- Developer: Pink Games
- Publisher: tinyBuild Games
- Release Date: 08/09/2020
- Price: £17.99 / $19.99
- Review code provided by tinyBuild Games
Introducing Party Hard 2 Switch Review
I normally love playing as a good guy, so a somewhat psychotic serial killer is a huge deviation from my norm but hey – variety is the spice of life, right? This crazy little number first hit PC back in 2018, but is right at home on Nintendo’s latest offering.
Party Hard 2 follows the murderous crusade of our not-quite-protagonist, Darius. Darius is a loner who works a dead-end packing job by day, but by night has made it his mission to destroy the party goers who are disturbing his sleep. We begin with no idea of what’s gone on, why Darius is of the opinion that murder is an answer to noise-induced insomnia, or the events leading up to the interview.
I loved how the time-skipping of the cutscenes spread the story out, leading you slowly down the rabbit hole until you reach the very darkest depths of the pit. By the time credits rolled, I understood exactly what was going on and felt an intense sympathy for the affected individuals, which is a sign of a story well-told.
Imagination is the Key
Don’t expect a tutorial, but I can give you one key piece of advice going in; experiment, experiment, experiment. There are a few basic controls such as moving using the left stick, Y for stabby-stab, A to pick up, and B to activate. Then there are held object controls which are: D-pad to select the carried object to use, LT to aim, and RT to throw. These all come together to form the basis of what can only be learned by playing – how to use the variety of objects and environmental hazards in cohesion to create a destructive masterpiece.
There’s such a huge range of murderous options that you might not even realize they’re an option until you do something by mistake. who knew a party keg could be so dangerous?! Some things, such as a huge speaker that’s emitting some rather concerning sparks, are obvious choices, but you may find that spilling some oil on the floor before tampering with the speaker will do a significant amount more damage.
Each stage contains 2 kill objectives: the situation-specific task, that normally consists of killing specific people, denoted by a red arrow, and the kill them all objective. There are also a number of optional objectives, that can range from destroying a specific amount of boxes to not triggering the alarm. Regardless of which objectives you’re aiming for, Party Hard 2 is a game of learning from your mistakes and figuring out some awesome combinations through pure luck!
Party All Night
The unusual 3D/pixel art style works nicely on the Switch, with the vibrant colour scheme preventing interactables from being painfully obvious. The graphics aren’t anything spectacular, but at no time did they feel like a hindrance, and the comic-style of the cutscenes provides a nice variation. I will say that the text is too small in handheld mode, as usual, and sometimes the brightness of the locations makes it difficult to read the text clearly, but I can’t think of a better way of doing it without detracting from the game’s charm.
For the most part, I had no issues with the sound design. The party music is nice and upbeat, somewhat reminiscent of the discos from my youth, and the track can even be changed by interacting with an appropriate object. Unfortunately, there is a recurrent high-pitched whine that I’m unsure whether it’s intentional. I’m a little sensitive to really high-pitched noises, so I had to mute the sound after a short while of playing because it was giving me a nasty headache.
Whether in handheld or docked Party Hard 2 played nice and smooth for the majority of the time. However, I did sometimes find a slight graphical or input stutter such as the screen freezing for a fraction of a second or trying to interact with something but it requiring multiple pushes of the corresponding button.
The Clue is in the Name…
Party Hard 2 is hard. Like, really hard. I spent so much time either dying, or being carried off by the police, that I wanted to give up several times. There are only 2 difficulty settings – medium, and hard. The 4 different characters have their own strengths and abilities, but only The Wannabe really makes the game any easier. However, any gamer’s pride will prevent them from using The Wannabe if they want to say they completed the game!
The game was definitely fun, but got frustrating very easily. Thankfully each stage is relatively short, but being arrested or killed means restarting the stage entirely. I rage quit at least once over failing when I’d only got one kill left or when I was on my way to the evacuation point.
Not My Kind of Party
While I did enjoy Party Hard 2, I’m not sure I’ll be picking it up again. The gameplay was fun but often frustrating, the sound invigorating but headache-inducing, and graphics bright but almost overwhelming when the text got involved. I’m looking forward to trying the local co-op mode, which I’m thinking will be a good laugh with some drinks the next time I have a girls’ night, but I’m quite happy leaving it be until then.
- Catchy soundtrack
- Well-written story
- Interesting premise
- Recurrent high-pitched noise
- Slightly overwhelming graphics
While fun and well-written, Party Hard 2 is just too frustrating and headache-inducing for me to pick up again without good reason.