Hardcore Gamer's Scores

  • Games
For 1,987 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 8% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
Lowest review score: 20 007 Legends
Score distribution:
1987 game reviews
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What I've been experiencing since first putting this game in my Wii is the culmination of several lifetimes of game design mastery by its creators. [Dec 2007, p.40]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 97 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Super Mario Galaxy 2, just like the first, is one of those magical games that nobody is going to want to miss.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It features arguably the best story of the series that’s greatly enhanced by the added dynamic of three contrasting protagonists.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    More than just a gimmick, the first-person mode really does change how it’s experienced by adding a new layer of gameplay. It won’t be for everybody, but the sheer fact that the option is there is commendable. More still, multiple new vehicles, weapons and animals have been introduced. If none of that were enough, over a hundred new songs have been added to the already robust radio stations.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The incredible thing is how alive it all seems.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    BioShock has a surprisingly deep and vivid storyline. It doesn't just throw you a few curveballs; it refines how stories are told in gaming. [Nov 2007, p.50]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 96 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is one of the most polished, most intense and most entertaining pieces of software out on the market.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Finally, console owners get to experience the entire "Half-Life 2" saga without having to load games off of several discs or tweak their PC just to get a decent framerate. [Dec 2007, p.58]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    More importantly though, Mass Effect 2 is simply an amazing game from start to finish, regardless of the decisions you choose to make.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It feels like an important evolutionary step in presentation and tone, presenting a believable narrative populated with realistic characters, structured in a way that remains captivating until the last word is spoken. Multiplayer is disposable and combat can feel a bit rudimentary at times complete with balance issues, but being perpetually enveloped in the stunning world Naughty Dog created makes it easy to forget any flaws.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    More importantly though, Mass Effect 2 is simply an amazing game from start to finish, regardless of the decisions you choose to make.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Halo 3 is the combination of a thoroughly decent singleplayer campaign, a great multiplayer component, and absolutely incredible enhancements to each. [Nov 2007, p.52]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 94 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    If this were 15 years ago, I wouldn’t have to write 2,000 words explaining why Street Fighter is awesome, but since we’re here, stop reading this review and, for God’s sake, go out and buy this thing.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Metal Gear Solid 4 is by far one of the best games released so far this year.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Whether or not you enjoy first-person shooters is irrelevant. It is whether or not you want an experience like no other; one that will be left in the back of your mind for years to come.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Braid: is excellent and gorgeous, a little over-hyped, but maddeningly fun overall. [Fall 2008, p.55]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Simply put, God of War II is as good as it gets on the Playstation 2. [Apr 2007, p.44]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Simply put, if you own a Wii U and love Mario, then you should definitely pick it up.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    If this were 15 years ago, I wouldn’t have to write 2,000 words explaining why Street Fighter is awesome, but since we’re here, stop reading this review and, for God’s sake, go out and buy this thing.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fallout 3 is the biggest accomplishment in adventure gaming since Oblivion.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It contains not only some of the best combat mechanics available, but everything you could have wanted from a Metal Gear Solid game. Plus Kiefer Sutherland.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What I can say about Rock Band 3, though, is that it's excellent, and a ton of fun in both single and multiplayer.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's exactly like Guitar Hero II for the PS2, but made even better by Microsoft's favorite son. [Mar 2007, p.58]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Those who haven’t taken the two-hour journey to the mountain top yet should stop what they’re doing and dive in. Journey really is that good.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The one blemish are the abhorrent loading times, which is a shame as they’re simply an optimization issue rather than a design one. Expertly crafted on practically every level, Bloodborne is a deviously delicious experience that deserves to be experienced by anybody valiant enough to conquer it.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If you’ve been looking to get back into fighters and somehow missed the boat on Street Fighter IV or have been waiting for something to bring you back into the world of Street Fighting, I doubt there is a better option than a game full of characters, awesome music, and a robust fighting system with great online support.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is equal parts daunting, accessible, beautiful and hideous, but every aspect combines in such a remarkable way that it’s nearly impossible to not give it a sweeping recommendation.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Our review of Hearts of Stone mentioned that it was a shining example of how to create meaningful downloadable content, and yet Blood and Wine manages to top it in nearly every way imaginable.