, increasing my workflow about 50 times over...

RAGE [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The unique character design, impressive world that has been created and stunning use of idTech5 along with their 'megatextures' do little more than provide a breath-taking mask to otherwise bland shooter. At the end of the day RAGE feels little more than a re-skinned version of DOOM made by a group of people that were inspired by Mad Max and Borderlands.

The Pros: 

+Unique story telling

+Graphically impressive

+Awesome character design

+Unique weapons

+Solid co-op experience

+Ammo types drastically influence battle

The Cons: 

-Mediocre Feeling FPS

-Buggy, especially without install

-Doesn't have a real 'wow' factor beyond its look

-Repeative mission structure

-'Open world' is just a juncture between repeating zones

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

RAGE is something that I've been personally waiting for on bated breath. When it was originally announced back at QuakeCon 2007, it was the 'mega textures' and 'idTech5' showcase that started to blow everyone away. Beyond that though, the game was looking like it was going to take everything that Borderlands had already done, and ramped it up with all kinds of improvements to the style and specifically the graphics of the game.

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