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iPhone & iTouch

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.

Her Story [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Sam Barlow's latest deconstruction of narrative is a game by necessity. It expertly leaves just enough of the story and mechanics to player imagination while capitalizing on the best that the adventure-genre has to offer. It uses familiar visual vocabulary without falling into the trappings of contemporary game design. Her Story manipulates time and space as deftly as the best works in any medium and never overstays it's welcome. It is a must-play for mystery fans, adventure game fans, FMV fans, or people just looking for something fresh.

The Pros: 

+Excellently integrated interface design
+Wonderful FMV acting
+A compelling mystery
+Short and sweet

The Cons: 

-The story can be intimidating to parse
-It can be easy to get lost
-There aren't many others like it
-Silent Hill: Shattered Memories wasn't a huge success

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

People of a certain age or fondness for game history are familiar with the text parser - adventure games were built around them in the early days. Being thrown into a world where all you had was a rudimentary text input interface and your imagination is what made adventure games so compelling.

Final Fantasy Dimensions - Prologue and Chapter 1 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Mixed. If released twenty years ago, FFD might have occupied the same hallowed headspace as the Squaresoft masterpieces of the mid 90s—all the ingredients look to be here in more-or-less the right quantities, and no one would balk at the $29 price for a full console RPG. Today, though, you have a decent iOS RPG with above-average graphics, sound, combat, and character customization, but the cookie-cutter character archetypes and job system—beloved and well-designed as they are—do not justify the headline-making price tag.

The Pros: 

+ Everything you love about Square's "golden years" are here—super-deformed characters, emotional twists, moogles, airships, tough bosses, crystals, menu-based combat, equipment, accessories, summons, etc.

+ Pretty sprite-based character visuals and animations, great spell effects

+ Good touch controls with a short learning curve

+ We've seen it before, but the job system is pretty great

The Cons: 

- Everything you hate about Square's "golden years" are here—goofy translations, the same old moody characters, random battles, an evil empire, epic but often nonsensical plot, etc.

- Poor pacing with little character development

- A possible lack of value for the price when compared to other good iOS titles

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

You could argue that Square Enix is trying something courageous with Final Fantasy Dimensions (FFD). You could argue that, alongside the veritable firehose of tens of thousands of freemium iOS games, they have brought a complete, high-quality RPG to the platform and that they are paving the way for other triple-A titles to charge the appropriate amount for the experience. You could argue their goal was to take a strong step towards your i-device becoming the gaming system you reach for even when you're at home and capable of playing on a console.

I don't think that was their goal.

Supermagical [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

It's easy to look past the overly cutesy story when you see Supermagical's gorgeous hand-drawn visuals, and you'll forgive some necessary grinding and softly suggested in-game purchases when you hear what is probably one of the best game soundscapes on the platform. The core mechanics of this puzzler—colour matching—were pioneered way back in the mid 90s with the Bust-a-Move games, but Supermagical adds a bit of depth to what existed and stacks powerups and allies on top. With a decent challenge curve it's a game that almost anyone can play and a strong bargain for the price point.

The Pros: 

+ Pretty graphics, better audio, and a consistent, unified theme tying it all together

+ Simple but varied gameplay complete with minigames; good challenge later on

+ Great value for you, your spouse, your kids, and your friends' kids

The Cons: 

- Childish; you won't fire this one up to show off your new iPad

- A bit grindy, and far moreso if you want to buy all the powerups in the game

- Not exactly pushing the medium or genre for innovation, though still well executed

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

I bought Supermagical on a lark when it was featured in the App Store—the coverage mentioned how charming the title is, and I had a road trip upcoming. While the game has a few minor flaws, it turns out my dollar was very well spent.

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:

Brooklyn to Babylon: Shinobi Ninja Attacks iPhone Review

Overall Feeling: 

An innovative band iPhone app that includes a great arcade game and interesting extras.

The Pros: 

Awesome arcade beat-em-up action. Music and Movie unlockables. Download the EP for free once you beat the game. Innovative "Live Show" features.

The Cons: 

3.99 regular price will likely be too pricey for players only interested in the game, which is a little short. 8 Point touch control pad would have been better as a Joystick, similar to Simpsons Arcade.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Recently we were asked to review a new iPhone game for the band Shinobi Ninja out of New York City. For those of you who don’t know them (and I’ll be honest I didn’t prior to them emailing me) Shinobi Ninja is an independent rock/rap group which features lead singers DA and Baby Girl, bassist Jonny on the Rocks, drummer Terminator Dave, guitarist Maniac Mike, and DJ Axis Powers. Shinobi Ninja is an interesting fusion of rock, alternative and hip-hop party music.

[Review] Jules Verne's Secrets of the Mysterious Island iPhone

Overall Feeling: 

A fantastic game for your iPhone. Great visuals and an innovative control syem on 3GS phones makes this a must try. If you likes Myst you will definitely want to check this out.

The Pros: 

Lush island environment. Great story with fantastic stylish visuals. Challenging puzzles. Innovative compass/GPS control system. A monkey.

The Cons: 

Large install file size (704 Mb). While voice acting is nice, it's rather weak. Music leaves something to be desired.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

After a mishap that caused the death of my iPhone 3G I went without a smart phone for about a month while I waited a 3Gs to replace the previous model. Since getting it back I’ve made a point to make sure to spend more time with my iPhone seeing as our time apart lead me to be thankful for the various and wondrous features that the phone has to offer.

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