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Game Reviews

Xenoblade Chronicles [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Xenoblade has some big shoes to fill, and it does a fair enough job keeping pace with its popular predecessors. While some elements seemed a little too one-dimensional for me, overall it has some really interesting gameplay concepts and a fairly solid battle flow. The ways in which it attempts to incorporate MMO gameplay, however, are what left me feeling a little disenchanted with the title.

The Pros: 

+ Great combat use of "Arts"

+ For Wii-level, has great visuals

+ Has a pretty great storyline 

+ MMO-style fetch quests not tedious at all

The Cons: 

- Characters are very flat and cliché

- Map is a little hard to navigate sometimes around expansive areas

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Xenoblade , as a successor to the venerable series for the Playstation 1 and 2, is a game that does not give the impression at all of trying to live up to its predecessors. Monolith did a commendable job at building an RPG that incorporates the series' popular themes while letting it stand on its own as a new title. I will have to admit that going into writing this review took a lot of reflection and a sizeable attempt to remain objective, and in the end the conclusion was reached that this really is a pretty great game.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City offers a really interesting concept by casting aside traditional survival horror elements for a squad-based 3rd person shooter. Playing as the bad guys during the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3 could have made for a memorable title, but the poor gunplay, control issues, and overall lack of excitement make for a rather dull single player campaign. The multiplayer fares slightly better, but it’s not enough to bring Operation Raccoon City up to an acceptable level.

The Pros: 

+ Great premise and setting

+ Provides an interesting side story to Resident Evil 2 and 3’s events

+ Heroes mode is an interesting take on classic team deathmatch gameplay

The Cons: 

- Too focused on co-op, which hurts the single player campaign

- Guns feel underpowered, which makes the shooting pretty stale

- Melee combat system lets opponents juggle you endlessly or kill you instantly

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
5

For a venerable Japanese company like Capcom, it’s a risky proposition to hand off one of your franchises to a Western developer. You could get lucky and end up with another Dead Rising 2, but pick the wrong studio, and something more like the 2009 version of Bionic Commando may be in store.

MLB 12: The Show [PS3 Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The Show is one of those rare sports games in which every aspect is conveyed perfectly and isn’t saddled with an element that’s less than pleasing.  Featuring minor yet impactful enhancements in how the game controls, The Show is one of the best baseball games ever created in addition to being a sim game that’s approachable and never once intimidating.  

The Pros: 

+ Controls feel perfect and aren’t difficult to handle.

+ The detail in the players and stadiums is astounding and the game as a whole is a beauty.

+ New Pulse Pitching mechanic is a terrific addition to the game.

+ Diamond Dynasty Mode may require a lot of time, but it’s an awesome mode for those wanting to create an original team and put together a dream team.

The Cons: 

- Presentation is flat in a few areas as it doesn’t have a ton of pop or character to it.

- Having licensed songs during menu navigation needs to go away forever.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Sometimes doing something that’s simple in its nature is an incredibly difficult task to pull off in a video game.  Most of the time we’re graced with games that are overly complex or have many layers to them, but doing a simple 3rd person action game that feels right or even a racing game is something that isn’t as easy as one would think.  What’s even more difficult is developing a sports game for a simple sport such as that of baseball.

Kid Icarus: Uprising [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

If someone had once asked me what franchise I’d like to see return (even if you were to go as specific as asking for Nintendo only) Kid Icarus is not a title I would have picked. It is not something I have a personal affinity for, but having played the newest iteration of the franchise, I’m glad that there were enough people out there crying for more Pit-centric action that this game got made. 

The Pros: 

+The control scheme works!

+There is a lot of fun to be had, both in the sky and on land.

+The voice acting is awesome, Pit is legitimately entertaining.

+There are so many additional features to the game that it's hard to even name them all.  

The Cons: 

-The multiplayer is lacking the polish of the single-player.

-The AR card integration feels like little more than a cash-grab.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Honestly, Kid Icarus: Uprising wasn’t a title that I would have considered “on my radar” until about two weeks ago at GDC when I finally spent some time with it. The idea of another re-hash (as epic as that first teaser trailer at E3 was) didn’t really get its hooks into me from the jump. It took actually going hands-on with the completed version of the game to see why fans were excited to see a return to this ancient franchise that would have been all-but forgotten if not for Pit’s return in Smash Brothers.