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Clearly designed for and best experienced on the Wii U, it’s a rare non-exclusive killer app that should be purchased immediately to ensure its franchise lives a long and productive life.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If you’ve been looking to get back into fighters and somehow missed the boat on Street Fighter IV or have been waiting for something to bring you back into the world of Street Fighting, I doubt there is a better option than a game full of characters, awesome music, and a robust fighting system with great online support.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dishonored is as if Deus Ex had a beautiful child with Bioshock whose ancestors were that of Half-Life descent. While it certainly has its issues, such as a plot that isn't as fleshed out as it could be, and low-resolution textures inhabiting the world, it's still one of the better new intellectual properties this year. By offering multiple combat systems, a superbly crafted world and a high volume of alternate paths to take, Dishonored accomplishes great feats that will pave the way for future action-adventure games.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s one of the most — if not the most — hardcore action games to ever come from a major publisher. Players will die — a lot — as they come to realize that this is a punishing is a test of resilience. Those who can brave the challenge, however, will be richly rewarded with one of the most gratifying experiences in gaming and a true sense of accomplishment...A stunning accomplishment.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    A lot will depend on how the endgame of Lich King develops, and where we go from here. Right now, Lich King is a solid foundation to build on, with a lot to keep you occupied.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Blizzard has perfected the RTS and now they’ve laid a fantastic foundation for the FPS.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Kentucky Route Zero manages to cover fascinating new ground with each act, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. More importantly, I can’t wait to see all the strange sights along the way.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What I can say about Rock Band 3, though, is that it's excellent, and a ton of fun in both single and multiplayer.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    In short, Assassin’s Creed 2 is the game that the original should have been
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As far as a baseball game, MLB 10: The Show is the best.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If you felt you have moved on from Halo and that it is no longer relevant, than you are truly mistaken. Yes, Reach is another Halo, but Bungie refined and tweaked the formula to make it stand its ground and make it as addicting as it was in 2001.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As it is, it's merely very good on several different levels, and is more or less a must-play for RPG fans. It will drive shooter fans completely up the wall, though. [Dec 2007, p.56]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fallout 3 is the biggest accomplishment in adventure gaming since Oblivion.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fez
    It’s a charming, charismatic adventure that will leave you with a smile across your face for the duration of your play.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Based on graphics, gameplay, and overall chaos factor, Killzone 2 is FPS gold.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's nothing like Mark of the Ninja on Xbox Live Arcade, and now, Steam. Others may taunt fast action stealth, but this is the true evolution of that concept with speedy and thought-provoking mechanics. Keyboard and mouse controls can take a while to get used to, but once you've got it down, you feel like a master assassin. Mark of the Ninja is a triumphant victory that is a must-buy for any and all stealth fans.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A Link Between Worlds is a delightful return to the classic game we loved. There aren’t a lot of improvements, but the additional world and new power are more than enough.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you decided to wait for the PC version of Dark Souls II before jumping in, you’ve made the right decision. It’s not leaps and bounds better than its console counterpart, but the graphical enhancements aid the immersion.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s worth a replay if you’ve already got the PS3 version, and if you’ve never played it before, then there’s no prettier way to inaugurate your new console.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    In short, Assassin’s Creed 2 is the game that the original should have been
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Aspiration is a good thing and The Room franchise has grown into an hours-long, Myst-like game with many puzzles and a fully-formed story to drive it along.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Delivering the full HD experience, Blizzard’s jump to current-gen consoles is a flying success.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's a giant world to explore here, loaded with details and fantastically pretty. Whether you're stealthing your way through a ramshackle outpost or climbing a radio tower on top of a mountain, it's always engaging, pulling you effortlessly from one scenario to the next and hitting all the right notes along the way.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Play it, and be happy. [Dec 2008, p.57]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is at once a love letter to the classics that came before it and a gorgeously unique collection of clever ideas, all wonderfully packaged into an 8-bit style game that looks like it jumped straight out of the NES era.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Those who missed out on the XBLA release of Spelunky and want a good tough rogue-like should pick it up from Steam. It’s a little more based on reflexes than most rogue-likes, but even if you find out you’re not that good at it, it is still a riot to watch friends try to get as far as the can before making the wrong step and getting crushed by a boulder.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fallout 3 is the biggest accomplishment in adventure gaming since Oblivion.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    To put it simply, Stephen’s Sausage Roll might be some of the meatiest and most delicious food for the mind you’ll taste all year.
