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Reviews

Dance Central 3 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Dance Central, with two previous titles, is a well-established series. It’s not something that needs any further explanation at this point beyond “That Harmonix game where you dance like a lunatic in front of your TV for the bemusement of your drunken friends.” If you’ve picked up Dance Central 3, or are considering it, you likely know exactly what you’re getting into.

The Pros: 

+Far more diverse set-list then the previous games.

+Funny, if not slightly cheesy, ‘story mode’ in the vein of Elite Beat Agents.

+Gangnam Style DLC announced.

The Cons: 

-Shorter set-list than other games in the genre.

-Dance party mode only offers the set-list via SmartGlass.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

When the Kinect originally launched, two years ago now, there was only one thing that had me excited for the hardware (I mean, aside from the potential and the games we were all dreaming up; I mean real, announced titles). That game was Dance Central. “Harmonix is allowing gamers an excuse to dance like fools in the safety of their own living rooms?” I thought.

Assassins Creed 3 [Review] - Loading Woes and Small Issues Steal the Show.

Overall Feeling: 

Assassins Creed 3 ends up feeling rushed and forced in a lot of areas. While the naval combat system is by far the shining star of this title, it feels like a lackluster ending to what I’ve felt is one of the most promising and interesting franchises in gaming.

The Pros: 

+Naval combat is so good it could be a stand alone game.

+Impressive graphics and cinematics make for solid presentation.

+A concise (theoretical) ending to the franchise.

+Beautiful and fun hand to hand combat.

The Cons: 

-Story is not friendly to casual franchise fans.

-Terrible loading design.

-Lackluster and shallow missions.

-User interface is needlessly cumbersome.

-New features meant to expand on past games are just tedious and meaningless.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

I’ve had a rather love/hate relationship with the Assassins Creed franchise. For me, it seems to be a never-ending cycle where Ubisoft announces a game that sounds amazing on paper (and looks incredible in trailers!), but when I sit down to play it, a huge amount of small-issues add up to ruin the experience of what should have been an incredible game. Assassins Creed 3 (AC3) managed to once again follow this trend. I guess they get points for consistency.

Code of Princess [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Code of Princess tries very hard to recapture the spirit and charm of its spiritual predecessor, Guardian Heroes, but ultimately fails to provide the same fast-paced, tight experience that it tries to emulate. There are rumblings of a greater game underneath the sluggish, frustrating combat that Code of Princess provides, but these never quite resonate, and remain buried under poor design choices.

The Pros: 

+ Fun, quirky characters

+ Robust combat system with a lot of room for personalized combos

The Cons: 

- Action feels sluggish and unrewarding

- Grinding is necessary to come close to scratching the game’s harder encounters

- Visuals are stunning up close, but drop in quality drastically when more than three enemies appear on-screen

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
4

A legacy is a double-edged sword. For a game with a great legacy, there’s a good chance that gamers will be into your concept based solely on a name drop. Conversely, if your game isn’t a worthy successor to a beloved classic, chances are it’ll get more flak than a bomber flying over France circa WWII.

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.

Mass Effect 3: Leviathan DLC [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Leviathan provides an interesting new chapter to the ME3 story, and it's clear that a good deal of thought and care went into both the narrative and encounter design, but it doesn't match ME2's best efforts, most notably Overlord or Lair of the Shadow Broker. The DLC provides some beautiful new areas to explore, answers questions and fills in some of the rich lore of the ME universe, and challenges the player with slight innovations during some stand-out action scenes. Still, with a misstep in revealing information too early and no truly difficult decisions to make, it's a little short and a little plodding for the price tag.

The Pros: 

+ Strong writing and voice acting, and some interesting, challenging twists on combat scenarios

+ Suitably creepy and mysterious, and well-paced overall with several ups and downs

+ New weapons, a new power, and decent payoff towards the main plot

The Cons: 

- Coming this late after ME3's release considerably lessens the impact of the events in Leviathan—I wish I could have played it on release

- Slower-paced "detective" work is fine at first, but once the player has exhausted the eye-candy and grown used to the mystery, sections can drag on

- Probably a little pricey for the value, especially when compared to past DLC

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
7

Commander Shepard's exploits, male or female, have sold millions of copies of their games in our universe, safe-guarded billions of aliens in theirs, and have made headlines in both by including the ability to punch out reporters mid-sentence and explore cross-species, same-sex, and even old-fashioned hetero loving with accompanying make-out scenes. The intellectual property has been much-loved and simultaneously reviled, most recently by the outcry over ME3's original endings.

London 2012 Olympics - The Video Game [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

As a sports game and one that just so happens to represent the biggest sports event in the world, London 2012 Olympics fails to make an immediate impression that is overwhelmingly positive.  The game does its best at adapting a variety of events in video game form, but ultimately none of them stand out since they feel repetitive and aren’t that much fun.  Lacking any immediate charm, enjoyment and everything else that makes for a fun game doesn’t help London 2012 Olympics as it’s ultimately a shallow experience that feels like it’s half a game.

