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Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon is basically a 1950s monster sci-fi movie updated to be a video game.  The latest EDF game may not scoop to the low levels of an Ed Wood movie, but it is a fun experience that does have a few noticeable flaws which in some cases only adds more character to the game.  Shooting giants alien controlled ants may be simple but EDF: Insect Armageddon is far from being easy and at times a lot of the enjoyment from the game is derived from the grinding that’s required to access the higher tier weapons.  If you’ve played the previous EDF games then you know what to expect out of Insect Armageddon and if you’re a newb to the series then prepare for some straight forward bug shooting action which may or may not burn you out after one hour.

The Pros: 

+ The scale of the game is impressive, even if the visuals aren’t on the level that’s to be expected from these days.
+ Leveling up specific battle armor and acquiring new weapons is really addicting since it does pay off during combat.
+ Playing online is a blast since it does require some teamwork at times.

The Cons: 

- Some of the enemies are annoying bullet sponges.
- There isn’t a ton of design variety in New Detroit and as a whole the city is rather bland looking.
- At times it feels like the levels simply peter out as the objectives and enemy encounters become predictable and repetitive.
- If you’re a graphics whore then maybe you shouldn’t play EDF: Insect Armageddon since the game isn’t that pretty.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

As a person who enjoys playing video games I like to experience something where I can turn off my brain for a bit and merely blow stuff up.  I do enjoy experiencing a deep journey that at times may involve a bit of self-reflection or will leave me pondering about a particular subject matter, but in the end video games are all about fun thus blowing stuff up equals a good time.  Recently I haven’t played too many games which fully require the player to turn off their mind and merely press a button non-stop and enjoy the ensuing carnage that’s created.  But since I like to try

V-Moda Cross Fade LP Headphones [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The V-Moda Cross Fade LP headphones turned out to be a huge surprise for me as not only was using the headphones fun due to the sound quality, but they simply look cool as well.  I’m not the fashionable type that likes to accessorize with headphones, but I was still amazed at the overall quality and design touches of the Cross Fade LP which combined with the perfectly crystal clear sound quality made it hard at times for me to take them off since all I wanted to do was listen to music.  Compared to almost static headphones that look like they were chiseled out of the same bulk of plastic as the hundreds of other products on the market, the Cross Fade LP headphones are the definition of stylish and actually have the tech know how to sound good as well.

The Pros: 

+ The design touches such as the leather patterns and color accents are extremely nice.
+ I loved the durability of the headphones which despite having a steel frame weren’t too rigid or uncomfortable on my ears, even during long listening sessions.
+ Opting not to rely on pushing out heavy bass effects, the sound quality of the Cross Fade LP headphones is stellar and really balanced.
+ The bonus of having a proper hard shell travel/holding case is a nice as is the Kevlar sound chords.

The Cons: 

-  No noise cancelling is a bit of a downer.
-  The sound chord remote for Apple products is a nice idea but the execution is lacking a bit.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

When it comes to headphones I’ll be honest in saying that I can be an easy guy to please.  For me the most important part about a pair of headphones is whether or not they fit my massive head and ears and that they sound good.  I like to feel comfortable when I listen to my buttery beats or crude jokes on XM Radio so if it’s possible for my ears not to feel crushed when listening to something for extended period of time then I’ll be extremely happy.  With the V-Moda Cross Fade LP headphones the comfort factor is definitely achieved but I was amazed by something else as well:

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a re-make that sticks to its roots. Instead of trying to perform a complete overhaul, Nintendo brought the classic back to life with minor tweaks and a whole lot of love. It truly felt like one of the best gaming experiences I have ever had and with one minor issue a gamer can’t complain.

The Pros: 

+ Provides the same classic story for fans new and old.
+ The 3D graphics really stand-out.
+ Added difficulty in the Master Quest.
+ Gyroscope utilization is spot on.
+ Graphical upgrade makes the game flourish.

The Cons: 

- Found myself turning off the 3D effect every so often.
- Navi’s constant bickering and reminders to take a break became overly annoying.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

It’s considered by many to be one of the greatest games ever made and more often than not re-makes go horribly wrong. This of course is not the case for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Nintendo made sure not to clutter their upgrade with unnecessary additions, but rather minor tweaks that allows this piece of art to shine.

Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalker 2012 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

With ten versatile decks, expanded deck customization, a new game mode and all of the usual Magic: The Gathering goodies, this game is a great deal for its low $10 pricetag. Just like the real card game you will find yourself cursing at the computers amazing topdeck as often as you find yourself cheering your amazing victory that you pulled directly out of your ass. This is Magic at its core.

