Hardcore Gamer's Scores

  • Games
For 3,305 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 1.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Super Time Force
Lowest review score: 20 Escape Dead Island
Score distribution:
3305 game reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This expansion is about the same level of enhancements that we saw with Summerset and Elsweyr, and for people hungry for Skyrim nostalgia there’s some here, but the experience is clearly in the vein of the MMO and not the single player adventure. Greymoor is a good starting point for newcomers and a welcome expansion to veteran players, while the added Stadia compatibility also offers a nice portability option.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ninjala is a well-crafted game and another fine example of free-to-play done right. You can make steady progress in the online game without spending real-world money and the only part of the game behind a paywall is the single player campaign — which is currently in its first phase. GungHo has done a great job early on at making a fun experience for players of all skill levels and still providing enough depth to sink your teeth into things when you want to. Ninjala isn’t just a great free-to-play game, it’s a great game period and one well-worth checking out on Switch.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Mr. Driller DrillLand is a top-notch puzzle game eighteen years after its initial release and doesn’t look or feel its age at all. Quite a bit of care clearly went into making sure the game looked and played better than ever before and things like a revamped UI and border art help it look like a newer game than it is. The core gameplay is far more robust than any other entry in the series, and for that matter, many puzzle games since. It’s an addictive game and the theme park trappings help it play host to diverse themes that you normally don’t see in puzzle games, alongside adding in gameplay mechanics from other genres to keep things fresh. It’s a must-buy for any Mr. Driller fan or any puzzle fan in your household.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Thanks to impressive level design, a nice range of cool abilities to try out and a spark of something truly unique (pun semi-intended), Wildfire succeeds at delivering a great stealth experience, even if it can be demanding at times. The controls are top-notch, the gameplay is simple to learn yet nicely tricky to master, and the numerous optional objectives provide a decent dose of replayability (definitely one for speedrunners). For those wanting something new in the genre, Wildfire has nice and crispy tricks up its sleeve.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Desperados III is a downright fantastic real-time tactics title. The gameplay is simple to understand and get started with and each stage puts players to the test. While each stage is contained in size, it provides a sandbox of open opportunity for players to experiment. Rarely does failing leave a bad taste in a player’s mouth. Instead, it simply inspires players to keep trying until they finally succeed. The utterly compelling gameplay immediately ropes you in and simply doesn’t let up. The real-time stealth tactics genre is back in grand fashion thanks to Mimimi Games and Desperados III.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Nickelodeon and Stephen Hillenburg stumbled upon something unique when they created SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob’s infectious positivity has allowed the show to continue to this day and spawn numerous films and games alongside it. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is a solid remaster of the 2003 original. Though the story hasn’t changed, the charm and wit that defined the original release remain as strong as ever. Exploring the faithfully-recreated locales is quite the experience for any SpongeBob fan, and the beautiful presentation and original voice actors ensure you remain immersed. It’s unfortunate that the gameplay remains as simple as it was in 2003 and that the new multiplayer mode lacks any of the charms of the campaign. There’s little new for returning players to sink their teeth into, and if you’re not already a fan, not a lot of depth to keep you engaged. For fans and those who want to relive the joy that is SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, however, Rehydrated still delivers all the humor of the original all while sporting a slick coat of new paint.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Song of Horror: Complete Edition is a lot to take in all at once. The slow pacing and puzzle difficulty make it an exercise to get through, making the episodic pacing seem like the better choice. What is special here is the right way to do a paranormal horror game that involves something you can see but not control. A few variations of quick time events used to defend yourself and having to also think on the fly is a new exercise in horror games. The atmosphere is fantastic as dark environments mixed with excellent ambiance goes unrivaled, especially when it comes to indie titles. The Complete Edition is also only $30 at launch making it clear that Song of Horror: Complete Edition is worth a play for any old school horror fan.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Darius Cozmic Collection does offer a lot of enjoyment for fans of shmups, regardless of which version is played. It can be criticized for being a cash grab attempt for splitting the arcade and console titles into two separate collections when combining them into one would still be comparable to many other retro collections. But those complaints aside, each collection does a good job at preserving an authentic classic Darius experience as there is something inherently fun about teaming up with a buddy to blast some robot fish. The Darius games aren’t readily available on too many other formats so it’s nice to finally be able to enjoy them on modern consoles. During the review process both collections were enjoyable, but if you were to only get one, the recommendation would go to the Arcade version unless you have specific nostalgic feelings for a console title like Darius Twin.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It would be easy to dismiss a game like Monster Train as nothing more than yet another entry into the ever-increasing deck-building genre upon first glance, but after just a short while playing it, its various complexities begin to reveal themselves, making for deep gameplay that keeps you coming back for just one more run. Much like the best puzzle or strategy games, Monster Train excels in being insanely addictive, all while being easy to learn yet hard to master. Shiny Shoe should be commended on this labor of love, an absolute gem where controlling the forces of Hell feels like a blast of heavenly fun.