Shacknews' Scores

  • Games
For 1,082 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 74
Highest review score: 90 Rayman Legends
Lowest review score: 10 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
Score distribution:
1107 game reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Despite the growing pains, Darktide is a solid co-operative action game that’s great for a group of friends to play in spurts. At launch, the experience is limited in progression and variety, but the gameplay is challenging and viscerally satisfying enough to keep your attention. It doesn’t hurt that the soundtrack slaps and, performance issues aside, the graphics pack a punch. Since Fatshark is known for updating the Vermintide series over time with frequent content updates, Darktide is expected to improve as well. It may even deserve a higher score within the next six months, but I can only review what’s available now. So if you’re considering a purchase of the game, think of it as an investment that will likely pay off in a few years. It’s more than understandable, though, if you would rather wait for Darktide to meet your standards for a full release.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If you’re looking for a game to kick back and play race after race with a sizable campaign and other options including an online mode, Need for Speed Unbound has plenty to keep you busy and entertained. That said, it’s also one of those games that’ll likely feel more enjoyable and worthwhile when purchased on sale rather than its arguably steep $70 (USD) purchase price. I can’t in good conscience recommend it at $70 but closer to $40-50? Absolutely, especially given the performance, campaign length, and fun assortment of races on offer.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I had some mixed feelings by the time I rolled credits on Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion. When I played FF7 Remake, I felt like I had played something noticeably grander than its source material. I didn't get that same sensation out of Crisis Core. Instead, I felt like I was playing an updated version of the PSP original. After thinking it over, I ultimately determined that the PSP original was pretty good and given the visual upgrades and the quality-of-life changes, I felt generally satisfied by Reunion. As a whole and in a vacuum, I heartily give this game a thumbs up. To Final Fantasy 7 fans, specifically, I have to say that Reunion is an absolute must play, especially given that nobody knows where this is all heading.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Callisto Protocol is a deeply immersive sci-fi horror experience that firmly grabs you at the start and doesn’t let go. While this immersion shows its cracks during the transition into new areas, it’s not enough to ruin the overall experience. The Callisto Protocol is an impressive first outing for Striking Distance Studios, and the latest entry in the pantheon of excellent sci-fi horror stories.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Evil West is a straight shooter. It doesn’t pretend to be something more than it is — a game about cowboys slaying vampires without mercy. Despite being a tad unvaried, the combat is viscerally gratifying and confidently uncomplicated. And for that alone, the game is largely able to overcome the hiccups with the limited multiplayer, graphics crashes, and awkwardly edited story. Though the campaign is fairly short given the asking price, it has a permadeath mode and new game plus for replayability. Evil West may be rough around the corners, but it’s worth a shot of whiskey down at the nearest saloon.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Devil in Me often subverts your expectations in such a way that diminishes player agency and makes your own choices feel arbitrary. Although its added gameplay features make for a more interactive experience, they hardly break the mold and were poorly executed. Technical issues tarnished the experience overall. The game still relies heavily on QTE-based survival mechanics and does little to set itself apart from its predecessors. What had the potential to be a truly horrific conclusion to The Dark Pictures Anthology amounts to little more than a lackluster thriller with a predictable narrative that opts for shock value and jumpscares over quality.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It is a treat to get to experience Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PC, whether it’s for the first time or a revisit. Nixxes does a superb job at making it a joy on PC, and the game’s holiday themes make it the perfect game to get you in the spirit. Not only did it renew my excitement for the future of this franchise, but for more PlayStation games to get PC ports down the road.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Pokemon Scarlet and Violet have some excellent ideas that push the franchise in a fresh direction, but they’re unfortunately bogged down by unacceptable performance problems at every single turn. While my biggest problems with the games could theoretically be addressed in future patches, I’m not sure how feasible that is given the capabilities of the Switch’s hardware. That said, there is still a lot to enjoy, but it’s hard imagining that these games will have wide appeal outside of the dedicated Pokemon fans that are willing to put up with the issues and inconvenience.