If Persona 5 was about forming bonds with new people and recruiting them for a common cause, Persona 5 Strikers is about taking the Phantom Thieves and proving that the friendship they share is lasting, that it can and will endure any hardship. I think, right now, that message is immeasurably important, and hits harder than a bullet formed from the Seven Deadly Sins.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was a risk. Not really because it took Vikings as its subject matter — people love Vikings, to the extent that loads of folks are a bit sick of Norse stuff at this point. It was a risk because it compounded the ideals of Assassin’s Creed’s origins and Assassin’s Creed Origins. Fortunately, it turns out that the best game in this series is the one that’s drawn from pretty much everything that came before it, in order to carve out its own unique identity based on the absolute best bits of its many, many predecessors.
Hades is, to put it plainly, a masterpiece. It has a refreshingly unique trajectory, tells a compelling story with an alluring cast, and has such a good handle on moment-to-moment play that it is never anything less than genuinely excellent. It’s a game that grows the more you play it, as opposed to being something that suffers from a slow descent into tedium. And for that reason, it is a genuine forever game.
Presuming these techy mishaps are rectified, Ori And The Will Of The Wisps is one of the most charming, engaging, visually striking and emotionally touching games I’ve played in a long time. It’s difficult but fair, complex but intuitive, and gruelling but conquerable.
Shenmue 3 suffers from hamfisted exposition, tedious repetition, monotonous grinding, and a heap of other fundamental flaws that are inexcusable in 2019. However, its environments are so confident in their sense of place that exploration is a capable redeemer, and the game is at times, on that ground alone, worth playing.