The Pros: 

+ Expanded deck customization from the original.

+ The regular and revenge campaigns, along with their puzzles, are a lot of fun and can be quite challenging.

+ Great experience for a completionist who can work to unlock all of the decks, cards and achievements.

+ $10 pricepoint

The Cons: 

- The new Archenemy format is more frustrating than fun.

- Multiplayer has some issues such as a lack of players online and some connectivity problems.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

It is important that I lay some groundwork for this review, I am a very experienced Magic: The Gathering player. I have been playing Magic for more than 15 years and have even done some competing in tournaments. Someone who has never played Magic before may have a different perspective, it would be hard for me to say.

MX vs. ATV: Alive [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

For trying to be a sim of MX and ATV action, MX vs. ATV: Alive is an admirable effort but the game just isn’t compelling at all.  Hardcore motocross fans will likely be able to sink some time into the game, but as a whole the game is lacking the content needed to make people coming back for more as the single-player campaign is limited and somewhat restricted by a ranking system.  When looked at as a budget game (the game only retails for $40), MX vs. ATV: Alive is an ok game but it’s far from worthy of being put on your shelf next to other racing games or even the prior entries in the MX vs. ATV series. 

The Pros: 

+ The A.I. is at times unrelenting and is far from being complete push-overs.
+ Taking an honest sim approach to the game is respectable and pays off in creating a simple MX/ATV vibe devoid of unrequired flash.
+ The action in the multiplayer modes surprisingly stayed on the mark as there weren’t any major technical hiccups like lag.
+ It’s nice that you can customize your rider and vehicle with new paint schemes and items.

The Cons: 

- The Reflex controls take a long time to get used to and it doesn’t help that there isn’t a tutorial mode at all.
- Having to constantly replay the same courses in order to gain the proper XP to unlock new locales is the definition of tedious.
- Trying to pull off tricks is a chore and when it does finally happen the end result is less than amazing.
- A lot of the courses are rather derivative and lack any sort of skillful driving opportunities.
- The ATV is a bit too unwieldy to control at times.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
5

I may not have grown up in a rural area of Illinois where they’re almost a common item to own, but I just love motorcycles and dirt bikes.  Sure, I don’t have a driver’s license and therefore couldn’t get atop a bike if I wanted to tear some dirt up and hope to god I don’t crash and break my arm upon going up a small jump, but I just like the general idea of going fast and thoroughly appreciate the skill that’s required when it comes to competitive MX tournaments.  Over the years THQ has given us quite a few games in the MX vs.

Call of Duty: Black Ops - Escalation [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Escalation feels like a map pack. It’s nothing that stands out and yells “Hey you, yeah you with the face. Come play me.” Fans of the franchise will enjoy the maps, but if you’re not a hardcore Call of Duty player you might want to think twice when it comes to buying it.

The Pros: 

+ Graphically the map pack is beautiful.
+ Call of the Dead is a welcome addition to the zombie scene.
+ Voice acting in the game was spot on with the addition of Hollywood talent.
+ The audio score provides great detail to the surrounding environment.

The Cons: 

- The maps are pretty generic and are underutilized.
- Overall it felt as if it was rushed out to make bank.
- Gaming depth isn’t there for non-hardcore players.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

We are now into Treyarch’s second map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops. The DLC was made available yesterday exclusively for the Xbox 360 thanks Activision being run by Satan... Can I even say that? I don’t want to upset the Dark Lord.

WWE All Stars BrawlStick [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The WWE All Stars BrawlStick from Mad Catz may not allow gamers to customize their button layouts or insert new faceplates, but what it does offer is a well-rounded arcade stick that is comfortable and highly responsive.  Don’t let the obvious product tie-in fool you into thinking the BrawlStick is only good when playing WWE All Stars. While playing THQ’s new arcade wrestling game with the BrawlStick is fun and responsive, the BrawlStick manages to be as good with faster paced games like Mortal Kombat.  For the gamers out there looking for an arcade stick that’s affordable and shows your WWE pride, the BrawlStick is definitely the way to go.

The Pros: 

+ The price point is terrific given the build and overall quality of the arcade stick.
+ Both the joystick and the buttons feel really responsive and are perfect to smash upon during intense fights.
+ The WWE art featured on the stick looks good and is tastefully done.
+ Thankfully the USB chord for the BrawlStick is long so it’s easy to sit at a nice distance away from the TV/console.