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Pokemon Scarlet and Violet have some excellent ideas that push the franchise in a fresh direction, but they’re unfortunately bogged down by unacceptable performance problems at every single turn. While my biggest problems with the games could theoretically be addressed in future patches, I’m not sure how feasible that is given the capabilities of the Switch’s hardware. That said, there is still a lot to enjoy, but it’s hard imagining that these games will have wide appeal outside of the dedicated Pokemon fans that are willing to put up with the issues and inconvenience.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Despite issues with the game's engine, Goat Simulator 3 is going to go down as a guilty pleasure. It's relaxing in all the ways the original game was and a fun reminder that gaming doesn't always have to take itself so seriously.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A game like Pentiment doesn’t come around often. Top developers like Obsidian Entertainment usually leave smaller productions like this on the editing floor. The vast majority of games with fantastic stories usually ask players to kill something, solve puzzles, or have some other gimmick to it so that they remain engaged. Pentiment dares instead to rely on its craftsmanship, authenticity, and choice-based dialogue, trusting that the murder mystery is enough of a draw to pull players in. And despite some minor quibbles, Pentiment succeeds in its pursuit, creating a fantastic generational period drama with a wonderfully original vision.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a treasure of both classic tactical RPG design and modern sensibilities. I really like the quality-of-life features that make it so much easier to play and stay on the path of the story without much padding. I can also appreciate that this game also contains some tough-as-nails challenges that take an incredible amount of dedication to overcome. In between all that, it’s also just a great story and I really appreciate the Chariot Tarot system allowing you to see the paths untaken at any point you desire. If you want a great tactical RPG, this is not only the forerunner to many favorites, it’s also well-polished for a new generation.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sonic Frontiers is nothing short of a marvel in how it blends together beloved elements from previous games with exciting new twists and turns to create something wholly unique.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Santa Monica Studio has captured lightning in a bottle for a second time. God of War Ragnarok left me speechless; it’s such a beautiful game both visually and narratively. The team has somehow managed to take what made the original such a wonder and expand upon it, delivering to players a masterpiece, an experience that sits atop the God of War pantheon.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Modern Warfare 2 cherry-picks gameplay mechanics from other genres and incorporates them into the game under the guise of innovation. The enjoyable moments of the campaign are tarnished by unnecessary limitations, technical problems, and pacing issues. While its solid gunplay, movie-quality visuals, and exceptionally acted characters are among its most redeeming qualities, the campaign relies heavily on the nostalgia of its predecessors without creating any truly iconic moments of its own. I still recall what it was like to experience the original 2009 Modern Warfare 2’s satisfying gut-punch of a finale. Unfortunately, this year’s campaign did not end on nearly as satisfying or memorable a note.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Each of the game’s characters come with an interesting, yet heavy backstory attached that’ll pique your curiosity and inspire you to dig deeper. At times, the narrative can get lost in the chaos of trying not to get all four characters killed, but when it’s present, such as in items and clues, it’s gripping and will haunt you long after you’ve beaten the game.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Developer ClockStone gave this a good effort, but there wasn't enough in LEGO Bricktales to keep me feeling interested. Even the story, which is typically a franchise strong suit felt underwhelming with half-hearted humor and nothing really memorable. That's not to say there isn't a foundation for something better in the future. The concept of using LEGO building to progress and doing it in your own way is a strong one, but without better tools, like blueprints and the like, the novelty wears off quickly. For now, LEGO Bricktales is a fun curiosity and little more than that.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In spite of some growing pains, Marvel Snap is fantastic and a marvelous first effort from the folks at Second Dinner. Like Marvel itself, it should be fun to see how it grows going forward.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you love the series and want to experience more of what made the first two games great, you’ll find all that and more in Bayonetta 3, which dials things up to 11 and then some.