For me, Fridays have become something of a novelty. It’s no longer the day that marks the official start of the weekend and the end of the hard graft. It’s also no longer the start of the only two days I get to lounge around on my sofa uninterrupted, playing through the backlog of games I swear I’ll finish someday but probably wont.

Friday has, for whatever reason, become the day that my mates come round and we get in some multiplayer action over a few jars before hitting the town. I think in the past five months there’s hasn’t been a Friday gone by that a mate has come over to blast through the career mode in Guitar Hero and Rock Band, or play a few rounds at Smash Bros. Brawl, Tekken 3 or Bomberman Live.

Rock Band

My place on a Friday after a few cans – My neighbours must love me! 😛

Mutliplayer has always been something a game can live or die by. Halo 2 is a prime example. I thought the story was naff and I genuinely didn’t care what happened to any of the dull characters, so the single player was a bit throwaway, while the awesome multiplayer made the price of admission well worth it.

Alternatively the recently released and genuinely stunning Soul Calibur on XBLA, possibly one of the greatest fighters shared with a second person, confusingly lacks Live play. What were Namco smoking when they came up with that?

Two massive franchises last year both missed a trick when it came to their respective multiplayer modes. Namely, Burnout Paradise, which lacked a split screen mode. My mates were excited when I got the game and asked if I wanted to fire it up so we could play party crash mode which was a regular feature in past instalments, but I had to tell their glistening, doe-eyes that the feature had been cut. For shame Criterion.

Same with Call of Duty 4. This game would have played host to a phenomenal co-op experience if it only gave us the chance. Again, confusingly, we were denied the pleasure. Although Call of Duty: World at War developers Treyarch have made good and included 4-player co-op, which sounds like it will be awesome, although this will likely be Live only.

So I don’t know. What is everyone else’s preference when it comes to multiplayer? Are the days of split screen dead with so many people owning consoles in this generation? Are we doomed to sit alone in our rooms playing with our mates instead of kicking it old school and huddling round our meaty HD televisions?

Thoughts?