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Game Reviews

Chimpact [PlayStation Mobile Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Providing an almost puzzle like take on the platforming genre, Chimpact is a fairly straightforward and pleasant PlayStation Mobile game that thankfully doesn’t falter with its focus on touch controls. The amount of content within the game somewhat bleeds together as things are similar, despite the addition of secondary content which has only minimal effects on the experience, but as a simple PSM game Chimpact is worth your time if you just want to have an easy going gaming experience.

The Pros: 

+ Graphics are lush in their crispness and how fluid everything is.
+ Levels have some nice variety to them along with a steadying rise in difficulty.
+ Price point is good for what the game offers.

The Cons: 

- Gameplay could’ve used some more interaction within the environment to help deepen things.
- Touch controls are slightly sensitive and it doesn’t help that the game lacks a tutorial.
- The chimps have no character to them that makes them appealing other than their cute facade.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Partaking in a bit of light-hearted gaming is always good for the soul since endlessly playing action games or trying to do a perfect lap on a particular course can ultimately eat away at our gaming souls. So what better way to let loose and relax a bit than with a new PlayStation Mobile game in which we send a cute chimp flying. No, Super Monkey Ball has not gone the PSM route as a completely original game has arrived in the form of Chimpact.

[Review] WWE 13 - One of the Worst Games in Recent Memory.

Overall Feeling: 

The fact this game was released is astounding. Any positive points from WWE Attitude Mode or player creation are fully eclipsed by an absurd number of bugs and poor game design.

The Pros: 

+ Attitude Era Nostalgia Bomb.

+ Deep and impressive player content creation tools. 

The Cons: 

- Frequent game crashes.

- Unpolished and riddled with glitches and bugs.

- Online servers keep erasing data.

- 3GB save file on PS3 makes PS+ Cloud storage useless.

- Broken Universe mode design.

- Pay-Per-View matches have no purpose.

- Terrible game audio issues.

- David Otunga's Music. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
3

THQ's latest installment of their long lived World Wrestling Entertainment licence hit the shelves on October 30th 2012. While many publications, blog and fans rushed to get their reviews of WWE 13 up on day one, I waited. Patiently.  Now that we’re over a month since its release, I'm rather glad I sat on this and really took the time to explore this game. 

Puzziball [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Serving as the perfect example that we should be cautious of free games, Puzziball is a shallow title with mechanics that aren’t dreadful yet aren’t entirely fun.  The small amount of stages within the game that aren’t paid DLC may be enough to keep someone busy, but Puzziball is so forgettable that I doubt anyone will be motivated to play the game past the first themed world.

The Pros: 

+ It was free and the download size is small as it’s only 69MB

The Cons: 

- Gameplay is dull.
- The amount of free content is somewhat small.
- Art style is horrendous in a mid 1990s kind of way.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
3

Sometimes when an item is free it can either mean two things: company x is being nice to us or the product is so bad that it’s obvious a decent profit won’t be made.  It’s somewhat rare for games to be free, yet every now and then we are lucky whether it’s a piece of DLC or in this case a new title for the PlayStation Mobile platform.  Being an open minded gamer and one that’s always on the search for new titles to play on my Vita, I decided to download the completely free game that is Puzziball.  Too bad that the game ultimately turned out to be so painfully bad to play that

Forza Horizon [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

A brilliant blend between high-stakes, full-throttle racing and meditative country drive in your dream car, Forza Horizon takes a well-loved, established franchise and dares to do something a little different. Fans of the franchise may miss the game’s simulation edge, but for a game that offers so much variety strung together, quite nicely, with a core concept that holds throughout, it’s hard to stay angry at the decision to change for more than a couple minutes into the game.

The Pros: 

+Intelligent use of the world, environment, menus and audio to create a unified theme throughout.

+Combines the best of both worlds: full-throttle super-speed racing, and a relaxing Sunday drive through the country.

+Slightly more relaxed atmosphere/controls than the previous games, lowering the barrier of entry for new/casual players.

The Cons: 

-Some of the “challenges” push the boundaries of casual into straightforward boredom, i.e. the photo challenges (where you just need to get your car to a visually stimulating point without wrecking the car, without any form of time challenge).

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Forza has spent the last seven years working its way into my heart. Originally a franchise I passed off as Microsoft’s attempt to be Gran Turismo. It’s grown over the years in leaps and bounds, the most recent iteration, Forza 4, becoming one of my favorite racing games of all time. When Horizon was announced, so shortly after the launch of four, I found myself wondering if it was a bit too soon for a sequel.

Alien Breed [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

As a reminder of the more simpler days of the shooting genre, Alien Breed holds up well today as it’s neither a dull shooter nor is it an arcade one that can be easily completed in twenty minutes. Combining the best of both worlds, Alien Breed has gameplay that’s accessible yet has a rather enjoyable grinding nature that encourages exploration.  With a nice collection of content thanks to two existing releases and the addition of eight new levels, Alien Breed is a welcomed addition to the PlayStation Mobile software library.

The Pros: 

+ Both the classic and enhanced visuals are nice to look at.
+ Gotta love the creepy OST and shriek of the aliens.
+ Controls are simple and totally responsive.
+New levels offer some nice variety alongside the more natural stage design.

