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Lego Dimensions [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Who doesn't love Lego? The newest entry into the series is quite a drastic shift from previous games, as Lego is now entering the world of toys-to-life genre where you not only purchase the game, but get a portal to place characters and vehicles on to transport them into the game world. Dimensions takes things a step further and actually uses the portal as a puzzle mechanic and will actually have you building and rebuilding with the included Lego pieces as well. Multiple brands will intersect with one another for a hilarious and unique Lego experience that is fun for all ages provided you can afford it.

The Pros: 

+Fantastic fan service and crossing different IP universes
+Physically have to build with LEGO as a game mechanic
+The game's portal is innovative and more than a simple base

The Cons: 

-It will cost hundreds of dollars to unlock everything
-Vehicle driving
-High cost of entry and you'll certainly want to buy more add-on packs

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

First there was Skylanders, then Disney Infinity, and finally Amiibos. Now LEGO has joined the foray into collectible and adorable physical toys-to-life games / DLC to get you hooked and open up your wallet. And trust me, you're going to feel not only tempted to purchase more add-on packs, but somewhat obligated, especially if you want to see everything LEGO Dimensions has to offer.

Mad Max [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Somebody fucked up. This should have been a no-brainer. All you had to do was not mess with the tried-and-true control scheme and free-flow combat that has been well established by Arkham and its ilk for the last decade... Why, oh why, did someone decide they knew better for the control layout and timing during combat? -- That said, the car and world are worth the trip.

The Pros: 

+Visually stunning
+Satisfying car-building and driving

The Cons: 

-Obnoxious control scheme
-Poorly conceived combat system
-Frustrating timing issues

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

Anticipation and hype are the sharpest of double-edged swords. Unfortunately, the modern PR form wield their power haphazardly with zero regard for the public that they are supposed to be representing. Such begins the tale of Mad Max, Avalanche Studios and WB Games joint venture to ride the tails of one of the best movies to come out this year; heck maybe in the last decade.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The Phantom Pain essentially takes all of the best features and mechanics from all of the previous games in the series and melds them into one incredibly impressive package while also introducing a slew of new features that also has the right amount of fan service for long time vets, and opens up the gameplay in new and exciting ways for newcomers to the franchise.

The Pros: 

+A Hideo Kojima Game
+Melds the best from previous MGS titles into one
+Mother Base expanding is excellent and worth the time

The Cons: 

-Kiefer Sutherland's voice sounds like Kiefer Sutherland
-Many story details are tucked away in cassettes
-Can only save via checkpoint system

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

I have to admit, I wasn't one of the ones that appreciated last year's Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes fully. The paid 'demo' stigma that it had clouded my judgement, while I did play it and complete it I didn't respect what it was trying to show us. Metal Gear Solid V is an almost complete departure from what we know a Metal Gear Solid game to be.

Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain

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.

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.

DmC Devil May Cry Definitive Edition [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

If you had not played DmC Devil May Cry on last gen consoles when it originally released then this Definitive Edition is a no-brainer; the gameplay is still fun and holds up well. If you did previously play it though, the big question is "should you rebuy?" I'd say yes simply because while the graphics have been updated slightly, but the biggest improvements come in the form of listening to fan feedback and the wish list of features requested, which is delivered in bulk. 

The Pros: 

+Keeps the same great gameplay as the original release but improved with new modifiers.
+New features such as lock-on and turbo mode make the game feel refreshing.
+All DLC included is a bonus, especially the Virgil campaign.

The Cons: 

-Bump to 1080p / 60fps, but seemingly no work on the muddy textures, so it can look dated.
-Certain cutscenes ignore your chosen DLC skin and will show Dante in default clothing instead briefly.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

So, let's get this out of the way first and foremost. There was a small uprising of unhappy fans when DmC originally released because of the new artists style and character designs compared to the original Dante and others in the original games. Because Dante's look was changed too drastically, many fans didn't like the change and possibly didn't give the reboot a chance. Luckily though Capcom did create a fun game by enlisting the help of Ninja theory, known for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (one of my favorite games) and Heavenly Sword.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Xenoverse feels like the ultimate Dragon Ball game. Not only does it allow you to play as virtually every Dragon Ball character to have ever existed in the original universe, both single player and multiplayer, but it allows you to inject yourself into the world via the character creation. Dragon Ball Xenoverse has dethroned the epic experience of Budokai, and may take the crown for best DBZ-themed game ever.

The Pros: 

+Deep combat system
+Impressive character customization and building
+Inventive storyline and retelling of the DBZ Universe
+Fixed issues from previous titles, like Tenkaichi
+MMO feature set makes socializing in-game a whole lot of fun

The Cons: 

-Being online-centric means sometimes being kicked from single-player (server issues)
-Some minor graphical bugs
-Game mode navigation could be MUCH simpler

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

I've been playing Dragon Ball games since I started watching the TV show way back in the early '90s. The franchise has proved an unstoppable juggernaut, acting as flagship for Shonen Jump for years (until One Piece and Naruto grew into popularity).

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.

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