Village Voice's Scores

For 79 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 62% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution
Lowest review score: 20 Charlie's Angels
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 79
  2. Negative: 5 out of 79
79 game reviews
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The greatest fighting game ever: deep, almost infinitely replayable, lovely to look at—and only 20 bucks.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    No multiplayer title has ever bound and balanced two wholly different games this way.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The cartoonish environment, though small, abounds with hidden desirables and fine detail - blaring propaganda, rich reflections and shadows, site-specific music, assorted visual gags - and even minor characters, unlike Paris and Ashton, possess crisp, individual personalities.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The cartoonish environment, though small, abounds with hidden desirables and fine detail—blaring propaganda, rich reflections and shadows, site-specific music, assorted visual gags—and even minor characters, unlike Paris and Ashton, possess crisp, individual personalities.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Several diverting mini-activities unlock along the way, like a remarkably in-depth soccer game. These are only the largest unexpected bonuses in the game's cascading series of thrills, which rely on aesthetics as much as action.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The devil's in the details. Take a disco nap, shower, shit, and scooter to Club Rubb, grab ass, go home—mundane or fun, everything recedes into a heartbeat of flushing, snoring, and Simlish.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Single-player and two-person split-screen modes are great, but this game was made to play over broadband with five friends.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The well-organized, medium-paced gameplay never seems muddled - even as you switch between or guide your two individualized partners - and the exceptional voice-acting, ever changing dialogue (which you tailor by selecting responses) and truly cinematic cutscenes make the single-player experience nearly as rich as the online interaction.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is as good as a hack-and-slash epic gets.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The impeccably intuitive controls make this feel as magical as it looks, and the gorgeous graphics and music fully ground you in the fantasy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This delightful, deep, and detailed (but unfortunately not cartoon-style cel-shaded) rip on the "Grand Theft Auto" series critiques itself better than any untenured academic could.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A lighthearted traipse through New Orleans's fancifully imagined heart of darkness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In the surprisingly good single-player "NFL Challenge" mode, you earn points to build a franchise, choosing everything from the players' mutated genes (10 attributes, plus size) to their speed-enhancing sneakers. 'Cause it ain't all about the steroids.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    By putting the game's history (over 50 Hall of Famers, to start) in your hands, and allowing you to lead your club many years into the future, MVP Baseball 2004 makes a poetic argument for declaring the de facto American sport— console gaming—our official pastime.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The cartoonish environment, though small, abounds with hidden desirables and fine detail-blaring propaganda, rich reflections and shadows, site-specific music, assorted visual gags-and even minor characters, unlike Paris and Ashton, possess crisp, individual personalities.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The shrewdest new aspect of The Wind Waker is its cartoonish graphics. Flawlessly executed, the sweetly surrealistic look evokes classic titles from earlier platforms, sugar-high Saturday-morning tube, and Japanese anime's threatened innocence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Between opponents' backseat bombers, traps, and other natural threats (breaking waves, thunderbolts), you'll need much more than a good drift technique to finish first.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Smooth, engrossing, tough, and pretty, Viewtiful Joe proves that complex play, properly executed, works on as many levels as the ones you merely have to complete.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Combine chess, manga, Dungeons & Dragons, and corrupt politics, and you can imagine the new season of Everybody Loves Raymond, I mean, this game.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like the sport itself, you can easily start a pickup game, or put all your time—and high hopes—into it. Playing D, of course, isn’t nearly as fun.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The up-to-four-player game itself is hot to death.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The only way they could make it better would be to set it in Boston, where drunks get kicked out of the bars long after the T has shut down, flooding construction-choked highways.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If this game were any more realistic, you'd have to hold in your farts.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are only six levels—some in space, others that involve going underwater—but many difficult-to-find paths through each. Up the difficulty setting and you'll be glad you don't have to drop in a quarter for every life. Then again, what'll that buy you these days?
