Shacknews' Scores

  • Games
For 924 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1 point lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 73
Highest review score: 90 SNK 40th Anniversary Collection
Lowest review score: 10 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 924
943 game reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Was everything perfect? Not at all. The biggest frustration came from the gamepad controls. I started playing with my preferred d-pad input but found that aiming the water hose was nearly impossible until I swapped to the control stick. The adventure also ends just as things were really getting heated up. Nuclear Blaze understands the value of not wearing out a welcome. Just when I had decided that I was smitten with the game, I reached its narrative conclusion. If the idea was to leave me wanting more, then the mission was successful. Because this is still a small indie project based on a game jam submission, potential buyers should understand that Nuclear Blaze does not burn for long, but it does, in fact, burn twice as bright.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    I was admittedly surprised with how thoroughly I enjoyed my time with New World. From the freeform character and weapon progression to the resource gathering and faction dynamics, there’s a lot to explore and experience. That said, New World very much feels like an MMO in a very early state. There’s not a ton of Expeditions, there’s no mounts, and there’s an obvious need for balancing with features like Siege. Luckily, MMOs often get better as they age, and if Amazon Games can build upon this great foundation, they’ll have a surefire hit on their hands.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At the end of the day, this is an inferior version of Left 4 Dead 2 that lacks the style, charm, gore, and engaging characters it tries to reproduce. That said, there is a decent foundation here and there are worse ways you could spend a weekend with some buddies.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl simply feels like a barebones platform fighter. Combat is pretty decent, but there’s just so little surrounding it. The game’s greatest sin is how little it leans into the over-the-top zaniness that is Nickelodeon and its extensive history of memorable characters and moments. It lacks identity while being based on some of the most unique entertainment properties of the past few decades.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    I walked into Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - The Hinokami Chronicles without much knowledge on the source material, but the game's approach to its story had some highs and lows. On the one hand, much of the gameplay felt thoroughly average and there wasn't a lot that made me want to keep coming back. However, the presentation did, at the very least, make me interested in the anime. There were a lot of cinematics, maybe too many, but if their purpose was to draw interest to the anime, it did that job well. Not having every fighter out of the box is going to be really frustrating for some players, but if nothing else, experiencing the Demon Slayer story is a pretty fun ride.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Quiet Apocalypse isn’t without problems, but Hinterland's commitment to adding new content, while refining the experience over the years, has positioned The Long Dark at the top of the survival genre’s pecking order. The Long Dark is a must-play for anyone who is even remotely intrigued by it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is another winner for the team at Jackbox Games. With the team increasingly experimenting with new ideas and tweaking old ones, it's hard to envision the Jackbox train slowing down anytime soon.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lone Echo 2 is just as much a solid blend of narrative and puzzle solving in the VR space as the first one was and continues to show Ready at Dawn has a winning formula for VR players of all styles and comfort levels. [Tested with Oculus Quest 2 via link to PC]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In so many ways it is a return to what makes Metroid such a fantastic series of games. The EMMI chase segments are a welcome addition and add a new twist to its classic gameplay. The boss fights are more epic than ever, and the story is such a sweet payoff for fans that have invested literal decades in the overall series’ lore. There are a number of reasons they named the first half of an entire genre of games after this franchise and so many of them are on display here.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Far Cry 6 is an immensely fun game that series fans and open-world aficionados won’t want to miss.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This was a huge and delightful surprise for me and I’ve enjoyed exploring every bit of Actraiser Renaissance’s reimagined take on one of my classic gaming loves. Yuzo Koshiro crushes it with both the classic and rearranged soundtrack, the gameplay is fun and a little bit improved in some cases, and the world is more enjoyable than ever to take in from the skies above and on the ground. I wish some classic pain points hadn’t come along for the ride and that the sprite work was a bit better, but Actraiser Renaissance is still a fantastic title whether you’re walking down memory lane or playing it for the first time.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    As a big Diablo 2 fan, Resurrected has let me down in many ways. What little changes have been made to the original formula are welcome, but feel like leftover bread crumbs from a larger pie that could have been. Diablo 2 was in a bit of a weird place in that it was not hard at all to access and play the original game, even on modern PC hardware. This new release does make the game available to console audiences, which is an awesome change, but the lack of crossplay really hurts here. Resurrected could end up becoming a much better value down the road as the development team begins introducing updates and upgrades, but as of right now, you should avoid this package unless you are happy with straight-up Diablo 2. That being said, there are many reasons to be thrilled to revisit the game, particularly for the timeless soundtrack and to get a glance at the spiffy new paint job. Just make sure to set your expectations accordingly.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania delivers a mostly delicious and nearly never-ending buffet of bananas and challenges to keep pretty much any player rolling for a good, long time.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a magical journey, one that I hope everyone will take.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Hot Wheels Unleashed is a decent racer with some excellent surrounding elements. It lacks the strategy and realism of a sim, but doesn’t hit the over-the-top chaos and action of an arcade racer either. Despite that, the amount of customization available, and with all of the cars to collect, fans of Hot Wheels toys will likely have a good time with Unleashed.