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Destiny 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Destiny is less of a "fun game" and more of an addiction. Activision has locked in on the feel of proper gameplay as well as the horribly difficult balance between the ability to get to end game/appreciate end-game content and a never-ending grind for gear. While you will be spending an awful lot of time grinding, it's much easier to get into the endgame now thanks to Clan Rewards and Guided Games.

The Pros: 

+Addictive gameplay
+Major quality of life improvements for menus and character classes
+Guided Games help you get into endgame content (if you're a loner like me)
+Staggering amount of content, new stuff being added every week

The Cons: 

-Small issues like one-time use shaders and mods
-Quality of life issues like the inability to sell off/dismantle multiple shaders/mods at once

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Destiny 2 has proven to be less of a “good game” and more of a down-right addiction. Now, at a first glance that seems like exactly what you’d be looking out of a gear-grind game. However, it’s important to note that I’m several weeks behind on reviews and personal errands at this point due, in no small part, to the fact that any free time I’ve had in the last few weeks had been dumped into that gear-grind to make sure my characters have one of everything.

Injustice 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Injustice was something of a surprise hit that defined what a great fighting game had to do in terms of content and story. Injustice 2 takes all of that, improves on it subtly, then changes the game completely by providing a simply unrelatable amount of content to the single-player fighting experience.

The Pros: 

+Vast character customization
+Deep dark story that continues from the original
+Seemingly endless rewards for continued play
+Stunning visuals and iconic character moments
+Great base play that will be ready for tournament play at EVO

The Cons: 

-The amount of content could be considered overwhelming
-If you're not into a gear-grind, that could be frustrating considering how much there is

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

The original Injustice was a game that no one really expected much out of. After the lackluster response to Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, it seemed the concept of superhero fighting games under the banner of NetherRealms might simply be a novelty one-off.

Yooka-Laylee [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Yooka-Laylee is the definition of "careful what you wish for." In the rash hatred for the changing ecosystem of game development when an old title, Banjo-Kazooie, got a face-lift on the X360 we created a vacuum that was filled by the crowd-sourcing craze and brought us exactly what we asked for: a '90s platforming adventure. Unfortunately, there's a VERY good reason these kinds of games don't exist anymore. We've moved on and games are infinitely more complex today and gamers will expect more.

The Pros: 

+Character design is adorable and the characters themselves are charming.
+The worlds are bright and beautiful, which is a nice contrast to the modern shades of brown and grey.

The Cons: 

-Game ignores all modern innovation on game design and plays like an N64 title.
-Issues with camera and control highlight a lack of innovation.
-Lackluster story telling and character motivation make collect-a-quests as boring as we might have feared from a true retelling of a '90s classic.
-Worst of all, this is what we were all asking for. It delivers '90s gaming and proves there's a reason we moved on. Nostalgia can hurt as much as help.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
4

A few years back, the Xbox 360 saw the return of a ‘90s gaming icon in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. It strived to bring the duo into the modern era and attempted to innovate on the tradition of the original title by adding the ability to craft different vehicles to platform in a new way, while trying to also stick to the original collectible nature of the original franchise.

Horizon Zero Dawn [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Horizon Zero Dawn is a game that would be easy to compare to a few others, most notably Far Cry and Shadow of the Colossus. The end result, however, is something completely unique. The story is much deeper and impressive than I would have anticipated from a game that was sold under the guise of "shoot robot dinosaurs" and the mechanics are much better than the classic "kill animals for materials to make better weapons to kill animals" loop.

The Pros: 

+True next generation graphics and artist design to showcase it.
+Deep gameplay with an appropriate learning curve to make it an obsession long-term.
+A story far better than it ever had the rights to be, considering the platform it was sold on.
+Playstation's best reason to own a console to date, and specifically to own a Playstation Pro.

The Cons: 

-PR's sales pitch of the game is a double-edged sword. The mystery might have intrigued a majority of gamers out there, but much more would have been interested to know how deep the well actually goes and what it's all about.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

At first glance (or play-through) Horizon Zero Dawn is a game that draws immediate comparison to other “hunter/gather” style games, most notably the Far Cry series in its more recent incarnations. Once you’ve progressed past the initial moments of the game, though, other’s will come to mind like Dark Souls and Shadow of the Colossus. By the time you get to the third act in the story it’s easy to compare the story to something like Bioshock in its scope and twisting turns.

Batman: The Telltale Series: Realm of Shadows [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

As with virtually all Telltale games, Batman: The Telltale Series is a unique, original take on the story of the titual franchise marred by the weight of the name "video game." Technical issues and a lack of gameplay hold it back from being something truly impressive, though fans of the developer will of course forgive it for its very obvious sins.

