The Sydney Morning Herald's Scores

  • Games
For 794 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 28% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 68% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Pikmin 2
Lowest review score: 20 Rampage: Total Destruction
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 58 out of 794
794 game reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With a deep but logical fighting system, heaps of gruesome over-the-top violence and a lovably insane cinematic story mode, Mortal Kombat 11 is an excellent fighting game that should have something for just about every fan of the series, let down only somewhat by a greasy and convoluted customisation system driven by loot boxes and grinding.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Rather than focus on what it does well, Days Gone does everything. Despite some great tech and compelling core ideas, especially when it comes to its battles against massive enemy hordes, a dull and repetitive open world structure makes Days Gone a chore.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    A calm but challenging puzzle adventure filled with minimalist charm and surprisingly loveable quadrilateral characters, Boxboy! + Boxgirl! is filled to the brim with laid-back problem-solving goodness whether you're playing alone or with a friend. A brilliant Switch debut for Nintendo's most understated mascot.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    My Time at Portia is a slow game, to the point that digging around in the mines or waiting for bronze plates to smelt can be mind-numbing. But in a way its builds are kind of like knitting; repetitive and slow but visibly building towards a satisfying, tangible product. Plus, there's enough surprise in the living world, the creepy mines and dungeons and the wide fields to keep things from getting too stale for too long.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Mechstermination Force has a cutesy look but an unmistakably retro feel, and will speak to those who like to throw themselves at a challenge again and again until they understand it well enough to complete it blindfolded. The difficulty is balanced by some brilliant designs and an overall charming package that's much friendlier than the robots it houses.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Distilling everything that's made the series great to this point and offering a razor sharp modern take on the combo-heavy character action genre that DMC helped instigate, Devil May Cry 5 is a juvenile-yet-very-adult game for those who like their monsters grotesque, their combat stylish and their demon-hunting boys and girls dumb but outrageously sexy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Combined with the familiar and accessible action, the unexpected and delightful handmade stages in Yoshi's Crafted World not only give a new context for many old favourite Mario enemies and Nintendo ideas, they inspire a spark of childish creativity and wonder as well.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Funny and inventive, free from challenge or punishments and with just enough content and collection to keep you engaged, Epic Yarn is one of the prettiest and finest stress-free platformers around. The 3DS version makes some sacrifices, but it's just as heart-warming.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A brilliant expansion of the Metro saga, Exodus connects sections of familiar claustrophobic, immersive horror with a beautiful semi-open world and a new twist on the fantastic and oppressive retro future vibe.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With splotchy, shimmering visuals and stunning reactive jazz albums that play along to your every charge, swipe and limb-separating bash, this gorilla escape simulator looks, feels and sounds amazing in equal measure, and it all combines for an uncomplicated but addictive good time.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Back in the Groove might satisfy series fans that just want some new toys to play with, but the sluggish speed and obtuse design of the dated original remains.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Even at its best Crackdown 3 feels like a big chest of explosive, physics-driven toys to play with in a playground that's left wanting.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Many have tried and failed to craft an accessible and satisfying turn-based strategy game in the years since Nintendo abandoned Advance Wars, but Wargroove is near perfection. From the slick animation and funny writing to the deep tactics and diversity of play options, this is more than just a throwback or homage.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The new Resident Evil 2 is everything the original was; tense, scary, brilliant and filled with secrets and additional content to find. But it's also a game perfectly suited to 2019, not just because of its cutting edge look and sound; but because we don't get games like this anymore, and that's a shame.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Pikuniku is a game that's light on content but huge on charm and creativity. The locations and characters in the brief adventure mode are brilliant, the goofy physics make for grin-inducing platforming and the dedicated co-op mode has some of the funniest two-player puzzling since Snipperclips. You might be left wanting more, but it's hard to argue that what's here isn't pure joy.