Quarter to Three's Scores

  • Games
For 238 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Vietnam '65
Lowest review score: 20 Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 80 out of 238
238 game reviews
    • 92 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It mostly reminded me of some of the dull and barely interactive bits of Uncharted 3. I think the lesson here is that deserts are often poorly suited to games without dune buggies...There's no challenge and no real gameplay, which isn't necessarily a criticism. It's sort of like Shadow of the Colossus without any colossi, or Ico without the little girl.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    A shiny old dog without any new tricks. I got more out of the Halo 1 remake, which at least had the appeal of nostalgia. Playing through an updated version of the original Halo was at times tired or tedious. But it was also a reminder of the raw genius that launched the series. There is none of that in Halo 4, which is a drawn-out retread without any fresh perspective or energy, and furthermore missing a lot of what I need to pull me through a Halo game. Halo 4 demonstrates that if there's one thing worse than more of the same, it's less of the same.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The campaign is poorly written, poorly acted, erratically paced, full of pointless upgrades and meaningless choices, crammed full of overproduced cutscenes that fail to relate to the gameplay, and without a shred of creative insight into how to use a real time strategy game to tell a story, much less how to get me to click "next mission" without heaving a tired sigh. For all their incomparable game design smarts, Blizzard remains one of the worst storytellers in the business, partly for how hard they try and mostly for how spectacularly they fail.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The shootporn is satisfying enough, if you're into that sort of thing. I know I am. Which is why I have so little patience for how often the awful story and grim prattle get in the way.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The most disappointing thing about Forza Horizon 2 is how little it’s improved since the first Horizon. There is still no meaningful career progression or economy. The career is quite literally running a circle around six chunks of Europe, over and over and over again, in the pursuit of colored bracelets with, as far as I can tell, no significance. Canned bucket list challenges and barn scavenger hunts supposedly break up the action if you feel like heading off in that direction.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It peppers the game with busywork where you’d normally be hitting “next turn” over and over, waiting to administer a beating to the game’s brain dead military. Now you’re playing on turf where the AI is stronger, managing the strategy level of the game, finessing the economy, wrangling trade routes, expanding out into the map. It helps the pacing in a not very good game where pacing was one of the significant problems. So if I’m going to play Civilization V, the best thing I can say about Brave New World is that this is the preferred way to do it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    So the prominent new feature in Magic 2014 is the ability to pay Wizards of the Coast extra money each time you play it. What a horribly crass presentation of a wonderful feature. It sits like a stinking hole in the middle of an otherwise presentable game and therefore completely undermines any reason to play this when you could instead be enjoying last year’s planechases.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    I recall Bastion feeling far more open ended, offering me a scoring challenge and plenty of incentive to boost the difficulty level. But Transistor commits the cardinal sin of not making me want to keep going. It feels as if it’s ended before it’s over. The new game plus should be the opportunity to flex everything I’ve unlocked and yet here I am using the same tools, with no reason to raise the difficulty because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen all it has to offer.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Wildstar, which has very little sense of identity, which has very little pull, which feels like a collection of features, which has a subscription fee, was a relic as soon as it was released. And I’m afraid one of the most trenchant facts about it is one of the worst things you could say about any MMO: it’s going to be easy to stop playing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    All the decisions I’ve made have snowballed into a massive unwieldy clockwork of inconsequence, lumbering towards an inevitable conclusion like a giant Katamari ball consisting of all those little decisions, none of them steering it in any meaningful way, but each of them lending the monstrosity a tiny bit of mass. Then the ball reaches the requisite mass and a screen tells me I’ve won and I’m back at the main menu. No recap, no score breakdown, no map to admire, no ranking. Poof.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    This is the same disappointing strategy game it was a year and a half ago, except that it now has two finicky and mostly unimpressive systems shoehorned in.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A middling open-world game can get by if it's well paced. The Saboteur and Prototype 2, for instance, weren't necessarily good, but they moved. Really moved. They pulled you forward, thanks in large part to great progression systems. There is no such sense of progression in Sleeping Dogs. You have a few tracks that gradually unlock moves you may never use.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Company of Heroes 2 might be the steepest tumble from game design genius to crassly missing the point that I’ve ever seen.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Second Son looks fantastic and from a technical perspective, it’s a pretty impressive feat especially given that the game is out less than six months from the release of the Playstation 4. Unfortunately the gameplay isn’t up to par with the light show. Like the neon that Delsin channels, it’s all light and no heat.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Dungeon Raid was based on building up your RPG character and earning high scores. But with its crass Farmville skin, Puzzle Craft is ultimately a variation on one of those godawful free-to-play play-now-m'lord microtranscation boondoogles. It's like a time waster wrapped around a time waster. Time wasters all the way down.