Mario Party 9 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Mario Party has deviated from the traditional competitive multiplayer board-game, and instead takes a more cooperative, team-based approach to the series. The change is drastic, but not entirely awful. Fans of the series may, however, find that the series' deviation is a little too dramatic of a change for a franchise they have grown to love over the years.

The Pros: 

+Change to the game’s basic structure does provide a bit of a shake-up for a series that’s getting into the 12+ territory.

+The mini games are still as fun as ever, and offer the same chuckle-worthy puns as always.

The Cons: 

-The deviation from the series is pretty dramatic, and long-time fans might be a little upset by the change.

-Everything feels a little over-simplified and watered-down.

-There don’t seem to be as many items to unlock in the game, which may reduce the replay value for some.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Ever since the original title launched back in 1998 I’ve considered myself a competition player. I take my Mario Parties pretty damn seriously, and have always thoroughly enjoyed winning a game in Mario Party almost more than anything else, because of the wide-variety of challenges that their mini-games provide, along with the whole board-game mentality and having to deal with the luck of the dice and random changes of fortune from Bowser and his cronies. I even love the puns that the team keeps coming up for the mini-games, which I’m surprised to see are endless.

Shoot Many Robots [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Shoot Many Robots is a side-scrolling, robot shooting, beer chugging adventure from Demiurge Studios that puts you in the tough and muddy boots of one P. Walter Tugnut, a hard ass who spends his days during the robot apocalypse camping in his dodgy R.V., acquiring all the guns and ridiculous outfits he can to kick major mechanical ass.  At its core, Shoot Many Robots is a very basic 2D side-scrolling action game.  You will not find anything groundbreaking in its shooting mechanics, or anything that will make you choose its gameplay over other similar titles, however there is a lot of fun to be had inside its robotic depths, and that includes a rather fun multiplayer experience, as well as the ability to try and make Tugnut look as ridiculous as humanly possible by purchasing as many bizarre outfits and equipment you can.

The Pros: 

+ Leveling up and purchasing new loot is rather rewarding and hilarious

+ Multiplayer can be fun when playing with a friend

+ Gets rather challenging later to keep up the pace of your new awesome loot!

+ Your single player character transfers to you multiplayer game

+ A borderlands-like art  brings you the robot apocalypse in style

The Cons: 

-Can become repetitive a few hours in

-Not as fun when collecting crazy loot in single player when there is no one to share the laughter with

-Odd controls which in turn take longer to get accustomed to 

-Level design is different, but your progression through always feels the same

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

You know when there is a nasty chainsaw-wielding robot apocalypse going on and all you want to do is destroy hordes of them while wearing a Jason hockey mask, jetpack, and a tutu, and then blow them up by pulling a giant bomb out of a cat carrier you were using as a decoy?  Thank God then that Shoot Many Robots came along.

Alan Wake: American Nightmare [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Using the tools established in Alan Wake, specifically the ability to re-write reality, Remedy has taken Alan Wake in a whole new direction. The game is now themed more like pulp '80s action films, moving away from its Stephen King/Twin Peaks roots, and offers a whole new (unique) story with the flavor of the mini-series Night Springs that ran within the original game.

The Pros: 

+Well written story-line that manages to feel fan-fiction and cannon at the same time.

+Improved gameplay mechanics that make the core even more fun to play.

+Remedy's love for genre films really shows through.

+Small touches like the constant narration (via a Twilight Zone knock-off host) provide that same strong feeling of the original, with a whole new tone.

The Cons: 

-The game does only use three locales, which loop three times.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Remedy’s 2010 thriller title Alan Wake. I went on record saying that it was the best game of the year, and was passionate enough in my appeal of the other writers of the site that eventually we pushed it through to win. The reason was that the game brought something new to the table, it was atmospheric, creepy, smart, and offered just a touch of humor (via the TV series Night Springs, which could be watched through monitors placed through-out the world).

