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Game Reviews

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse HD [REVIEW]

Overall Feeling: 

Sega remakes one of their successful 2D side-scrollers with a complete overhaul of graphics and gameplay. The story is the same, and the goals are the same: Rescue Minnie from the evil witch by collecting all the different colored gems, each guarded by a big boss at the end of every level. The gameplay is a mix between classic side-scrolling elements, very similar to that of the original game for the Genesis, and a 3D mechanic that is very reminiscent of Mario 64. The typical, easy enemies and basic platforming is not something that is going to blow you away, nor is it anything that we haven't seen before, but there is charm to be had here, nonetheless. Castle of Illusion HD does enough things differently to distance itself from the swarms of platformers found throughout downloads, and if you were a big fan of the original, it just might be worth a look into this time around.

The Pros: 

+ Strong artwork and sound editing add to its charm.
+ Easy to pick up and play.
+ Unlockable outfits helps add to the replay value.

The Cons: 

- $14.99 seems a little steep for about a three hour game.
- Platforming can feel floaty and get frustrating fast.
- No real gameplay mechanics will challenge you throughout.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

I played a lot of Sega Genesis growing up. A lot. The wave of nostalgia that hit me when I saw that Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse was getting a remake was rather large. I'm a sucker for old platformers, and very much so for Sega ones. It wasn't long into the opening cinematic of the game that I realized this remake is going to be quite different than the original I remembered playing with my brother.

Pikmin 3 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Honestly, waiting 9 years for a sequel I just thought there would be more to Pikmin 3 in regards to new mechanics and features. Sure there are new Pikmin types and the WiiU GamePad gets it use (if you use that control scheme), but it’s still the same Pikmin game once again. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as there’s nothing else out there quite like Pikmin, I just wish it felt newer since we had to wait this long. 

The Pros: 

+ Deep strategy elements when utilizing the WiiU GamePad

+ Multiple controls schemes and options to suit your preferred play method

+ Off-TV play support with WiiU GamePad

+ Challenging and rewarding boss fights

The Cons: 

- A 9 year wait and it’s still just Pikmin once again

- Only two new Pikmin types

- Short campaign with no co-op or online options

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

It’s been almost a full decade since we got to play a Pikmin game last. That’s quite a long wait for loyal Nintendo fans that have been clamoring for a sequel to the popular 2004 GameCube game. It was originally teased a few years back about being released on the Wii, but with the WiiU releasing, development was pushed back to launch on the new hardware instead. Now the wait is finally over, but has the long wait finally been worth it?

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Blood Dragons is a love-letter to b-movie sci-fi films from the 1980s. It is genius in its satirical take on the iconic sub-culture of the material itself as well as video games in general. Fans of action movies, the 80s, satire, or just goofy action games in general will fall in love with this game before the tutorial is completed.

The Pros: 

+Great sense of humor. 

+Sense of loyality its inspiration (80s action films).

+Same great gameplay of its predecessor (Far Cry 3). 

+Stunning visuals (both the neon in-game, and the 16-bit cut-scenes).

The Cons: 

-Character customization has been almost completely removed to make way for a straight forward leveling system (earn a level, get a new game-choosen ability).

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
10

Far Cry: Blood Dragon is a perfect, or rather the only, example of what fans of the 80s sci-fi/action b-movie genre have been hoping for out of video games for about the last 30 years. Of course that’s a pretty ridiculous standard for Ubisoft to try and live up to… but it was refreshing to see how serious, or rather not-serious, the team building the game took the project.

Luigi's Mansion 2: Dark Moon

Overall Feeling: 

Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon is a “Summer Blockbuster” of a video game. While you don’t walk away with anything of substance or any real lasting effect from the game, the enjoyment you get out of it is worth the cost of admission. As long as you’re not expecting deep game play, character development, or a compelling story-line, you’re sure to be happy with this particular 3DS purchase.

The Pros: 

+Fun and interesting game play

+Unique combat mechanic that never really gets old

+Inventive boss battles beyond the “hit me three times in the weak-spot” tedium

The Cons: 

-3D doesn’t really add anything to the game

-Some progression of Luigi would have been nice (he’s still terrified of his own shadow after clearing multiple mansions?)

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Luigi has been a character that’s lived in his brother, Mario’s shadow for nearly three decades now. Sure, he’s had the odd outing of his own, most notably Mario’s Missing and Luigi’s Mansion, but at the top of this year Shigeru Miyamoto promised us this would be Luigi’s year. The focus, for once, is on the perpetual “player 2” this year, and it begins with a sequel to what is (easily) the best game that Luigi has ever stared in: Luigi’s Mansion.

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Heart of the Swarm does what every good expansion/sequel to a Blizzard title (or game in general) should. It expands on the original concepts, without killing the reason we fell in love with it in the first place, and brings something new to the table. At first glance, the changes to the competitive gaming (easily the biggest part of the game for most gamers) seem subtle, but after playing with the new units for a bit, it’s easy to see just how drastically the game has been changed for all levels of gamers.

The Pros: 

+Improvements to the play and feel of the campaign mode.

+New units drastically reshape the gameplay in competitive, with subtle tweaks to the play-style.

+Top-tier production value that we’ve come to expect from Blizzard.

+Some of the most visually impressive gameplay and cinematics in the RTS genre. 

The Cons: 

-F*ck the Zerg.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Does anyone else feel the connection between Blizzard Entertainment and Wolverine? Seriously, it’s been bothering me all week… Every time Blizzard comes out with a new trailer, a new game, an expansion, or whatever I hear, in my head, “We are Blizzard, and we’re the best at what we do and what we do is…” roll the title and display whatever it is they are showing off that particular day of the week.

