Detroit Free Press' Scores

  • TV
  • Games
For 410 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 62% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Jak X: Combat Racing
Lowest review score: 25 Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 410
410 game reviews
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This plot is hollow, and the missions you have to carry out in reclaiming your cars are lame. The graphics during the cinematic portion of the story mode look like something out of "Claymation."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Instead of the epic battles I was looking forward to, I've spent much of my time with Nemesis playing one hero or another against a horde of pretty generic bad guys, most of which either don't pose any challenge (or variety) and a few of which seem fiendishly hard (but still don't offer any variety).
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The game itself has decent game play, but is hurt because of the lack of attention given to the bells and whistles.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Game play tends to become monotonous after a while, although the game itself is relatively short. Some required maneuvers were very difficult, which frustrated me.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This isn't quite an awful game; stick around long enough and the story picks up. But it's too bland to be worth more than a rental unless you're a hard-core fan.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The variety of traps is nice, and until the novelty of blowing your opponent up with an electrocuting doorknob wears off, the online game is a lot of fun. Once that's over, though, you realize that Spy vs. Spy just doesn't have the depth of bigger-budget titles.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A terrific rental title, a vastly overpriced game to buy, an entertaining romp for an afternoon and a sure disappointment for longtime fans of the series.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But there's hardly anything new here. The plot is paper-thin, and lacks a driving sense of humor or drama to keep you interested. The game-play is just as basic as it's ever been, and frankly, if you've played any of its predecessors, you've slashed and spellcast just this way a million times before.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Playing Ape Escape: Pumped & Primed is like munching on a gob of bubble gum. For the first few hours of play, the action is oh, so sweet. But after a while, it gets stale, and you're ready to move on.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The plot is unoriginal; the dialogue is OK, but not great; there isn't anything memorable about the music; and the backgrounds within the ship are dull and redundant.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The game play isn't as fast-paced as you'd think. There isn't that much razzle-dazzle in the playbook, although the game's pass plays are adequate.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The controls are frustrating on the PC because they were designed for a game controller, not a keyboard and mouse.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The game was great at first, but the pace slowed. Even with changes in difficulty and complexity as you went higher in the tower, the floors were basically the same.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Unlike the original game, which offered the freedom to choose sides, this expansion pack forces players into the dark shoes of Sauron's henchman.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While Life Stories is a perfect introduction to the full Sims experience, veteran players will likely find the linear aspect of the plotlines too limiting.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Great in concept but ends up being a slow-loading, profanity-laden action game with subpar graphics.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's just a shame so much of the extras that made the previous FIFA games great were sacrificed.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, this gripping tale is marred by weird fighting and stealth sequences that don't seem to mesh with the rest of the lush narrative.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But even with its map maker, co-op mode and upgradeable weapons, "Pariah" is too flawed to seriously compete with the Xbox's big-name shooters.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    At least the presentation is top-notch: Both the graphics and music are fantastic. The large mythical creatures look stunning.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Is this trip down memory lane worth $35? The Rebirth Mode is the most justifiable reason, and even then, the case isn't that strong.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    My biggest problem is the game doesn't feel finished. Smarter AI, better controls, more game-play variety and more voice acting would have made this a three-star game.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This bizarre tale of time-sweeping cats battling a gang of greedy rival pigs for control of time and space -- topped off with ho-hum dialogue and freaky angelic entities -- is just weird.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    So while the short, yet creative stages and their goals are clever, the tilt controls do little more than jumble the good stuff up.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I flipped on the game expecting a world of champagne, roses and frequent wisps of steam. Instead, I got an immediate request that I construct an office on the mansion's upper floor. Zzzzzzzzz.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Though the drums did have their allure, we found that we could take them only in small doses.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The only knock on Bullet Witch is that the graphics are a bit choppy in some areas.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Diehard military combat fans might want to rent this one just to partake in the giant chaotic skirmishes.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The character designs aren't on "Pokemon's" level, but the effort you devote to finding and raising these characters creates a level of attachment even Nintendo hasn't quite achieved.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Seems that once you've done it all in one district, though, you'll end up doing the same things elsewhere. The only fundamental changes are the background and the inhabitants. There's no real final goal; you just keep playing until you get tired.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The gameplay can get glitchy, with flaws like jumpy video and bad physics and a point-of-view camera that sometimes shows bad angles.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    "Tourist Trophy" remains my pick for digital motorcycle racing, but if you own an Xbox 360 and have been craving some cycling action, MotoGP is where it's at.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Whether the controls were intentionally made sluggish to make the game feel more realistic or if shoddy programming is to blame, the result is just horrible.