The Jackbox Party Pack 8 will probably not be the end of the line for this series, and even though the games today are far more complicated than something you’d see from the first or second packs, iteration is the key to a fun pack of games. Gather your friends together (if it’s safe) and get cracking on uncovering the intricacies and strategies of these games — hopefully with a ton of laughter in between.
Of course, this game is best with, well, a group of friends. Otherwise, while you still may have that same motivation playing the game as an individual, it doesn't feel nearly as rewarding as a team victory. I'm lucky to be a part of groups of people that gather on weekends to play games such as this, and Joggernauts is certainly one that I intend to add to our regular rotation. I think that attempting to play through the whole game as one unit may be too much to ask due to the game's difficulty, but it may be fun in short bursts and a few levels at a time. I won't be too hyperbolic and say something outlandish like “local multiplayer is dying,” but for anyone who may think that, it's wonderful that we have games like Joggernauts to keep that spirit alive.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a frantic game about violence and tension. The most defining moment for its gameplay is running away in fear from a larger Alpha Pokémon, whilst you haphazardly toss Pokéballs at smaller, unsuspecting Pokémon in your path. Despite the grind, I felt motivated to catch these mons, rather than dreading random encounters like in previous games.
The fun of Ultimate Chicken Horse may be limited without others to play with, and its simple art design left a lot to be desired, but at $14.99, these are not good enough excuses to miss out on it. Single-player level creation games are intimidating and not for everyone, but with this particular multiplayer spin on it, you may find yourself to be more creative and thoughtful than you thought you were.
So there you have it—we’re late to the party, but Return of the Obra Dinn is one of the best games of 2018. There are a good number of people who may not digest game criticism the same way we journalist folks may, so to be fair to us, Lucas Pope’s game is one that may fall through the cracks and be off the radar. Despite late game gripes, this mystery game is one that everyone with a computer needs to at least try. Pop in your earbuds, turn up the volume, perhaps close the lights, and get ready to watch some people die.
I think about the supposed difference between “sentiment” and “sentimentality” when comparing this game to other story-driven titles: sentiment produces real, personal, and genuine emotions, while sentimentality is often a cheap, telegraphed way to provoke reactions by spelling everything out, usually in a hamfisted and highly-charged way (*cough*David Cage*cough*). Wandersong, with all of its mysticism, with its charming simplicity in both graphics and gameplay, expresses real sentiment. I very nearly missed this game, and I certainly don't want you to miss it.
I'm really eager to delve into this "platform" of Hitman 2 as it evolves. Like the first game, "Elusive Targets" will be made available, with their missions only playable once per player, whether you succeed, fail, or miss it entirely. Even with the existing content, there is so much to extrapolate from. The game encourages players to "master" each level, complete challenges, do all the story missions, and come with new ways to approach these situations. You are rewarded with new starting points, items, and other useful trinkets and perks. Unlike most games that are dense with content, I actually want to take advantage of it all, rather than quickly getting through the story through brute force and never stopping to smell the roses like I do in many open-world games currently on the market. As I write this Hitman 2 review, I am super antsy to finish it up, because I just really, really want to play more.