Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a triumph for Ubisoft, and one of the best games I’ve played all year. After almost 70 hours in Viking-era England, I still have more to explore and uncover with Eivor, and I can’t wait to dive back in for more. The story is excellent, leaving me eager to see what’s next, and while it had moments where it felt a little dissonant with what Eivor was doing as well as some pacing problems, overall I enjoyed my romp through England. Even as I finish typing this review, I’m already planning where to sail next and what to do differently in another playthrough. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has lingered on my thoughts, beckoning me to come back to England and continue exploring, raiding and going a-vikingr, even almost 70 hours after I took my first steps as Eivor in Norway.
If you like previous Yakuza games, Judgment is right up your alley. A spin off that holds its own in the fictional Kamurocho, Judgment is a worthy entry in the world of Ryu ga Gotoku's Yakuza world. And while I found the story to be sluggish and in its own way at times, it's excellent combat and unique detective mechanics kept me engaged in my more than 20+ hour playthrough. Judgment is outrageous fun at times, relaxing at others and above all else tells a great story. It's definitely one I'll be coming back to over the next few months, uncovering more of Kamurocho's secrets with its favorite detective.
For any Persona fan, Dancing in Starlight is a solid entry. It gives you a chance to go back and experience more stories with the main characters, and it's a nice change of pace from the RPGs and shooters releasing this fall. But it's main gameplay mechanic - the actual rhythm gameplay - does get in its own way. But if you're just wanting to experience more stories and groove to the amazing soundtrack, Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight is definitely a good place to do so.
Soulcalibur VI ticks all the boxes I expect from a Soulcalibur game: its iconic characters, the compelling stories, fast yet measured movement, and a skill curve that allows newer players to jump in, but enough depth for masters to truly enjoy. It isn't perfect, and while its story mode feels dated in its presentation, the real issue is the lack of a real training mode that benefits all users. At the end of the day, though, it's fantastic to see Soulcalibur return to consoles (and finally come to PC!) in top form.
Unravel Two looks to expand and improve upon the critical success of its predecessor. Charming and beautiful, Unravel Two does have some bright spots. However, those spots are few and far between thanks to some clunky platforming and dull puzzles throughout.