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Xbox One

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.

ReCore [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

ReCore would be a really solid entry into an otherwise under-appreciated genre, action/adventure, if it wasn't held back by a host of technical problems. The game lends concepts from titles like Zelda and Mega Man, but falls short on the excution of a lot of its great ideas.

The Pros: 

+Unique and fun take on action combat.
+Plenty of diversity in corebot customization.
+Beautiful world, both open and dungeons. 
+Plenty of great ideas.

The Cons: 

-Loading times are painfully long (even reloading sections).
-Stuttering/lagging and massive frame drops.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

If the idea of a Zelda-esque adventure title in the far-flung future created by gaming God Keiji Inafune and the creative minds behind Metroid Prime sounds like an exciting prospect, then you might appreciate the amount of fun I had with the first hour of the Microsoft Studios project ReCore. Unfortunately, that kind of high octane excitement is quickly removed due to a host of technical issues that hold the game back from being truly great and instead produce something that I would merely define as "good."

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?

Quantum Break [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Quantum Break is a risky gamble, one that might not pay off for the general public, but one that a review and lover of story crafting and world building like myself deeply appreciates. While the general public might not love the idea of sitting down to watch 20 minutes of TV at the end of each chapter, I found it a beautiful combination of my love for marathoning Netflix TV and gaming.

The Pros: 

+Live action is well shot and well acted.
+Story and world are deep, interesting, and will keep you guessing.
+Time-manipulation powers are a lot of fun to abuse.

The Cons: 

-Core shooting mechanics are weak, compared even to previous Remedy action-shooters.
-Easy to see people not being interested in 20 minute "cut scenes" at the end of each chapter.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

From the end of the first chapter I knew that Quantum Break was going to be a controversial title. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to sit and watch a 22 minute "cut scene" at the end of each level. That being said, this is hardly the first time we've been asked to sit and watch either. Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid have found success with elongated cut scenes to close out chapters of the game, so why is the idea of watching a full TV show quality bumper so unreasonable?

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.

Game of Thrones: Season 1 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Taking into account that Telltale Games has created a fully realized House Forrester, complete with background rich characters from a single line in the novels and stays within TV show and novel cannon is nothing short of amazing. Season 1's decisions will weigh heavily on your conscience and you'll make many sacrifices along the way, direct or otherwise, in typical Game of Thrones fashion.

The Pros: 

+Perfect voice acting
+Incredibly difficult decisions
+Cameos from major show characters (also voiced by the actors)

The Cons: 

-Lack of closure
-Having to wait for Season 2
-Winter is coming

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

It's no secret that Telltale Games has figured out the formula for their great success: Take a pre-established franchise, write a compelling narrative around it full of interesting characters and dialogue, utilize amazing voice actors, make the player decide between incredibly difficult decisions, and finally split up into episodic content with cliffhangers at the end of each episode leaving you wanting more.

Rise of the Tomb Raider [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Crystal Dynamics set a high bar of quality when they rebooted Tomb Raider in 2013, so naturally its sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, needed to up the bar once again; it's done that and more. Built on its solid foundations from the reboot, Lara takes part in an engaging adventure complete with beautiful landscapes, plenty of optional tombs, brain-wracking puzzles, and exciting new combat abilities for a memorable journey that should be had by everyone.

The Pros: 

+Graphically impressive
+Improved crafting system
+Numerous optional tombs and collectibles

The Cons: 

-Bigger focus on mandatory combat sections
-Predictable plot tropes
-Accidental deaths due to controls

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

I don't think many people were expecting Tomb Raider to make as big of a return that it did back in the 2013 reboot, save for Crystal Dynamics. I know it took me by surprise with its exciting traversing and combat coupled with an engaging story and believable voice acting. Tomb Raider was a success at becoming relevant once again and two years later we finally have the much anticipated follow-up to continue Lara's journey.

Tales from the Borderlands [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Telltale is the leading developer when it comes to crafting engaging, emotional, memorable, and now absolutely hysterical narratives with well-known franchises. Tales from the Borderlands is no different, as they've taken the very unique backdrop setting of Gearbox's games and crafted a compelling and immensely entertaining adventure with characters voiced to perfection that I hope to see again one day.

The Pros: 

+Constantly hysterical, especially finger-gun firefights
+Fantastic character development
+Top notch soundtrack and voice acting

The Cons: 

-The original wait between episode releases
-Some choices don't seem to really matter in the end
-It ends

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

One would think that turning the popular shooter Borderlands into a narrative focused adventure with no shooting at all (aside from some amazing pretend finger-gun shootouts) would be asinine. Borderlands has always been about using millions of guns, shooting bandits and psychos, and converting that into a story driven title seems as it was going to be an immense challenge for Telltale.

Halo 5 Guardians [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

There are a lot of changes in Guardians, mechanically and otherwise, most of which are for the better. While the campaign's narrative does have some major shortcomings, it still created some amazing Halo moments that I'll remember forever. The multiplayer has also been updated and refined also adding a completely new Warzone mode that is incredibly fun and will be for quite some time.

The Pros: 

+Legendary mode is quite challenging
+Warzone is fantastic and a great addition
+Some memorable set pieces

The Cons: 

-Squad AI is shoddy, at best
-Campaign heavily focuses on Osiris Team
-Short campaign with an unclimactic ending

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

As a massive Halo fan, I always become increasingly excited the closer the launch of a new Halo game nears. Halo 5: Guardians was no different. It's been 3 years since Halo 4, and we'll finally get to continue on with Master Chief's story and face a new world-ending threat that must be stopped. Being the first Halo on the Xbox One, Guardians has a lot to prove and 343 Industries has taken a lot of measures to ensure that this Halo is different in many ways.

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