The Pros: 

+Creative and original story
+A few unique/interesting sequences that take advantage of the title character

The Cons: 

-Frame rate issues
-Obvious animation issues
-Gameplay glitches in several versions of the release

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

One of the most interesting, and unexpected, reveals of last year's E3 was the announcement that the kings of interactive story-telling, Telltale Interactive, was working with Warner Brothers to produce a game experience under the franchise banner of Batman.

Hot on the heels of titles under staple franchises like AMC's The Walking Dead and HBO's Game of Thrones, it seems that there's no property that Telltale hasn't been able to brand with their unique spin.

Overwatch [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Overwatch has been referred to as the "mixed martial arts" of competitive gaming and that feels like the most apt analogy anyone will make. It brings together a little bit of everything, shooters, MOBAs, even RTS and fighting games. All in a way that doesn't feel to convulted or overcomplicated.

The Pros: 

+Quick and easy game types.
+Easy to learn, difficult to master.
+Blends a little of everything, from the competitive gaming scene.
+Insane attention to detail, from map design to audio queues.

The Cons: 

N/A

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

Overwatch has broken ground on a few industry firsts during its production. Many are already aware of the long development history and transition from Titan to Overwatch, changing a massive multiplayer online role playing game into a first person team-based shooter. Not only did it make history in that unprecedented change, but it also has one of the longest running beta periods I've ever seen (about 6 months). So for all that work, all that testing and tweaking, has Blizzard truly created the next big thing? Or is the novelty due to fade?

Ratchet & Clank 2016 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Ratchet and Clank is much more than the standard "remaster" or HD remake that we've been inundated with over the last couple of years. It not only improves the graphics, but adjusts the maps players are used to and re-writes portions of the story to modernize it and give it a new spin while making jokes at its own expense. The game is not only beautiful, but a whole lot of fun to run through (even if it's not your first time).

The Pros: 

+Beautiful remasters character models and landscapes.

+Fun story with plenty of nods at it being a remaster.

+Solid mechanics that have been updated for the modern area.

The Cons: 

-As with all remasters: I would have preferred a full new title.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Over the last couple of years I may have become an Xbox "fanboy" due to Microsoft being my perferred platform over the last two generations of console. Coming up as a kid though, my roots are firmly planted in the Sony Playstation lineage. Well, if you don't go too far back anyways where you'll find that I bleed blue and have been and always will be a Sega fanboy.

The Division [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The Division represents all the promise that Destiny promised. It's a solid shooter title with RPG elements and a squad-based online system that actually works. The game offers moments of zen run-about and baddie killing, with an option for some of the most intense moments of competitive gaming within its "Dark Zone."

The Pros: 

+Tight shooting mechanics that never get old.
+Inivative online multiplayer via its "Dark Zone" mechanics.
+Incentive to grind/replay for late game gear and incoming new content.

The Cons: 

-Severely lacklustre story telling.
-Suffers from the trend of "map clear" games, which has got stale of late.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

The Division is a game I've been sitting on for a little while now. Not so much because I was looking forward to playing as much as humanly possible before I wrote the review but more so because I'm a little confused about my time with it. My experience was that Division burns hot and fast, it was a whole lot of fun to the point of near addiction for about a week... then my desires to continue faded out rather quickly.

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.

Review: Battlefield Hardline

Overall Feeling: 

Battlefield is known for being a military shooter but Hardline is looking to change all of that by completely shifting the setting and tone of the game to the tried-and-true Cops versus Robbers instead. Even traditional Battlefield game modes for multiplayer have been tweaked to make for a new experience, and while longtime fans of the series might be thrown off initially, give it a chance and you'll most likely think Hardline is the good cop instead of the bad one. 

The Pros: 

+Hotwire Mode is very refreshing and a fun twist on Conquest.
+The Cops vs Robbers campaign is a great new angle instead of world factions against each other.
+New weapon unlocking progression is money-based instead of rank and time sinks.

The Cons: 

-The 'flash your badge' mechanic in campaign works seldom when needed and seems silly at times.
-No big memorable set pieces for the campaign.
-Campaign tries to force you to play it as a stealth game instead of a true Battlefield.
-Aside from a few campaign sections, Hardline doesn't look current-gen at all.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Best known as a militaristic shooter, Battlefield Hardline changes the formula completely, which can be a little jarring at first but eventually welcomed once you learn its offerings and simply accept it. The multiplayer is once again present and easily the biggest piece of Hardline that will keep you playing, but the campaign also returns with a much smaller scale story instead of world factions fighting it out across the globe. Visceral Games has dramatically changed Battlefield's setting and tone, but the core multiplayer gameplay still feels like a Battlefield at its heart.

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