Hardcore Gamer's Scores

  • Games
For 2,425 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 9% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 The Red Star
Lowest review score: 20 SPOGS Racing
Score distribution:
2425 game reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As a downloadable title Scott Pilgrim is almost what everyone could want. It does nothing but pay homage to the ghosts of gaming past while it improves a long forgotten genre of gaming.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    TRI
    TRI is not typical by any measure and instead charts its own path to puzzle gaming greatness.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s an experience that was quite intense for this particular reviewer. It is a wondrously constructed game born of love and culminating as an incredibly, beautifully bittersweet, emotional adventure. Filled with heart from its opening to the cessation of the credits, it will wow you, make you smile and make you cry. Gamer or not, you need to play Unravel.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration is a joyous occasion that properly commemorates the evolution of Lara Croft and her franchise.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In what seems like commonplace lately, the PC version of DmC: Devil May Cry is the definitive version to play. While the mouse and keyboard controls aren't as precise as playing with a controller, the graphical upgrades and increase in frame rate make an already impressive game even more stunning.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Other than one minor imbalance that could potentially be attributed to personal skill, there’s no reason not to pick up Puyo Puyo Tetris. Even those who have long grown weary of the component games will find the well worn gameplay injected with new life with this melding. With no real learning curve, this is a game that allows for a meditative, self contemplating state of mind through the arranging of shapes and colors, or a frenetic and action filled battle against a dirty foe that just cheats. You know they cheat. Either way, this is a title that offers an extreme value for its price, and absolutely deserves to be added to any collection.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Common Sense is a great buy and a great reason for another playthrough — or three — to enjoy these new mechanics and unique country/religion flavors.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Inside isn’t just some incremental improvement over the basic premise of Limbo, it’s one of the best puzzle-platformers ever made. From its brilliant puzzle design, which finds a way to balance constant progress and momentum with puzzles that require deep thought, to its gorgeous lighting effects, this is the type of game that demonstrates why the indie development scene is something special.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    N++
    Whether you’re someone who wants to play one of the toughest games of the year, or someone who just enjoys pure gameplay at its finest, you’re doing yourself a disservice not giving N++ a shot. You’ll die a million times, but every single one of those failures will remind you that success is just around the corner, and that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s not worth the double (or quadruple) for those already with the game, but it’s still an incredible adventure any way it’s sliced.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Showcasing the expert storytelling abilities Visual Art’s/Key’s are renowned for, Planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~ is a visual novel that fans of the genre should be required to play if they missed out on it previously.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tormentor X Punisher is loud, mean, occasionally unfair, intentionally ugly and thoroughly awesome. Its attitude infuses every aspect of the game, from enemy designs, the chunky low-resolution art and especially the excellent voicework that, yes, is repetitive but a major part of setting the tone. Death is brutal and easy, survival guaranteed to be short, and the leaderboards populated with people who are basically wizards. Getting a score over 100,000 is a feat to be proud of and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve only done it once so far. Dying is inevitable, but not the point of Tormentor X Punisher. While the pink-haired demon hunter isn’t surviving this, she’s going to take as many minions and bosses as the game can churn out as she swears like a sailor to her last furious breath.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Much like last year’s treatment with Grim Fandango, Double Fine have successfully restored one of the true classics of the adventure game world and it is glorious indeed. While not as deep and story-rich as last year’s offering, Day of the Tentacle more than makes up for it in humor, style, unique gameplay and a truckload of charm.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If there is one way to best describe the experience that Episode 5: Polarized has to offer, then it can easily be done through the word that Dontnod Entertainment specifically chose to feature in the title of the fifth and final episode for Life Is Strange. It will no doubt polarize people on whether or not they believe it’s a satisfying (or fulfilling) conclusion to what has been such a spectacular title.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ is an excellent story with creative, likable characters.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse works just as well on a console as it did on a handheld.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even with its imperfections, Hitman: Absolution is a magnificent achievement that goes well beyond expectations and will lead future stealth action titles into a better tomorrow.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Earth Defense Force 2025 is a fantastic example of everything that makes pure action gaming so much fun, packed with replay value and over the top set pieces, and a more than worthy sequel that tops its predecessor in every way.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a work of speculative fiction that allows the player to speculate for themselves, starting from a similar place each time but potentially reaching vastly different conclusions. It’s also a tightly-designed, well-balanced 4X game that is sure to consume many gamers’ free time in the coming months and years.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yakuza fans are in for a massive treat with Yakuza 0.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is hands down the best JRPG this year — and that’s saying a lot considering how many great ones have come out in the past twelve months. But what it has that most of those others don’t is heart.