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Game Reviews

Game of Thrones: Season 1 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Taking into account that Telltale Games has created a fully realized House Forrester, complete with background rich characters from a single line in the novels and stays within TV show and novel cannon is nothing short of amazing. Season 1's decisions will weigh heavily on your conscience and you'll make many sacrifices along the way, direct or otherwise, in typical Game of Thrones fashion.

The Pros: 

+Perfect voice acting
+Incredibly difficult decisions
+Cameos from major show characters (also voiced by the actors)

The Cons: 

-Lack of closure
-Having to wait for Season 2
-Winter is coming

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

It's no secret that Telltale Games has figured out the formula for their great success: Take a pre-established franchise, write a compelling narrative around it full of interesting characters and dialogue, utilize amazing voice actors, make the player decide between incredibly difficult decisions, and finally split up into episodic content with cliffhangers at the end of each episode leaving you wanting more.

Tales from the Borderlands [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Telltale is the leading developer when it comes to crafting engaging, emotional, memorable, and now absolutely hysterical narratives with well-known franchises. Tales from the Borderlands is no different, as they've taken the very unique backdrop setting of Gearbox's games and crafted a compelling and immensely entertaining adventure with characters voiced to perfection that I hope to see again one day.

The Pros: 

+Constantly hysterical, especially finger-gun firefights
+Fantastic character development
+Top notch soundtrack and voice acting

The Cons: 

-The original wait between episode releases
-Some choices don't seem to really matter in the end
-It ends

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

One would think that turning the popular shooter Borderlands into a narrative focused adventure with no shooting at all (aside from some amazing pretend finger-gun shootouts) would be asinine. Borderlands has always been about using millions of guns, shooting bandits and psychos, and converting that into a story driven title seems as it was going to be an immense challenge for Telltale.

Transformers Devastation [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Transformers Devastation may be linear, repetitive, and not have a plethora of replay value included but what it lacks it more than makes up for in its fan service for G1 fans. Devastation offers amazing visuals, the original voice cast, an enjoyable combat system, and frequent boss battles. If you're an old school G1 fan it's the greatest looking Transformers game you've ever seen and feels like it was taken directly from an '80s morning cartoon.

The Pros: 

+Greatest looking Transformers game ever
+Original voice acting cast
+Frequent and entertaining boss battles

The Cons: 

-Very short campaign-
The Touch by Stan Bush nor the classic TV theme song is included
-No playable Decepticons

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

The moment Transformers Devastation was announced, I was all in. The kid in me that grew up with the TV series back in the '80s squealed and it seemed like I was actually going to get the G1 Transformers game I've always dreamt of. Nostalgia is a funny thing though, as you tend to remember things very fondly regardless of how they actually were, so I came in slightly skeptical and tried to keep my expectations manageable as I didn't want to be too let down just in case.

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.

Super Mario Maker [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Super Mario Maker does everything you want it to: provide a tool to easily create levels. What sets it apart the attention to detail and it's uncanny ability to provoke experimentation. Mileage will vary with the courses created by other players but it's simple enough to follow creators that you enjoy and sort through the chaff to find well-made stages. It's the perfect way to celebrate the anniversary of the game that has kept 2D platforming relevant for the last 30 years. And you can play as Blathers from Animal Crossing. Super cute.

The Pros: 

+Brilliant UI
+Warranted nostalgia bombs around every corner
+Dozens and dozens of costumes to unlock
+Each aspect flows naturally into the next and inspire creation at every turn
+ Justifies the Gamepad
+Blathers

The Cons: 

-Plenty of power-ups, items, enemies and mechanics from the four games that aren't represented... yet?
-Large amount of user-created content is intimidatingly vast and not always great

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

There is a Rubbermaid bin sitting in storage at my parent's house. In that Rubbermaid container is a sketchbook from the age of four where I drew dozens and dozens of Mario levels. Sure, most of them had Earthworm Jim or dinosaurs or Sonic in them, but I've been flexing the muscles used for level creation for just as long as I've been playing games.

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

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.

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.

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