Chimpact [PlayStation Mobile Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Providing an almost puzzle like take on the platforming genre, Chimpact is a fairly straightforward and pleasant PlayStation Mobile game that thankfully doesn’t falter with its focus on touch controls. The amount of content within the game somewhat bleeds together as things are similar, despite the addition of secondary content which has only minimal effects on the experience, but as a simple PSM game Chimpact is worth your time if you just want to have an easy going gaming experience.

The Pros: 

+ Graphics are lush in their crispness and how fluid everything is.
+ Levels have some nice variety to them along with a steadying rise in difficulty.
+ Price point is good for what the game offers.

The Cons: 

- Gameplay could’ve used some more interaction within the environment to help deepen things.
- Touch controls are slightly sensitive and it doesn’t help that the game lacks a tutorial.
- The chimps have no character to them that makes them appealing other than their cute facade.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Partaking in a bit of light-hearted gaming is always good for the soul since endlessly playing action games or trying to do a perfect lap on a particular course can ultimately eat away at our gaming souls. So what better way to let loose and relax a bit than with a new PlayStation Mobile game in which we send a cute chimp flying. No, Super Monkey Ball has not gone the PSM route as a completely original game has arrived in the form of Chimpact.

[Review] WWE 13 - One of the Worst Games in Recent Memory.

Overall Feeling: 

The fact this game was released is astounding. Any positive points from WWE Attitude Mode or player creation are fully eclipsed by an absurd number of bugs and poor game design.

The Pros: 

+ Attitude Era Nostalgia Bomb.

+ Deep and impressive player content creation tools. 

The Cons: 

- Frequent game crashes.

- Unpolished and riddled with glitches and bugs.

- Online servers keep erasing data.

- 3GB save file on PS3 makes PS+ Cloud storage useless.

- Broken Universe mode design.

- Pay-Per-View matches have no purpose.

- Terrible game audio issues.

- David Otunga's Music. 

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
3

THQ's latest installment of their long lived World Wrestling Entertainment licence hit the shelves on October 30th 2012. While many publications, blog and fans rushed to get their reviews of WWE 13 up on day one, I waited. Patiently.  Now that we’re over a month since its release, I'm rather glad I sat on this and really took the time to explore this game. 

Puzziball [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Serving as the perfect example that we should be cautious of free games, Puzziball is a shallow title with mechanics that aren’t dreadful yet aren’t entirely fun.  The small amount of stages within the game that aren’t paid DLC may be enough to keep someone busy, but Puzziball is so forgettable that I doubt anyone will be motivated to play the game past the first themed world.

The Pros: 

+ It was free and the download size is small as it’s only 69MB

The Cons: 

- Gameplay is dull.
- The amount of free content is somewhat small.
- Art style is horrendous in a mid 1990s kind of way.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
3

Sometimes when an item is free it can either mean two things: company x is being nice to us or the product is so bad that it’s obvious a decent profit won’t be made.  It’s somewhat rare for games to be free, yet every now and then we are lucky whether it’s a piece of DLC or in this case a new title for the PlayStation Mobile platform.  Being an open minded gamer and one that’s always on the search for new titles to play on my Vita, I decided to download the completely free game that is Puzziball.  Too bad that the game ultimately turned out to be so painfully bad to play that

Forza Horizon [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

A brilliant blend between high-stakes, full-throttle racing and meditative country drive in your dream car, Forza Horizon takes a well-loved, established franchise and dares to do something a little different. Fans of the franchise may miss the game’s simulation edge, but for a game that offers so much variety strung together, quite nicely, with a core concept that holds throughout, it’s hard to stay angry at the decision to change for more than a couple minutes into the game.

The Pros: 

+Intelligent use of the world, environment, menus and audio to create a unified theme throughout.

+Combines the best of both worlds: full-throttle super-speed racing, and a relaxing Sunday drive through the country.

+Slightly more relaxed atmosphere/controls than the previous games, lowering the barrier of entry for new/casual players.

The Cons: 

-Some of the “challenges” push the boundaries of casual into straightforward boredom, i.e. the photo challenges (where you just need to get your car to a visually stimulating point without wrecking the car, without any form of time challenge).

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Forza has spent the last seven years working its way into my heart. Originally a franchise I passed off as Microsoft’s attempt to be Gran Turismo. It’s grown over the years in leaps and bounds, the most recent iteration, Forza 4, becoming one of my favorite racing games of all time. When Horizon was announced, so shortly after the launch of four, I found myself wondering if it was a bit too soon for a sequel.

Alien Breed [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

As a reminder of the more simpler days of the shooting genre, Alien Breed holds up well today as it’s neither a dull shooter nor is it an arcade one that can be easily completed in twenty minutes. Combining the best of both worlds, Alien Breed has gameplay that’s accessible yet has a rather enjoyable grinding nature that encourages exploration.  With a nice collection of content thanks to two existing releases and the addition of eight new levels, Alien Breed is a welcomed addition to the PlayStation Mobile software library.

The Pros: 

+ Both the classic and enhanced visuals are nice to look at.
+ Gotta love the creepy OST and shriek of the aliens.
+ Controls are simple and totally responsive.
+New levels offer some nice variety alongside the more natural stage design.

The Cons: 

-  Not being able to switch between classic and enhanced visuals in between levels.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

There are some video games out there that are so good that they simply become timeless.  No matter how far certain graphical or gameplay leaps may be made, there are a select few games out there that simply remain good no matter how old they are.  Titles like Pac-Man and Doom can stand the test of time even if they don’t have HD visuals since at the end of the day what makes a good game is how good the actual gameplay is.  Now the classic shoot-em-up action of Alien Breed has been re-released for a younger generation and yes - the game is still that damn good.

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