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Game Reviews

Deadlight [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Deadlight is a unique blend of vintage side-scrolling adventure mechanics (in the vein of SNES/Genesis classic Flashback) with slick modern visual (akin to Limbo) that deals with some dark and mature themes surrounding a small group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic ‘end of the world’ zombie setting.  The game feels good, although vastly different from most modern ‘platformers’, and offers an interesting story-line focused around survival and rescue, with a nifty little twist in the third act. 

The Pros: 

+The storyline, while not completely original, is an interesting one and offers a little more weight than we generally see out of an arcade title.

+The controls are smooth and work well, even though they aren’t exactly ‘traditional’ for games of its genre.

+The length of the game is just about right, it fits snuggly in the ‘short but sweet’ category that arcade games should. 

The Cons: 

-There is no replayability for the casual gamer. Unless you’re a competitionist or an achievement whore when the game wraps up (just over 2 hours) you’re done for good.  

-Some of the artistic choices in the game mar the level design and can cause some unexpected deaths. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

In all honesty I’d nearly forgotten about the side-scrolling adventure genre. I say adventure as opposed to ‘platformer’ because what Deadlight, and its predecessors, provided is something much grander than what most people would associate with the term ‘platformer’ (namely titles like Mario, or Sonic). While it’s true the gameplay focuses around the same core mechanics: running, jumping, navigating through a labyrinth of 2D obstacles; the game styling is completely different.

London 2012 Olympics - The Video Game [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

As a sports game and one that just so happens to represent the biggest sports event in the world, London 2012 Olympics fails to make an immediate impression that is overwhelmingly positive.  The game does its best at adapting a variety of events in video game form, but ultimately none of them stand out since they feel repetitive and aren’t that much fun.  Lacking any immediate charm, enjoyment and everything else that makes for a fun game doesn’t help London 2012 Olympics as it’s ultimately a shallow experience that feels like it’s half a game.

The Pros: 

+ None of the games are too complex in such a way that it’s annoying to play.

+ Visuals are decent for what they are and don’t look last-gen terrible.

+ Some of the events do a decent job at replicating the rhythmic nature found in the actual sport.

The Cons: 

- Main Olympic mode is lackluster as it doesn’t represent the celebratory nature of the event.

- The various sports events may be different their nature, but the controls and game mechanics don’t do a good job at representing such a thing.

- Replayability is limited since the online modes are rather bare bones and there isn’t much to do other than Trophy/Achievement hunt.

- A few key sports are missing such a fencing which would’ve worked quite well in the game and provided nice variety.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
5

There aren’t too many things in the world which can have millions or in some cases a billion or so people completely enamored and unified in a sense.  With some countries favoring certain types of sports compared to others (such as the lack of appeal North America has for European soccer) it’s kind of understandable why the world isn’t one big happy family as dreamt of in things like Star Trek.  But outside of traumatic events, the world does occasionally band together in a slightly competitive but friendly way through the Olympic games.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Ghost Recon Future Soldier takes the core concepts of the Clancy franchise of games, and in particular Advanced Warfighter, then speeds everything up. The political intrigue and complex plot-lines involving world powers playing covert games behind the scenes are still there, with a much more fluid and quick-feeling gameplay. Fans of Tom Clancy will appreciate the themes of the game, while gamers in general will appreciate how fluid everything feels now.

The Pros: 

+The speed of the gameplay has been greatly improved and feels more fluid.

+The toys offered by the game, flying drones, magnetic vision, EMP grenades, etc. are a lot of fun.

+Gun Smith mode should be the new benchmark in video game weapon customization.

The Cons: 

-The multiplayer is extremely niche, requiring a specific kind of gamer-mentality to be enjoyed.

-Kinect features feel a little tacked on and still have that ‘novelty’ feel.

-The story has a tendency to be lost in the game’s more fast-paced/action oriented style.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

I think my love of shooters in general is pretty well known by this point. Generally speaking if there’s an action/shooter than needs to get the ‘professional opinion’ on Shogun Gamer, it’s something that’s slid across my desk. What a lot of people probably don’t know though is that I’m an even bigger fan of the sub-genre of ‘tactical shooter’. I’ve been following along with game series like Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon since their inception. Rainbow Six still has my favorite moments in gaming, of all time.

