REVIEW: Jackbox Party Pack 2

JPP2_BrandBits

Jackbox Party Pack 2 is the sequel to 2014’s Jackbox Party Pack 1, which contained Drawful, Fibbage, Word Spud, Lie Swatter and You Don’t Know Jack….

In the 2015 release, you have 5 games, including a return to Fibbage, and no You Don’t Know Jack, whaaaa?

If you want a TL;DR Review – all the people who received advanced copies (From Last Tuesday to Monday) are the ONLY people who will get mileage from this, otherwise, it’s only worth it if you have a HUGE video game stream turn out. (or a large group of friends)

And now let’s go through all the nooks and crannies of the games.

Fibbage 2 is a simple game, similar to baulderdash, or any real quiz show. You get a funny statement about a true fact. “Be sure to visit so-and-so place for the _____ museum” and on your cell phones (or laptops) you can write down a blank that is very misleading (or close-to) the correct answer. Once everybody answered, or time runs out, you must pick “the truth” (the correct answer) for points. If you’re wrong, the points go to another player. But this time around, Fibbage 2 offers “The De-Fib-ulator” which makes any one question a 50/50 gamble.

I think the de-fib-ulator is a nice idea, but unfortunately when playing with it, doesn’t give it that much risk, and when I used it, was spent on the correct answer and a comically wrong in-joke answer. It’s a step back, but they do offer an “audience vote” for a thumbs cup (for the funny answer).

I enjoy the idea of the funny answers, but the problem with Fibbage is that there are two ways to play it.

You are serious about your Fibs (The name of a dog should be “Rover” or “Spike”)
or You aren’t serious and just want to have fun dumb answers (The dog is named “John Cena”)

So while last year’s is fun, you might have some fun with this installment too, more questions is always better, and there isn’t so much repeated statements compared to last year’s, especially on Final Fibbage. But would love to see it turn into more “episodic” play in future installments like YDKJ, which is also hosted by Cookie. (It’s a “Good”)

Ear Wax is Jackbox’s take on Card’s Against Humanity or SFX Quiplash, a statement is given in Quiplash form, then on the mobile phones (which is the controller for all these games) they pick from an assortment of different SFX that only they can choose, it’s all randomized (so like CAH, the “deck” is shuffled to the players, in the form of SFX). One player is the judge and picks from 3 prompts, the others must make a great sound package of two tracks…. then they play them in order.

While it’s a funny idea, the pacing of the game is verrrrrrry slow. The SFX do not immediately go one-after-the-other there is a 1 second pause with minor record scratch kind of ruins the punchline for many jokes. And while it’s a great use of multi-media to make a card-like party game, it is also one of the few games that just gets boring after a couple play-throughs, It only goes up to 8 players, but does come with “AUDIENCE VOTE” as well. (It’s a “Meh”)

Bomb Corp. is the game I played the most, because it comes in 1 player mode (and goes up to 4), it’s a mix of “Keep Talking and No One will Explode” and “McPixel” where you have to cut wires based on logic puzzles (if X is blue, cut the Nth wire). And some of the variety changes in the game as you progress. It’s quirky, and stands out as the only game featured that’s for low number of players AND without an audience feature. If you’re not good at logic puzzles, it’s really not a game for you, and after a while (when you defuse all the bombs) all that’s left is The Grind, which I feel is the best part of the ENTIRE Jackbox Party Pack this year. (It’s a “Good”)

Bidiots is a game people say is like the South Korean reality show “The Genius” (because it’s logic, mixed with sabotage) Each player is given two prompts to draw, and then given $3,000 to buy art in “auction” format. Each phone is also given personalized information about the art being auctioned off and who possibly made it. (“Rainbow is worth $2,300”) but unlike last year’s “Drawful”, it isn’t as comical, you’re kind of just sitting there hoping to buy the most expensive art pieces and make sure others pay more than it’s worth.

