The Verge's Scores

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298 game reviews
    • 89 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    On paper, Neon White sounds strange and confusing. It’s a demon-hunting parkour shooter where you run through heaven to get a high score. Also, it’s a visual novel. But, in practice, it’s quite simple: each level is a puzzle, and it’s your job to figure out how to utilize its various components to get the best time. It may take some time and a few run-ins with giant heads that fire lasers at you, but it’s incredibly satisfying when you pull it off — even if it results in a little neck pain.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The core of Strikers is fantastic, and it’s particularly great with friends. But the lack of a meaty single-player experience is a bummer. You’ll almost definitely have fun with it, but how much is entirely dependent on your teammates.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Card Shark is easy to play in small chunks, and the relatively short levels make it a great fit for the Steam Deck (which is where I played most of the game) and the Switch. Though I did find I would have to be in the right mood to play it. Sometimes, after a long day at work, I would play something else because I was worried Card Shark would be too complex of a mental challenge. Despite that, I still found Card Shark to be a delightful experience. It hasn’t made me any better at cheating in real life, but at least I can now say I once outsmarted Voltaire in a game of cards.
    • 72 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Wii Sports was critical to the Wii’s massive success. While I don’t think Nintendo Switch Sports will have the same impact on the Switch, I know it will come in handy for a party.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    13 Sentinels crams so many high-level concepts into one experience — including, among many others, Groundhog Day-like repetition, time-traveling robots, and a talking cat with a magical gun — but somehow in a way that, eventually, makes sense. And now you can solve the mystery from pretty much anywhere.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Square Enix could’ve definitely done more to celebrate Chrono Cross in this package (making Chrono Trigger available on the Switch would also be a nice touch for completionists). But even in a no-frills package, Chrono Cross remains a great game. And the things that made it stand out initially — that complex narrative, the huge cast, the oddly compelling world — are what keep it interesting more than two decades later.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There’s a cotton candy allegory to be drawn here. Much like the carnival confection, Kirby is fluffy, cute, pink, and very sweet. It looks attractive and is so very fun to eat but the minute you put it in your mouth it dissolves. Gone so quickly, you barely noticed it was there. That’s what it’s like playing Kirby and The Forgotten Land; fun for the moment, but lacking any real substance. And that’s okay! Kirby and the Forgotten Land’s surgically deployed cuteness is more than enough to outstrip its relative emptiness.
    • 75 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    As games get bigger and longer, more bogged down by an increasing need to have all of your attention, experiences like Ghostwire are becoming increasingly rare. Already this year, we’ve seen the creators of Pokémon and Dark Souls release amazing new games that demand an incredible amount of your time and energy. Ghostwire, meanwhile, has elements of open-world and role-playing games, but they don’t overwhelm the core of the experience. Instead, it deftly balances all-out action with quiet exploration and wraps it all up in a world full of fascinating, sad, and hilarious stories to uncover. It may freak you out, but it also respects your time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    As I played through Tunic, I found myself using its instruction manual just like I used those Zelda player’s guides back when I was a kid. I constantly flipped between maps, studied mechanics and enemies, and even paused just to admire the excellent artwork. And every time I saw glowing white pages in Tunic’s world, I rushed over to grab them, eager to see what surprises might be written inside.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I still remember getting the original PS1 release along with the just-launched DualShock controller for my birthday as a kid — it felt like a monumental advancement in racing games. Gran Turismo 7 is the most fun I’ve had with the series since that moment because it plays to its traditional strengths, improves those where it can, and ignores absolutely everything else.
    • 94 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    While this is probably the most accessible game the studio has made, it’s still incredibly demanding. It remains hard as hell, but now you have more options for dealing with the frustrating moments. And not only does it demand your focus and attention in a way few other games do, but now, because it’s so large, it demands much of your time as well. After 40 hours of exploring, I don’t think I’m even close to finishing the game; sometimes, it feels like I’m just getting started. Elden Ring isn’t a game you pop on for an hour a night. It’s a game that consumes you. For me, it’s becoming a lifestyle, something I still think about when I set the controller down.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    After completing Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, I’ve been searching for something to take up the time that game occupied in my life. I needed something meaty that entertained me while not asking me to invest too much emotion. I wanted something I could play through without being totally mentally present as I recovered from Endwalker’s emotional ravishing, and Horizon Forbidden West perfectly filled that need. It was the video game equivalent of the post-coital cigarette that I’m looking forward to smoking for another 60 hours.