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics may not be anything revolutionary, but it’s a fantastic collection of classic games from around the world that creates an easier way to enjoy them with others or alone than ever before.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the difficulty level is unbalanced everything else in Shantae and the Seven Sirens works together to create an incredibly entertaining platform-adventure. The series leans more heavily on sex appeal than it needs to, but the world and characters are a huge amount of fun, bursting with color and personality. There’s a good variety in challenges, with the levels alternating between straight combat, platforming and even the occasional puzzle. Secrets are frequent enough that it’s always worth going back and re-checking an area, and even though I thought I’d done a thorough sweep for a first play-through, I still only ended up finding 84% of all items. They’ll have to wait for another play-through, though, because while my first save is still playable New Game+ is waiting with more magic, less defense, and a new outfit. Shantae and the Seven Sirens is a big, ambitious outing for the half-genie hero, and while she may not have gotten the vacation she was hoping for, it’s an adventure worth having.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ten years after its initial release in Japan, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition has proven that sometimes classics can still get better with a little extra love and care to make them shine brighter than ever before as a true masterpiece.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Those Who Remain deserves major points for creativity of ideas and premise. The title holds a lot of promise, but ultimately fails to deliver a memorable, cohesive performance. Because puzzles force players to run back and forth to find solutions which can take time away from immersion into this world. Those Who Remain is a title committed to psychological horror, but has self-sabotaged with mediocre gameplay. It lovingly sets up a thrilling ambiance, but doesn’t allow players to fully experience the title. The use of various ideas like alternate dimensions and ever-persistent shadow people are great, but aren’t executed well. Additionally, characters are not uniquely fleshed out and don’t support the flat story that held a lot of promise. Characters feel generic to the point where it’s difficult to even like them. Edward is truly an everyman but doesn’t have enough uniqueness to capture attention. Even the “choices” made don’t ultimately make drastic changes you may have been hoping for. I wanted to like Those Who Remain, but it failed to capture my attention as a standout indie horror.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Should you be looking for a brief distraction or simply a game with a bare input to see most of what it has to offer, Beyond Blue provides a quaint, if a touch short, detour away from the regular catalog of current-year releases. While everything around the core presentation is not exactly extravagant or worthy of anything but a passing glance, that’s not to say E-Line Media haven’t at least made the feeling of moving about bodies of water one you can easily immerse in. An immersion that doesn’t bang you over the head with some last-minute lecture. Aided more appropriately by a well-integrated, ethereal score — complete with a tasteful selection of licensed tracks alike. The educational side of the content will naturally live or die by the player’s own personal interest on real-world sea-life. It may be far from the most complex of voyages, but Deep Blue‘s more laid back and meditative (if unremarkable) envisioning of life under the sea is sufficient enough in its intentions.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Persona 4 Golden is slowly starting to show its age in the gameplay department, but that doesn’t detract it from being one of the best RPG experiences you’ll find. The lovely cast of characters and goofy, yet shockingly serious story will have you enthralled for the 100+ hours it has to offer. The PC port itself is also well optimized; it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles most PC titles come with, but considering this is a remaster of a handheld port of a PS2 game, there’s more than even I would have expected. Persona 4 Golden is an absolute must for all JRPG fans and the PC version only highlights this further. Even if you owned it on PlayStation Vita, this is a tale well worth experiencing again at a higher resolution and 60fps.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The entire package is wrapped together in a gorgeous presentation that serves as Naughty Dog’s PS4 swan song. The Last of Us Part II’s harrowing tale and exploration of violence may not leave everyone happy by the time the credits roll, but it’s another stunning home run for Naughty Dog.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It’s astonishing to see just how far off the mark Disintegration is in terms of how it looks and plays. An astonishment made painfully evident across both of its equally-unflattering, technically-flawed game modes devoid of any quirk, personality or lasting impression. Impressions that are of anything but the feeling of eliciting a smoke-screen so as to mask the game’s evident lack of ingenuity or creative endeavor. It’s more astonishing that, in a vacuum, the design philosophy underpinning its gameplay mechanics feel oddly “complete.” That the conceptual attempt to mix a decade-old mentality on “cinematic” shooter campaigns with some occasional strategy are on show. Showing us that yes, this concept appeals to neither camp — the shooter fan and detractor alike. But it’s the utter lack of care with its narrative, world, progression and above all set-pieces that stings most. Whittled down to the lowest common denominator in such a way you can’t help but feel this is a game ten years too late. One can only hope V1 Interactive can move on and lay claim to greater things in the near future, because Disintegration is a shockingly empty attempt at standing out.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Command & Conquer comes back after decades with something for everyone. With two important RTS games in one bundle, this is a serious collection for anyone wanting to get into the series and those of us wishing to return.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There’s some charm and striking art to admire on one’s travels, but other than the well-crafted pixel aesthetic, the other half-baked ideas on show in Resolutiion fall short on delivering a world you feel adamant is both realized and worth unraveling.