Battleship: The Game [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Even with the seemingly dumb premise that’s told in the film there was still the chance that Battleship: The Game could be something fun for gamers to experience. Aside from constantly snickering and finding myself in awe from all the wrong reasons, my journey with Battleship: The Game was simply repetitive, boring, and simply made me question the motives of big companies and what they deem suitable for the video game market.  The game doesn’t have any major good merits as it’s simply akin to cardboard box, it’s exists and can be messed around with but there’s not much there to begin with.

The Pros: 

+ Trophies/Achievements are easy to acquire.

+ Seeing the battles at sea while I was on the ground was a nice element.

The Cons: 

- Game is simply as ugly as a barnacle.

- FPS combat is weak and the battles at sea lack any skill aside from button mashing.

- No multiplayer, bonus modes, or co-op makes the game a one and done experience.

- Story is told in such a careless way, even by the standards of dumb Hollywood action movies

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
3

Not since Street Fighter: The Movie – The Game has something so ridiculous potentially caused the fabric of space and time itself to rip as people ponder about something as endlessly as what the number 42 means.  The perplexing question at hand now is why we have a video game adaptation of Battleship: The Movie – which as you may know is a major film adaptation of a classic board game one would never expect to receive a $200 million budget.

Diablo III [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Diablo III is what I would personally consider a solid ‘meets expectations’. It does exactly what’s expected of it, which was, to be fair, a lot. However, the whole thing feels a little ‘safe’ and doesn’t push the franchise as far as Blizzard managed to go with their other game series, in specific StarCraft II.  

The Pros: 

+The game scales well, meaning almost anyone can play it.

+The inclusion of Nightmare, Hell, Inferno and the Hardcore Mode mean there’s plenty of options for replay.

+Each character is unique and viable. Everyone has opportunity to develop a character to their play style that’s fun and personalized.

+The multiplayer experience is seamless, jumping between games to meet up with friends is not only easy, but elemental. 

The Cons: 

-The story of the game is pretty short at around 6 hours.

-A lot of the game’s features are cribbed from either previous iterations of the franchise, or Blizzards library of other games.

-Everything feels a little ‘safe’ no boundaries felt like they were pushed or even tested. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Let’s be honest, the ‘dungeon crawler’ genre has become kind of over-saturated at this point. For years now, 16 of them in fact, people have been doing what they can to capture a little bit of the magic that Blizzard unleashed on the world with the original Diablo games. Now, 11 years after the release of the franchise’s last bit of content (Lords of Destruction) we finally have a true successor to the game that defined ‘dungeon crawler’ and the hype surrounding the game has been surreal. Does it, however, meet with the lofty expectations that we’d set for the game ourselves?

Prototype 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

I know I’ll catch flack for the amount of times I make this reference, if not from the publisher directly than from the readership, but this is Hulk Ultimate Destruction all over again and I’m pretty okay with it. The game is all about massive, senseless destruction, and it’s done well. The ability to tear a helicopter in two never gets old, and there’s plenty of ways to mix-and-match the violence through concepts like tearing weapons off tanks and attack choppers to keep things fluid, and cause ridiculous amounts of explosions and death.

The Pros: 

+The scope of the destruction is nearly unparalleled, and something I’ve been sorely missing in gaming for a while now.

+The amount of options presented for messing things up, and making it look cool are absolutely stunning.

+The revenge story of the game is a classic one, and the concept of making the original game’s protagonist the villain in part 2 excites me on many nerd-levels. 

The Cons: 

-The story gets a little convoluted by the time the ‘villain’ of the story is recast for the third time.

-There are two moves in the game that over-power all others, rendering anything else you might conceive of using useless.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Remember back in 2005 when Radical created the single best Hulk game of all time? Ultimate Destruction was a fantastic game because it allowed you to wreak ungodly amounts of destruction upon a city swarming with innocent civilians and a never-ending tidal wave of US army troops that would never, ever give up on their futile attempts to stop you. It was one of the best examples of a game just being pure, mindless fun, and time and time again I’ve had discussions with my friends regarding a potential sequel to that game.

The Walking Dead [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

AMC’s adaptation of The Walking Dead is a hard sell because it turned the genre of zombie films over on its head. In the same way that the concept of a human drama back-lit by the zombie apocalypse might confuse/bore people jumping into a series (who were likely expecting more action/slaughter) it’s hard to describe what exactly makes Telltale’s video game adaptation magical to nerds like myself who get off on player interaction and debate. 