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pick your songs from the series' most extensive music library yet (it includes Kylie, Dirty Vegas, obscure J-pop, and a host of fun, anonymous techno crap, and is now supplemented with some videos), calibrate the difficulty of the required moves, and simply follow the on-screen instructions. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Engine ups and nitrous tanks unlock automatically, but hustling style points by drifting around corners, landing jumps, and narrowly missing Sunday drivers allows an almost infinite combination of superficial customizations.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It always helps to have a sense of humor when collapsing paradoxes, and this Maximo does not miss.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Taking on generic career-mode opponents can't match fighting friends. And chances are, they'll be no match for Leonard, Lewis, or Ali.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The final level is too hard and the controls not fully reliable, and graphic-wise, size of course matters. But the cutesy, candy-colored "femininity" and gameplay remain.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What's funner than a hip-hop skateboarding game? Why, a Japanese hip-hop skateboarding game, of course!
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Happily, no improvement over the original's deep and difficult strategizing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wait for the G late at night, and the mission might take you one ride: The game lasts for only a few hours. Finishing does unlock the hard setting (plus the original Metroid), and the first couple repeat plays are rewarded with different endings.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    And with their waving grass and bubbling lava, Brute Force's graphics are even richer than its game-play possibilities. Those synthetics keep looking better and better.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The otherwise almost flawlessly executed retro design (which includes a grainy visual effect), lovely graphics, and combination of quick, arcade-style combat with ever mutating obstacles prove much more diverting than the bad humor.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Thanks to fine scrape-and-splash sound work, subtle controller feedback, accurate impact response, and smart visual rendering, the water and various hard surfaces—whether you encounter them in the flooded city of Springfield or a junk-boat-strewn Hong Kong—"feel" just as they should.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    But what better way to show off the extravagantly idealized female form than with high kicks and kung fu-style stretches? Watching them pee sitting down would just interrupt the action, which is tremendous.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Other than the less-than-perfect graphics, there's nothing to complain about in Ghost Recon's emphasis on undercover method and leadership.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When the gloves come off, ESPN NHL Hockey is really just a manicured version of last year's game. The new graphics engine looks slicker than any competitor's.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The seamless action—now presented in third person—is spit-shined and ever shifting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A motocross title that makes you think, sure. But MX Unleashed thrills the way book learnin' never could, mostly by letting you launch off jumps into the propellers of passing helicopters.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With a deep, campy story mode, a detailed create-a-craft option, and a preponderance of wicked-hard courses, F-Zero GX is a (primal) scream.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The fanciful settings, story mode full of bitchy trash-talking (voiced by the American television actors), customizable everything, and series of attacks that culminate in nutty cut scenes bring life to a sometimes plodding genre.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The flashy, all-new cutscenes actually distract from the game's innovation: the emphasis on artificial intelligence over player progress.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As with any role-player, there's a mess of shit to track: money, spells, elements, keys, letters, artifacts, trades, treasures, ailments, weapon parts, and your favorite foods (I like star carrots!). The multiplayer concept, like the game's pastoral setting, is much more elegant.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The mind-emptying beauty of Ikaruga is its seamless unity of aesthetics and game-play.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This might be the football game of the year.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While cheesy flight simulation goes back to the original PC, this incarnation's technical detail brings CNN's gee-whiz graphics-and-stats fighter plane descriptions—indicative of our fascination with death from above—to life.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Classical monsters are one thing, but why encourage players to think of themselves as killers of women and children, brought to justice, but justified by their "insanity"?
