The Week’s Biggest Game Reviews, From God of War To Pokémon

On the heels of The Game Awards, this week saw the launch of two expansions for fan-fave games: God of War Ragnarok and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. We also took a meaty deep dive into Analogue’s latest and greatest new retro console and did a year-three rundown on the state of the PS5.

From the latest and greatest to cult gems and retro classics, these are the games and consoles we’re loving—and loathing—this week.

God Of War Ragnarök: Valhalla: The Kotaku Review

Screenshot: Santa Monica Studio

Valhalla takes place after the events of Ragnarök, as Kratos seeks out the titular hall of heroes due to a mysterious invitation. Once inside, he finds himself faced with combat arenas built from his memories that repeat as he ascends through Valhalla. Old vistas and enemies are a decent enough framing device, and an effective way to unpack Kratos’ nearly 20 years of baggage. While the 2018 reboot used shame and fatherhood to interrogate the pornographic violence and carnage of the series’ past, Valhalla actualizes that idea without having to be tied to his relationship with his son Atreus. – Kenneth Shepard Read More

The 12 Buggiest Video Games Of 2023

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Image: Daedalic Entertainment / Flux Games / IguanaBee / Natalie Schorr / Starbreeze Studios / Supasart Meekumrai / Kotaku (Shutterstock)

We made it. After a tumultuous 11 months of really high highs (the games) and really low lows (the layoffs), we’re finally rounding out the last month of 2023. Good riddance. And to really underscore that goodbye, we here at Kotaku thought it’d be fitting to take a look back at what felt like the longest year yet to compile some of the most buggy, broken, and busted games to drop in 2023. – Levi Winslow Read More

Analogue Duo: The Kotaku Review

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Image: Analogue / Kotaku

Today the company’s launching another retro console recreation, the Analogue Duo. And this time, it’s something of a deeper cut.

Just…god, there’s so much random info you gotta know to understand this thing’s deal. So before we get into it, here’s a tl;dr: Analogue Duo is a very solid PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16 replacement that looks pretty good on modern displays and controls pretty well, too. It’s also not for everyone. It may not even be for me. – Alexandra Hall Read More

Pokémon Scarlet And Violet: The Indigo Disk: The Kotaku Review

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Image: Game Freak / Kotaku

The Indigo Disk picks up with new characters Kieran and Carmine returning to their Unova-based school, Blueberry Academy. The school invites you to be an exchange student, and Blueberry Academy is a Pokémon trainer’s dream facility, as it’s built around a terarium that emulates four different biomes. Students capture and study Pokémon in habitats analogous to their natural homes. It’s a decent enough framing for a reasonably sized open-world environment, while also bringing some familiar Pokémon back into the fray. – Kenneth Shepard Read More

The State Of The PlayStation 5

Art shows a PS5 console and a badge that reads "year in review."

Illustration: Angelica Alzona

A slick new VR headset, a “slim” console refresh, tons of flashy new accessories, and multiple exclusives, including the fastest selling PlayStation game ever, Spider-Man 2. The PlayStation 5 made big moves in 2023. So why does it feel like the console spent most of it resting on its laurels while flailing for a new direction? – Ethan Gach Read More

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