The Pros: 

+The twist Telltale put on the zombie survival game genre is nothing short of magic.

+The world is filled with characters who truly come alive through your interaction with them (minus the zombies of course).

+Telltale has provided a companion piece to a TV series that, for once, manages to capture the tone and concept of the original source material.

The Cons: 

-Chapter 1 is far, far too short for my liking. It can be wrapped inside of two hours. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

I think that we can all agree that zombies, as a whole, have kind of reached their critical mass in terms of being ‘a thing.’ They’ve always been around, but in the last couple of years their popularity has surged to a point where a game without zombies in it seems almost as obscene as a game without multiplayer. It’s a fiercely competitive genre right now, with no shortage of options for how it can be represented… and honestly, I thought we’d seen it all, but Telltale’s take, based on the world of the Walking Dead, has brought something entirely new to the table: the human angle.

Mario Tennis Open [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Mario Tennis Open is one of those things that might be a hard sell to your friends, but for those that give it the chance, it will utterly consume you. The game play is some simple and addictive that it’s easy to lose days completing the game’s tournaments and mini-game challenges under the guise of short form gaming that continually has you bargaining for ‘just one more round’.  

The Pros: 

+Simple, addictive gaming.

+The bright, colourful cast of Mario characters that we’ve all come to know and love.

+Plenty of options for modifying your character, unlockables to collect/buy and challenges to pit yourself against.

The Cons: 

-The traditional character-specific ‘super shots’ have been removed in favour of reaction-based skill-shots.

-3D really doesn’t add much, and its generally better kept to off (if you want to make a real go of things in the later levels). 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

 

Trials Evolution [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Trials Evolution takes the simple concept of riding a motorcycle though a series of obstacles and elevates it to frustrating and satisfying new heights. There’s a great wealth of content here, from a lengthy single player career, to online multiplayer and one of the most robust track editors ever. Aside from some minor issues with gated progress and an overdramatic camera, Trials Evolution stands as one of the most addicting games available on the Xbox Live marketplace.

The Pros: 

+ Great locales and level design

+ Track editor provides infinite content

+ Simple, addictive gameplay is easy to learn, hard to master

The Cons: 

- Extremely frustrating at times

- Learning curve is solid up through Medium difficulty, but rises sharply thereafter

- Gated progress means replaying tracks for better times and fault counts 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

According to the best times posted for Way of the Ninja, one of the Extreme difficulty tracks in RedLynx’s Trials Evolution, the ride should only take about two minutes. It’s just a trip around a short racetrack with some obstacles scattered between the goal and I. Fifteen minutes later, I’m given the warning that I can only fault 250 more times before I automatically fail. That means I’ve faulted about as many times already, and I’m still only on the second jump.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition

Overall Feeling: 

CD Projekt Red brings their savage, gritty, and mature title: The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings to the 360 in their console debut.  All the amazing and intricate things that made this fantasy RPG one of the best games last year on the PC are here on the 360 in full stride.  Controls feel very fluid and combat is more fun than ever. The intriguing political story will have RPG fans new to the series invested right from the start, and will give players who are revisiting it satisfaction with the new elements that were added in the Enhanced Edition.  The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings is one of the best titles I have played so far this year.

The Pros: 

+Fantastic story with intriguing plotlines and characters

+Terrific and rewarding combat system

+The use of the 360 controller feels even smoother than when you could use it on the PC version

+New cut scenes are very cool and help guide the story

+Holds nothing back on its mature rating.

+Years into the 360’s lifespan it takes advantage of both discs and the visuals are great

The Cons: 

-Clunky menu navigation that they should have fixed when moving to a console

-Some long loading times (when installed on your hard drive it helps a lot)

-Some voice actors are not on par with other terrific ones

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

I was a big fan of CD Projekt Red and their game The Witcher back in 2007.  So when the sequel was announced a couple of years ago for PC’s I was very excited.  Then I heard about how amazing the brand new engine was they made themselves, and that it would take a powerful PC to run it.  I was less thrilled then, since at the time I had not updated my PC for a few years and knew it was not going to work by any means. 

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