The problem with Bidiots is the random luck element of the pricing. In each purchase, the artist gets 50% of the price (so if the auction ends at $1000, someone gets $500) and that means that artists ultimately could lose simply because they didn’t get a fair share of the art, (two players art could be worth $3,000 and end up getting 2000-3000 bids, ending with a player getting an xtra 2k 3k over others who wound up with $800-$1200 pieces).

It’s not that confusing – buy low, hope it’s worth high, read the texts for info. But I would have enjoyed a Drawful 2 along with Bidiots, the idea of naming the pieces was one of the best parts of Jackbox 1, but this time around, that comedy is scattered. (It’s a “Bad”)

Quiplash XL came out in March, and I was so excited to play it… until I realized I am not a big-time stream person. Quiplash’s main draw is two players answer prompts (like CAH) with something funny, and then you vote. The problem is, I am not a big-time famous youtuber nor a famous Twitch streamer, so in any given day, I might only have 6 or 7 people playing. That doesn’t make for fun quiplashing. Especially if the audience vote matters a lot in the points-earning process. If you have 3 friends, do NOT even bother playing Quiplash, this is supposed to be a game for LARGE parties, and that’s not including the 8 player ones the original Jackbox was meant for. This is a game for “Twitch Streamers” and the DLC (which came out last month BTW for $1) is included in this package.

I felt that while Quiplash is a very comical game, it’s a game that when it reaches “The Last Lash” (a low-scoring final) you only want to play it a few more times. CAH worked because of people who aren’t crafty or hilarious, however, Quiplash is superior in that it requires that creativity. I can’t fault the game for being almost unplayable with low audiences, but more or less, it’s for twitch users and youtubers with huge audiences to vote and stream. (It’s a “Meh”)

FINAL SUMMARY

Jackbox Party Pack 2 offers 5 interesting games for the low price of $25 (that’s like $5 per game) and includes the return to the fan favorite, Fibbage. However, many of the games offerings requires almost a large audience base, which doesn’t make it a “party” it makes it a “twitch game”. While that means Jackbox has cornered the market with that genre, it means that video game “party games” are pushed away with this release.

You will have fun with this game, you will smile and laugh and have a good time, and that’s what Jackbox is all about, but most of the time, you’ll feel lonely and depressed, because the only way to really play it is on someone else’s twitch.

So my conclusion is buy it if you want to play Fibbage with friends at a party some time, but if you are curious about playing it, just hope to god someone on Twitch is playing it and you can join-in. Otherwise, just buy it and stream it and hope you have the audience to get players.

Not a single game in here is awful, or terrible, they are all fun and unique in their own way. But you do feel like that guy who had a “hang-out” party with a few friends having drinks, and the next door neighbors have invited the entire town and they showed up.

Maybe next year, we will see more Fibbage and some more creative ideas, but gearing it to the Twitch market, and in a way, focusing on “games like Cards Against Humanity” did more of a disservice to the party pack, than last year’s variety of games like Word Spud.

There is a way to disable “audience mode” and there is a “family filter” you could have if you want to play with your younger brother, which is fantastic. If there was a percentage rating for this game, I would give it a clear 7.5. but we don’t give number reviews, it’s simply out of is it good or bad or whatever, and this time around, some are good some are whatever.

BUT BE SURE TOSUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW AND RATE AND COMMENT AND I DO VIDEOS EVERY MONDAY FRIDAY WEDNESDAY, EVERY OTHER THURSDAY, AND SUNDAYS WHEN I AM NOT HUNGOVER FROM A SATURDAY STREAM WHERE I DRINK WITH MY FRIENDS YOUTUBER AND YOUTUBER2

MEH RATING

JORDAN’S E3 EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE

I really enjoy E3, it’s like getting a marathon of every new video game coming out this year. However, this time around, I don’t know, I kind of call it “apathy” when it comes to E3.

