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Game Reviews

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.

Poochy & Yoshi's Wooly World [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Thanks to the ability to switch the difficulty between two settings at any time on-the-fly, Poochie and Yoshi's Wooly World is a true "for all ages" video game. It'll serve up a respectable challenge to older gamers on the default setting, then knocked down to "easy" on the secondary setting it is simple enough for even young gamers to get through the main story of the title.

The Pros: 

+Adjustible difficulty for new and veteran gamers alike.
+"Choose your own" difficulty ramps quickly if you're trying to collect all the extras.
+World and character design are incredibly charming and beautiful on the 3DS.

The Cons: 

-The gap between the two settings can be a bit extreme if you're OCD about collectibles.
-Definitely a step down in graphics for the 3DS installment of the franchise, losing some of the more impressive wool look of the Wii U title.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Here’s something I never thought I’d say: There are levels in this iteration of Yoshi’s Story that I found myself legitimately stuck on. For the first time in the franchise history, Yoshi is not just Mario for babies (or with Baby Marios). It’s a full-fledged action platformer with some real depth to it if you feel the need to sink your teeth into all the collectibles and bonus levels that the game has to offer.

Super Bomberman R [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Super Bomberman R is easily the best multiplayer title for the Nintendo Switch at launch. It evokes a sense of nostalgia, not only through the gameplay, but through the proper presentation of the Nintendo Switch hardware. Use of the JoyCon is functional and brings back that feeling of playing the NES with your friends.

The Pros: 

+Adorable characters
+Classic Gameplay
+Co-op throughout the entire story
+Battlemode is fun and easy to setup

The Cons: 

-Story is short
-Online is super limited
-Not too many viable boards offered in multiplayer

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

When everyone was complaining about the launch titles for the Switch being limited to Zelda, I kept shouting back “What about Bomberman!?” I’ve been a life-long Bomber-fan since I first started playing the series on the NES. It’s a game that it near and dear to my heart, primarily because it’s a franchise I’ve always been damned good at.

SnipperClips [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

SnipperClips is a great showcase of the co-op centric mentality of the new Nintendo Switch. At $10 it would have been a perfect example to show off to your friends what the mentality behind the new console is and where it excels. At $30 though it's a bit much to be asked for such a short experience.

The Pros: 

+Adorable characters and animations
+Simple and fun gameplay/mechanics
+Great example of the co-op/multiplayer ideas of the Nintendo Switch

The Cons: 

-Overpriced
-Short
-Nigh-unplayable single-player

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

Many have complained about the barren launch line-up of the Switch all the way through from the initial announcement straight past the release of the console. For my money, I’ve always said it’s about quantity, not quality. So, for me personally the release of a new Zelda title was reason enough to go in day one. But sure enough, after 80 hours of Zelda I found myself wonder “what else is there.”

 

Nintendo Switch [Console Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Nintendo has perfectly captured the emotion of their launch video into a home console. The Nintendo Switch is rife with tradition of the company and takes lessons from their hardware from the NES straight through to the Wii U. More than that, they've made a bold statement about a return to social/couch co-op gaming that we can get behind!

The Pros: 

+Portable
+Fun to change between modes
+Satisfying and well thought-out transitions
+Real weight and quality in the individual components

The Cons: 

-Weak launch line-up
-Everything is overpriced (games, accessories)
-Launch issues with scratched screens and de-syncing JoyCon

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Nintendo has a history of making bold choices where hardware is concerned. Sometimes their wild attempts to deviate from the norm have produced unparalleled success, as in the case of the launch of the Wii. In other instances, their attempts to push hardware in new directions has caused a comical failure that echoes through time, like the still hilarious attempt at VR in the ‘90s with the Virtual Boy.

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.

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?

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.

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