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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

Rare Replay [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Rare is one of those iconic developers and no matter your gaming preferences you've most likely played one, or numerous, of their titles in the past three decades. Rare Replay takes some of the best of their work and bunches them together in a fantastic game collection that is not only worth your money (only $30!) but a fun trip down nostalgia lane.

The Pros: 

+30 games for 30 bucks

+A great selection of Rare games included in the package

+Charming presentation and easy to use menu system

+Battletoads!

The Cons: 

-360 emulation for the 360 titles

-Not all of Rare's classics are included

-Some games haven't aged well

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

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.

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 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.

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?

Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Fast & Furious is one of the biggest movie franchises out there, and now they are teaming with Forza Horizon 2, one of the best racing games, for an experience that is intended to suck you into the movies and Forza with a bite size offering completely for free. Yes, for free, AND you don't even need to own Forza Horizon 2 to enjoy it. While it may not feel like a true Fast & Furious experience, it's a great showcase of what Forza has to offer for those new to the series.

The Pros: 

+It's FREE (until April 10th)
+Very easy 1000 achievements and only takes 2-3 hours.
+You get to drive some amazing high-end cars.
+Very smart way to promote Fast and Furious plus Forza Horizon 2 demo.
+Ludacris actually voices his character in the game as narrator.

The Cons: 

-Aside from the supercars, it doesn't really feel like a Fast and Furious experience.
-Only one radio station.
-Limited selection of cars.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

While Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious might be a mouthful (simply referred to as Fast & Furious from here on), it's an interesting take on DLC even though it's clearly promoting the upcoming movie (which looks great) that tries to do something different with an already proven franchise. First and foremost, this Fast & Furious DLC is completely free AND is a standalone offering, so you don't even need Forza Horizon 2 to enjoy it.

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.

Mario Party 10 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

It's one step forwards and two steps back as Mario Party 10 offers three game modes, two of which are utter garbage. If you play Mario Party 10 just for its newest offering, Bowser Party, there is a good time to be had. However, if you devel into the core game mode, Mario Party, or were suckered into playing the Amiibo Party mode, you're going to have a bad time.

The Pros: 

+Bowser Party
+Bowser Party is competitive and frustrating in the way the old games were.
+Bowser Party is ridiculous, over-the-top fun that will have you yelling at friends and the game itself.

The Cons: 

-Everything else
-Mario Party is the same co-op, everyone moves together, gameplay that 9 offered.
-Amiibo Party is a prime example of how gimmicky and useless Amiibos can be.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Well, spoiler alert for this review I guess: It's going to be one of those unfortunate middling ones. Mario Party 10 does about 50% of its game right, but continues to ignore the core features that made players like myself fans of the franchise in the first place. Whoever told Nintendo that Mario Party should become a co-op game clearly doesn't understand why we were all playing it in the first place.

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