Hardcore Gamer's Scores

  • Games
For 3,510 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 9% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Assassin's Creed III
Lowest review score: 20 Super Black Bass 3D
Score distribution:
3510 game reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s been a long time since players have gotten to revisit Sinnoh, and all things considered this may be the definitive way to enjoy it. While some changes may seem minor, they really do add to the overall enjoyment experience. Sinnoh was always fun but flawed, and while that’s still a teensy bit true here, it’s better than ever before. Although it’s easy to say it’s a shame that it’s missing the Platinum content, what’s here is still fantastic and will make it more fun to replay for years to come. Sinnoh fans will hopefully be excited to see their region well taken care of while they were gone, and new players can easily enjoy it without having to pick up old systems and cartridges that are now significantly more expensive. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are the best remakes we’ve gotten since Heart Gold and Soul Silver and offer up a fantastic, faithful yet slightly re-imagined version of Sinnoh to enjoy before the next entry in the series makes its debut.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s been a long time since players have gotten to revisit Sinnoh, and all things considered this may be the definitive way to enjoy it. While some changes may seem minor, they really do add to the overall enjoyment experience. Sinnoh was always fun but flawed, and while that’s still a teensy bit true here, it’s better than ever before. Although it’s easy to say it’s a shame that it’s missing the Platinum content, what’s here is still fantastic and will make it more fun to replay for years to come. Sinnoh fans will hopefully be excited to see their region well taken care of while they were gone, and new players can easily enjoy it without having to pick up old systems and cartridges that are now significantly more expensive. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are the best remakes we’ve gotten since Heart Gold and Soul Silver and offer up a fantastic, faithful yet slightly re-imagined version of Sinnoh to enjoy before the next entry in the series makes its debut.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Among Trees is a beautiful, peaceful, serene trip into a fantasy woodland, and if you can just enjoy being there without worrying about the game aspect too much, it’s a lovely escape from the stresses of civilization.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Short and sweet but in no way significantly dented by its own strict vision and run-time, Exo One‘s picturesque voyage through one far-flung planet to the next, though not without fault, is more engaging and novel than it is mildly indulgent.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Anniversary Edition is one of those things that is simultaneously great and yet seems unnecessary. We can all agree Skyrim is a phenomenal game as it’s cited as a personal favorite of the past decade by a few members of our staff. The thing is with this update is nothing about it seems essential. Survival mode is a great challenge for people who enjoy that type of game. Fishing is boring, but ultimately inconsequential if ignored. The Creation Club content is a robust offering, but the questions is does the player feel Skyrim needs more houses, pets, equipment and quests? Anniversary Edition is currently the latest and greatest version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and offers fun content for those still exploring Tamriel, but there isn’t enough to bring anyone back who feels like they’ve finished their time in Skyrim.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    These games are all masterpieces and as such deserve a better collection than this. In spite of the flaws it can still be a fun nostalgia trip for old fans or a good way for newer fans to discover the games before Grand Theft Auto V, but between the dated mechanics and inconsistent visual performance, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition is far from perfect.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Final Fantasy V is one of the more overlooked titles in the franchise, but skipping this title would be a mistake. Its story may not reach some of the highs as other entries in the franchise, but it’s still compelling enough to keep players interested. While it might not have the best Final Fantasy story, however, it has one of the best job systems. There’s grinding involved to get some of the exceptional abilities, but the freedom to customize a party however the player wants offers many opportunities for creative party configurations and encourages multiple playthroughs. Final Fantasy V Pixel Remaster updates a great classic JRPG in a way that respects the original 16-bit title, bringing enough changes to make it feel updated but keeping it familiar enough to appeal to long-time fans.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The fact that Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a worthwhile game isn’t surprising. Frontier Developments has a fantastic track record with this kind of game, as proven in Planet Zoo or the first edition of this title. What works in this game’s favor is the expanded roster of dinosaurs, the new challenges and the fantastic animations and behaviors of the exhibits. Being a licensed game, the temptation towards being simple had to have been strong. Some would argue the first game swung to hard in the accessible direction. With this newest iteration, the game walks the line of easy to understand but deep enough to remain engaging. Despite frustrations, Frontier Developments, much like life, found a way.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remains one of the best games ever made and arguably the best Star Wars game. Aside from shorter loading times and higher resolution, nothing is drastically changed on Switch, which is perfectly fine as this is one of those games that doesn’t need much tinkering.