DarkStation's Scores

  • Games
For 3,407 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Axiom Verge
Lowest review score: 10 Deer Hunter: Reloaded
Score distribution:
3409 game reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Combat is fine and functional, offering enough of a distraction from the constant back and forth that makes up the “adventure” portion of the story. That is bound to be perfectly fine to those that have a passion and patience for the genre and I’m sure they’ll enjoy what Sakura Wars offers. I just wish there was more to see and do in what amounts to be a Jules Verne-inspired vision of Jazz-age Japan. I desperately wanted to break away from the confining linearity of it all. There’s a lot of artificiality here, from vendors who sell you items despite there being no currency, the reuse of still images in the story segments, and the lack of any meaningful upgrades or additional moves to use during fights with demons. For all its flash and flair, Sakura Wars doesn’t go far enough beyond its reach.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    All in all, Infinite: Beyond the Soul mimics old action games unexpectedly well, but often with smarter gameplay. Too many games these days are about pressing left, square, right, circle, up, X, down, left bumper, right bumper, both triggers down and a Buddha prayer on top to make things happen. That’s why a game like Infinite: Beyond the Mind is more than called for; it’s a blessed throwback to simpler times and games.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Modern point-and-click adventures like Thimbleweed Park and Irony Curtain had a healthy dose of self-irony that elevated them head and shoulders above the usual crop of retro-conscious adventures. VirtuaVerse comes off as smug and immature in comparison. Instead of post-modern awareness, the game is drenched in the old school it painstakingly recreates that holds it back from being a great adventure. True, it might have been a conscious design choice but a very stubborn one as games have evolved for a reason, even retro game attempts. While VirtuaVerse’s presentation certainly fits the bill, elsewhere the game is too dustily rooted in the illogical puzzles, weak writing, and thin characterization of the past.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    All in all, I did not really enjoy Trials of Mana. It feels rushed, cheaply made, and the gameplay just doesn’t engage me. I realize this may be a frustrating opinion for fans of the series (who are very passionate), but this game just isn’t for me and I feel like it is not put together or balanced very well. If you’re already a big fan of the series, you might find this title to be quite enjoyable. As it is, though, I find it to be a bit of a mess.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With its endless charm, solid gameplay, and beautiful display, Songs for a Hero is a fun platformer throwback that I couldn’t put down, falling into that familiar time sink state that is so often heralded by the phrase, “Just one more level.”
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Predator: Hunting Grounds is an asymmetric game with an interesting premise, yet it ultimately fails to deliver its full potential. There are thrilling moments but they are too few and far between. With enough time spent on polishing the game, it could become a top-tier title in its genre. As it is now, it is a tough game to recommend even to the most diehard Predator fans.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While Huntdown's cloying one-liners and disconcerting framing can occasionally come across as grating, its captivating gunplay successfully mixes the chaos of classic run and gun games with the methodical cadence of modern cover shooters. Dashing through murderous strikes while you slide under incoming bullets creates a sense of cool that the game's writing fails to deliver, inching it a little bit closer to the heights of its many points of inspiration. It may be somewhat short and fairly straightforward, but Huntdown's gameplay largely succeeds at emulating the type of testosterone-fueled bedlam perfected by its silver screen counterparts.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Mechanical Scrollery is an experimental title that is rough around the edges. There’s clearly some ambition with the direction the game was going, but a lack of polish and vision ultimately hinder the experience. Though I found some joy in the mindless, bland gameplay, it’s not something I’d be eager to return to. Past the core combat, the RPG system provides a progression system that delivered passable incentives for getting through the game. Overall, Mechanical Scrollery is not a title I’d recommend as there are plenty of more polished and creative Touhou fangames out there.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While there are new additions that make Super Mega Baseball 3 a worthwhile sequel, I hoped for more features – especially given its much higher price point. Just as its predecessors delivered, it’s a great game, but feels somewhat schizophrenic when you stack up what features have been added versus what has been passed on. There is a major emphasis on some inclusions that feel like they’d be more at home in a realistic baseball simulator, yet some very fundamental inclusions for an arcade baseball game are still absent.