Review: Skulls of the Shogun


I have to admit, I haven’t played a turn-based…no wait, let me rephrase that! I haven’t played a FUN turn-based strategy sinceWorms. You know those little guys that go cabloey? If you haven’t played Worms, I strongly suggest that you take off your belt and hit yourself repeatedly with it.

There is a specific breed that enjoys strategy games. The sort that rarely ever steps outside and is allergic to human contact. Those who create elaborate plans and direct systematical operations in the laundry room. Yes, those friends!

So what is Skulls of the Shogun then? If you haven’t guessed yet, SotS is a hilariously and brilliantly written turn-based strategy game. The design is morbidly fun in a non-Tim Burton way. More like Dexter’s Lab if they all were walking skeletons from early Japanese history. The game begins by presenting a devastating battlefield or fun genocides of war, your pick. Where you—a general of sorts—have defeated every little obstacle and are now going to rule the Japanese as Shogun! Hurray! Faith was never so kind and lady luck always has a cruel sense of humor. You are stabbed in the back by an unknown pile of jerk and left for dead.

Once you regain your consciousness you awake on a ship that sails you across the sea. Your destination? A resort for dead bunk buddies. You are now in the land of the dead. As the thought is settling in, you are approached by a guard who tells you to get in line.sotssp-18

This is where the fun starts. As “almost” Shogun, ruler of all Japan, you find yourself standing in line offensive! Especially considering that the waiting time is 512 years and counting.  I guess the general has never attended black Friday at Macy’s.

There in which comes the battle tutorial in play! So far you have only your general to teach those pesky afterlife guards that you are too important to stand in line. You’ll learn attack and positioning tips where you, with ease, destroy your opponent.

sotssp-5As the game progresses you’ll get several different players and characters on the board with the usual standard of fighters, archers, cavalry, monks, and your general of course. Reach and movement are all different depending on who you move. It’s pretty straight forward. If you are launching a cavalry, make sure to select the opposition that shivers and shutters. That way you’ll know you’ll strike a successful blow. Your primary mission is to get into the afterlife without standing in line. During the gameplay you find out some neat and unique tricks to defeat your enemy. Like knockbang, where you push the opponent off the ledge if they stand too close to it.

I took a short break and found my husband playing the game. If something XBL arcade pulled him away from his PC, that’s a good sign.

The Good

  • Great design
  • Capturing story that is entertaining and fun
  • Creative sound clips and music
  • A good increase in difficulty
  • Charming characters

The bad

  • Controls – I do not believe in double confirmation of an action
  • Longevity issue, I don’t think I’ll play it more times then I already did
  • Demon powers vanish after a stage has been completed
  • Tells you too much of what to do

The final word

I am in no means a strategy player. I’ve always found them boring and repetitive. This one captures my attention and is actually in all sense “fun”. I think it has a genius design and a fantastic written story. I think it can certainly be worth your time, even if it’s for the story alone. I also do think that it can be a big hit when it comes to VS online play. I rarely ever play online so to me a game needs to be able to stand on it’s own without the possibility of multi-player. In my opinion, it did. Skull of the Shogun provides entertainment and some brain gymnastics that we sorely need, because our youth is getting dumber while I am getting older. I am afraid of the future!


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Review: Disneyland Adventure Kinect

Banner for Disneyland Adventure review

Hello ladies and germs (deal with the puns, t’is flu season). I am here to sooth your runny nose and your call for death with something so overly cheerful that you’ll reconsider your entire life. I speak mostly to grouchy pants out there. While most of my online friends are enjoying the latest Halo’s and Battlefield’s, yours truly tried something else. So without any further delay, I’ll present to you my Disneyland Adventure!

Who didn’t dream of going to Disneyland as a child? If you were like me, you probably called around to order travel catalogues just so you could see pictures of the place! This was before the internet mind you. I grew up in a family of five, with a single mother, so you can imagine that all we could do is dream about the place.

Statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse
Statue of Walt Disney and his evil creation

Let’s continue this walk through my wondrous childhood by fast forwarding to my graduation ceremony. Where I made a decision that projected me to continue the same lifestyle of financially avoiding Disneyland, I became an artist. So, now in my 30’s I realize that affording a trip there with today’s job market is slim at best.  This injustice of depriving children of Disneyland has finally come to a stop! With the release of a game that actually has been called “An amazing replica of the park itself!”

Well, since I’ve played it let me tell you that you’ll need some imagination to pull that off.  I mean disregard the experience of actually “being” there, it’s actually quite pleasant. My husband started expressing his emotions to me more often after a mere hour spent in Disneyland adventures.

Map of the park
If you don’t like to “walk”, you can fast travel using the map, which in my mind makes your purchase of this game pretty pointless

You start at the entrance of the park where a flying ticket guy introduces you to the game. The controls are fairly simple, unless you suffer from involuntary twitches, you should be fine. The turning is still a hassle like it is in most Kinect games, so there was no surprise there. You’d figure that Disney, with now owning everything and being everywhere, would actually put some more money into developing a better way to look/turn left and right. The character creation is very limited. It doesn’t matter anyway, all brats look the same.