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The Death Stranding Director’s Cut adds enough new tools and toys for players to utilize to make the experience worth replaying for those diehard fans. And for those that were unsure about getting in, the shuffling and redistribution of tools ensures that the early game is more approachable, while still retaining the sense of scale and progression offered at launch. The other features, like the firing range, racing track, and new location elevate an already rich experience. So collect your order and tie up your laces, because you’ll want to walk another 500 miles or more to experience what’s on offer here.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sable is a beautiful story about self-discovery. It’s themes of solitude and what it means to be independent strongly resonated with me. The game is bolstered by a one-of-a-kind art style and an excellently crafted original soundtrack. If you can handle a slow burn and push some UI issues aside, Sable is an overwhelmingly pleasant experience.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Toem has you take your time, frame things up, put the zoom on proper, and take as many tries as you’d like to get it right with good music to accompany the process. It’s a short-lived expedition and can get choppy on the switch when there’s a lot going on in an area, but it’s still a charming experience I very much enjoyed my time with. I wouldn’t mind seeing more games take this more carefree route to a photographic experience in video games.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    I Am Fish can be a delightful and imaginative romp, especially when Bossa Studios gets creative with its level design and world building. Whether players experience that whole world will depend on how much of a tolerance they have for the game's painfully strict physics, which can become enraging, especially when combined with the game's camera. But, even with its issues, Bossa Studios deserves credit for putting something whimsically different together while also combining it with a heartwarming story about fish friendship.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As a big basketball fan and avid player of sports games, it’s hard not to have a love and hate relationship with the NBA 2K series, and NBA 2K22 is no exception. The basketball gameplay itself is as good as it’s ever been, and it genuinely feels satisfying to move the ball around, shoot, and play defense. However, modes like MyCareer are heavily bogged down by useless baggage, and a strong emphasis on microtransactions. Spotty servers mean that even the best parts of the game are often hard to enjoy. MyNBA is the only aspect of NBA 2K22 that provided a thoroughly enjoyable experience with practically nothing to complain about. NBA 2K22 gets in its own way, but there’s some genuinely great things there if you’re willing to endure it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There a lot of elements of SkateBIRD that are great. The birds are fun, as is customizing them and finding more things with which to dress them up. Their little adventure is also fun, the soundtrack is excellent, and the levels are fun miniaturized takes on the normal skatepark fare. It’s just that there is so much dragging these charming elements down, the most noticeable of which is the actual skating and the physics involved with it. SkateBIRD might be fun to experience for its premise and cuteness, but those looking for a good technical skate game experience will likely find their expectations crashing and burning frequently, much like most of my sessions with it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    GameDec does right by the cyberpunk genre by using it as a backdrop to an excellent detective story. The series of virtual worlds makes for a diverse range of environments, filled with characters that all have their own unique characteristics and motivations. The lack of a fail state raises the stakes, and makes it important to learn the ins and outs of dialogue and deduction. Though some bugs and missing functionality can make it rough around the edges, GameDec is still an overall quite enjoyable experience.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Sega is clearly capable of making a compelling mystery game that could stand in league with the work we see out of studios like Naughty Dog, but that will require a more focused, better-paced approach that Lost Judgement seems eager to avoid.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Still, as a multiplayer romp, WarioWare: Get It Together is a great game to bust out and if you're pressed on time, that's even better! Just don't expect this to be your go-to game for nights in with your buddies.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    All things considered, it took me a little over an hour or so to see just about everything that Cruis’n Blast has to offer. The Nintendo Switch racing scene has been dominated by Mario Kart and I feel like Cruis’n Blast had a chance to make a real case for bringing other classic Nintendo racers back into the scene. But if lackluster graphics and mediocre racing mechanics are all we’d get it might be better to leave our precious memories in the past. Cruis’n Blast isn’t unplayable though and would probably make an enjoyable experience for someone with kids or younger siblings. Everyone else should probably head to the arcade and hope they have a much more enjoyable arcade experience available to try out.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mixing stealth, weighty gunplay, supernatural powers, and play-your-way weapons and gadgets, Deathloop is a greatest-hits amalgam of Arkane style with a splash of grindhouse grittiness and a satisfying murder puzzle narrative to put it apart from anything that has come before.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Even and Dicey’s Journey to save Odd and stop the Queen is well written and presented by the game’s action, music, and narrative, but it feels like there’s also varying degrees of jank just sitting in your periphery. Get past that, and I still feel this is a fairy-tale adventure that deserves a cover-to-cover read.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Outside of a few flaws, True Colors is the peak of the Life is Strange series to date.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While The Artful Escape does a strong job with its presentation and sense of style, it still suffers the same drawbacks as most adventure games, particularly with the boring-at-best game mechanics. The celebrity voice cast does well enough, though I only recognized Weathers during my time in the game. The trip here isn’t long, though it does manage to be memorable thanks to its relentless desire to look like a Liz Frank-emblazoned Trapper Keeper. Depending on the drugs you keep handy, this could be the ticket.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tales of Arise is an excellent JRPG that delivers just about everything you want from the genre: a rich story, intriguing characters, satisfying combat, and an endless amount of lore. The game isn’t able to skirt around the issues that often plague JRPGs, which I feel will make for a higher barrier of entry for newcomers. That said, Fans of the series and those that just love a good JRPG will fall in love with what’s there in Tales of Arise.

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