The Pros: 

+ None of the games are too complex in such a way that it’s annoying to play.

+ Visuals are decent for what they are and don’t look last-gen terrible.

+ Some of the events do a decent job at replicating the rhythmic nature found in the actual sport.

The Cons: 

- Main Olympic mode is lackluster as it doesn’t represent the celebratory nature of the event.

- The various sports events may be different their nature, but the controls and game mechanics don’t do a good job at representing such a thing.

- Replayability is limited since the online modes are rather bare bones and there isn’t much to do other than Trophy/Achievement hunt.

- A few key sports are missing such a fencing which would’ve worked quite well in the game and provided nice variety.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
5

There aren’t too many things in the world which can have millions or in some cases a billion or so people completely enamored and unified in a sense.  With some countries favoring certain types of sports compared to others (such as the lack of appeal North America has for European soccer) it’s kind of understandable why the world isn’t one big happy family as dreamt of in things like Star Trek.  But outside of traumatic events, the world does occasionally band together in a slightly competitive but friendly way through the Olympic games.

Memory Express Custom Gaming PC Review

Overall Feeling: 

Memory Express’ second generation custom gaming PC is insanely powerful. So much so, it’s near impossible for us to properly test this thing. Like a super-car that was somehow made street legal you may never get to see its full potential, but it’s got ridiculous bragging rights. If you have the money to spend, you’ll be able to watch people drool over your PC as they leer insides through the case’s side window. 

The Pros: 

+The twin GTX680s mean never having to worry about lacking the graphical juice for a video game until sometime next year.

+Slim black case offers a sleek and sexy design that doesn’t sacrifice function for form, and actually offers more accessibility than the original build.

+Everything here is top of the line. With a PC of this caliber you get to reverse the industry. Games will be made to try and keep up with your system, rather than you worrying about if your system meets the specs for a game.

The Cons: 

-There’s no real good way to carry it, so if you’re a LAN enthusiast, look at investing something to carry it with.

-The cost is right up there, you’re getting the best, but you need to expect to pay for that as well.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Anyone familiar with the world of PC Gaming, or just PCs in general knows that technology moves quickly. Keeping up with technology is a full-time gig for the dedicated technophile. In the past I’ve equated PC gaming to car building and collecting. Hopefully our readers won’t begrudge me a few more extended automotive metaphors because our PC Hardware sponsor, Memory Express, has basically just dropped a Rolls-Royce in our lap after six months of running with a Lambo.

Battleship: The Game [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Even with the seemingly dumb premise that’s told in the film there was still the chance that Battleship: The Game could be something fun for gamers to experience. Aside from constantly snickering and finding myself in awe from all the wrong reasons, my journey with Battleship: The Game was simply repetitive, boring, and simply made me question the motives of big companies and what they deem suitable for the video game market.  The game doesn’t have any major good merits as it’s simply akin to cardboard box, it’s exists and can be messed around with but there’s not much there to begin with.

The Pros: 

+ Trophies/Achievements are easy to acquire.

+ Seeing the battles at sea while I was on the ground was a nice element.

The Cons: 

- Game is simply as ugly as a barnacle.

- FPS combat is weak and the battles at sea lack any skill aside from button mashing.

- No multiplayer, bonus modes, or co-op makes the game a one and done experience.

- Story is told in such a careless way, even by the standards of dumb Hollywood action movies

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
3

Not since Street Fighter: The Movie – The Game has something so ridiculous potentially caused the fabric of space and time itself to rip as people ponder about something as endlessly as what the number 42 means.  The perplexing question at hand now is why we have a video game adaptation of Battleship: The Movie – which as you may know is a major film adaptation of a classic board game one would never expect to receive a $200 million budget.

SSX - Mount Eddie DLC [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

As a somewhat minimal add-on to the core SSX experience the Mount Eddie DLC succeeds in giving some exciting content to gamers as well as providing a much desired return to the classic SSX formula.  Mount Eddie may not be bursting at the seams with content as it only has a couple of events, but at the end of the day it’s still an amazing addition to SSX since it captures the same fun energy that the series had back in the PS2 era.

The Pros: 

+ The price point is perfect for what’s offered.

+ Combining the tone of the new SSX with the classic era doesn’t feel too odd as both are evenly represented.

+ Mount Eddie itself has a balanced design which results in some amazing trick opportunities.

The Cons: 

- Not having a Deadly Descent does feel a bit odd and like a missed opportunity.

- Half pipes are slightly under-utilized which is a shame.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Taking an already fun game and making it more fun is sometimes a tough thing to do, especially when it comes in the form of DLC.  We’ve seen dozens of games go the DLC route this generation with add-on content that in some cases has been terrible in what it provided to the player. There’s honestly nothing worse than paying an additional $5 or $10 for some add-on content after you spend $60 on a game only to think about how you would’ve been better off buying a sub from Subway with that money.

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