That Hit The Spot

Happy Weekend TAY!

I hope everyone is planning for a relaxing weekend after the busy long weekend most of us had a week ago.

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I had a blast last weekend at my friend’s house celebrating a birthday. I was a little zombified after the weekend from all the partying, but everyone had an awesome time. Once the kids were in bed we played a lot of The Jackbox Party Pack and I was surprised how much fun everyone had with the games.

I was familar with You Don’t Know Jack, having been exposed to that on the original Playstation. However, not only does this come with You Don’t Know Jack, but 4 other titles. Not all are winners, but at least three of the five games are fantastic and the other two are alright. Considering the price of the package, it is a must buy for those who like to play games with anyone (especially those who aren’t “gamers”). I’m planning on trying it out on my 70 year old parents next time we are together.

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The best part of the package is the inventive control system. The host starts a game which has a room code. You can then join the game and use your tablet or smartphone as the controller. This is especially nice since most people have a cellphone or tablet and this removes the need for dragging out additional controllers (or purchasing additional controllers).

My favourite of the games, Drawful (3-8 players), gives the players a phrase which they are supposed to draw a picture to match. No words or numbers allowed and there is no time limit to the drawing (and NO corrections). Once everyone has a picture submitted then each of the pictures comes up in turn. Players, aside from the person who drew the actual picture, first have a chance to write their own caption for the picture. This is to trick other players into guessing a fake answer instead of the original phrase. Once everyone has devised a lie then all the phrases come up on the screen, including the real answer. Everyone then guesses which is the correct caption for the picture. Points are awarded for tricking people into guessing the fake answers and of course points go to the player with the real phrase if anyone guesses that one.

After a few wobbly-pops this was a hilarious game. I am a terrible artist and drawing on my iPhone with my finger doesn’t help, but it was so much fun I didn’t want to stop playing. I can’t recommend The Jackbox Party Pack enough. There is actually two different packages and I’m looking forward to playing both at my next gathering. It is also available for many consoles, Mac, Android TV, etc. Check out the platforms here:

So after a couple weeks of a personal gaming drought, it was nice to finally get back in the saddle again. Our new car is purchased and should arrive in a week or so and I didn’t have any obligations to plan for last week. This left me free and clear to get back to Super Mario Galaxy and wow, that was just what I needed.

I had forgotten how much content there is in Super Mario Galaxy. There is a crazy amount of levels and all are extremely well done. The variety of gameplay and superior level design might be unmatched in the platform genre.

Super Mario Galaxy (I haven’t played the second one yet), is Nintendo at the top of their game. I have mixed experiences with most of Nintendo’s games, but the 3D Mario games (not counting the “3D Land/World” games) have been some of the best times I’ve had with video games. Galaxy is the culmination of all the previous 3D Mario efforts with a control scheme that compliments the game extremely well. I didn’t have a lot of great experiences with the motion controls on the Wii, but Galaxy nails it.

I have one more galaxy to complete in Super Mario Galaxy and then the final encounter. After that, I’ll finally be able to give the PS4 it’s maiden voyage. I will however be sad to see Galaxy go, I have a lot of trouble putting it down once I start. I’m very excited to buy Super Mario Galaxy 2 though, I’m glad I still see that one in the stores.

So, what are you playing this weekend?