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This is a fine game, just like the first version, which earned three stars from me. But the scant innovations in Street 2 make it optional for anyone who has the original.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While offering a well-scripted narrative, comes up with precious few reasons to play out these battles again. No surprises here -- just solid, albeit predictable, action that could have been better.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Hard-core Resident Evil fans might consider renting "File #2." But for online thrills, I'd rather do "Halo," and for a real thrill, "Resident Evil 4" is much more worthwhile.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Putting a tiny map down there is a bad idea. It takes your eyes too far from the action on the top screen and caused me to lose control of my car.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A competent arcade racer, with a decent feel to the controls, powerslides and other fancy moves, and a reasonable amount of entertainment. It's not an A-list game by any means, but the price tag makes that perfectly clear.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Flawed gameplay that borders on monotonous is this game's menace. While the lightsaber fighting scheme is actually fairly deep, especially when you mix in grapple attacks, force tricks and counterattacks on top of counterattacks, I rarely used most of these goodies.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The underworld figures are colorful, and the language they use has a life of its own. But the game's design is bollocks.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's a shame that the kids themselves are such a headache. Picture every cliché from every teen movie you've ever seen and it's here -- the nerd, the jock, the stoner -- and without the charm that many teen actors bring to the table.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The game breakers you work so hard to earn really don't turn the tide. All you get is a slow-motion, high-powered shot that's likely -- but not guaranteed -- to net you a goal.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Even while I was driving, the frame rates slipped at times as the PSP chugged to keep up with the blistering action that "Midnight" is known for. That made things like the time-warp slowdown ability seem more sluggish than stimulating.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The worst part of the game was combat. Slashing similar enemies over and over became boring, and I had to constantly adjust the camera and do several precise tasks with the PSP's annoying analog stick.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    History buffs and simulation junkies might find Blazing Angels uplifting for its period lessons. But give me the fantasy worlds of "Crimson Skies" instead, with its pirates and weird zeppelins, and I'll be a happier flying ace.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The road on Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run is too rocky to be a keeper. It's a one-night rental -- tops.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Were it not for the bizarre control scheme, the whole game could be artwork.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Though it's fine for killing time, only big "Pac-Man" fans will truly be engrossed with this game.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Sure, EQ II has its share of great quests, including one that requires helping a crew to rebuild a ship that you then sail on, defending it against bad guys. But the run-of-the-mill quests never had that crackle of humor or drama that "World of Warcraft" captured so well.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A good step above the lame French adventure that preceded this one. We just wish that the game designers could steel their resolve to give us, perhaps in No. 16, another truly great installment in the Nancy Drew series.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's a shame that the disc, which offers 4,500 recipes and meal plans also printable at the program's Web site, is so inflexible about allowing other workouts into its tracking system, and that what should be the central focus, the workouts themselves, is so lackluster.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If you're considering buying "Rise & Fall," think of it as strategy light. It's good for someone who's neither a strategy nor an action addict -- someone who just wants some lighthearted fun with ancient Egyptian and Roman heroes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This game is an intriguing look at the future, but it's not quite ready for today.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Feels more like basic training than hard-core warfare.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I just can't work up a sweat with Pump it Up -- my treadmill is easier to use and more fun. But hard-core dance game fanatics looking for a "DDR" alternative definitely should check it out.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The controls, while not awful, are a bit too slow. Aiming can be a pain at times, and that'll cost you lives. For an action game, that's a sin.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While these digital vehicles look the part, the controls come nowhere close to simulating the feeling of being behind the wheel of a Ford.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie's a lot more fun than the game.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Frankly, there are no blockbuster offerings here. This collection of simple games is fun to play a few times, but as the package includes the Wii remote and the game for only $10 more than the price of the controller alone, it's well worth the retail price, especially given the scarcity of additional controllers for the system.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Loads of mini-games, split-screen co-op play throughout the entire story mode and online game play, including deathmatches and a fiesty soccer skirmish, flesh out this budget-priced title.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The profanity I can handle. But the other words just don't sit right with me.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The musical selection features a nice mix of techno, rock and hip-hop.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The controls are just too unpolished to make it worthwhile, though. Movements are flaky, and aiming is far too loose. Sometimes, I got into a tight firefight where I couldn't hit a terrorist a few feet in front of me. And the driving missions are worse.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Button-mashing is almost nonexistent. That's a big change from "Athens 2004," the last Olympics game I played, which required you to hit buttons frantically to make your athlete move.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A charming, refreshing change of pace for all PSP owners.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But while freedom and revolution are the game's overarching themes, the gameplay in "Getting Up" falls well short of those lofty ideals.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Feels more like basic training than hard-core warfare.