The Cons: 

- I would’ve liked if there was a bit more spacing in between the buttons.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

A lot of you out there know by now that I’m a huge arcade gamer.  Not only do I love arcade style video games like the Burnout franchise, but I also love arcade gaming as a whole. A lot of my early years gaming were spent at local arcades around the Chicago land area and I guess playing games like Terminator 2, Virtua Fighter and Revolution X (yes, I will admit to playing that and loving the hell out of it) has influenced my gaming sensibilities today.

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes HD [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes HD may seem like it could be a kid centric game with its lush visuals that includes elves, fairies and other such fantastical creatures, but the game is about as hardcore as you can get once you get into the strategy laden battle that it offers.  With a system that is easy to get a grasp of, Clash of Heroes HD is a simply an addicting game that got exceedingly better the more I played and the more I caught on to learning proper battle formations and received stat upgrades.  If you’re in need of a good strategy action game that often has a pace that is simply nail biting then Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes HD is definitely worth the investment.

The Pros: 

+ I was in near constant awe at the visuals and designs dished out in the game.
+ There may not be prominent movement during certain cutscenes, but the animation during battle scenarios is ridiculously good.
+ The single-player campaign may start off a bit slow, but it does pick up a lot after the first hour and thankfully there’s no grinding in order to progress or to become a suitable opponent to enemies.
+ The online modes and co-op play offer another addicting quality to the game.

The Cons: 

-    The enemy A.I. can sometimes come across as being too damn smart during certain battle scenarios.
-    Occasional loading screens may be annoying to those who want to get into battle A.S.A.P.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

When it comes to video games I tend to be the type of gamer who likes brute force or a nice amount of flash.  That statement may totally make me sound like I’m a member of the dudebro nation that has a poster of Marcus Fenix on their wall next to my Budweiser neon sign, but for every Ico or Killer 7 I just tend to like action games where I really don’t need to come up with an immediate strategy in order to win and can simply press the R1 or R2 button multiple times and kill a crapload of aliens or warlords in the process.  But something interesting has happened: I’ve found a strat

Portal 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Portal 2 is like reliving your first kiss or watching a pig fly for the first time. It’s a gaming experience you would tell your kids about. Surpassing that of the original, Portal 2 delivers the perfect mix of puzzle solving gameplay, with a soundtrack I want to burn to a CD... people still do that right? The difficulty progression is set at the perfect rate, however the replay value might be missing.

The Pros: 

+ Co-op gameplay adds its own unique story and characters for players.

+ The voice acting is the best I’ve heard in a very long time.

+ New elements such as the Propulsion and Repulsion Gels, provide great new dynamics

+ The charm of Portal: Still Alive is maintained and not discarded.

The Cons: 

- The replay value could be a hit or miss depending on Valves plans for DLC.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

The history of sequels has shown us that sometimes it’s best to stay with the original. This can be taken even further when you look at games. Portal: Still Alive was a shining star in a sky filled with clouds and video game pollution. As a game that was released in the Orange Box, it wasn’t a standalone title.  Where am I going with this? Look at it like this, if Portal was a movie, it would have been straight to DVD. Garnering so much success a blockbuster sequel was made. For Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Steam users this head turning experience is called Portal 2.

Pokemon Black/White [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Pokémon Black and White are superb additions to the Pokémon franchise that bring upgrades to every major game play system, enhanced graphics and 150 brand-new Pokemon to catch and train. Unfortunately, it still has the exact same basic premise as every other Pokemon game leaving you with the feeling that you've done all this before.

The Pros: 

+150 new Pokemon to the series, bringing the grand total up to 649.

+All 649 have had their graphics redone and actually animated for once.

+The two new battle types create entirely different party dynamics new to the series thanks to the greater emphasis on party position and order.

+Plus, the story of Team Plasma trying to stop the "constant abuse" that Pokemon are put through by battling is more mature and interesting than any previous Pokemon game.

The Cons: 

-It's still the same ole Pokemon. Collect your starter Pokemon, explore the world and defeat the eight gym leaders to become the very best! There is nothing new to be found in the basic, underlying premise.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Pokémon is an odd game to review. If you were to look at it in a vacuum, you'd find a surprisingly large world to explore that is full of colourful characters, interesting creatures and a near endless supply of things to do. All of this tied around a battle system that is painfully easy to grasp but has an incredible amount of depth to it once you really start to dig in.

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