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Like the three protagonists it features, New Tales From the Borderlands is a hot mess. If you don't take the game too seriously, there's a fun, heartfelt adventure buried somewhere beneath the layers of erratic writing and misplaced humor. It's an oddball romp with a bumbling cast of characters who deserve more substance than they were given. If the original Tales From the Borderlands is ice cream, New Tales From the Borderlands is frozen yogurt. And at the end of the day, even Fran admits that frozen yogurt just isn’t as good.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway isn’t the worst kart racer I’ve ever played, but again, it’s also not the best especially when compared to previous entries in the series. As previously mentioned, Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway is a middle of the road racer in almost every aspect save for its character roster, graphics, and elements like picking three characters to be part of your pit crew.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Batman has trained these heroes for this moment, but they aren't ready to rise to the occasion just yet with Gotham Knights.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Jackbox Party Pack 9 has more hits than misses and the hits came in some unexpected spots. Even the games that were expected to be good wound up being far better than I could have anticipated. Add this to some noteworthy quality-of-life improvements, like the ability to log into a room using a QR code, and Jackbox Games continues to bring the goods. As long as the team keeps things simple, there's no reason to stop adding The Jackbox Party Pack to your regular game night rotation. It remains as reliable as it gets.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If you love H.R. Giger, unsettling body horror such as those seen in the works of Junji Ito, or creepy alien experimentation scenes from films like Fire in the Sky, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate Scorn’s overarching concept. Sadly the execution leaves much to be desired, which is a shame as I feel like Scorn could have been a real standout as far as atmospheric horror games go.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Asobo Studio has done well to continue the story of Amicia and her brother Hugo in A Plague Tale: Requiem. The narrative excels at exploring Amicia’s internal strife balanced against the need to protect and help her brother. Unfortunately, while the puzzles, lighting, and rat swarming systems are neat, they are weighed down by the tedious stealth sections and clunky controls. Those who enjoyed the first game will likely want to see it through to the end, but those who are new may find the experience lacking.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Between removing the movement grid, adding more strategic options, new characters, new abilities, and expanding and revising the roster in an enjoyable story, Sparks of Hope feels like another exceptionally good collaboration between Ubisoft and Nintendo.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I’m amazed that it took 37 years to release an online multiplayer Ghostbusters experience where you can be your own Ghostbuster or play as a menacing specter against your friends. IllFonic has done a phenomenal job at creating a game that focuses on paranormal investigation and eliminations.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As harsh as this may sound, I’ve lost faith in the NHL franchise. My first game was NHL 93, and although they haven’t all been good, it’s clear that this franchise has settled into an annual loop of delivering the bare minimum. There is zero justification for a full-game price tag when you consider that other games offer free updates larger than what’s on offer as new in the entirety of NHL 23. It’s mind boggling.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    I really like the overall style of Gundam Evolution. The maps are neat and the mobile suits are a decent starting lineup, even if I don’t like some of the omissions from throughout the franchise in both the roster and cosmetic options. There’s also the fact that some of these mobile suits just feel straight-up overpowered compared to certain other niche options in team comp. That said, as a live-service free-to-play game, I’ve never had an issue finding a match in Gundam Evolution and it looks like the groundwork is here for some good improvements, additions, and balancing over time. I also really enjoyed matches where my team worked together well, win or lose. If you like Gundam and you like Overwatch, there’s no reason to pass Gundam Evolution by. Just be mindful that you might get demolished in the early running as Bandai Namco balances and adds to the game.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Return to Monkey Island is an enjoyable game that I will definitely be telling my nephews and niece to play. It left me wanting more and now that the introduction is over, the next installment should provide the story progression that I was hoping for with this one. If nothing else this game will serve as a reminder to never say never. Ordinarily when a small company is bought out by a multibillion dollar conglomerate it usually goes quietly into the night never to be heard from again. The fact that this game was made at all is a truly remarkable accomplishment. Terrible Toybox and Devolver Digital have overcome the impossible and opened the door for more. Until then might I suggest playing through the entire original series as well as befriending the three headed monkey that’s behind you.

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