NZGamer's Scores

  • Games
For 1,488 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Red Dead Redemption
Lowest review score: 20 Deca Sports Freedom
Score distribution:
1,488 game reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 99 Critic Score
    It's not perfect, but given the equipment available today, it's as close as anyone is likely to get. Grand Theft Auto IV is Rockstar North's magnum opus and it is absolutely essential. That’s all one needs to know.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    Galaxy really is as good as you have been hearing; if you are a Nintendo fan, this is simply essential.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    There is enough here to keep you busy for ages, and the game is remarkably imaginative and fun. It was just never going to be as earth shattering as Mario 64 or the first Super Mario Galaxy.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    San Andreas is vast and sprawling and so much fun to explore. There are thousands of things to do and hundreds of missions, so this will not be a quick playthrough.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The graphics are amazing; the audio is possibly even more stunning; the sheer cohesiveness of the world of Rapture is absurdly impressive; the gameplay is very tight, polished, frantic, and fun; and all of these elements combine to create an experience that is even greater than the sum of its (already remarkable) parts. This is simply a game that everyone needs to play.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    Graphically Uncharted is almost entirely phenomenal. Not just good, great or awesome but truly and utterly incredible. The metallic surfaces and the jungle stand out as being more amazing looking that actual, real things.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Five fun slices of an extremely delicious pie. If you’ve never played Half Life 2 before, this package will keep you occupied for some time to come, and rarely makes a wrong move.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Basically this is Mass Effect but with the next chapter of the epic story and every gameplay mechanic refined or tuned in one way or another.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Glitches aside, Skyrim is a big, beautiful game, that will overwhelm with its physical and emotional depths. And after thirty-five hours of playing I feel like I've only experienced a hint of what the Skyrim world has to offer. I love the way it manages to combine sandbox-style gameplay without sacrificing story progression or big political moments that lend credence to the experience of a real culture.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    LittleBigPlanet is just one of those instances where a brilliant idea - a product of the times - combines with smart, polished game design to create something that should be a marker for things to come.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    On a personal note, this reviewer has a new favourite of all time: see ya later, Ocarina... we had some good times.... [RDD is] NZGamer.com's first ever, and eminently deserving, ten out of ten. Play it until the credits roll. And then keep on going.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    The comparisons to Uncharted can’t be ignored and, while it might appear a ‘safe move’ by Naughty Dog on the surface, their new franchise undoubtedly pushes the boundaries in a welcome new direction. They have put their well-polished engine to excellent use and put the emphasis on compelling characters to showcase what this talented studio can really deliver.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ultimately, you have to weigh up the cost against the replay value – which is low, unless you're into collecting trophies or DLC. For us, this was the only downside to an excellent overall package, and a truly worthy sequel to one of the most engrossing and popular puzzlers around.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 97 Critic Score
    Even Catwoman's playable missions, which I initially considered to be a cheap selling gimmick, add a lot of value to this game. Her titillating character plays in a completely different manner to the Caped Crusader's and the change in tempo works well.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Bioware has produced an RPG hybrid that gels really well with its setting and series. Hardcore fans of Mass Effect or even the RPG genre will not be disappointed.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    This is the definitive Zelda game, don't just buy it - put it on display. Zelda transcends the quirks that time has revealed in her and shines just as bright in the light of a new millennium.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the best survival action adventures you’ll come-across. To be experienced with dimmed lights, the sound cranked up and a pair of diapers handy.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    I can honestly say I haven't been this captivated by an RPG since The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and have joined the legion of fans eagerly awaiting the third instalment.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    As a game it is by no means revolutionary - but titles don't need to be the new black to be good. Anomaly: Warzone Earth has definitely got enough bells and whistles to keep casual players entertained.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A gripping story and simulative combat combined with a fantastic multiplayer system makes Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare a must-have on your Christmas wish list.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The moment you step through the doorway and into Columbia, something magical happens. You’re introduced to what is easily the most "alive" city found in a game so far.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 99 Critic Score
