The A.V. Club's Scores

For 880 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 71
Score distribution:
1003 game reviews
    • 93 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Is Street Fighter IV the best version? Absolutely. But once fans have relived their virtual-martial-arts glory days; once they’ve defeated Seth, the poorly named final boss; once the patina of nostalgia has worn off, most will wonder whether they needed to spend $60 on a game they already own.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Two years after Thieves, Uncharted's gameplay mechanics and conventions are no longer dated; they're borderline archaic.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    That high-fiving, frat-house, epithet-spewing, tea-bagging culture has had the unfortunate side-effect of making the Halo universe increasingly less soulful, rendering the subtitle of the original game-"Combat evolved"-something of an oxymoron.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Mass Effect feels like the first two acts of a great space opera, and the main villain and the most intriguing parts of the backstory have been saved for a sequel. The non-player characters that hang around with you have also taken a major step back, with less dialogue and none of the spontaneous clashes (and subtle flirting) of BioWare's past high-water marks, "Baldur's Gate II" and "Knights Of The Old Republic."
    • 90 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    It’s tough to assess a game that swings so wildly between two poles. In its more focused portions, Bayonetta is kinetic bliss that makes hand-to-hand violence into an act of love. But too often, the game devolves to its button-mashing, raunchy norm, adopting the puerile sensibility that is making Japan a less relevant voice in a slowly maturing medium.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Dead Space 2 isn't bad, it simply isn't the evolution it should or could have been. By the time the closing credits roll, don't be surprised if the only dead space you're feeling is the one in the middle of your chest.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Problem is, when it comes to movie-style storytelling, Uncharted is more "Sahara" than "Raiders Of The Lost Ark."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    The lack of a strong concept in this game brings that decades-old sameness to the fore and makes New SMB Wii the least essential Mario title to date.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    But like the train you conduct, much of Spirit Tracks feels rigidly stuck on rails.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Sparta also unfortunately arrives in the same year as the PlayStation 3's God Of War III. No one expects as much bang-for-your-buck from a portable game as they would a console game, but for players who rode atop high-definition Titans only a few months ago, Sparta inevitably feels small and miserly.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    A technically strong game tailored to hardcore skaters (and people up for a really serious challenge), this one will alienate casual gamers, as the learning curve can be excruciating.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Once you get over the game’s roster, under the hood is a fighting-game-newbie friendly, flashy button-masher.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Madden NFL 10, like every installment, makes further strides toward looking as glossy and polished as any high-definition Sunday-afternoon football broadcast. Which could be to blame for the series’ ongoing stagnation. Watching football and playing football are dramatically different, and over the last 21 years, EA seems to have forgotten that.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    A technically strong game tailored to hardcore skaters (and people up for a really serious challenge), this one will alienate casual gamers, as the learning curve can be excruciating.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    The campaign feels rushed: you'll be halfway to your maximum level before the story proper even starts, and the plot, about a mysterious illness that plagues the land, is clichéd.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    And then there's the issue of style. It feels like the creators of Devil May Cry 4 are trapped in the summer of 1999, when The Matrix was still the pinnacle of otaku-informed art.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Strip away the neon visuals and the doomp-doomp-doomp of the soundtrack, and you're left with a pretty but woefully undercooked shooter.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    The enemy onslaught is intense from the outset, which might be more tolerable if Samurai II could be played with hard buttons. Instead, players are forced to aim for the same smear of finger oil on a glass screen, with no tactile feedback. As a result, missed hits abound.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    The gameplay ideas don’t match up to the narrative playfulness. ODST was originally conceived as a minor side project, and it never feels like anything else.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    One of the core joys of better Castlevania games is the moment where you finally reach a spot that's been out of reach for hours. There's some semblance of that here, but it just isn't the same. That sentiment permeates Lords. Its aggregate reflections of half a dozen better games isn't bad, but neither is it inspired enough to establish Castlevania in three dimensions.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Those with low tolerance for the shrill, stilted dialog of afternoon animation may wish themselves deaf.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    If the last Ninja Gaiden you played came out before 2008, Sigma 2 is an acceptable way of checking back in with the series, but devotees will want much more, and not just a mode where you can play as a pair of boobs with a sword.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There are good ideas here, and around 100 pre-made micro-games to play, but WarioWare: D.I.Y. ultimately reveals itself as an obscure, cluttered experience.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    A great story—but maybe they should have stuck with pencils and dice.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Darkness is an overreaching, frequently clumsy genre hybrid with moments of brilliance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    In spite of the L.A. verisimilitude and the sound racing action, the clichéd characters, pseudo-urban dialogue (we're officially calling for a moratorium on the term "buster"), and the use of a T-Mobile Sidekick all work to make the game feel like it's stuck in 2005. The racing is exciting; the packaging isn't.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    The final outrage: The developers have the nerve to encourage gamers to use both thumbs to perform those dual swipes. Hold your thumbs in front of you, pretend you're swiping upward over and over again, and you'll have a sense of how well this actually works.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Huge swaths of Rage are lifted wholesale from Fallout 3, Borderlands, and BioShock, making Rage forever veer between loving homage and blatant plagiarism. In the end, Rage is an insecure, overly busy game that tries too hard to be too many things, and winds up with a greasy sheen of flop-sweat on its brow.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    It's a rhythm game unlike any other. But the sequel, like the original, is still more of a novelty than a bona fide game.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    None of this will bother kids, who'll dig the game's ease, the non-threatening boss, and the chance to actually finish a game that's a fraction as long as say, Okami.

Top Trailers