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Skelattack doesn’t know what it wants to be but despite this I did end up getting just a little more enjoyment than aggravation out of it. There were two areas I simply got through rather than explored, because they just weren’t worth the annoyance, but for the most part the story and characters carried it along. It didn’t hurt that the game is short, and I beat the whole thing in a single four-hour sitting, which meant that when any one section was in danger of wearing out its welcome another was coming right along to replace it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot to be said about Sludge Life without giving away its more memorably bizarre bits, of which there are many. It’s a twisted, hellish, yet surprisingly charming playground that you’ll want to spend a good (if small) chunk of time in, soaking in the off-kilter surrounds, humor and visuals. For a game that basically revolves around a filthy hellhole, there’s still a lot of care that was put into making it a unique and fun hellhole and it shows.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    As an expansion, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath features a quality addition to the campaign and three new characters that are mostly high quality. While quality should always trump quantity, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is a case where the quality can’t justify the high cost.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There have been plenty of outings over the past few years that take the basic template of golf, as a sport, and manage to transform into something else. Whether it’s deep in strategy or surreal in delivery, fans of golf have been well serviced. Golf With Your Friends, by contrast, comes across as the antithesis of this approach. A game that goes out of its way to antagonize, despite its variety and ridiculousness in course design. In some parts, that philosophy does find a way to delight and entertain, without descending into an unnecessary leap of faith or threading the needle-like situation that most of its holes unfortunately end up forcing players into. Those who can find joy in such random, unearned chaos may get a small ounce of fun here, but for everybody else, Golf With Your Friends‘ unpolished, finicky and messy delivery takes little time to put even the most patient of mini-golf enthusiasts off completely.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    With a few more tweaks in certain areas when it comes to the difficulty and improved farming controls, Atomicrops could easily be a terrific roguelike shooter. As is, though, it’s still enjoyable, with great action that easily keeps you wanting more, a lot of goods to hunt for and try out in order to come up with a good strategy, and eye-popping, vibrant visuals that make astounding use of pixel art. It may be a tricky crop to tackle, but there’s still a rewarding experience here that’s worth checking out.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Minecraft Dungeons is a capable all-ages dungeon crawl that, while doesn’t use its license to anything like its full potential (see Dragon Quest Builders 2 for how to do it right), is still good fun once it gets moving. The variety of enemies keeps you on your toes, and the various skills and weapons make for plenty of experimentation in figuring out the best way to take them on. Each level has at least a couple of secrets to chase after, ranging from obvious to head-scratchingly obscure, and finding everything while collecting all the gear will keep players busy for hours whether fighting single- or multiplayer. Just be aware that if you’ve got any experience with the genre, the difficulty selections on the levels are there for a reason. The younger crowd deserves a good intro to the world of dungeon crawling and Minecraft Dungeons provides that nicely.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Huntdown is awesome, plain and simple. The action is intense and extremely fun, with big, superb levels, tons of firepower to work with, and a cavalcade of amazing enemy encounters and even more amazing bosses. Huntdown is an extremely enjoyable romp that does its coin-op predecessors proud when it comes to satisfying gameplay and perfectly-executed graphics, earning its spot alongside the other retro indie greats…or just alongside other great action games, period. If you’re reading this, then just go and buy it. You will most assuredly not be disappointed.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Anyone interested in narrative-focused games needs to check If Found… out. While there are some stumbling points here and there, the act of playing and experiencing the artistry is top notch. This is a game much closer to a dream than a visual novel. If Found… is the latest release from developer DREAMFEEL and will be many people’s introduction to them. It makes an incredible impression and cements this studio as one to watch. Hopefully this release inspires others to create their own games to share their unique experiences with the world.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While its story missions and their variety can be improved upon, especially when it comes to the endgame, Maneater is an absolute blast. The open world is beautiful, captivating and inviting for players of all kinds, the combat is incredibly fun, and it has a nice and sharp bit of humor to it as well, reveling in just how much the people of Port Clovis are obvious jerks…which only makes it more enjoyable to rip them apart, of course. It might not be on par with the likes of Jaws, but what we have here is still one stellar b-movie to gleefully go nuts in. And sometimes, that’s really all you need in order to help live out your monster movie fantasies.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There’s a little something for everyone in the title — collectibles, intuitive gameplay and brilliant visuals. The use of the fairy tale narrative inspires a Brothers Grimm aesthetic that fits with the morals of Neversong‘s story. It’s also a title that has some good replay value as you receive permanent special items after beating the game at least once. While it’s a short game, length of time does not necessarily detract from the quality of the title. Instead, it takes the time needed to tell the story it wants to tell. Length of play-time is often associated with quality, but oftentimes developers take extra time just for the sake of it. And while there are some light gameplay missteps, the title recovers by being genuine in its storytelling. Neversong shows that even deep, emotional stories can come from small packages.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Nearly ten years later, Saints Row: The Third remains an anomaly in the open-world genre as so many continue to embrace seriousness and realism. Saints Row: The Third Remastered arrives at just the right time to inject a dose of silliness and zaniness into the genre.

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