    • 79 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I do think Sloclap did their best. It’s obvious to see the love for martial arts movies when the game recreates the infamous hallway fight scene from Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy. I also think that despite developers and consultants doing their best, the criticisms facing Sifu are valid. Sifu is neither all good nor all bad. It just is, and it’s our job to listen to the people from the cultures Sifu pays homage.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Maybe the most important thing about OlliOlli World is that it’s playful. It encourages experimentation, whether it’s with how you approach an obstacle or how you want your character to look. That’s really the essence of skate culture: creativity on a board. OlliOlli World captures that — and then puts its own bizarre twist on it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The most important thing I can say about Arceus is that it’s a place I want to be in. As much as I loved previous Pokémon games, the worlds were very static and linear. I never really felt like I was exploring a vibrant world while walking back and forth in tall grass trying to level up my squad. Here, though — while it’s not exactly a realistic simulation of nature — it at least gives off the feeling of a real place full of danger and secrets, and all of the joy and excitement those things can bring. And it does all of that while retaining most of the best qualities of its predecessors. It’s still a Pokémon game. But with a changed perspective, it’s also something new.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Monster Hunter Rise is a great game that’s even better on PC, but it’s hard to recommend if you’ve already played it on the Switch and don’t have unlimited free time. If you managed to get a Steam Deck preorder, though, this could well be the perfect game to christen it with for anyone looking to get into the series. It’s just unfortunate that Monster Hunter enthusiasts who already jumped on Rise will have to start from scratch. I hope Capcom releases future Monster Hunter games on PC at the same time as consoles, or finds a way to include cross-save functionality — ideally both.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    All of this adds up to a port that does the bare minimum to run well on PC hardware. It’s not a showcase for the platform in any way — it’s a showcase for how great a console game Final Fantasy VII Remake was. And, well, I have to admit that that’s been my takeaway from playing through the PC version this week. It could have been a more thoughtful port, sure, but this game is still incredibly good and runs better than it did on the PS4, which is something. It’s worth checking out if you haven’t played it on the PS4, but I wouldn’t recommend double-dipping if you have a PS5.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    343 Industries has laid some really solid groundwork here and deserves a lot of credit for managing to modernize the series while focusing on what people loved most about it. At this point, though, it’s not so much a reinvention as simply a very good Halo campaign.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Brain vs. Brain isn’t revolutionary by any stretch, but it does open up the possibilities for who can play together, which is an important change from its contemporaries. It’s also not the kind of game I see myself playing solo all that often. Instead, it’s more like a board game that I’ll stick on the shelf and pull out when everyone gets together.
    • 79 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I haven’t explored every corner of the story or gameplay, particularly an alternate mode that lets you play in real time against network protocols. But a reasonably full playthrough can completely consume a long weekend (or a more restrained series of weeknights) without losing momentum or becoming repetitive. There are lots of games sort of like Midnight Protocol, but few deliver so many strong variations on a simple theme.
    • 92 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Forza Horizon 5 is just another Forza Horizon, yes, but it’s a beautiful one with an incredible setting, and that’s enough to make it the best in the series. If you have any interest whatsoever in driving fast cars fast, I highly recommend it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    But those exceptions notwithstanding, the game feels undeniably good. RE4VR is a new twist on the bizarre and atmospheric world of Resident Evil 4 and a solid addition to the still comparatively short list of robust headset-based shooters, as well as evidence that a VR adaptation doesn’t have to be seamless — it just has to find a core element that really works.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Like many, I enjoyed the Guardians of the Galaxy movie duology more than I thought I would. It’s the same for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It would have been easy to stretch the skin of a typical superhero movie plot over the bones of a standard action game and call it a day — kinda like most of Marvel’s Avengers. But Guardians defied being a lifeless, flesh hulk to instead be a living, breathing creature with a heart that beats and bleeds all over the screen.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It nails the classic feel of a Metroid game while updating it with wonderfully detailed visuals, more satisfying combat, and new areas that briefly turn it into a stealth horror experience. But all of that comes to a grinding halt when you have to fight three bosses in a short span, each of which requires either fast reflexes or pattern memorization to get through — or both. Instead of punctuating the quiet exploration with intense battles, the copious boss encounters instead turn into a slog. Dread features some of the most beautifully dark and solemn moments in the franchise — but you’ll have to be prepared to really fight to see it all.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    You can look at Lost Judgment in two ways: an often clumsy attempt at serious storytelling, or a technically accomplished sequel that much improves on its predecessor. It’s both, really. The plot doesn’t fully land, and I found there to be more awkward moments than in Judgment or other Yakuza games. But I also can’t ignore the big leaps this game makes in other areas, and it still keeps up the irreverent charm of the series for much of its running time. Overall, I think this is a much better game than Judgment and I would like to see where it goes next.
    • 75 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I’m torn by Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, which feels like it offers two very different experiences in one package. Many of the multiplayer party games remain just as fun as they were when I played them as a kid, but the single-player didn’t hold up in quite the same way for me. Often, it’s quite fun, but sometimes the difficulty can drive me bananas.
    • 71 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Most video games are about “beating” them, giving you an objective to satisfy or a quest to complete. Sable doesn’t need you to complete it. That might be why the game’s best moments don’t happen along some questline but are experienced only through dogged exploration.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Echoes of the Eye diverges from the base game in some welcome ways, but it still feels like it’s a part of the same universe. It was a risk for Mobius Digital to squeeze another planet into Outer Wilds, which already felt like a complete package with more than enough mystery to unspool. But this spooky, mystifying expansion is an integral part of the experience, as well as a fantastic send-off for a special game.
    • 79 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I was really excited for New Pokémon Snap, but I found its structure, which forces you down curated routes that you have to play repeatedly (and, for a good chunk of the game, without any way to boost through them), to be frustratingly limiting. I also didn’t like how you could miss photo opportunities; it added an unnecessary level of anxiety to a game about calm nature rides. Toem, by contrast, is a lot more relaxed and open, and for me, that lets me have a lot more fun playing photographer. I always had my eye out for things like hidden animals in the trees, cool graffiti on walls, or even just somebody’s cat. And without any pressure or punishment to miss a photo, I was much more motivated to snap anything that looked interesting or seek out certain photos to help out a quest-giver.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The most remarkable thing about Deathloop is how all of its elements — the intricate, stylish world of Blackreef; action that encourages experimentation; a mystery dense with ideas and surprises; the entertainingly hostile relationship between Colt and Julianna — fit together so seamlessly. You could spend the morning tip-toeing around guards to find a password hidden in a desk, which helps you steal a sniper rifle in the afternoon, which you then use to take down a boss in the evening. And right after, Julianna is going to call you on a walkie for a charmingly expletive-laced tirade. Each of those elements feels not only cohesive, but necessary. In most games, audiologs are throwaway lore meant for the most hardcore fans. Here they can be the difference between success and failure.

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