Now Playing at SUPERJUMP, Issue 20

RPGs abound, with a side of monkey business

Now Playing at SUPERJUMP, Issue 20

We're back with another issue of Now Playing at SUPERJUMP! Dragon's Dogma 2 has taken the gaming world by storm, and our team is playing that and a lot more. Enjoy this week's entries and we'll see you back here soon with more recommendations and odes to the games we love!

C.S. Voll

I finally got around to playing Firewatch, after having it on my to-play list for around 8 years. I wish I had given it a chance sooner! It's the type of game I really enjoy — the type that's atmospheric, story-driven, and charmingly funny. I could listen to Henry and Delilah talk all day, to be honest. The central mystery had me on the edge of my seat as well. Sometimes we need reminders, such as these, of what is possible in this medium.

Firewatch. Source: Press Kit.

James O'Connor

I am about 35 hours deep into Octopath Traveler II, a game that I am enjoying, but in a funny sort-of-switched-off way. I might put in an hour between the end of work and dinner, take on a boss right before bed, or sit through a few cutscenes on my lunch break. I am over-leveled for a lot of the challenges in the game, and I find myself distracted during a lot of the storytelling, but I’m enjoying it nevertheless. I think a lot of it comes down to the wonderfully polished battle interface and VFX; there’s a moment when you defeat an enemy where they slide back very slightly before bursting into a haze, and that little moment of feedback to let you know that you’ve just landed the killing blow is so satisfying every single time.

William Cuevas

In between sessions for my ongoing first playthrough of Dragon Quest VIII, I've been score-chasing in the 1981 arcade classic, Donkey Kong. What's drawing me to the game, besides its historical importance to both Nintendo and the arcade scene, is the hidden tech of the gameplay. If I'm being honest, I think Donkey Kong is a really hard game. It throws quite a lot at players considering the only actions they can perform are move, climb, and jump (and I suppose grab a hammer if it's there), plus the RNG can be quite harsh. But is it really that hard? The short answer is yes but the longer, educated answer is "yes but its not so bad if you know a few tricks."

The thing is that Donkey Kong has been around for a long time; 1981 after all. And since its release the programming has been broken down, scrutinized, studied, and weaponized to beat the game at its own Each of the four possible screens has some tricks that allow the player to swing the chaos of RNG more to their favor greatly raising both survivability and the amount of points that can be racked up. To top it all off, many of these tricks are pretty easy to understand and take only a bit of practice to implement into your gameplay.

In just 2 weeks of light practice, I have not only doubled my average score per run but also hit a personal best of 107,400. These are rookie numbers compared to the current top players but still not bad for those 2 weeks of light practice. Even in the runs that don't result in a new personal best score, it still feels good to be able to take everything arcade Donkey Kong throws at me and think "Yeah, I'm still the one in control here."

Dragon's Dogma 2. Source: Steam.

Kristina M.H.

Balatro still captures my attention, chasing different jokers and testing specific hand runs. My most successful runs seem to be the simplest hands, like two pair. The challenges are interesting and fun, like egg challenge, that make you abandon your normal play style. Balatro sits comfortably next to Slay the Spire in that I can jump in and out and use it as a wind-down game before bed for years to come.

I also picked up Dragon's Dogma 2 on day one, and do not regret it one bit. I know the game suffered bad PR, but I did not run into performance issues (PS5) or encounter intrusive microtransactions. If you played the first Dragon's Dogma, the game will feel familiar to you, creating your main Arisen and your Pawn. The open-world fantasy RPG offers a dense and dynamic world to explore, but not without the chaos outside of city walls. I really love how unpredictable this game is and how funny the monster encounters can be. I have put a lot of leveling into my thief pawn Alexander to help others who may hire him in the rift! Don't pass this game up, it's charming, and hilarious and the exploration feels similar to Skyrim and Elden Ring.

Jahan Khan

After a nearly 2-year wait, I finally got hold of the Polymega base unit, and thankfully it worked. It's been great to revisit my old Saturn collection, and it needs to be said how some of the best arcade racing games were on that platform: Daytona USA, Sega Rally, Sega Touring Car Championship, among others. It's also encouraged me to hunt for PSOne games; some of the recent pickups include Omega Boost, a game that remains the only non-racing title developed by the Gran Turismo studio, and some excellent Capcom titles like Rival Schools. It's been great exploring these libraries again through the Polymega, but I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend anyone try to order this console for themselves. I got lucky, and if I were to go back I probably would think twice given the delays, faulty units, and agonising customer support.

That's a wrap for this week's Now Playing at SUPERJUMP! Thank you for checking out the veritable treasure trove of games our team is playing right now, and be sure to check in next week when we're back with more.


Sign in or become a SUPERJUMP member to join the conversation.