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Beatles: Rock Band is very much so geared towards fans of the band. Some aspects might not mean much to you if you don’t know the band very well, but you will still have fun playing through the songs themselves.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Those who already own the release on consoles have no reason to double dip unless they want to play it on the go, but for those who prefer the portable experience, Mega Man Legacy Collection is a winner on 3DS.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s Angry Birds meets tower defense meets beat ‘em up meets crack cocaine levels of addictiveness in a hodgepodge amalgamation of stuff that absolutely should not work as well as it does.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Although it comes in the wake of dozens before it, Shadow of Mordor is the definitive Middle-earth experience. It smartly avoids trying to adapt already existing plot points, instead crafting its own unique story and overall experience.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If nothing else, Company of Heroes 2 proves that Relic really is in the top eschelon of RTS developers. This is the crème de la crème, people. Do not be the one to pass it up.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rogue Legacy is pure action platforming addiction, endlessly playable and fun from its low level beginning to high-powered end.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Super Mario Maker is a special video game, period. You could include all of the lengthy, metaphor-laden nonsense that your little brain can come up with as to what is and isn’t perfect about it, but at the end of the day, this is a title that allows you to create and play Super Mario Bros. levels for as long as your thumbs can handle.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Oddly enough, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is more about the journey than the destination. It’s sobering, funny, heartfelt, and inspirational all at once, sprinkled with some real life lessons in between. If this is what Starbreeze Studios is truly capable of, then we’re ready to see plenty more — especially if it means more interesting experimental mechanics like the ones exhibited here.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Those looking for a new 3DS game to sink at least 100 hours into should buy The Fafnir Knight; it’s the definitive Etrian Odyssey game.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    SuperHot VR is one of the best games VR has seen yet. It’s a little bit short and on rare occasions the AI goes a bit loopy, but during the 99% of the time when everything is trying to kill you, it’s an incredible rush.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tomb Raider is not just a reboot, but a revelation in a series that had long passed its prime.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ultimately, though, Lost Winds is a wonderful little game, and a great promise of what’s to come.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With a kickass, overcharged aesthetic and silky-smooth mechanics, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma is one of the finest fighting games available today.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Valkyria Chronicles is a timeless classic, and this exceptional PC port only manages to improve upon it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Boasting the tightest multiplayer of the series and one of the strongest campaigns, Advanced Warfare proves that Call of Duty is here to stay — and it’s welcome.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a splendid casual game for commuters or for people who simply wish to pass the day faster than a flip of a Mario coin.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    More like an effort-intensive relationship than an adrenaline-inducing one-night-stand, Transistor is a must-play for those who are committed to its cause. However, those who are looking for an instantly-gripping cheap thrill should look elsewhere as this is a game that must be seen through to the very last second.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you’re intoGuitar Hero, buy this game. It’s one of the most solid Guitar Hero titles yet and should keep you busy for a long time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Anybody who loved anything The Behemoth has done before will dig this, as will platforming fans who were raised on Super Mario Bros. and enjoy a challenging game of Super Meat Boy from time to time.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With enough combat goodness to satisfy even the most truculent warmongers, a variable Marianas Trench of depth in its customization and laughs aplenty, A Promise Rewritten isn’t only the Vitas latest proof-of-worth, it’s also its strongest.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not only is Episode 3 of Tales from the Borderlands a fantastic entry into a fantastic series, but it sets the stage for a thrilling final two episodes.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The only downside is that GlaDOS has no new speaking parts, making the challenge levels feel lifeless. [Dec 2008, p.56]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Forza Horizon 3 retains everything we’ve come to love about the open world racer while incrementally improving upon its formula. The leap isn’t as significant as it was between the first two games, but Australia ends up being a highly appealing setting to drive through.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Persona 4: Dancing All Night has managed to surpass all expectations in what it set out to do. This love letter to Persona 4’s music and fans hits every single note.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Zenzizenzic is a beautiful, fun and deadly shot of abstract twin-stick bullet hell madness, but with a little experience and a lot of technique, the massive firepower coming your way turns into a bullet-filled playground of fantastic precision gaming.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is one of the best console ports in recent history, as it manages to fully capture the spirit of the original while improving upon it in nearly every way.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With improvements and additions to the tried and true formula, the lackluster single-player can’t hold the game down — the explosive multiplayer playground simply must be experienced.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The thirteen year old remake is arguably the best game in the long running series, not only staying true to its source material, but expanding upon it greatly with new content directly built into the core story.