The long-running Jackbox series has been a mainstay of the modern game night for many friends and families since 2014. But with eight releases, I wouldn’t blame anyone for having hesitation on what to buy first. Welcome the new Jackbox Party Starter. Including three fan-favorite games, each highlighting what you can expect from a Jackbox Party Pack. Is this taste of the Jackbox experience a good reflection, or is it even worth the introductory pricing?
The MX vs ATV series has had its ups and downs, and lately that trend has been downward. MX vs ATV Legends has a focus on making yourself a legend, but there’s nothing in place that could possibly allow for something like that during your career in the game. It has a strong base for something good, but the career is a near-endless slog of races with frustrating breaks of your momentum, and a complete disregard towards being fun. It’s a new game with new problems, seemingly not learned from prior entries. It’s possible that over time patches and updates will get this to a state where you might want to play it, but for now it’s best to stay away. MX vs ATV Legends is simply something I can’t recommend, and there’s better motocross games out there.
I’ve been playing The Elder Scrolls Online on and off since it released back in 2014, and there’s a healthy amount of content now. High Isle is the first time where I’ve become fully invested in playing the game. And this feeling is helped after many updates that have improved the quality of life, from even when I last played it. The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle takes players to a whole new location, not just for the game but also the series, which is arguably it’s most exciting element. Then you have the main quest, a story centered around the Bretons that should be a complete bore, but instead is intriguing tale throughout. High Isle is new and exciting, with this latest yearly expansion giving Elder Scrolls a place to flourish with a location never-before-seen in Elder Scrolls.
Formula One was acquired by Liberty Media in 2017, who brought new eyes to the sport and made it much more appealing. I have the exact same thoughts towards F1 22 where the full influence of EA’s purchase of Codemasters can really be felt with this entry. It’s a lot flashier, full of energy, and has “trax” blaring in the menus that’s undeniably EA. For the second year in a row, Codemaster’s Formula One game has come out even earlier than the year before it. As a result, some areas it does feel rushed and a bit buggy, but they’re absolutely minor to the fact that the racing is top tier. Codemasters are again in top form, and F1 22 is an excellent racing game that’s an easy victory for fans of the sport, and aims to make you a fan if you aren’t already.
I’ve always been a big fan of rhythm games, so when I was asked to review Drastic Games’ rhythm-based dungeon crawler Soundfall, I was excited to start it up. Published by NoodleCake, Soundfall is a game I enjoy, and everything fits into my wheelhouse. This game is pretty long and can take a while to complete as there are over ten stages, each with ten levels lasting around two to three minutes. Before and after each level, a lot of character dialog is given to contextualize your situation, as no one talks within each level.
Mario Andretti said, “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” As I was careening off-track or barely able to make it through a turn in my first hour of Redout 2, this was all I could think about, because I was definitely going fast enough. The sequel to the 2016 futuristic anti-gravity racer goes to ludicrous speeds, you’ll rarely if ever feel in control. Anti-grav racers used to be all the rage in the late 90s and early 2000s, and they just kind of faded away. 34BigThings have brought back this style of racer in great style and grace that Redout 2 is one of the best racers out there.
Don’t you hate it when you wake up in the afterlife with almost no memory of who you were, overwhelmed by the opulent splendor of Heaven, the strange people around you wearing bizarre masks, and the borderline obnoxious angels barking at you about securing your place in the afterlife if you carry out their bidding and clear Heaven of invading demons? Even if this doesn’t sound like a remotely familiar occurrence to you, this is the setup for Angel Matrix’s Neon White, an extremely anime card-based platformer shooter speedrunner that fuses all of its concepts together in a delightfully appealing package that works way better than it has any right to, owing largely to the strength of its art design and the incredible fluidity of the gameplay. If you’re thinking to yourself “wow, this game sounds like a lot,” you’re absolutely right, but it is also totally easy to get into and really fun to play because even though it sounds complicated, in truth it focuses on doing a few things, and doing them well.