Every year, I’d make vlog and article and bingo card talking about E3, and while I am still doing that on Twitter (@jordha). This time around, it just feels, less special. Why should anybody give a fuck what I have to say about video games? you have a million tweets about this right now. LOOK AT HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE EXCITED FOR FALLOUT 4!

To me, everybody right now is tweeting or streaming or writing about E3, what makes me stand out over this? Absolutely Nothing.

Now, I’m not going to call it Jealousy, because many of the people who are famous for writing about this stuff are probably more professional than I am, or they have a much bigger audience than I do. I’m a person who used to be famous, and TeamSmooch is my new favorite thing to write, that and Tabletop Simulator mods, but I digress.

I sat through the Bethesda conference, Nintendo World Championships, Microsoft AND EA, and all I could say to all of them was – “yeah, this is E3”.

Maybe I’ve just become more cynical, but so far, every conference has just become boring in my opinion, seeing trailers to games isn’t as exciting as it was. And as much as I enjoy video games, I know “it’s not my living”.

So here is a list of things about the press conferences so far and what I have seen…

Nintendo World Championships was pretty suffering to watch, Kevin Pereira, while a great host, and deserves credit, going from G4’s Pulse to Attack of the Show to Let’s Ask America to Hack My Life to now telling Egoraptor to get the fuck off the stage is interesting. However, I was confused by the contest and it’s proceedings, the “UNDERGROUND” stages are interesting ways to redeem fallen contestants, but at the same time, I didn’t care for Ball Blast, and splatoon is all over twitch right now, it’s a fun shooting game, but at the same time – I feel like I’ve seen just about every game. I think people being referred to by their usernames “MiniWheats” for instance, was really really really awful, and is one of the biggest reasons I hate e-sports. But ultimately the saving grace was the finale – Super Mario Maker. The competition was trying to play these devilish challenging levels, and it looked like a TON of fun. This is the sort of game where you’ll expect to see people get fake-angry at for views. Different styles and amazing puzzle solving makes it a great game.

Bethesda was the first conference, and it was mostly Elder Scrolls Online, Fallout 4 and DOOM. Elder Scrolls Online looks like just about every MMO in the last few years, but it’s ELDER SCROLLS so it looks nice. But it’s not my cup of tea, I’m sure it’ll be just as big as Warcraft before quickly falling off to having just niche gamers playing it. Fallout 4 was the big deal of the event because it’s Fallout. A 1950s style suburban neighborhood in Boston gets a-bombed and Cogsworth is your charming hilarious robo-butler, and there’s a dog. And you can customize things. But by the end of the presentation, I felt like I got everything I needed to know about Fallout 4 – including price and release date (this year, no surprise) and finally Doom. Doom looked… like the Sonic 2006 edition of Doom. Glossy monsters, the same “rip off limbs and mouths” animation six or seven times. It should be early development, for next year (which I believe is the case) and then something was brought up – GAMERS ARE APPLAUDING VIOLENCE on twitter. And to me, I just groaned and went “of course, it’s E3”. A war was brought up about violence in video games, during a time when we should be celebrating video games. Fallout 4 you shoot people with guns, but you can play as a woman (or a male in a dress) and to me, that’s progress. That’s the stuff to fight for in this bizarre industry.

Microsoft had this virtual reality headset for Minecraft and if I gave my kids that technology it would break within 5 minutes. The “HoloLens” looks very interesting, but considering the success of the Kinect, I have no idea what we are up for. Then you had your usual HALO, GEARS and OVERHYPE game (guess this years “overhype the game so it loses all interest” is Fallout 4) and the only things that made me excited were the controller and the Rare collection for $30. Also – the ability to backwards compatibility 360 games. I wonder if it’s the same backwards as 360 was to the original Xbox which was “only a few games and then we get sick of it”. It gave me a headache and felt the most “Gamer Bro” than previous years.