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    N3 is quite a looker, but there's not much under the surface.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The road on Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run is too rocky to be a keeper. It's a one-night rental -- tops.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    No one can refute that getting seven games for $30 is a good deal. But be warned some of these games are definitely better than others.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But the control configuration is cumbersome to use. For the most part the graphics are solid, but some of the environment's background elements are shoddy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Moves too quickly from one crisis to the next. It seems you're always on the verge of dying. I once went around the island picking all things edible.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Somewhere underneath the unfriendly interface, there's a worthwhile game for the hard-core strategy game fanatic. But as a newcomer, I found it too obscure and frustrating to be enjoyable.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While the visuals are detailed, they're dark and bland. The generic backgrounds make it hard to distinguish rooms, making navigating the game's enormous world aggravating.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Finny isn't my favorite title out there, but it is fresh. It's probably best a game for younger players. There's no real violence other than food chain stuff, and the story line is pretty gentle -- even when you're finding new ways to sleep with the fishes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If there's a sequel, let's hope more attention is paid to the actual video game instead of the videos.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I do have a dinosaur-size bone to pick with the combat scheme: The melee either involves mashing on the X button nonstop to plow through adversaries or picking them off with your ranged attack.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    How well can you follow a big green line? The game shows you the shortest distance around the track -- a green line to follow. The line turns briefly red when you come to a turn, but don't ease up on the throttle, because the game slows your vehicle down for you. How boring is that?
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If Flatout were only a $20 title, I'd heartily recommend it. But $50 is a lot of money to pay to turn yourself into road splatter over and over again. It's flawed, though fun.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Only good for skyscraper mashing romps with buddies (you'll only play the single-player mode to unlock goodies), and even that grows tiresome quickly.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Me, I like Electroplankton, if simply because it took some guts to make it. I just wish there was more to do than peer at the screen and say, "Like wow, man. Heavy."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Most gamers don't want to play something out of a driver's-ed simulator, which is what Enthusia plays like.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The action is respectable when you're on the road with your 18-wheeler, dodging UFO invaders, smacking sinister bikers with your trailer and outrunning the cops, but the bare-bones production value is clear when you visit towns. You go to stores and bars to buy upgrades, meet people and find your next load to haul.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Characters encountered along the way are memorable and as charming as in the original. But the amount of text that must be plowed through makes it feel more like a modern rehash of the popular "Choose Your Own Adventure" book series than an adventure most will stick with for hours.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Lacks both substance and style when compared to other online world games like "World of Warcraft" and "Everquest II." Even the fan factor won't keep you coming back.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Compromised because you've pretty much seen and played the game before. Fans will see the adventure through, but many players will find their attention wandering.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Hello Kitty Roller Rescue can be summed up in four words: bright, pink, short, easy. This colorful GameCube adventure, clearly aimed at children and fans of the popular characters, delivers a cute fracas that should delight its intended audience.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This isn't a terribly complicated or in-depth game, and adults are likely to find it a little short and a little simplistic. But it captures some of the innocent fun of the books and is almost certainly in the style of the movie, incorporating some clips from the film.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In the end, after hours of playing, Haunting Ground left me wanting to rent an old "Friday the 13th" movie: fewer headaches and just as scary.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I also was frustrated by a sea of poorly designed and explained menus, repetitive dungeon hacks and temperamental controls.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    To me, all these unlockables don't mean very much. My guy could be wearing shades, a Speedo and a hat made out of fruit for all I care. Just hit the ball, Spanky.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The game itself has decent game play, but is hurt because of the lack of attention given to the bells and whistles.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    And, despite the face of an excited, yelling teenager on the front cover of the box, we weren't screaming over this one.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's almost no variety in levels. Everything is squeezed onto one huge map.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Works just fine, but it's all familiar. Why didn't someone think to let the chicken jump angrily onto someone's head after a race ends? Now that would have been something different.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Compromised because you've pretty much seen and played the game before. Fans will see the adventure through, but many players will find their attention wandering.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Compromised because you've pretty much seen and played the game before. Fans will see the adventure through, but many players will find their attention wandering.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But with fewer buttons on the PSP than on a standard console game pad and only one analog stick to play with, the game's hallmark -- its deep, precise controls -- feels a bit muted.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Tetris Evolution should have been a $10 Xbox Live download.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Not since the movie "Rambo 3" have we seen such cheesy dialogue and a storyline so over the top that it can be comical. That's fitting because the plot also borrows heavily from "Rambo 3," or at least the worst parts of it.

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