    Halo 3 is essential. An Xbox 360 without a copy of the game is like a human without a heart.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The deepest fighting game ever released. It's combat engine is incredibly in depth, with even the hardest of the hardcore likely to be discovering new possibilities years from now. Even if you're new to Street Fighter, you can get up to speed with the training system and there's plenty of challenges to keep you entertained offline, with the best online implementation ever seen for those that like to spar over the internet.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The game constantly adds something new to the mix without straying too far from the traditional first-person shooter formula and is sure to be worth the wait for fans everywhere.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The long, over-indulgent cinematic cut-scenes combined with the sometimes inappropriate odd-ball humour has had many gamers scratching their heads in confusion. Regardless of your view point though, very few could question the artistic genius behind this latest instalment.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It's one of the best games available for the system. Don't bother with anything else - just sit back, relax, and keep an eye out for three-headed monkeys.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    It feels strange playing such an adult and violent game on the Nintendo DS, but at the same time, Grand Theft Auto feels right at home here. If future titles are announced for the DS then Chinatown Wars is proof enough that skepticism of Rockstar's ability to deliver on the platform is completely unjustified.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    BioShock Infinite puts the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth right at the core of your experience. It is absolutely central to how you interact with the game. But in a genre where you can’t see Booker’s feet, let alone his face, this throws up insurmountable and unavoidable barriers to how closely you can truly engage with Booker and his relationship with Elizabeth. Again, these challenges are self inflicted.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    The graphics are an amazing painterly mixture of abstract and cartoonish styles – it actually looks like a living painting you’re waltzing through. The music is of an equally high quality, switching between string compositions and folk music.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    Bang for buck? Check. Killer gameplay? Check. Loads of options? Check. Story, sound, presentation? All awesome. It even has a "casual" difficulty level. What's not to like? Screw 2010 - StarCraft II is the best RTS game released in YEARS and one of the best games on PC full stop. If you like gaming at all, you owe it to yourself to check this out. The ultimate RTS has arrived.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    The game is breathtakingly simple, polished to perfection, and tonnes of fun - by yourself or with friends. The only reason it’s not getting a perfect 10 is because I miss the story elements, and some of the bosses were just far too easy to overcome.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    If you’ve been thinking about dipping your toes into the JRPG scene, you absolutely must put this at the top of your list.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s an understatement to say Gears of War 2 is the epitome of action. This game defines the genre.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    I feel ME 3 is an evolution rather than the revolutions the first two games were. While the ending has certainly left a bad taste in my mouth and soured my feelings on the series a little, I cannot deny that the journey to get there is still excellent.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Skyward Sword is not only a fitting tribute to the long running series, but also a milestone in the life of the Nintendo Wii itself, as it finally delivers a game that shows the true power of the control system. Besides, it is fun and challenging to play in its own right. Very highly recommended.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    I don't know how this game will do in the sales charts, but personally it's turned me from a music-game-weary cynic into a fresh-faced jammer once again. I'm not sure how long that will last, but for now I'm loving it.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    What separates the truly stupendous from the merely amazing is that often elusive je ne sais quoi. Mass Effect 3 burns brightly. But that extra spark would have transformed it from a shining star, into a blazing supernova.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I don't want to repeat myself, but this version of Plants vs. Zombies is my favourite - it's simply the best way to play the game. A mouse does the trick just fine, but you can't beat the immersion factor of directly touching on parts of the screen to direct the action. It's just cool.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    God of War III is polished from (severed) head to (bloodied) toe, and is an enjoyable, ridiculous experience perfect for the moments where you just want to switch your brain off.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I may have come down hard on the story, but that's because I hate to see potential unfulfilled. Uncharted 2 remains my favourite, simply because I value well-realised characters above anything else. But if you're less of a fussy bastard than me, and if you want a game that will wow you with sheer spectacle and keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, then get this game.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Indeed we have waited a long time for Rock Band, but it’s now here, and it’s fun. Really fun. Sell-your-grandmother-to-afford-the-$320-price-tag fun. This is the party game for all of those who have thrashed Guitar Hero and SingStar to their death.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 96 Critic Score
    Forza 3 may have 'something for everyone', but for me the heart of the game is how damn satisfying a good lap feels in the hot lap mode. And I guess at the end of the day, the most important thing in a DRIVING game is how much fun you have kissing the apex.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As well as being wonderfully constructed, the environment drips with atmosphere.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    If you like this kind of thing, buy it, love it, and trade me your teams - there's battlin' to be done.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    My gaming tastes are such that I'm perfectly conditioned to fall in love with something like Journey. Keep that in mind - if you're more about visceral action or epic 40-hour experiences, you should possibly look elsewhere. But in my opinion, this is one of the best games out there that can provide you with an experience - and a memorable, highly positive one at that.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Overall Rock Band 2 makes a few welcome changes to a solid rhythm action title – and the overall soundtrack is a big step up.