The Cons: 

-  Not being able to switch between classic and enhanced visuals in between levels.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

There are some video games out there that are so good that they simply become timeless.  No matter how far certain graphical or gameplay leaps may be made, there are a select few games out there that simply remain good no matter how old they are.  Titles like Pac-Man and Doom can stand the test of time even if they don’t have HD visuals since at the end of the day what makes a good game is how good the actual gameplay is.  Now the classic shoot-em-up action of Alien Breed has been re-released for a younger generation and yes - the game is still that damn good.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The sticker gimmick seems to run dry pretty quickly in this not-RPG follow up in the Paper Mario universe; however, it does have its good points, and would be a worthwhile purchase if not for its full-release $44.99 price tag.

The Pros: 

+Sticker gimmick is cool when using it to solve puzzles

+Graphically very nice-looking

The Cons: 

-Touch screen is very under-used

-3D gets boring for the style

-Sticker gimmick gets very old quickly for everything except puzzles

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the 3DS is, in two words, vastly underwhelming. The core concept, which might have been very cool, was jumbled and confused in spite of its simplicity: it's not an RPG, but it retains a turn-based battle system; it's a platformer with a turn-based battle system, but it's also a puzzle-solving adventure game at its core; you paste stickers on everything but you don't even use the touch screen to do so, instead relying on the analog stick or D-pad.

Dance Central 3 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Dance Central, with two previous titles, is a well-established series. It’s not something that needs any further explanation at this point beyond “That Harmonix game where you dance like a lunatic in front of your TV for the bemusement of your drunken friends.” If you’ve picked up Dance Central 3, or are considering it, you likely know exactly what you’re getting into.

The Pros: 

+Far more diverse set-list then the previous games.

+Funny, if not slightly cheesy, ‘story mode’ in the vein of Elite Beat Agents.

+Gangnam Style DLC announced.

The Cons: 

-Shorter set-list than other games in the genre.

-Dance party mode only offers the set-list via SmartGlass.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

When the Kinect originally launched, two years ago now, there was only one thing that had me excited for the hardware (I mean, aside from the potential and the games we were all dreaming up; I mean real, announced titles). That game was Dance Central. “Harmonix is allowing gamers an excuse to dance like fools in the safety of their own living rooms?” I thought.

Assassins Creed 3 [Review] - Loading Woes and Small Issues Steal the Show.

Overall Feeling: 

Assassins Creed 3 ends up feeling rushed and forced in a lot of areas. While the naval combat system is by far the shining star of this title, it feels like a lackluster ending to what I’ve felt is one of the most promising and interesting franchises in gaming.

The Pros: 

+Naval combat is so good it could be a stand alone game.

+Impressive graphics and cinematics make for solid presentation.

+A concise (theoretical) ending to the franchise.

+Beautiful and fun hand to hand combat.

The Cons: 

-Story is not friendly to casual franchise fans.

-Terrible loading design.

-Lackluster and shallow missions.

-User interface is needlessly cumbersome.

-New features meant to expand on past games are just tedious and meaningless.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

I’ve had a rather love/hate relationship with the Assassins Creed franchise. For me, it seems to be a never-ending cycle where Ubisoft announces a game that sounds amazing on paper (and looks incredible in trailers!), but when I sit down to play it, a huge amount of small-issues add up to ruin the experience of what should have been an incredible game. Assassins Creed 3 (AC3) managed to once again follow this trend. I guess they get points for consistency.

Code of Princess [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Code of Princess tries very hard to recapture the spirit and charm of its spiritual predecessor, Guardian Heroes, but ultimately fails to provide the same fast-paced, tight experience that it tries to emulate. There are rumblings of a greater game underneath the sluggish, frustrating combat that Code of Princess provides, but these never quite resonate, and remain buried under poor design choices.

The Pros: 

+ Fun, quirky characters

+ Robust combat system with a lot of room for personalized combos

The Cons: 

- Action feels sluggish and unrewarding

- Grinding is necessary to come close to scratching the game’s harder encounters

- Visuals are stunning up close, but drop in quality drastically when more than three enemies appear on-screen

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
4

A legacy is a double-edged sword. For a game with a great legacy, there’s a good chance that gamers will be into your concept based solely on a name drop. Conversely, if your game isn’t a worthy successor to a beloved classic, chances are it’ll get more flak than a bomber flying over France circa WWII.

Final Fantasy Dimensions - Prologue and Chapter 1 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Mixed. If released twenty years ago, FFD might have occupied the same hallowed headspace as the Squaresoft masterpieces of the mid 90s—all the ingredients look to be here in more-or-less the right quantities, and no one would balk at the $29 price for a full console RPG. Today, though, you have a decent iOS RPG with above-average graphics, sound, combat, and character customization, but the cookie-cutter character archetypes and job system—beloved and well-designed as they are—do not justify the headline-making price tag.

The Pros: 

+ Everything you love about Square's "golden years" are here—super-deformed characters, emotional twists, moogles, airships, tough bosses, crystals, menu-based combat, equipment, accessories, summons, etc.

+ Pretty sprite-based character visuals and animations, great spell effects

+ Good touch controls with a short learning curve

+ We've seen it before, but the job system is pretty great

The Cons: 

- Everything you hate about Square's "golden years" are here—goofy translations, the same old moody characters, random battles, an evil empire, epic but often nonsensical plot, etc.

- Poor pacing with little character development

- A possible lack of value for the price when compared to other good iOS titles

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

You could argue that Square Enix is trying something courageous with Final Fantasy Dimensions (FFD). You could argue that, alongside the veritable firehose of tens of thousands of freemium iOS games, they have brought a complete, high-quality RPG to the platform and that they are paving the way for other triple-A titles to charge the appropriate amount for the experience. You could argue their goal was to take a strong step towards your i-device becoming the gaming system you reach for even when you're at home and capable of playing on a console.

I don't think that was their goal.

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