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[Review] Final Fantasy XIII

Overall Feeling: 

Claimed by Square-Enix to be the evolution of gaming, Final Fantasy XIII is far in a way different to its predecessors. However with many of the changes working against the game rather than for it, it feels like two steps forward and one step back. There’s still clear progression and combined with a plot that as epic in scale as the series demands, Final Fantasy XIII has plenty to offer but series veterans may dislike this stage of the evolution cycle.

The Pros: 

Stunning visuals. Hectic and entertaining battle system. Paradigm system works well and offers greater flexibility than using pre-set roles.

The Cons: 

Linear level design as well as lack of side quests. Lack of Gambit system can be frustrating. Easier than previous games in the series.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Few games can boast as big a brand as Final Fantasy. With countless releases and re-release across a wealth of formats, Square-Enix's RPG series is one the biggest, and is regarded by a legion of fans as the best. Final Fantasy XIII represents the series' first outing in HD, as well as its first appearance on a Microsoft console. It's clear that rather than simply improve on its predecessor, Square-Enix opted to give the game a major overhaul. Unfortunately, in spite of all the improvements, Final Fantasy XIII feels like it takes one step backwards for every two steps forward.

[Review] Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Overall Feeling: 

A more serious tone to the story aided by improvements to every last detail from the first game creates and exciting and entertaining single player campaign while continuing the Battlefield tradition of intensely satisfying multiplayer experiences.

The Pros: 

Impressive cast of interesting and entertaining characters.
A wide assortment of weapons, all reliable while providing variety.
Interesting twist to multiplayer that encourages team work, and staying alive over lone-wolf meat-grinder play.

The Cons: 

Almost nothing, pressed to provide something I would say I was a little let down that the story wasn't as campy as the first title.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

 

[Review] Bioshock 2

Overall Feeling: 

A solid action title with a fun feeling to it, though the storying is no where near as compelling as the original. Aided in no small part by the addition of multiplayer to the game.

The Pros: 

It is a beautiful looking game. The multiplayer is surprisingly fun and innovative. It is a lot of fun to play through, and the mechanics weren't ruined.

The Cons: 

Disappointing follow up to the story from the original. Random difficulty changes through the game. No new plasmids.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

 

The original Bioshock was a masterpiece of gaming work; it was one of those titles that helped to blur the lines between video games and art. It was a prime example of how something could be fun to play, and yet provide an engrossing story. When a game like that comes along and does well for itself, it enables itself the opportunity of a sequel. Unfortunately with that opportunity comes a high bench-mark to meet or, even more rarely, exceed.

[Review] Darksiders

Overall Feeling: 

With its varied combat, challenging puzzles and epic plot Darksiders succeeds in merging many elements , and in doing so offers a terrific experience that’s likely to have something to offer for most who will play it. But more importantly, rather than feeling like yet another simple clone, Darksiders genuinely feels like a legitimate contender.

The Pros: 

Addictive combat with a large variety of enemies to face and moves to master. Epic boss battles. A gorgeous visual style that has as much variation as the combat itself. A plot filled with entertaining characters as well as a few twists along the way.

The Cons: 

War’s character is all too generic. The camera often leaves you unsure of where enemies are leaving War wide open.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Creating a game which draws its influences from some of modern gaming’s biggest series is a bold move on the part of developer Vigil Games, but it’s certainly one that has paid off. By enlisting the help of artist Joe “Mad” Madureira the slick visual style on display in Darksiders alone is enough to make the game stand out. Add to that a combat system that’s as deep as it is rewarding along with a handful of massive boss battles and you have a game that goes well beyond the title of clone.

[Review] Assassin's Creed II

Overall Feeling: 

For the most part it's a fun game jumping from rooftop to rooftop assassinating fools that could've used a lot more polish.

The Pros: 

Parkour actions are pretty solid. Duel wrist blades are rad. A lot of detail went into the look of the cities.

The Cons: 

Story which tries its best to not let you in on it. Really poor level design in some places.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

This review of AC2 was made by a multi-matter state team of various faiths, beliefs and are neither Mac¹ nor PC (..politically correct).

[Review] Dragon Age Origins

Overall Feeling: 

Despite its dull and dated visuals, Dragon Age Origins still manages to offer a terrific experience. With deep gameplay, an epic plot and host of interesting characters to meet, the world of Ferelden will suck you in and you won't want to leave.

The Pros: 

Deep gameplay forces you to think before you act. The main plot has great length, before you even consider all the little extras available to you. Multiple playthroughs are actively encouraged, extending the game's life even further.

