Ars Technica's Scores

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For 0 reviews, this publication has graded:
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On average, this publication grades 0 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 0
Score distribution:
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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of
367 game reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There is a story, told mostly through notes left strewn around the environments, but I’d be lying if I said I paid any attention to it. The draw here is the gameplay loop, and if what I’ve described above sounds tedious to you, the game is absolutely not for you. Rogue Legacy 2 is a game about repeated failure, and only slow, incremental progress will lead to your success.
    • 91 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    TSP:UD is better equipped than its predecessor to offer a substantial comedic reward when messing with players' apparent choices (or lack thereof). Between novel camera cuts and out-of-nowhere environment transformations, the game constantly shows how development studio Crows Crows Crows has only gotten better at this stuff after both the original game and the madcap nonsense of Accounting. [Ars Technica Approved]
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Only near the end does the game crank up the difficulty substantially, mainly by rehashing old content with a few more enemies and fewer health items thrown in. At that point, though, you'll have upgraded Kirby's health and power, too. By the time I was refighting a bunch of old bosses, now with higher health bars, I felt like I was just going through the motions...But Kirby games have never been about mechanical challenge. Players come to these titles for a lighthearted romp where Kirby's ever-changing abilities provide a fun and dynamic diversion. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is more of the same, providing a smooth platforming experience that goes down so easy, you'll barely even notice you swallowed it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    This surprisingly deep Zelda-like adventure is charming, evocative, fun, bursting with secrets, and comes complete with some of the best visuals and music of any "works-on-any-computer" adventure game over the past few years. [Ars Technica Approved]
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Nothing about GT7 is revolutionary, but the game feels like a GT title through and through, striking a careful gameplay balance with just the right amount of grinding. It's the kind of game that can turn a 30-minute session into a marathon before you know it, with a dose of comfortable familiarity thrown in for good measure...I'll be playing this one for quite some time.
    • 96 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    After over 20 hours spent in this kind of explore-and-bounce-off-a-boss pattern, I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of Elden Ring’s entrancing world (not to mention the many magical systems that aren’t really available to my character’s warrior class). I’m not sure I’ll ever have the patience or discipline to endure all of the punishing boss battles I still have ahead of me. But I can easily see myself just hopping on a horse, picking a direction, and galloping off into the many unexplored corners of Elden Ring.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    But if you forced me to pick only one February game to recommend, I'd point to H:FW as the month's best testament to how beautiful, thrilling, and emotional video games can be. It also gets bonus points on the recommendation matrix for its healthy accessibility sliders, which, among other things, let anyone downgrade the combat to either "simple" or "cakewalk" difficulty levels. I still think H:FW is more fun with difficulty cranked up, so that players can't stupidly melee their way through some of gaming's most thrilling herd combat. But that's your choice to make, not mine. [ARS Technica Approved]
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I got tired of the game after 20 hours for the reasons stated above. There's beautiful, inventive fun within DL2, but Techland doesn't do paying customers favors with the game's dialogue, pacing, and execution. Wait for a sale.
    • 83 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    A fun playthrough for longtime fans who have gotten bored of the mainline Pokémon games or a good entry point for fans of open-world RPGs who want to build their first Pokémon team.
    • 93 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    As far as the above-and-beyond touches I generally expect from PC gaming, at least, the combined teams of Sony Santa Monica and Jetpack Interactive appear to have gotten this port right.
    • 86 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    At any rate, I'm hopeful that Final Fantasy's modding community can figure out how to inject some UE4-modifying code into this port before long. UE4 ships with so many easily customized variables, and as of this article's publication, Square Enix representatives have not answered my questions about why those options aren't available for FFVIIR's buyers.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Halo Infinite's campaign sets the stage for an incredible sequel someday. Today is not that day. Consider this a fine rental or excuse to burn through a single month of Xbox Game Pass, either now or whenever the co-op mode finally goes live in 2022.