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The problem with Orcs Must Die isn't necessarily Orcs Must Die. The problem is Toy Solders: Cold War, Plants vs. Zombies, Defender Chronicles, and Dungeon Defenders. Because a good tower defense game is just the first step to a good full-featured tower defense game.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It’s a bad sign that the weakest parts of Alien: Isolation are the parts with the alien. You’d think getting that right would be a priority. Instead, the best parts of the game involve running around space corridors and turning space handles and flipping space switches and pressing space buttons and getting through space doors and turning on space generators. But then an alien comes along and forces you to play something else entirely.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    If there's no payoff - or, as is the case here, if the payoff is hidden behind such a clot of unavoidable tedium that it ultimately overwhelms how much I care about reaching that payoff - then hasn't the game failed? The balancing act for any game designer is to make me care in proportion to the challenge level you throw at me. And given how close I must be to the end, and how little I care to push on, Final Fantasy XIII-2 ultimately fails.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    If only the game mechanics were as clearly laid out as the business model.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    All the cool stuff 1000000 gets right - the strategy, the long-term persistence, the loot, the leveling up - falls apart when I have to back up and align two tiles just so in order to convince the game that I want to move in the direction I want to move. It doesn't happen often. But it happens regularly enough to kill what would otherwise be a pretty cool game.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Ships that trip over each other and bumble around islands and pivot in the water and soak up an indeterminate amount of damage and, worst of all, relate poorly to the rest of the game. This is not the naval counterpart to Eugen’s smart implementation of air power. Why couldn’t they come up with a similarly graceful way to head out to sea? Why is Wargame: Red Dragon yet another RTS added to the wet heap of naval systems worth ignoring?
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Get ready for a new generation of zombie-slaying thrills where there's only minimal gameplay to get in the way of the thrills!
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Grey Goo is a dry and forgettable B-side RTS with no advantage over other RTSs save the fact that it was more recently released.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The new character customization is either much better or much worse, depending on what you're looking for in character customization. If you want to put stickers on your cape or make a short Asteroth, Soulcalibur V is the game for you. But if you want Soulcalibur IV's indepth unlockable stat-based equipment RPG, well, Soulcalibur IV is the game for you. Because Soulcalibur V has none of that. What a disappointing step backwards.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Hero Academy is simple, simplistic, and ultimately unsatisfying. You might as well find a friend and take turns punching each other in the arm to see who gives up first.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    These canned side quests are a pretty poor substitute for whatever entertainment you and your friends might normally wring from a real-world copy of Talisman.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    I am astonished at the state of this game. Did they think that I wouldn’t notice the clumsy interface, the wretched documentation, the absolutely untenable naval combat, the weird bugs, the lock-ups, the game-killing glitches? Did they think I wouldn’t notice the AI? Did they really think this was an acceptable AI for a single-player game? A single player game with disappointing multiplayer compared to the clever multiplayer in their last release?
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With its forgettable competence, Dariusburst very nearly turned me off of the entire genre of iPad shmups.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Without a solid foundation — namely, a better RTS at the bottom of everything — Dragon Commander is a frail novelty that will fall apart shortly after you’ve handled it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Perhaps most disappointing of all is the actual world. The map consists of long wending noodles of road draped over Frostbite landscapes. It’s built for you to drive fast and bang into cars, so it minimizes the concept of mastering a route or reacting to the road. It’s all long, thin, shallow. This means there’s little sense of place. There is minimal traffic. There are too few opportunities to actually turn onto another road or take a shortcut. The world even feels small. You’ll be chasing someone, or running from someone, and suddenly you’re back where you were just a little while ago. It all feels so constrained.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Tropico 5 just doesn’t do anything with its new mechanics to advance the franchise. It’s an old man, wearing a shabby uniform, drunkenly partying in the palace. Sometimes it has moments of brilliance, but it’s mostly just waiting for the next revolution.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Dirt Showdown is all the in-between stuff from other racing games. It's those filler events you had to play to get to the next actual race. Basically, driving game gametax, now given its own game. It's as if someone lifted up all the rally races from the previous Dirts, swept out the detritus that was left, collected it into a tidy little pile, and then slapped a name on it. Dirt Showdown.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The reason to play Our Darker Purpose is for a hopeful sense of what it might eventually become if the developers at Avidly Wild Games can make it less ponderous. Because it looks and sounds great, with scads of insidious Victorian style where Binding of Isaac has only its weird coarseness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    I really can’t figure out why this game exists other than the desire to cash in on the work done by Rocksteady. The combat isn’t as good, the story is weak and meaningless, all tension drained from it because we know that nothing bad happens to anyone as they’re all around in Arkham Asylum, and the gadgets are either exactly the same or have the barest of cosmetic differences to distinguish them from previous games’ gadgets.