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The unique puzzle and adventure elements are challenging, while the artistic elements set them apart from any other games you have played before.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    This is the very best fighting game ever made, literally bursting with content and even more hinted to be on the way through DLC. You cannot pass this up and still claim to be a fighting game fan.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Overall Rock Band 2 makes a few welcome changes to a solid rhythm action title – and the overall soundtrack is a big step up.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    While I am disappointed that the story failed to deliver in the end, Dishonored is still easily a top contender for Game of the Year 2012. The gameplay is just that fun and special.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    If your creative heartstrings are tugging and heavenly ballet of the Wonderplane is calling, go grab LittleBigPlanet 2. Your inner child will be endlessly thankful for it.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Prime is great, Echoes is great, Corruption is great, and in this release gamers have been given a real treat.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    But for all those FIFA fans who are annoyed at the dodgy AI and lack of real control in FIFA ’09 – I think it’s safe to say you won’t be disappointed with this year’s edition. Whether playing single player and pushing your team through tournaments or taking your personal ‘Be a Pro’ player online and making a name for yourself – there are hours upon hours of pure football brilliance here.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    So when it all comes down to it, what you have here is a classic Square Enix RPG that you can play wherever you are, without having to make any major compromises in your expectations. Sure, it costs more than the other icons on your iPad and, yes, its control scheme is weirdly out of place.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What I like about Borderlands 2 is that the game can be as complicated or straightforward as you like.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Crysis, like "Halo 2," is like foreplay without sex. The journey is great but its abrupt ending leaves you speechless and annoyed.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The engaging atmosphere, excellent gameplay and replay value make this one of the best titles to hit the PSP in not only recent times, but in the entire PSP catalogue.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    So should you buy it? If you like Halo, it's a resounding yes - this is the best Halo ever (even if it is - by far - the hardest). If you like multiplayer first-person shooters, it's an "almost definitely" (fans of realistic shooters need not apply). If you want the world's most polished single player experience? A less enthusiastic response is appropriate.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Take 1 cup of Star Wars, blend in 2 tablespoons of Firefly and mix thoroughly. Mass Effect might not create as much of a stir as KOTOR did, but it's an undeniably good game that manages to showcase the incredible talent and dedication of the BioWare team.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It’s not a cheap app, but it’s a great game! The basic gameplay is identical to the game on PC and consoles, except that you use the touch screen. To do each action you’ll need to press a button on the screen (as opposed to double-tapping). I found this to be an excellent idea because you do not want to lose a soldier to an errant double-tap.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 96 Critic Score
    Jaw-droppingly beautiful...If you are into hotting up rice-rockets, drag racing supercharged yank-tanks, or delicately carving through the twists in a finely tuned Italian thoroughbred, you'll find Forza 4 to be the best console racing title around.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Arkham City, despite its squalor, is fantastic to look at.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Epic has not re-invented the wheel with Gears 3, they've simply improved on a formula that was pretty awesome in the first place.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    For all its guts and glory, for all its taxing, gritty fortitude, Killzone 2 adheres too strictly to the rules of its genre to send itself into the stratosphere. What will stand the test of time is its pitch perfect grasp of said genre, its wonderfully taxing, take-no-prisoners assault on your senses and your trigger finger. It is the ultimate conservative First-Person-Shooter, whether it wants to be or not. And this is why it’s worth your bucks.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A very nicely delivered RPG with loads of content to explore, plenty of replayability and genuine options to choose in the branching dialogue.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There’s no difficulty curve, there’s no personality to the characters, and it’s all over a little too quickly - but I'm damned if I didn’t enjoy every minute of it nonetheless.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    The tweaks made to the formula perhaps hold Dark Souls II from being quite as good its precursor (and it’s for this reason I’d suggest serious newcomers to give Dark Souls a try first), but it’s still an excellent game that will keep Souls series fans hooked for months to come.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The sequel possesses hours of extra activities, a more complicated plot and still manages to maintain a great gameplay engine while adding some much appreciated tweaks to expand the controls slightly.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Despite online idiots, NBA 2K12 is a very big win. The players, game modes, gameplay, and incredible attention to detail make sure of that. It's complex and very tough to learn, but in a good way.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    Bravo, Blizzard, Bravo.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The combat is sublime (even the dodging is fun), the environments are bizzarre and the action incredibly intense. Bosses are spectacular, many and varied and there's lots of it to go around.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    It's a fun first person shooter. One with story issues and awful characters, but also with hunting and manta rays and hang gliding over beautiful scenery.