    • 68 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If it wasn't clear by now, Battlefield 2042 is a mess in more ways than should be reasonably expected, with the laundry list above barely scratching the surface of its wreckage (I didn't even mention lag, persistent server issues, no game search, or countless other concerns). But for all the failures, missing elements, and bizarre revisions, the most telling thing I can say about it is also one of the simplest: I rarely wanted to keep playing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    No doubt these will sell well regardless of what I say, but if you're not already dying to play these, I would save the $60 for Pokémon Legends: Arceus, due out in January.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    No doubt these will sell well regardless of what I say, but if you're not already dying to play these, I would save the $60 for Pokémon Legends: Arceus, due out in January.
    • 46 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    But that's nothing compared to how dismally the collection runs on the Nintendo Switch. A sub-720 resolution in portable mode—and something close to 800p in docked mode—is arguably forgivable for PS2-era graphics. If anything, that fuzziness sometimes softens up the weirdness of the original trilogy's animations and body constructions. But there's no getting around it: the Switch version of the GTA Definitive Trilogy needs to go back into the oven before anyone considers spending even $30 or $40 on the package, let alone the full $60 MSRP. Whether played in portable or docked modes, each of the trilogy's games performs terribly, with frequent drops into the 20 fps range and noticeable stuttering into the low 10s. This all happens in spite of a massive reduction in visual elements like texture quality and shadow resolution. All too often, cars, pedestrians, and buildings magically appear quite close to the camera while you're peeling away during an epic car chase...Worse, unlike the Xbox version I tested, I ran into at least one full Switch hardware crash in each of the collection's games. I didn't even rack up massive counts of police stars in these scenarios. (Though, let's be clear: when I did court mayhem, it brought the console to its knees.)
    • 92 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    FH5 is an easy recommendation as part of a paid Xbox Game Pass subscription, and it's a great excuse to flex your newest gaming hardware purchase. But if you're already happy with Forza Horizon 4 or were bored by that one, take your sweet time sitting behind this game's wheel.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you can deal with the technical hurdles and love the Resident Evil formula, definitely consider RE4VR as a quality VR adventuring option, just beneath the esteemed Half-Life Alyx in terms of quality and depth.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    When it comes to capturing the core Mario Party formula established over two decades ago, Superstars is as pure a distillation as you'll find. Taking the best bits from a large collection of uneven games has resulted in a pretty satisfying collection.
    • 62 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Though technically rough and uneven, The Good Life is memorable and anything but predictable.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I wouldn't call Far Cry 6 "good," exactly, but it has its moments of silly entertainment. Next time Ubisoft should either pick a lane or remake Far Cry 2.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If "classic 2D adventure on Switch" puts the same tingle in your spine as it does mine, Mercury Steam will not lead you astray with this impressive sequel. Buy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Keep an eye on Milestone's patch and update plans. If the company moves forward with customer-friendly moves, HWU may be a must-buy for arcade-racing fans. Until then, wait and see—unless the sales pitch of "Trackmania but prettier and more arcade-y" makes you want to immediately purchase. In which case, you'll have a good time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you're on board with his insane premise, this is best version of Death Stranding to get.
    • 83 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I will treasure my time with Kena: Bridge of Spirits and look forward to even bigger projects from Ember Lab to come. [Ars Technica Approved]
    • 70 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    A must-rent if you own a Switch. A possible buy if shamelessly silly arcade-racing fun sounds up your alley.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Deathloop may ultimately go down as my biggest gaming disappointment of 2021. I love its "bonding" system for earning and keeping upgrades, which forces players to make some compelling choices from run to run. I like getting to know this game's cast of characters. I smile when a particular stretch of finding paths and sneaking around evokes the genius of this studio's best Dishonored levels. And I'm always down for shameless homages to Majora's Mask. But the total package collapses beneath a mix of too much ambition and not enough content. It's just hard to ignore signs that seem to imply someone on the production end said, "Eff it, let's ship this game already."
    • 76 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    A certain party-playing crowd will overcome the awkward bits and have a blast. Most won't. Rent, don't buy.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The whole Double Fine team pulled it off. Psychonauts 2 is one of the best video games I have ever played, and if anything in this review sounds like you and your family's bag, don't hesitate to join me in loving the heck out of it. [Ars Technica Approved]
    • 90 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    MSFS's beauty makes it must-play on Xbox Series X, even if only for a one-month free Xbox Game Pass trial. But while its console port is a technological triumph, it might still be too boring for a lot of players. Series S players should temper expectations with a bit less beauty.

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