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Battlefield 2042 should have been a triumphant return of the franchise and developer. In some respects, Battlefield 2042 delivers on its promises thanks to fantastic gameplay, a suite of new features and improvements, and a presentation that looks as good as it plays. Unfortunately, the game falls short just as much, if not more.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nama Takahashi’s creation here is not the most extravagant nor is it the most lavish in detail, but that marriage of an easy-to-grasp gimmick and reliance on visual suggestion means ElecHead is not only striking, but joyous to play through too.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sledgehammer Games clearly had high ambitions when approaching their third solo Call of Duty project. Doubling down on World War II was a smart idea to help the studio carve out its own identity separate from Infinity Ward and Treyarch. While Call of Duty: Vanguard doesn’t break the mold, it does succeed on most fronts, delivering one of the better multiplayer experiences in years for the franchise and a simplified Zombies mode that lowers the barrier of entry for those intimidated by past iterations.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Despite its missed opportunities and ideas that don’t gel with the core gameplay, developer Fabraz’s foray into three-dimensional platforming remains a fun-if-flawed hearkening to the genre’s glory days. By far the studio’s best trait in Demon Turf is in its relentless distilling of what made those original 3D platformers not just a joy to play, but a joy to finally see beaten.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Shin Megami Tensei V is one of the best RPGs of 2021. It has an immensely-enjoyable combat system, some of the best and most varied battle music we’ve heard in a long time, and all the demonic creatures we’ve come to love from the series.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Forza Horizon 5 is undoubtedly a visual showcase and technical benchmark for PC and Xbox Series X owners. If you have the hardware to run this game on PC, this is the choice to make.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Mario Party Superstars is a worthy compilation of all of the series’ greatest hits. It has a great selection of minigames with plenty of different ways to enjoy them. The core board game works well for the most part, albeit somewhat hampered by Nintendo’s online infrastructure and some imbalanced design decisions. Online itself is functional enough, but expect to experience lag and the occasional dropped player. Rounding out the whole experience are the various unlockables on offer; all of which enhance the player experience in some way and give fans reasons to keep playing beyond just enjoying the occasional round with their friends. Indeed, Superstars is every bit the game Mario Party fans were hoping it would be, even if it does suffer from minor issues.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars isn’t truly a card game, but a traditional RPG that uses cards for everything. The aesthetic choice doesn’t effect too much outside of the visuals but does give the title a unique identity. The gameplay of Voice of Cards is among the simplest and most straightforward to be seen in RPGs. It may be too simple, as battles end up feeling more like time -consuming chores due to the high encounter rate and lack of challenge or required strategy. But while the simple gameplay may not offer any challenge to RPG vets, the story and fantastic soundtrack help keep the game an enjoyable experience. The relatively short completion time is an asset in this case, making Voice of Cards a great choice when looking for a relaxing game to spend a weekend playing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Riders Republic makes a strong case as one of the best and most varied extreme sports games to date, with a solid offering of unique vehicles that are fun to use and master. The expansive open world and huge number of events will ensure that players could spend countless hours completing every challenge and finding every secret, all on top of the exciting multiplayer options. There’s still technical issues to iron out, but whether you want the chaotic thrills of Mass Races or the chilling exploration of Zen mode, the accessible and deep nature of Riders Republic makes it a must-play for racing fans of any skill level.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Unpacking is a delightful and charming puzzle game, one that perfectly takes a chore such as moving and perfectly shows how it can highlight the most important parts of our lives, allowing us to reflect upon them and the transitions we go through along the way. It helps that it also has terrific gameplay built around trying to find space by rearranging items as if they were blocks, all while telling a captivating story through each small bit taken out of each box. It’s an impressive little package that you’ll want to dive into.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The visual novel portions are good and offer a change in pace, but feature limited animation and come off as low-rent as a result. That holds true for the similar texture work in a lot of environments, which doesn’t do justice to the impressive character models used and the solid animation across the board. For fans of either franchise, there’s a good amount of content here to enjoy, but this isn’t the kind of game that is likely to make new fans of either series on its own.