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The improvements - while not always immediately in your face - add up into an extremely tight, polished gem. Very few people will regret buying FIFA 12.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fresh and vibrant graphics, and brilliant sound effects and music round out a near perfect score for Mario and Luigi.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    Trials Evolution is so good that the award for downloadable game of the year may already be locked up.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With such a wealth of characterization, exceptional narrative, side-quests and good old-fashioned homicide on the sprawling Liberty City streets, Rockstar have delivered us a title that is the first worthy piece of downloadable content of this generation so far.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The iPad has the sweetest graphics with a massive screen.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The options presented to you in Fallout 3 are so numerous and complex that you are likely to want to replay the game just to experience them.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    If you’ve played the original, let’s face it, Nintendo prices don’t drop very quickly. You may as well just go and pick this up because you know you want to play it. This is easily the definitive version of Wind Waker and the best you’ll ever play.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    So are you a diehard nut who can’t get enough Portal action? Then you’ll probably already own this one. And if you’re new to the whole thing, Still Alive is easy to recommend. But everyone else in between, you may be better off saving your pennies for the inevitable Portal 2.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Overall, while Limbo's back-story is strangely absent, it can stand on the unique visual style and deceptively difficult platforming/puzzle gameplay alone.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Got a PSP? Awesome! Strike now. This is well worth your time and money. You won't be disappointed. Got both? Get the DS version. Better graphics don't trump the touchscreen.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Okami is beautiful to witness and plays like a true classic.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With its subtle but significant changes to the gameplay, and with the leaderboards providing excellent motivation for just one more go, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 will last players until their skills plateau. Even those that are loath to get into the fuzzy area of downloadable content and digital rights management owe it to themselves to purchase this game. It’s simply that good.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    For the most hardcore Civ addicts out there, some of the changes may be a little unfamiliar. But Civilization V retains the ethos of this iconic series, while modernising, simplifying and improving both its look and its feel.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    It's the best game on the 3DS and it justifies the purchase of the system all by itself.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As a complete package its clearly an impressive, engrossing experience. Its storyline is excellent, its characterisation, voice acting, score and script are very well done, and its aesthetic is deliciously dystopian. The only fly in the ointment is its binary combat mechanics.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Thankfully the combat controls are simple and intuitive.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 96 Critic Score
    Its incredible controls and even gameplay really elevate the franchise to new levels.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Fez
    Minor flaws aside, FEZ is a great game that's hard not to recommend. At least, it'll offer a few hours of fun puzzle platforming; at most, it'll give you a fresh outlook on our three dimensional world and open your mind to what more there could be.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Guild Wars 2 can be what players want to make of (and take from) it, which is pretty much what every good MMO should aspire to. All up, it's been a resounding success.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While my iPad 1 struggled with some of the more demanding scenarios (more than two players usually crashed me out of the game), the iPad platform, generally speaking, is perfect for this sort of game.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Grand Theft Auto IV is very much a console-friendly game, and the PC port brings enough problems – albeit ones that won’t apply to everyone – to make me hesitate to recommend it over the original.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Even by the standards of the series, Empire: Total War is epic. It takes the combined real-time and turn-based strategy, and pushes it out into the eighteenth century in style. It's bigger, and it has a hell of a lot more bang.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rayman Legends offers a surprisingly diverse 12+ hours of gameplay - an admirable feat for a platformer of this type.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    When all the elements work in tandem, this game is extremely immersive - particularly if you have a 5.1 system (or at least a subwoofer) and an HD TV.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Demon's Soul is it. It will kill you, cap your health, break your sword, make you replay the same half hour ten times over and then kill you some more. But, because of this its rewards are infinitely more exhilarating and satisfying. However, the game isn't completely heartless.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Taken as a whole, as an experience rather than a series of discrete mechanics, this is a game that – if you let it – will draw you into its world…and then let you run loose in it. It feels refreshing enough to breathe new life into this crowded genre, and if you’re an RPG fan – even a casual one – then this should definitely be on your ‘must play’ list.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    There is a stack of gameplay here, both in the singleplayer story (which is heavily connected to Assassin's Creed II) and in the multiplayer, which is a series first.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    I am going to have to point out that the guts of the action is really quite basic: see zombie, kill zombie. But this game was always meant to be more of the "see zombie, make pithy remark to friend via Xbox live, kill zombie" type.