Conducting the band
All children know how to conduct a band right?

Anyway, so you’ve got your basic controls down, now you get to talk to Mickey Mouse himself! He gives you a quest to gather Donald Ducks and Goofys autograph! What is this?! My first visit to Disneyland and the prick of a mouse already wants me to work for him? What, is it not  enough that he gets the money I spent importing a used game?! I guess children should be conditioned to do as they are told and do the bidding of a giant mouse. I was all fine with that till he revealed to me that he is running for Mayor of Toon Town, that is why he cannot get the stinking autographs himself. Unbelievable! This giant mouse has a political agenda.  As if I wasn’t fed up with politics already.

Like a good little slave, I didn’t get Donalds autograph. However, I did give Donald a hug, because he is one of my favorite characters after all.

It doesn’t stop there! After an hour gameplay of running aimlessly (like children do) I find that my arms are starting to cramp up! I’ve been doing so much hugging of random Disney characters that I needed to take a break.

Hugging Snow white
This game should be used for hug theraphy

After my much needed break, the adventure continues. I decide now to take on a few mini games. One ride always wanted to try was Splash Mountain! Off we go pass the long line (this is without a doubt the best part, no lines) and onto the ride.

Once there you are intercepted by Brier Rabbit, where he takes you running….

…Yes, running. This saddened me gravely and I now had to run and jump, following him in hope that my reward will be to ride the splash mountain. No such luck! After running you come to the next part, to row downstream. I see what they are trying to do here. Make rides into small mini games, I get it. But there should’ve been a choice to just experience the darn ride!

Once I exited the ride/mini game, I noticed a bearded man in a wheelchair. I guess Disney cooperation really wanted to show that Disneyland is for everyone.  I have no particular opinion on that. It’s just funny how a game is trying to please everyone. The graphics are do able, not impressive to the point of breakdancing in awe. However, when you move around too quickly, the game does tend to lag up. It can be a bit annoying when you are out questing for different characters.

Dancing with Ariel
One and two and stretch and twirl and hop and twist and GUAAAH!!! EXERSIZE!

All in all I deem this a really great game.

The modeling of the park is without question, like the real thing. The attention to details makes the child in me chortle with glee and the adult in me feel embarrassed of my inner child. I really liked it, because as a fan of Disney, the game captures what I believe, is the spirit and imagination of its magic that we grew up loving. Everyone you love and remember is there, Baloo, Pooh, Aladdin, sleeping beauty, all very huggable. Sure, I might seem like a psychopath to hug imaginary friends, but I survived my childhood this way. Take pictures, discover secrets and just enjoy the sheer fun!  I cannot wait for my niece to visit me in a week so we can play this together.

I am glad that they make games like this, because it tailors really to everybody. Shooters, RPG’s and other popular genres are great for a more adult audience, but we cannot forget the little ones that are the future lil gamers.

Sword fight  Captain Hook
On guard monsieur Hook! Wooden sword against steel seems a bit unfair.

I am off, second start to the right, and straight till morning.

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Final fantasy The..Thera..T..MUSIC!

The game I want to talk to you about is called Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. It is the ideal recreational game. This is hilarious really since usually Final fantasy games are quite elaborate.

Are you a big fan of the Final fantasy music?

Have you collected the soundtracks and know the songs by heart?

Then you’ll love this game. No really, you will. Because it will be a hell a lot easier for you to play than for  a person who’s never heard the music. It actually helps to know the beats and the melodies.

It revisits the musicals scores starting from the very first FF to the latest.


Unfortunately, only the main games, not the extra side tracks that were released. This bummed me out because I really loved the music in Chocobo Racing! And yes! You get to beat Sephiroths butt again! Horrah!

Anywho, you start by selecting 4 characters to add to your party. The heroes from all games are available. Extra characters are available to unlock through collecting crystal shards. By going through music scores playing epilepsy Guitar Hero by using your pen, you gain experience, level up, find treasures and get ridiculous cramps in your pinky.

My minions, or my party, contained the self-loathing loner, Squall, the radioactive ball buster (Sword HAH) Cloud, the playboy with two tails Zidane and Terra, whom I have no opinion off.


They are in an adorable chibi format which makes them extra adorable. I know it might not be a very manly statement, but it is the truth. There are 3 modes available in the main story game.

1)      Battle (plenty of ball mashing)

2)      Squiggly movie roundie thingie.

3)      Walking through terrain by moving your cursor more than actually pressing the balls


If you are bored with the mellow Normal mode, then there is the Dark note section that will satisfy your sadistic need.

I kid you not, if you do not have arteritis, then this will cause it. I must love the pain because that is where I spend most of my time.

There is some sort of limited googoo gaagaa community mode ala Nintendo. Where you can play co op (if you have friends L )or pick up Dark notes from your friends to share in your agony.

All kidding aside, this is a great game. It’s well made, the controls are easy and it is a great tribute to the music and heart collected through Final fantasy history.

The only thing I have a beef with is that you have to BUY new song content!!!

For shame Nintendo L

So here is for a great game!

Speaking of game.

I’ve done some great progress on my puzzle game!

interface5 copy

Till next time!

Yours truly in game

Anjo banjo