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it isn’t a perfect game, Wintermoor Tactics Club delivers a memorable cast and great presentation that does a lot of heavy lifting. Solid strategy gameplay also makes it easy to recommend, especially to those who are new to the genre as this would be a fantastic introduction for those interested in this sort of title. For those with a little more experience, the game might not be quite as interesting, but the engaging story should still seem them through this all too brief adventure.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The combat and driving are solid, the customization options are engaging, and the missions are wild. Volition did a fantastic job with the original version and Sperasoft has done good work updating the game but has also introduced several issues and missed some opportunities to improve the game. If you haven’t played a Saints Row game before, The Third is the best place to start. And if you’re a fan of the series, it’s just as good as you remember.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Arcade Spirits is tailor-made for someone like me who was born in the 70s and spent much of their formative years in the 80s, the golden age of arcade, video and computer games. The old retro uncle inside me trembles with enthusiasm when seeing the game’s piquant arcade hall and all its lovely retro games. In the arcade game auction during chapter two, when I made a bid for a game I would have loved in real life, too, it felt so uncannily real. That’s the strongest part of Arcade Spirits; it sucks you in to get involved in a life that despite a few whimsical departures is very much reminiscent of our own with all ups and downs.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Transposing the tactical turn-based combat and character permadeath of XCOM to the fantasy genre seems like an obvious idea and Fort Triumph does a good job with it, adding some physics-based combat and touches of contemporary humor to the mix. On the other side of the ledger, the humor might not tickle everyone the same way and overall the look of the characters and the story seem content to settle for familiarity instead of reaching a little more for originality. Fort Triumph is in no way a bad game and fans of turn-based RPGs, traditional fantasy RPGs and XCOM will probably enjoy the experience.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    SnowRunner is both relaxing and laborious, although there is gracious video gameness to it, like the fast travel between garages. Elsewhere, if you make a mistake and tip your vehicle over, you won’t be paralyzed or have to pay millions in compensation for the cargo that was left loose and swept territory under it. To sum it best up, Snowrunner is a lifestyle game. There is no grand call to answer as you drive at your own pace and do what you want. The game is all about small triumphs. When you get out of some tricky pothole after an hour of trying, you feel like a winner!
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    In the end, Daymare: 1998 is clearly a passion project and it definitely shows (and I absolutely love it for that). Granted, there are some bumps along the way in the gameplay and design departments, and the game itself looks like it is a generation behind current gen. However, if you can live with those things, you have a solid survival horror experience here. Just make sure you've played all the classics first!
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Project DIVA MegaMix feels very much in line with Project DIVA Future Tone. It’s all about the sheer amount of songs and costumes, while avoiding any semblance of a campaign. Players will have to make their own path and enjoy the songs on their own terms. The brand new Mix mode is delightful once you get past the initial learning curve and the tried and true Arcade mode is what we’ve come to love about these games. A solid rhythm game through and through, Project DIVA MegaMix returns the series back to its portable roots.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Obey Me is one of those indie games that you would love to like and look through its problems. But when you suffer from them long enough, it simply won’t work out. Obey Me’s flawed design might have been saved by proper game testing, but like too many indie games these days, it is oblivious to its problems. Too bad, really, as there are makings for a good co-op brawler, enhanced with a biting punk attitude.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 – Road to Boruto is the most complete fighting game in the series thus far, with every DLC and over 100 characters that span generations. Arena fights featuring strategic ninja jutsu action are exciting to play out, although it does feel simple compared to other fighting games. The story mode, with its intense quick-time cinematic sequences, is a highlight, although it only covers the very end of the long series. Adventure modes are more of a dull grind, but a packed online mode makes up for it, especially with the plethora of playable ninja. Those not familiar with the series may not appreciate the strides taken to recreate the anime, but hardcore Naruto fans will enjoy what this game has to offer. Believe it!