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Less ambitious MMOs break less dramatically. But The Secret World breaks differently, crushingly, almost tragically. There are various explanations and workarounds and excuses, and it mostly comes down to the simple fact that making games is hard and making MMOs is even harder. Funcom is simply unable to make the game they designed.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    So as far as a tabletop game, Nightfall is just weird enough to be worthwhile. But as an iPhone port, Nightfall is a disappointing mess. That I'm no longer playing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    It's every generic shooter you've forgotten you played, come back to be forgotten again...Oh, did I mention there's bullet time? Because there's bullet time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The constant parallels to Super Smash Bros. eventually undermine Playstation All-Stars, which has nowhere near the generosity, enthusiasm, or longevity of a Super Smash Bros.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    When it clicks, the game is second-to-none which is why I’ll continue to play despite its many issues. With no campaign, spotty multiplayer, and poor canned scenarios, Arma III just isn’t a complete product at this time.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    And so that’s the sum total of Call of Duty: Ghosts. The disappointing single-player, the usual multiplayer, the slightly confused squad bot matches, and a nifty co-op Infestation mode that could use more maps.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    What really kills Banished for me is the overwhelming sense of pointlessness. There are no goals, no scenarios, no unlockables, no longterm luxury goods or endgame wonders or upper level populations or advanced buildings. There is no finale. There is, instead, a world without end.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Van Helsing starts out slow and takes a while to get not terrible.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Speaking of shameless, Guardians of Middle Earth is unabashedly grind-based. As you play, you earn ingame currency you spend on new characters, on slottable character improvements, and on potions that you can use once. Potions that drain your resources so you have to keep playing to stay competitive. Weak potions are cheap. Powerful potions aren't. Spend to win.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The scripted sterility of a Ridge Racer and the destructibility of a FlatOut go togther like peanut butter and fish oil. This arcade racer deserves credit for elevating the Ridge Racer name above the level of a punchline. But it doesn't manage to crucial task of giving you a reason to play it instead of the current standards of arcade racing likeSplit Second, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, or Driver.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    If you want to play a shallow fighting game that combines bad humor, cheesecake, and gore, Splatterhouse would be delighted to get a little of your attention. It knows what it is and it delivers. But the gravest insult in Lollipop Chainsaw is that it's such an obvious and vapid attempt at Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bayonetta. You, ma'am, are no Bayonetta.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    But Beyond: Two Souls is far worse than convenient, facile, and ridiculous. It’s overall tone is low-key and morose, without energy or enthusiasm. Scenes drag out, with long pauses. Glances shift awkwardly. Character models fidget. This is about an eight hour game, but I’d estimate two or three of those hours are pregnant pauses.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    What it all comes down to is this question: Is Caylus a good candidate for porting to the iPhone? Given the length of games, given the poor multiplayer support, given that the elegance of the boardgame is lost entirely, I suspect the answer might be "no". Which is a real shame after Big Daddy Creations so successfully ported Neuroshima Hex to the iPhone.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The bottom line is that Zombie HQ is not a game. It's a shameless business model.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    It's all such an uninspired riff on Rocksteady's Batman masterpiece, with the stink of a mandate from a boardroom to make it like that Batman game that did so well. But Arkaham City was built from the ground up because it suited the character. The Amazing Spider-Man is entirely borrowed.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Red Wasp Design seems to prefer detail to elegance, and that's exactly the wrong call to make on the iPhone. It's also a damn shame in a game with such an obvious affection for its own characters and the Lovecraft mythos.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    For the most part, this is a game about running around for five minutes and then a long grind of the winner winning until he wins while the loser loses. Press "F" to watch.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    As I played - or tried to play - these games, I found myself wondering if Tiffany Melson is on Facebook. Which would never happen if I had playable versions of Gauntlet, APB, Rampage, and Defender.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The biggest problem for this game is every stealth game that has come since Thief: the Dark Project. Thief can’t match the visual flair and supernatural powers of Dishonored. It doesn’t have the lean efficiency and murderous creativity of the Hitman series; it trails the razor’s edge stealth and gadget lust of Splinter Cell; it lacks the vision and bombast of the Metal Gear series. Hell, it doesn’t even have a very good thief.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The draw of the Cold War setting, the visual aesthetic, and the soundtrack only last so long. And all too quickly, Counterspy gets left out in the cold.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Yes, this is just like Raccoon City all over again: stilted, awkward, ridiculous, embarrassing, tedious. Except for the parts where it's like Call of Duty, which are equally stilted, awkward, ridiculous, embarrassing, and tedious, but with more NPC soldiers milling about. Resident Evil 6 is thoroughly oblivious to so many of the things that make a good game these days.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    In the 80s, these choose-your-own-adventure books were novel and exciting, particularly on your way to discovering some of the well written Infocom adventures. But today, on an iPad, Blood of the Zombies is a tedious relic, not unlike playing Adventure on an Atari 2600 emulator. It might sound like a cool idea until you're actually doing it. Some things are better off remembered instead of experienced.