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Playing Travis Strikes Again is an experience I'm glad I had, even if I wouldn't recommend it as a fun game. As a biting reflection of the ridiculousness of hardcore video game fans it's less successful than previous games, and its smaller scale makes the still-repetitive fighting even more dull. But the weirdness remains, and the Kafkaesque story of the Death Drive console paired with Suda51's signature takes on Japanese and American culture — plus the frequently enjoyable mish-mash of retro aesthetics — makes for a satisfyingly eccentric game unlike many others.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With a total of 164 secret-filled courses, a bunch of extra modes including the ever-addictive challenges and a small number of smart tweaks and additions, this is an incredible amount of platforming goodness in a single package. It's both the deepest and most accessible 2D Mario action you can get, as well as an endlessly enjoyable party game you can bust out with friends, and Switch is the perfect place for it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Like a playable painting of ink and pigment, GRIS is a powerful and significant game, even if the visual art often overshadows the actual play.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    With a lovely hand-drawn aesthetic and a modern, meticulous take on old-school design, Monster Boy is a smart and delightful game, both a fitting tribute and an exemplary example of the new breed of side-scrolling adventure games.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    More than any previous game in the series, Ultimate seems to have taken into account the needs and desires of all players, and made it possible. Ancillary content like Spirits may not quite live up to pure fun of the main Smash mode, but then few things in video games do. And that main mode is the biggest achievement here. It's bigger and better than it ever has been before, and somehow incorporates just about everything that's come previously.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is an immaculate remake of a set of fun, important, though imperfect games, breathing new life in Spyro's early adventures and serving as a reminder that the franchise really was great; worthy of the same fond remembering afforded to Crash Bandicoot and Banjo Kazooie.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Excited though I am for next year's fully-fledged Gen 7 Pokemon games, which will surely return wild battles and bring a slew of new monsters, Let's Go is a worthwhile adventure in its own right, and in fact I hope the main games benefit from some of innovations in this simpler but more modern experience. The original genius at the core of Pokemon — replacing the spreadsheets and stat charts of the standard RPG with cute creatures you nurture and grow — still shines through here, it's just in a form that anyone will be comfortable playing in 2018.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Excited though I am for next year's fully-fledged Gen 7 Pokemon games, which will surely return wild battles and bring a slew of new monsters, Let's Go is a worthwhile adventure in its own right, and in fact I hope the main games benefit from some of innovations in this simpler but more modern experience. The original genius at the core of Pokemon — replacing the spreadsheets and stat charts of the standard RPG with cute creatures you nurture and grow — still shines through here, it's just in a form that anyone will be comfortable playing in 2018.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While it has some notable but minor flaws, it's hard to argue that Red Dead Redemption 2 is not a masterpiece. The end result of the meticulous detail, wonderful writing and stunning looks is an open world that sets a new bar for believability, and a time and place I can't stop thinking about or wanting to be a part of.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Starlink is a streamlined but impressive space opera in a wide open star system, giving you the freedom to get lost in space or just warp around for the story, and on Switch it makes awesome use of the Star Fox crew. The physical toy element is a lot of fun and adds a great dose of tactile play, but if it isn't for you you're at no disadvantage for going digital.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Odyssey puts player freedom front and centre in a way the games never have before, while also taking in perhaps the most fun and gorgeous location we've seen so far.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Making brilliant use of the Switch console's various gimmicks while also finding several ingenious ways for four players to compete and co-operate in dozens of mini-games, Super Mario Party is the best this series has been in years.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While Mega Man 11 absolutely sticks with the same familiar fundamentals and plays just like the games of old, it also represents the biggest modernisation attempt the series has seen in decades, with a fresh style and new mechanics. There's room for improvement, but bringing this icon of the '80s back in such a convincing fashion is quite an achievement.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Stunning and consistent as ever, this is more of the fantasy racing festival we know and love, but this time in a shared online world with even more driving diversity thanks to the regularly shifting seasons.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With simple yet inventive time manipulation puzzles and charming, evocative art, The Gardens Between is a short and sweet meditation on youthful memories and friendships. By abstracting the personal, relatable story of neighbours Arina and Frendt into a procession of colourful, nostalgia-inducing scenes to unpick, it delivers plenty to reflect on even if it will only take you a few hours.

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