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it would have been nice to see Centipeded: Recharged‘s leaderboard and score-reporting issues addressed in Black Widow: Recharged, the twin-stick shooting action provides a great quick-hit arcade rush. Each game lasts for a couple of minutes at most, even the best high-score run, and restarting is just about instant. The free-form arcade mode is complemented nicely by the more-structured challenge modes, and it’s easy to spend a couple more minutes playing than planned by hopping back and forth between them. Reviving Black Widow is a deep cut into Atari’s history, but it’s great to see it given a worthy sequel almost forty years since the original release.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As should probably be expected of what’s basically a port of the Wii U version, this iteration of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water offers a decidedly average horror experience. The story of Mt. Hikami and those tied to it is rather intriguing, and it is able to create a heavy, disquieting and even chilling atmosphere at times.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Age of Empires IV makes up for the misstep of the third game while providing fans of the first two with everything they could have hoped for in a 2021 version. Hours will go by and you won’t even know it, which is the way RTS titles should be.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It turns out that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy shouldn’t have been written off. Eidos Montreal delivers a strong story filled with comedy and tragedy, great characters and a world that feels entirely unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They’ve compiled a lengthy adventure that’ll take players to new and familiar locations and built out a great gameplay system that utilizes all the Guardians’ best attributes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you do any type of eSports racing or are a long time fan of racing in general, Circuit Superstars is worth a look. If you enjoyed the classic games of racing’s past such as RC Pro Am and the like, then this will be right up your alley. While the Grand Prix is fine for single player, it’s going to take devoted effort to learn the game and the tracks. It lacks the hook and appeal of Mario Kart, which makes Circuit Superstars less inviting to spend hours on learning everything. This is a fun racing game to play with friends with the same light-hearted approach the developers had when creating the game. For $19.99, this is a great good option to have in your arsenal when friends come over.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Tandem: A Tale of Shadows may be guilty of taking from any and every corner of the genre in constructing its challenges. But while it may zip from one set-up to the next — less-than-concerned with the through-line that ties it all together — the perspective-shifting, requiring of balancing overhead and side-scrolling puzzle-solving alike, just about delivers on the promise its set-up initially paints. Not just on the basis of a satisfying series of environments to conquer, but an admittedly-brief fascination on how everything ends up unravelling, let alone solved. It’s not everyday you stop to marvel for a second at the way two perspectives can play out at once, but that very trait is what Tandem: A Tale of Shadows shines on and in the end utilizes sufficiently well.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The Dark Pictures Anthology still needs to iron out a few things before it can produce a truly classic entry, but thanks to a strong and fun story with a lot of twists, welcome difficulty options and stronger choice-based gameplay, House of Ashes shows the series is still striving to make notable improvements when it comes to crafting scary and entertaining tales.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Echo Generation is visually striking, with a lot of intriguing concepts and solid combat and gameplay at its core. Unfortunately, a lack of focus with the narrative holds it back from being a truly impressive RPG. The boss battles alone might be worth the price of admission, and there’s still other bits to enjoy, but those looking for more meat would best be off searching for another tale of adventurous kids from decades past.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    NHL 22 on current-generation consoles is the best NHL experience that has released in some time. It also provides the biggest change from last gen to current gen consoles of any EA Sports game yet. It still has its issues at its core with how the AI plays and there are bugs that crop up often, but the overall experience feels fresh and the game looks much improved. The lighting and reflections provide the biggest boost while Frostbite brings more realism to player faces and jerseys. I feel more could have been included with Frostbite on the physics side, but this will come in the future. While the modes remain the same, the updates to each are sufficient and the addition of Superstar X-Factors allows for a game-changing experience. Online, if not getting disconnected, generally works as it needs to. NHL 22 offers the right feel for a new console that a lot of sports games haven’t provided in the last two generations.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the start of Into the Pit is unquestionably rocky, the follow-through is a blast, with fast action and serious pyrokinetics as monsters turn into blood splats decorating the walls. While the overall theme could have been dark and gloomy, everything lights up and the darkness becomes the backdrop for the neon-magical lightshow to illuminate. The variety of enemies and level types helps each run stay engaging, and while fifteen sets of levels plus the final area can feel like a bit much, there’s no need to try to blow through it all in a couple of days. Into the Pit is about action, after all, with only just enough story to get things moving. There’s a village in trouble and a ton of monsters to destroy by way of magical annihilation, and if it takes a bit to rescue everyone they’ll be fine waiting for a combat mage to do a run or two a day until the evil is finally dispelled.

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