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There are no bosses to pelt, and the puzzles and plot kinks keep you looking over your shoulder rather than shooting from the hip.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    As opposed to "King of Route 66," another $20 title that simply relies on such stereotypes, Big Mutha Truckers imports impromptu race challenges, various hauls, market-monitoring bartenders, biker pirates, loan sharks, and a ruthless extended family into classic arcade play. The game's got heart, shrouded though it may be.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Switch between the game’s three passages—the Paths of the King, Wizard, and Hobbit—to hack levels tailored to each character’s quirks. Or better yet, stick with one and build up his abilities—cutting through the Orc-etc.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Deploying your special powers is motivation enough to move through the game's booby-trapped military complexes, crash sites, mines, caves, and places that look like mines or caves.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's one thing to watch your favorite stars provide product placement in Hollywood blockbusters, quite another to force the BAWLS into your mouth as a condition of advancing through the game.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Fans of the original will notice the drastically reduced "geo-mod" function—no more digging tunnels or indiscriminate destruction.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    When buildings light up—Big Ben, say—you can let your opponents know what time it is by picking up the structure and hurling it at them.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Besides making personal progress, you must hire hands, choose a complementary hierarchy of mates, explore the Caribbean, and, ultimately, earn cheddar. Giving your neighbors a good buggering simply comes with the territory.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This is sexy violence: shot-up bodies stiffen and reel, tumbling down stairs, blood spurting. As you enter slow-motion "bullet time," hordes of attackers twist and fall in an orgy-like spectacle.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Thrilling and refreshingly buoyant, Sonic Adventure DX-Director's Cut actually justifies '90s nostalgia.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If only DMX could sic his pit bulls on you, Funkmaster Flex burst your eardrums ID'ing himself, or Redman burn you with a blunt.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Two things, besides the lack of a true multiplayer option, set Freestyle Metal X apart from other ex-games: the option to link its unlockable environments, so you can speed directly from the seaside into a snowstorm; and its soundtrack's handful of classic metal tunes from Twisted Sister, Mötley Crüe, Megadeth, and Motörhead.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The power spiking constitutes the only true action, and the preternaturally conspicuous jiggling the only eye candy. The animation sucks, and the game's most promising aspect—complex plays enabled by your teammates—is undermined by poor artificial intelligence.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Secret Weapons' assortment of bombing runs, dogfights, and detail missions fly by thanks to an emphasis on arcade-style ease-of-play, but one simply leads into the next.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Secret Weapons' assortment of bombing runs, dogfights, and detail missions fly by thanks to an emphasis on arcade-style ease-of-play, but one simply leads into the next.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Nerds may activate two-player mode using the DOS-throwback "hacking gameplay element." If any of you figure out how to boff Trinity during a rave, please e-mail me.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Although the arenas aren't fascinating—mall, city street, construction site—the game's characters represent a broad cross-section of global hipster youth.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Or, better yet, take advantage of the game's slightly flawed design and go Predator, slaughtering the weaker species.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    To be fair, games aren't meant to replicate the dynamics of cinema. Especially ones like "State of Emergency," the anarchic kill-'em-all from which A Fistful of Boomstick derives its engine.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Secret Weapons' assortment of bombing runs, dogfights, and detail missions fly by thanks to an emphasis on arcade-style ease-of-play, but one simply leads into the next.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The levels in which you play the Hulk's sulky alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner, suck: He only gets to slink around, avoiding guards and solving simple puzzles meant to evoke computer hacking. Me no like! Arrrrrgh!
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    You can switch between any soldier in the four-person British SAS or American Delta Force units, firing all manner of weapons at surprisingly well-coordinated Iraqi forces (not civilians), blowing up bridges (not mosques), and rescuing P.O.W.'s (not Jessica Lynch).
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A distraction for when you're stuck in traffic.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In "Revolution" mode-a series of nearly identical, frustrating mini-missions-the jackbooted thugs, now armed with pistols, make life much tougher. (Deeply flawed camera views don't help.)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    What sucks balls is the fact that only two people can play at a time. That's bull.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Everything looks blurry, and it's tough to move around and fight—some combos require you to punch a dozen buttons. Plus, the panel-by-panel narrative looks more cheap than it does charming. Aquaman is all washed up!
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The camera almost never points where you need it to, Lara moves erratically even as simple tasks like opening a drawer require precise maneuvering, stealth mode is buggy, and opponents are all too easily dispatched in crude combat. It's a real bust.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Postal's concept isn't the only thing that's crude: Load times seem like eternities, and the poorly programmed townsfolk just don't fight fair. Shocking. Unforgivable. Infuriating, even.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Someday, game designers will come up with more original stereotypes.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Teenhood merely as drab and awkward survival.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Playing each of the three essentially indistinguishable characters in turn (there is no multiplayer option), you punch and kick slow-witted enemies and pick up equally indistinguishable blunt objects to use as weapons, while desperately attempting to follow the "action" through shitty camera angles.