The Cons: 

A host of visual problems, from dull and dated environments, to some clipping and frame rate issues. Lack of player voice-over is a disappointment.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

1998 saw the release of Baldur's Gate, an RPG which is still heralded by many as one of best. Several years on, a few expansions later, and BioWare have finally released what they refer to as the "spiritual successor" to Baldur's Gate; Dragon Age Origins. The game takes the traditional style of Western RPG, which is based heavily around the Dungeons and Dragons rules, and brings the whole niche to a "next-gen" level. And whilst there are a couple problems, the experience offered in Dragon Age Origins is unlike anything you'll have played this year.

[Review] Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 a powerful GOTY contender

Overall Feeling: 

Powerful and compelling storytelling brought to life through unique and innovative game play from the developers of one of the all-time greatest shooters. A solid follow up that improves on the original in every single way.

The Pros: 

The legendary look and feel of a Call of Duty shooter.
Emotionally stirring soundtrack.
Powerful scenes that will make you pause and think.
The new standard for online shooters.

The Cons: 

Shorter single campaign then the previous chapter.
Easier than the previous game.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

 

[Review] Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 (PES 2010)

Overall Feeling: 

Whilst much of the game has been improved, too many elements remain rooted in their recent past. The result is a game that's likely to appeal to fans but still feels inferior to its rival FIFA.

The Pros: 

The game's graphical overhaul helps to bring it up to current generation standards and the provides terrific looking player models. Master League has been reworked and now offers the player even more control over their selected team. The ball now has more weight to it resulting in a more realistic sense of speed and power.

The Cons: 

Defensives and Goalkeeper A.I. are still all too easy to expose. Commentary is very poor and almost identical to last year's. Animations still look a bit dated.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

The Pro Evolution Soccer series is one that has struggled to make the transition from the previous generation of consoles to the current one. Konami haven't been helped by the fact that in that time their main rival, EA's FIFA series, has been improving and tuning its already successful game. The PES series was once hailed by football fans alike, but its fan base now consists of mostly die-hard fans who hope for the games of old.

[Review] Brutal Legend isn’t quite the legendary game some had hoped it would be

Overall Feeling: 

Brutal Legend is the very definition of a mixed bag. The game has a story which has a perfect amount of humor and heart that takes some nice shots at the past and present of rock music. But the various game mechanics the game gives the player just aren’t as refined and fun as they could be which makes Brutal Legend a game that is more fun to watch someone else play or to simply watch the cutscenes on YouTube.

The Pros: 

The story is really enjoyable despite the few issues it has. Jack Black and the other voice actors and accompanying rock legends all turn in excellent performances where the core of the character is front and center and not celeb doing the voice. Simply amazing art design that makes this insane rock infused world believable and more importantly entertaining to explore. Awesome rock soundtrack with tons of legendary bands.

The Cons: 

Game just isn’t that fun to play. Regular combat is okay but not that deep and the RTS sections drag on a bit due to their length and lack of intense action and core mechanics that may be too much to handle for some people. The story while fun feels like it's missing a good chunk of content that would've fleshed a lot of things out. The game lacks longevity due to a story mode that can be completed in around five hours and secondary missions which aren't that compelling.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

When it comes to music and concerts in particular the most unsung heroes are the roadies.  Despite the bands performance and what sort of show they put on none of that would be possible without the hard work roadies put into the show. Whether it’s through tuning the instruments or erecting the massive stage that the musicians perform on, roadies are the true backbone of the band and concert. Perhaps the best roadie in the business is Eddie Riggs.

[Review] FIFA 10 falls just short of perfection on account of a few faults and a lot of bugs

Overall Feeling: 

As sporting games go, FIFA 10 is as close to its sport as you’re ever likely to find. With its realistic gameplay, stunning visuals and first rate commentary, you’ll never feel closer to the game of football. Had it not been for a few niggling faults and the presence of a host of bugs, EA Canada may well have created the perfect sports game.

The Pros: 

Last years gameplay has been improved upon again, ironing out most of the little things that held FIFA 09 back. The visuals are as stunning as ever, the commentary from Gray and Tlydesley is engaging and genuinely adds to the experience. Virtual Pro is huge improvement over last year’s Be A Pro mode allowing you to use your superstar in all the games modes. Add to this, an improved Manager mode, and FIFA 10 has a lot to offer you.

The Cons: 

The game still retains a few of the issues of previous generations, namely some unfair match-ups against the computer, as well as cheap AI that results in unrealistic players. Despite the visuals, player faces still look weird, particularly for those in lower leagues. The game has a notable amount of minor bugs – well over 70. Not game breaking in any way, but they do take the shine off a very professional game.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

The FIFA series is certainly one of EA's biggest, however for many of the initial years the game lacked any real depth making it only appealing to those whose primary focus was how good a game looked. A man by the name of David Rutter (a self-proclaimed Pro Evolution Soccer fan) was so dismayed by the FIFA series that he supposedly wrote a letter to EA in which he stated over 100 elements of the game that should be improved. David Rutter is now the producer for both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of FIFA.

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