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Defiance is mostly lacking meaningful connective tissue. It fails at the fundamental task of feeling like a thoughtfully designed and polished game. It fails at feeling like a world. It fails at giving you much to look forward to once you’ve realized you’ve seen most of what it’s ever going to do. You can only get so far with “it’s fun to shoot stuff”. About Defiance far.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    If Electronic Arts is going to make a game with the basic premise being that no city is an island, if they're going to stress the interaction among cities, if they're going to make playing alongside other people a cornerstone of the design, if they're going to force my creations into tiny boxes that cannot exist past a certain point without the help of other tiny boxes, they're going to have to do the hard work of making it actually work. And ideally, that hard work should be done before they sell people the game, not after they've been caught flat-footed for botching it so completely.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Sir You Are Being Hunted has revealed all it has — much of which is tedious or repetitive — after a few hours.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Features writing so sophomoric, so unfunny, so stale, so trite, and so unskippable that it all but kills the game underneath.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Since there’s no way to play the campaign multiplayer, you’re stuck beating up the sad confused AI players in space, while falling prey to its ruthless efficiency planetside.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The lack of variety is just another bad call in a series of bad calls. With only a single faction, with nothing resembling a tech tree or upgrades, with maps having only a single shape (a sphere inside a sphere) that negates terrain, Planetary Annihilation misses many of the elements that make a good RTS a good RTS. It instead is so in love with its concept, which isn’t very good in the first place, that it never gets around to the vital business of being a good game.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, Betrayer falls apart quickly, and it can’t afford to do this given how short it is.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Without a more effective delivery system than a single checkpoint overwriting all your other progress, the Faction Pack is a frustrating example of death by linearity.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Inversion drinks deeply from the Gears of War well, including the same basic combat model, the same generic space marines, and the same overwrought investment in its own bad story. But there's none of Gears' heft or kick. Instead, Inversion has that lightweight feel usually reserved for the first level of a game before you get the useful weapons.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    A colossal disappointment for how it takes something I really want - an iPhone version of Pandemic - and manages to screw it up completely, reducing me to frustrated stabbing at impossibly tiny icons.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The best action RPGs are carefully calculated to go directly from the lizard brain to the index finger. Krater, an action RPG from a small Swedish studio, instead meanders, gets lost, and ends up in a quiet cul de sac somewhere around the cerebellum.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    You can't take up the slack for the miserable AI by playing multiplayer, because there is no online multiplayer support, asynchronous or otherwise.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Saints Row 3 is a tough act to follow, particularly given how much awesome over-the-top stuff is already in there. But dribbling out forgettable and pointless content like Genki Bowl is exactly the wrong way to follow it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Utterly flubs the fine art of shooting cool guns at freaky things in space dungeons. And it has a terrible weapon progression system and cut-rate production values, to boot. Plus, there are no predators, which is apparently what it takes to make an aliens game that isn’t awful.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    A mess. This is no surprise given Egosoft’s penchant for releasing messes and then tidying them up after the fact. But the problem with X Rebirth is that it’s a different kind of mess than the previous games, in new and terribly wrong ways that are beyond tidying up. X Rebirth doesn’t seem to understand what people liked about the previous games. It is a game based on misguided assumptions.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The game is designed for me and my friends, except I can't play with them because there is no multiplayer. And when I play by myself, the AI commits suicide. The presentation and art sure are slick. They get five stars. The rest of it gets zero. Average it out.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As an iPad game, Small World is a big disappointment. But as an advertisement for the boardgame…well, I've just ordered the basic set and two of the expansions. Mission accomplished, Days of Wonder! There aren't many iPhone games that end up costing me another $50 after I've bought them, much less disappointing iPhone games.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    I suspect Zen Studios intended it to be player friendly, designed to appeal to casual players unaccustomed to pinball. The result is minimal opportunities to lose the ball, lots of extra balls, frequent multiballs, and liberally activated kickbacks.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    After the utter genius of Bug Princess, and the inspired lunacy of Deathsmiles, and the sleek clean action of Espgaluda, I can give Cave a pass for the generic robotery of their other Dodonpachi, subtitled Resurrection. But whatever's going on in Dodonpachi Maximum, a sprawl of sterile color and rote action without character, is perhaps the first Cave game I can easily do without.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Campus Life clearly wants you to come back more often so you sit through more full-screen ads.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A solid idea that needs a bit more work to be a good game. Right now, it’s as merely clerical as the name implies.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    A terrible iOS port.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Fantasy Flight went to all the hard work of porting Battlelore without giving us a meaningful way to enjoy it.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    For such a smart design, it’s got an appallingly bad implementation.