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Although Biped has a nice style, the controls greatly hampered my enjoyment of the game. Added to that, the game is pretty short and the puzzles are a little too reminiscent of other platformers to find much of value here. If you’d like to experience a challenge in co-op and test the limits of your personal relationships, you might want to give it a try.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    As well designed as the game is though, its also very short. Only a few short hours in and the game will be over. With little in the way of replay value since you'll already know how to solve all the puzzles, there's not a ton of long term value here. While it lasted I really enjoyed The Room VR: A Dark Matter but it ultimately left me wanting more. More environments, more movement options, more story. For the right price, I definitely recommend experiencing it but what I'm really looking forward to is a follow-up, to see if a great start can be grown into a truly great game.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Visually striking, yet mechanically dull, Spirit of the North is all style and no substance. Tied with a minimalist story and no spoken words, the journey tries to be meaningful, but its self-imposed limitations make it hard to understand. It is loaded with vast, beautiful environments, which end up functioning as a double-edged sword as many areas felt labyrinthine in design. Often, the game felt pretentious to the detriment of the gameplay. Ultimately, Spirit of the North has its appeal, but I would only recommend it to players drawn in by either the visuals or the concept.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Cloudpunk is obviously a game made with great love and care. It shines through the visuals, the soundtrack, the city, and most especially the characters. Huxley, Camus, and Ben are easily some of the characters in any video game yet released in 2020. The gameplay is not particularly deep but it is solid and enjoyable in its relaxing way. While Cloudpunk does have a few minor faults (mainly the camera), none of them detract away from what is otherwise a wonderful experience. Get your multipass ready, it’s time to go for a ride.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There are some big-budget adventure games with tutorial chapters that are longer than the entirety of Mask of Mists. I can imagine that for some, a five-hour RPG is appealing but for others, it will seem like not quite enough value for even a budget game. The critical issue is not length but quality and by and large, Mask of Mists delivers a fun experience for fans of puzzle adventure games. It’s a lighthearted, fast-paced, stripped-down romp with some interesting puzzles, not much story and combat that won’t be much of a challenge. That all sounds a little like faint praise, but there is nothing wrong with a game having modest ambitions and succeeding at meeting them. Too many games overreach and fail.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Jumbled, infuriating, and unfinished are a few choice adjectives I can attribute to Doug Hates His Job. The panoply of gameplay styles it wants to flex should be treated as a canary in the coal mine for other young developers. The mockumentary approach makes its dull humor more of a mockery than of the white-collar job climate it’s lampooning. As a result, Super Villain Games succeeded in helping me relate to Doug's plight in one crucial way: hating my reviewing job — if only for a short time.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Keeping your station running isn't easy, especially as more and more needs build up, but doing it over and over can get a bit repetitive. None of this gets in the way of the core gameplay here being very solid and addicting in the way that the best simulation titles are. I had a good time with STATIONflow and if you're into simulation games, I think you will, too. I just wish that a lack of variety and a few less than intuitive gameplay choices didn't keep it from being something truly special.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Before We Leave is a civilization management game that’s relatively stress free, calming, and really charming. Its low-key nature and philosophy make it great for those who feel overwhelmed by the laundry list of responsibilities of 4X-style management and development. The design is sound, the presentation is fantastic and I’m a huge fan of the hex-gridded world map represented as a 3D globe. The individual models of the Peeps and their architecture are so charming, and the soothing soundtrack that plays when running the time at max speed is really nice. There are areas of the game that feel a little rough around the edges but the updates show a commitment by the developer to bring in the right amount of polish that’ll lead it toward greater heights of inventive fun.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Deliver Us The Moon is a short adventure but a memorable one. I like how the story concludes in a manner that leaves loose threads, leaving you to speculate how things might have turned out for everything outside the player character’s sphere of influence. The puzzles are modest and easy and for as much backtracking you end up doing, the journey never felt arduous. And right when I felt like things were getting boring, I was treated to strategically placed views of a hauntingly beautiful lunar surface and a dying, lonely Earth floating off in the distance.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Streets of Rage 4 left me feeling like a ten-year-old kid playing his Genesis again, while still managing to bring modern gameplay and variety to a classic series. There was no way for me to keep my expectations low with this series returning yet Lizardcube still managed to blow those expectations away. I can say without hesitation that this is the pinnacle of a long-dormant series and genre; a game I'm confident I'll be returning to for years to come.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it might be a surprising translation between genres, Gears Tactics plays like it was meant to be. The game is often quite challenging and instead of the twitch reflexes of a shooter, it demands smart and strategic thinking. It nails the look and feel of Gears and adds some welcome refinements and improvements to the now-standard turn-based formula. Lengthy and populated by familiar and violent Gears of War moments of triumph, Gears Tactics suffers a bit in the areas of story and character and repetitive mission structure. In most ways, however, Gears Tactics is a refreshing and unexpected take on the Gear of War saga.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The new Wastelanders content doesn’t last as long as main campaigns in the previous games. After all, it’s just an update but here’s hoping that Bethesda will build upon it and bring more narrated things to do in post-nuclear Appalachia. And perhaps add some more factions along the way, too. It is just baffling why they didn’t make the game like this in the first place. Bethesda’s backward approach begged the storm of negative critic upon the game, some of which was deserved and some purposely malicious, a common thing in this day and age of toxic social media. Still, Fallout 76 staggers onward like a weary but hopeful vault-dweller, adamant to find its place among hot gaming trends and gather new followers along the way. Wastelanders is clearly a signpost towards better future for Bethesda’s flawed but beautiful sandbox game.

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