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This year’s most unique game is something that gamers far and wide should experience for themselves, be it as a pallet cleanser in between massive AAA releases or as something to show them the power of the medium itself.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As a single-player campaign, Blackrock Mountain isn’t quite as well-tuned as Curse of Naxxramas, but it makes up for that shortcoming by somehow being even funnier.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Naughty Dog has done it again, creating a cinematic marvel that sets the bar for the action genre. There are a couple of off moments throughout the story and the multiplayer, while a decent component, lacks the variety other games deliver, but the thirteen hour single player campaign will blow you away. It’s filled with an intriguing mystery, heart-wrenching emotional scenes, incredibly over the top set pieces, and of course the humor fans have come to love from our plucky (now older) hero and his trusty sidekicks.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dead Space 2 is one of the most disturbing, grotesque and unsightly games I've ever played...but it's so damn good.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yeah, both games are a bit too talky, and somewhat short as well, but they deliver high octane giant robot action with grace and skill. Both games hit the ground running, give the player a ton of power, and don't let up on the energy until done.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dead Space 2 is one of the most disturbing, grotesque and unsightly games I've ever played...but it's so damn good.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Delivering the full HD experience, Blizzard’s jump to current-gen consoles is a flying success.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Bit.Trip is a must for anyone who owned any of the original games on the Wii, or heard of them and just wants to try them out. Their designs are simplistic in theory, but a riot to play.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While some of the controls can be a bit bothersome, the overall gameplay mechanics and sense of enjoyment is overwhelming. Mix one of the most gratifying cooperative campaigns in recent history with an absolutely charming cast of characters, and you have an addictive upper echelon independent game.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Trials HD is a whole lot of of fun. It seems simple enough, but there’s an incredible amount of skill needed to be good at it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you loved the first Geometry Wars, you're going to adore Geometry Wars 2.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A combination of fun, fairness, beauty and joy, Mario Kart 8 is absolutely brilliant.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is purposely discomforting, hypnotically visceral. It’s one of the best games released so far this year.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    BattleBlock Theater doesn’t do anything particularly new, but that’s perfectly okay, because everything it does do it does without a hitch to speak of.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A new Dawn of War has risen, and it’s an exciting return from a long dormant franchise. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III successfully takes the best elements from the previous two games and blends them with traditional RTS mechanics to create a game with deep strategic gameplay. The campaign, which ultimately serves as a glorified tutorial, is entertaining and lengthy enough to keep players hooked for hours even though it’s predictable. The focus on Elite units differentiates Dawn of War III from its competitors by introducing a new sense of depth and progression into the game.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The action is huge, the enemies gigantic and the firepower overwhelming. Earth Defense Force 4.1 is finally the game the series has always tried to be.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even seventeen years on it still stands taller than just about every other game that built upon its foundations. Aesthetically speaking, almost no game of its era has aged quite as gracefully, and even with the remastered visuals turned off it still looks great.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Blizzard has perfected the RTS and now they’ve laid a fantastic foundation for the FPS.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There are certain games that are ubiquitous for the Steam user. Pretty much everyone has Portal in their Steam library. Copies of Thomas Was Alone are more common than sand in the Mojave. Bleed 2 needs to be one of those. As a game, it is side scrolling action perfected. There are no truly cheap parts or dull moments; everything is designed to be learned and surmounted. This is something that just cannot be said about even some of the best games on the market. Considering that even its base price is under ten dollars, there is no reason to miss out. Skipping Bleed 2 is like shoving toothpicks under your fingernails. Sure it can be done, but it hurts and there is no point.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you’re someone who typically shrugs off indie games as somehow less meaningful then their AAA counterparts, you owe it to yourself to play Hyper Light Drifter. Alex Preston and his team have delivered a title that highlights everything great about the medium as a whole, it’s as simple as that.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While technical hiccups are a shoe-in with any game as complex as Rocksmith, the ones found here don’t mar the experience much. Since every facet of gameplay has been given a nice thick coat of improvement in Rocksmith 2014, issues that the original title was known for have either been removed entirely, or overhauled beyond recognition.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There’s a lot of good mining in the depths of SteamWorld Dig, and it stays fun from the basic beginnings to its chaotic ending. It’s not a bad little journey for a steambot that didn’t have a pickaxe to call his own when he showed up in town.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Freedom Planet is a love letter to SEGA fans, and newcomers are in store for a special gaming experience that they won’t experience elsewhere in this modern age.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Nihilumbra is the kind of game that many will look over because they think they’ve played things like it hundreds of times before. It’s not. This is a project filled with incredibly smart puzzle design and an important message at its core.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is a fantastic experience, and one of the best games I've played this generation. Even with some graphical hiccups, it remains superior to the console counterparts, offering more content, better graphical options and a frame rate that is steady throughout. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is an experience like no other that will invoke a multitude of emotions while keeping you planted on the edge of your seat.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A testament to the design philosophy that if an idea is good, it’s usually very good.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While a few more arenas would have been nice, this is the ultimate modern Bomberman, and one of the best multiplayer games around. [Oct 2007, p.66]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is one of the finest JRPGs in the history of the genre, and that still holds true for its Steam debut.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not only is Forza Horizon a worthy addition to the series, but one of the most comprehensive racing experiences this generation.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Don’t be surprised to see this small, yet emotionally giant, title competing against the big boys for Game of the Year 2014.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Star Trek: Bridge Crew is that it’s a VR experience that encourages repeat play. Having put a decent amount of time into the title already, it’s understandable that some may hope for additional content added, such as an adversarial crew vs crew mode. What’s in the package already, though, makes for some hectic times and an incredible use of the technology. The message behind the actual game mechanics, that of the need for understanding and cooperation among the players, is possibly the most clever expression of the themes of the franchise a game has ever mustered.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition is a fantastic package of two great first-person puzzlers.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Like a great novel, Inkle’s games can steal entire nights of sleep from you as you’re immersed in their text, and Sorcery! 3 is their most potent work to date.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Episode 4: Dark Room shows how far Dontnod has continued to push the limits of Life Is Strange, with every choice made, regardless of how significant it might be, having a real meaning behind it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This makes Bejeweled Twist easily the best in the series, and brain-consumingly addictive to boot. [Dec 2008, p.56]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As far as a baseball game, MLB 10: The Show is the best.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s truly impressive just how solid a game Ys: Memories of Celceta is. It has a lot of moving parts, and yet never once does it get lost in all its trying to do. Instead, all of its aspects feel polished, well-conceived and executed in tandem with a remarkable sense of precision. This is one of the Vita’s most prized RPGs, and realistically, one of its best titles.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Once again cementing its status as a JRPG masterpiece, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a game you owe it to yourself to experience.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Darksiders II, the franchise has cemented itself as an essential property among the likes of Devil May Cry and God of War. Even with the scale increasing in practically every area, the game manages to be less intimidating than its predecessor.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s a deep dark well filled with monsters and gems, equal parts platformer and reverse vertical shooter, and falling into its depths is the stuff that 1980s arcade dreams were made of.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though it doesn’t navigate through every hairpin turn with perfection, F1 2013 still manages to cross the finish line with an impressive lead on its competition.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    When Blizzard announced they were making a digital CCG, we all expected it to look and sound beautiful, and there was little doubt that it would be well-balanced, but I don’t think anyone anticipated this level of sophistication and subtle brilliance.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With an absolutely stellar presentation, some of the most memorable tracks picked from the last game, an arsenal of modes to play, and one of the lengthiest stories in a fighting game, Persona 4 Arena has everything a fighter should have, plus more.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gorgeous, addictive and absolutely exploding with content, this is the ultimate Super Smash Bros. experience. Though the stage design tool is once again lacking and Smash Tour will be hit or miss for some, you’ll still be playing this for years to come.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Goodbye Deponia sends off the series in the most profoundly memorable way. While there are some pacing concerns and minor technical issues here and there, these are overshadowed by the comical story and clever puzzle designs.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You don't have to be good at or even like on-rails shooters to enjoy it, and because it's such a frustration free experience, maybe it will even act as a great gateway game for the genre.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It may have resulted in a seemingly incoherent fusion of ideas and pixels, but at its heart, #IDARB is a classic sports game that will click with just about anybody, and the extra helping of random chaos will never cease to entertain.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For fans of the comics and adventure buffs alike, The Wolf Among Us continues to assert itself as a must-play game.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A high-score run on Super Stardust HD is more a marathon than spirit, but it's still the best thing running on the PS3. [Oct 2007, p.66]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It has its issues with Vaan being one of the most lackluster protagonists in Final Fantasy history, but the combat is fun, versatile and highly addicting. It helps that Square Enix has put in an on-the-fly button to enable the High Speed Mode, which cuts down on unnecessary grinding of items, license points and experience significantly. The game has also been masterfully remastered, with beautiful 1080p visuals and some added visual techniques such as bump mapping applied to the environments.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a game that’s meant to be both played and savored, and anyone looking to try something that combines familiar gameplay elements with a very tranquil tone should give it a shot.

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