    • 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
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fez
    As it remains, this is still one of the most charming, charismatic adventures you will have, leaving those who experience it with a smile across their face for the duration of their play.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Atlus has really created something special with Persona 4, because it still maintains the freshness of Persona 3, while also being different and in many ways superior.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ultimately, MLB 09 walks a fine line, catering to both hardcore baseball fans and more casual players. There are a lot of deep game play elements and features to be explored, some complex and intricate.
    • 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
    Capcom broke out their calligraphy brush and created a masterpiece that, while shows some signs of aging, remains an awe-inspiring experience like no other.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you loved the first Geometry Wars, you're going to adore Geometry Wars 2.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    It's faultlessly fun, both solo and multiplayer. If you're releasing a competing title later this year... well, it sucks to be you. [Vol 3, Issue 2, p.57]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you’re looking for an example of how to create meaningful downloadable content that doesn’t feel exploitative, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example than Hearts of Stone.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Some of its flaws live on in this 3DS remaster, but ultimately The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is a game that absolutely deserves three days of your time.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Those already tightly entrenched in the series won’t have anything to scoff at. Significantly improved over its predecessor, Dark Souls III will have players immersed in the deep and rich fiction that From Software is known for.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Go ahead and spend the points on this, regardless of if you have an older version, or even if you somehow haven't heard of Rez. [Spring 2008, p.60]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Demon's Souls knows that winning is something to be earned, and the satisfaction of living up to the challenge it presents is its greatest reward.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it may have, once again, fallen short of being a classic, it is a large improvement over the first game despite its numerous weak points.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite the new changes and how much they add to and improve the overall gameplay, it still feels like the same fun zombie killing game at its core.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    All in all, if you know from the start you are getting into a game that is entirely based around its cooperative multiplayer elements you are going to be rewarded with hundreds of hours of the best gaming experience you have had in years.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    All in all, if you know from the start you are getting into a game that is entirely based around its cooperative multiplayer elements you are going to be rewarded with hundreds of hours of the best gaming experience you have had in years.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite the new changes and how much they add to and improve the overall gameplay, it still feels like the same fun zombie killing game at its core.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The problem with Borderlands 2 is that it's just more Borderlands. Normally I don't criticize something because it didn't go out of its safe zone, but having played close to 100 hours of the first game and with very few changes outside some AI behaviours and environments, it makes the sequel feel less special than it should be.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fans of the original and newcomers alike will have fun playing this remake.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Because of some frustrating controls and combat design decisions, Bastion is held back from being excellent, but remains great nonetheless.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    An incredibly solid game that could fetch $30-40 as a retail copy.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s not perfect, but it’s as close as it’s going to get for this Deus Ex, and that’s impressive in its own way.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A combination of fun, fairness, beauty and joy, Mario Kart 8 is absolutely brilliant.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    As far as single player goes, I think nothing will capture the initial highs you got from taking in Rapture for the first time, and the enormous twist the original delivered. However, the sequel’s story is just as intense and has its own narrative highs and a mean twist of its own, and I think the end payoff is a bit more impactful and sinks in better than the ending of the first BioShock.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ori and the Blind Forest was great when it first came out and it’s still great in the Definitive Edition.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Super Hexagon is an incredible game. Its simplicity makes it accessible, and its challenge level is rewarding when you learn to overcome it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is the very definition of escapism, offering a mindbogglingly large amount of content. One could spend upwards of fifty hours exploring the world without completing more than a few introductory missions in the main story — which itself can offer over twenty hours of gameplay.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At the end of the day, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 feels less like a true game of the series and more of the spin-off that it is, trading the methodical and tactical pacing of the franchise mainstays for a more fast-paced and action oriented shooter.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Last of Us: Left Behind captures everything that is great about The Last of Us and distills it down into a tight two hour journey.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At the end of the day, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 feels less like a true game of the series and more of the spin-off that it is, trading the methodical and tactical pacing of the franchise mainstays for a more fast-paced and action oriented shooter.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the story could've been better told, an addictive combat system and array of side quests make Torchlight II a dungeon crawler of immeasurable size, offering an awe-inspiring adventure that will have players coming back for more.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    From highly customizable characters to deep and meaningful combat that has been improved over its predecessor, there’s a lot here to like, at least on paper. Unfortunately, this is only when it all comes together properly.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Perhaps the best compliment that one could pay Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition is that it is absolutely Divinity: Original Sin in every sense of the name.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a great game and worth a try if you're brave and/or a masochist. [July 2007, p.64]
    • Hardcore Gamer