Rhythm Heaven Fever [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Rhythm Heaven Fever is a fun, cutesy and genuine challenging collection of rhythm minigames that incorporate the need to listen to audio cues rather than depend on visuals (as it will make a point of by obscuring your vision at certain points). It stands apart from other like titles by its certain degree of oddness associated with the rating system and funny animal-incorporated scenarios that add a flair of comedy to a genre that has otherwise been sucked dry.

The Pros: 

+ Sharp visuals and cartoony characters are a charming addition to a game that might otherwise be very flat.
+ Mini games gradually increase in difficulty, which does a good job of keeping you on your toes.
+ Certain aspects may or may not be intentionally comedic, but made it fun to fail sometimes to see what message you get.

The Cons: 

- Multiplayer felt a bit tacked on, as you seemed to repeat levels just to take turns doing the exact same thing as in single-player.

- It's not even close to a game with enduring, hours-long gameplay, but rather a quickie to pick up to play a few levels at a time before moving on.
- The button mechanics are sometimes a little clunky.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Rhythm Heaven, as a series, is what I feel to be true to the idea of a real rhythm based game, and the new title does not deviate from this at all; Rhythm Heaven Fever is a quirky, entertaining collective of rhythmic mini-games that depend more on audio cues than visual, which sets it apart as simultaneously one of the most fun and challenging musical titles available. The cutesy animal characters give it a certain air of a children's game, but the escalating difficulties should make it accessible to anybody who enjoys investing in the genre.

WARP [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The game feels confused. It splits in multiple directions, and never really locks down one particular thing properly. It feels a little like, during the development, someone changed their mind on what the title should be; or that there were two teams working together and they ran out of time and just tossed everything in.

The Pros: 

+The mechanics behind the teleportation are solid, and fun to use.

+There’s nothing quite as satisfying as making a pleading scientist beg for his life before exploding him from the inside.

+The challenge rooms offer a great diversion to the main-story, and going back to beat your times will help stretch out the play-time with the came when the story is done.

The Cons: 

-Everything feels like a contradiction of itself. Mechanics, AI, art and story all seem to go in two different directions at once.

-For a puzzle/platformer title, the challenge in the game is minimal. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Before I get rolling with this review, I have a couple of confessions to make:

Firstly, I’m a big fan of the puzzle genre. I’ve, for a long time, held that if you were going to try and give one game the honor of being called “the best ever” (or could have only one video game on a deserted island, each situation equally as ridiculous) it would be Tetris.

Secondly, in any debate for “which superpower would win” conversations I will always interject Teleportation.

Wild Gunman [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The retro styling in this game is a delightful throwback to a more classic digital age. From the square grimace of my wild-west foes to the checkerboard speckled black and yellow sand I truly felt transported to a different age. Kudos to Nintendo for not forgetting what their fans really come for, a unique and simple game that gives you a few moments of escape in exchange for your hard-earned money. Though I am surprised at the lack of parental warning on this game. This is a game where the main (if not only) point is to shoot another human being point blank in exchange for meaningless points and dollar amounts that seemed to be only hoarded as this game lacks any unlockables or upgrade store. Certainly there is something to be said for the strength of reflex measurement and limited fine motor-skill training but at what cost?

The Pros: 

+ Classic 8-bit style that feels genuine

+ Awesome that they took a Back To The Future 2 joke and made a game around it.

+ New orange "zapper" seems more accurate than previous Motion Plus controllers.

+ High scores stored WITHIN THE GAME to compare with friends when at their house.

The Cons: 

- Had to buy YET ANOTHER add-on. Not only does the Wii not support the game, needed a strange grey and black box, and corded controller then it would not function with my plasma TV so I was forced to dig an old TV out of my basement which mysteriously worked.

- Seems to display villains as an assortment of racial stereotypes.

- Backgrounds look stolen from Minecraft.

- Midi style sound effects and music could use a modern update. Maybe some sort of funny end of game song to sing at gaming conventions.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

I was thrilled when Shogun Gamer accepted my request to review some games for them. As a casual-gamer in every way I thought it was important for someone more or less ignorant of this genre of entertainment as a whole to get their voice out there. Some of us just play games to have a game to play, and while art is lovely and all, I just want to shoot some make-believe people then get back to other things.

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