Who wouldn’t want to be a ninja teen, one who leads, one who does machines? Maybe more of a cool but crude or party dude ninja teen? For years the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) franchise has been the go-to outlet for your ninja teen fantasies, especially when it comes to video games. Kicking foot soldier butt and taking down the evil Oroku Saki, aka the Shredder, has always been childhood fun for many children and myself over the decades. The TMNT license has had its ups and downs, and in recent years there have been more downs than ups. But can a modernized 2D brawler in the style of the classic TMNT arcade game revitalize these four heroes in green?
Salt and Sacrifice is the sequel to 2016’s Salt and Sanctuary, a souls-like game that checked off most of the boxes for me at the time. It had that tough yet fair difficulty, challenging combat, intense boss fights, and a whole world open for you to explore. Salt and Sacrifice brings more of the same with new additions that keep the formula fresh in the genre.
It’s weird that in 2022 two different POSTAL games released, and the spin-off is quite good. POSTAL: Brain Damaged is a game that goes for the gameplay loop of DOOM Eternal while visually becoming a retro shooter that’s become all the rage. POSTAL: Brain Damaged has a bit of an identity crisis as the developers opted for more arena-based combat and stage progression, where the levels are still massive in size which means that there’s too much downtime between the action and the exploring is often empty. That said, the good definitely outweighs the not-so-good. POSTAL: Brain Damaged is a fever dream of ideas and execution that’s quintessentially POSTAL.
It’s been over five years since the last Sniper Elite was released, though I’ll say it’s been worth the wait. Sniper Elite 5 is a richer and fuller experience that truly iterates on the series, which Rebellion excels at. Every level is bigger and more expansive than anything that came before, and the methods at which you can exterminate Nazis are bountiful. The bullet cam and series-defining x-ray view that follows never ceases to disappoint. I can’t recommend Sniper Elite 5 enough, it’s an essential purchase for new and returning players.
I’m not one to enjoy too many Rogue or Roguelike games, which becomes quite apparent once you get to know me. The thought of losing all your progress after a death actively turns me away. So what is it about Rogue Legacy 2 that brings me so much joy? Well, it’s the ability to keep your hard work into your next hero, and thanks to that, I haven’t been able to put the game down for days.
People either like wireless devices, or they prefer wired ones. ROCCAT knows this dilemma, and the Burst Pro Air sets out to please both ends of the spectrum. ROCCAT has had a steady streaming of gaming mice that have been excellent, and this is no different with this wireless mouse. This is also a lightweight mouse, so light that I feel even a gentle breeze might blow it off my desk. The ROCCAT Burst Pro Air is a breath of fresh air, a fantastic option for nearly every type of PC gamer.
Rush Rally Origins is a lot of things. It’s a remake of a ten-year old iOS game, the latest in a long line, and very solid port that will have you questioning whether graphics actually matter. The once mobile is now out on PC via Steam thanks two-man developer team at Brownmonster Limited. Its price tag is nestled nicely in the sweet spot for purchases, and the abundance and depth of content cannot be overstated. There’s so much to play and replay. Rush Rally Origins will have you experience a bygone era of racers with renewed enthusiasm.
There is nothing like pressing “start” on a new game and being instantly and wholly pulled into its world. While the aim of any game with strong narrative goals is to transport you away from your own reality, few accomplish this with the same success and consistency as Trek to Yomi. Set in Edo period of Japan and inspired by Japanese films of the 50s and 60s, the style of Trek to Yomi is striking, immediately recognizable, and deeply faithful to the cinematic giants from which it draws its inspiration. Equal parts action romp and reverent pastiche, Trek to Yomi sets its sights on being the definitive interactive interpretation of the samurai film, and in many ways it finds its mark. While it’s not a perfect execution, it’s pretty damn close, and it absolutely leaves an indelible impression.