Hardcore Gamer's Scores

  • Games
For 1,153 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Halo: Reach
Lowest review score: 20 Into the Dark: Ultimate Trash Edition
Score distribution:
1,153 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.
    • 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
    • 90 Critic Score
    Simply put, if you own a Wii U and love Mario, then you should definitely pick it up.
    • 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
    • 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
    What I can say about Rock Band 3, though, is that it's excellent, and a ton of fun in both single and multiplayer.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 90 Critic Score
    Delivering the full HD experience, Blizzard’s jump to current-gen consoles is a flying success.
    • 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
    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
    Fallout 3 is the biggest accomplishment in adventure gaming since Oblivion.
    • 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
    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
    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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 88 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    While the flow of battles are definitely slower by today's gaming standards, the strategic depth is still far better than most games released today. [Nov 2007, p.60]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pokémon X and Y makes the classic series feel brand new.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is the best kind of portable game, the best kind of adventure game and the best kind of sequel.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Stanley Parable is many things all at once, and all of them are clever and fun. It’s a story made of stories, an exploration of the limits of freedom in gaming, a battle between narrator and narrated, and a giant self-referential meta feedback loop.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is about as casual as a tower defense game gets and seems to have been designed for the individual that found Plants Vs. Zombies too complex. However, while this is a fairly basic and simple tower defense game, sometimes you can find brilliance in simplicity, and Castle Doombad comes very close to achieving just that.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    With easy-to-pick-up controls and stunning graphics, Fight Night Round 4 is a fantastic experience with plenty of replay value and tons of unlockable content to keep any boxing fan busy for months.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Guacamelee! Gold Edition only helps to enhance the rich, fun, free-scrolling action platformer by strengthening the visual art style and adding a bevy of Steamworks features.
    • 88 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Plants vs. Zombies is a huge game with a great sense of humor, and while it tends to play itself once a strategy is completed and the field of fire constructed, putting it all together and experimenting with the possibilities stays fun for a long, long time. [Summer 2009]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Halo 4 isn't quite the revolution everybody has been waiting for, but it's on the right track. 343 Industries have done a superb job in replicating what fans love about the franchise while adding their own distinct style to it. With a meaty and well told single-player campaign, multiplayer that will keep gamers engaged for months, if not years on end, and a bustling community to engage with, Halo 4 is an immeasurable value that will not disappoint.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It will take at least another year for the game's full depth to be discovered. [Issue#35, p.44]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Without a doubt, the raft of online features elevates Black and White to the height of pre-3DS Pokémon greatness. This is the biggest game in the series, and brings a wealth of tertiary additions that fans have been asking for.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pokémon X and Y makes the classic series feel brand new.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With new content, minor balancing and smart new formula tweaks, Drinkbox has managed to improve their already fantastic Mexican Metroidvania title.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's just the right mix of story and gameplay, with a couple of cool twists thrown into both for good measure. [Sept 2007, p.69]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 87 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    In the end, Heavy Rain is a revolution in video game storytelling offering an emotional thrill ride. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite hold up on the gameplay end of things.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is a phenomenal strategy RPG, and feels like a breath of fresh air for a genre that's felt a little stale lately.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Swapper is a wonderfully clever game that’s as smart as it is atmospheric.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Just about every Vita feature is fully utilized and combined they offer a unique and engaging adventure. Unfortunately, the adventure is quite short and the replayablity isn’t there. Once you finish the game and find all the collectibles, the only choices are to start over or move onto the next game.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Zack & Wiki is a brilliant use of the Wii's strengths, and easily one of the best games available for the console. [Dec 2007, p.66]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Instead of being content with slapping a new year on the box and updating rosters, SCE San Diego Studio continues to add numerous improvements that bring the series closer to feeling like the real thing. MLB 13: The Show is the most realistic baseball game to date and remains the sport’s premiere video game experience.