EA had a dancing zombie and a long sports focus, I was really really upset. No Skate 4? Come on! Mirrors Edge, a game that I had been wanting for so long is almost here – but the trailer made it look SO BORING. And I have no idea why, I enjoy the parkour and disarming of Mirrors Edge, but the voice over made me sleepy, but at least it has a proper villain. AND HOOP GAWD. But Star Wars : Battlefront looked interesting.

Ubisoft is going to make a new South Park Game, and a sword fighting game called “For Honor”, and sure… okay. They showed the division, but what I was most excited about was a Trials Fusion pack where you drive monster trucks. I saw a shitty assassins creed cosplayer and a crappier Jason Derulo impersonator. Trackmania is coming to console and it looks good. And also Assassins Creed Syndicate is their Ubisoft game to promote… and Tom Clancy.

Sony decided to promote Star Wars and Call of Duty with montages, also they announced Shenmue III (for kickstarter) and a Final Fantasy VII remake that everybody wanted for a good… whenever that godawful Advent Children movie came out. My good buddy Johnny V hyped up Disney Infinity 3, which almost made me forget about Lego Dimensions for a good three minutes and then I saw Devolver Digital montages, and No Mans Sky and Dreams showed off “imagination” for games, and planets that nobody will ever ever visit.

Square

Nintendo

RUNNING TOTAL – American Gladiators (NES)

TOTAL : 80,872

Every Monday, I play a different video game blindly, with the purpose of getting as much points as possible to add to my running total. Once I get game over, it’s added to the bank, you can play along, or just watch me suck at video games, whatever floats your boat.

I recorded these episodes all together a few months back, and hopefully I recorded more episodes as I wrote these. But I decided if I didn’t do any others, I might as well do a game show game, after all, that’s what I pretty much do.

RUNNING TOTAL – Mega Man (NES)

TOTAL : 76,372

Every Monday, I play a different video game blindly, with the purpose of getting as much points as possible to add to my running total. Once I get game over, it’s added to the bank, you can play along, or just watch me suck at video games, whatever floats your boat.

I chose Mega Man 1 just so in eventual episodes, I can try and go throughout the series, but remember this is one try and that’s it, so I could just end up shooting myself in the foot for the Mega Man 4 episode.

RUNNING TOTAL – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

TOTAL : 61,972

Every Monday, I play a different video game blindly, with the purpose of getting as much points as possible to add to my running total. Once I get game over, it’s added to the bank, you can play along, or just watch me suck at video games, whatever floats your boat.

The last time I played this would have to be in High School, and even then, I was really terrible at it, but maybe my skills have gotten better. Look, it can’t be any worse than TMNT.

RUNNING TOTAL – Tetris (NES)

TOTAL : 56,320

Every Monday, I play a different video game blindly, with the purpose of getting as much points as possible to add to my running total. Once I get game over, it’s added to the bank, you can play along, or just watch me suck at video games, whatever floats your boat.

I decided to do Tetris today, because for some reason you have to do a Tetris episode, but I figured the classic tetris will have to do today, maybe in future episodes we can do more, but for now, here’s the classic Nintendo Tetris.

 

RUNNING TOTAL Double Dragon (NES)

TOTAL : 35,300

Every Monday, I play a different video game blindly, with the purpose of getting as much points as possible to add to my running total. Once I get game over, it’s added to the bank, you can play along, or just watch me suck at video games, whatever floats your boat.

This time, it’s Double Dragon, a beloved NES classic which involves punching people in the face for points, hopefully I will succeed in doing that in this classic beat-em-up.

RUNNING TOTAL : Super Mario Brothers (NES)

TOTAL : 0

Welcome to the first episode of “Running Total”, in which I play a score-based video game only once, and whatever was my score at the end of it will be added to the pot. Every Monday from now until whenever, I will play a single video game, and without any practice, attempt to get as much points as possible. When it’s “game over” the points are added, and we continue with a new game the next week.

I decided to do Super Mario Brothers in the first episode, because it’s often the most requested game (aside from Super Mario World), so let’s give it a try!