The Sydney Morning Herald's Scores

  • Games
For 783 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 4.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Shadow of the Colossus
Lowest review score: 20 Rampage: Total Destruction
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 58 out of 783
783 game reviews
    • 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 92 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.
    • 84 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Dark and dirty but also full of fun and discovery, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is rife with jungle mysteries, embellished history, gratifying puzzles and Lara Croft's personal struggles. With more open world exploration, more climbing, more tombs and more options for combat, it's a familiar but improved adventure and a gripping conclusion to the trilogy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The changes to gameplay, addition of house rules to kick-off mode and refinements to Ultimate Team make this an improvement on last year, and the third chapter of The Journey is the deepest yet. But fans of the old-fashioned career mode will continue to be disappointed.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The much-advertised fact that the world can move between different periods of video game history is hugely impressive and slickly executed, but it's in fact only one of this throwback's brilliant subversions. I won't spoil anything else here, but this is a relentlessly inventive game that turns out to be a lot more ambitious than it first appears.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Though I'm glad it exists purely from a historical interest point of view, these aren't the best X games or the best early-to-mid-2000s action games, and the commendable packaging and cleaning up here can't change that.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With a cinematic story filled with personal drama, subversive twists and likeable characters, but set in a fantastical universe much more akin to the one seen in print, this is the best of Spidey's film and comic book iterations combined. But it's also a sensational game, blending open world acrobatics with more focused linear areas, and a well-realised protagonist with the freedom of fun upgrades and customisation.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For all its intriguing story beats, stylish techno-'60s aesthetic and well-presented characters, We Happy Few can't hide its origins as a run-of-the-mill survival game.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Offering more of the same delicious, diabolical co-operative cooking that made 2016's Overcooked so amazing, the sequel adds new kitchens, new dishes, new chefs and a whole lot of new reasons to do that thing where you scream in frustration and laughter at the same time. With even more friendship-testing challenges and hilarious culinary cock-ups, this is a welcome second course, even if it doesn't stray very far from the original game's recipe.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    EA Sports' latest offering doesn't really bring a whole lot of new elements to the table, certainly nothing as ground-breaking as the new catching mechanics that Madden 16 brought. The game is smoother, and with a few minor positive tweaks, and overall is still a fun, solid football sim. But the continuation of the story mode Longshot, which was a big deal in 18, is a huge let down here.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Packing four incredible action games from the mid-'90s into one nostalgic package, Mega Man X Legacy Collection might not feature the entire X saga but it's certainly the best of it.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This beautiful metroidvania roguelite strikes a near-perfect balance between what persists and what is totally randomised each time you die. And when you eventually run all the way from the beginning, through the bosses and to the final encounter in one go, it's not because your character is more powerful, it's because you know the game so intimately from all your previous lives.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With an amazingly addictive battle system, interesting stories and a beautiful world that I wanted to (and was encouraged to) explore inch of, this is a special adventure that feels like playing a classic Final Fantasy for the first time, but with the gameplay and presentation benefits of an extra 20 years or so of progress.

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