Welcome to Couch Co-op, your one stop shop for gaming with friends and family alike. These blogs will discuss the best and worst of co-operative play and will cover fond memories from the past to the outrageously war-torn future that is painted by the vast majority of games on your store’s top shelves.
I will be looking at the best and worst games to play with friends that I can find. Hell, that might even include a little bit about about the travesty that was Psi-Ops. There will also be a recommendation of suitable audiences and a brief overview of why I had so much fun playing these games with a group of my close friends, their family and my wonderful girlfriend.
Gaming has mostly been seen as something done alone behind closed blinds, basking in the glow of your massive television in solitude but this is a very closed minded view that has thankfully lost momentum since the introduction of the likes of Xbox Live. That is not to say that you need the internet to play with others but it sure helps a lot, especially when there is sun outside and you have to walk to a friend’s house to enjoy their company (God forbid!). From the origins of boardgames to the arcade cabinets of yesteryear there has always been a place at your side for another to join in. Be it that extra joystick or the abandoned thimble, you have never had to play alone. That’s why I created this blog. I love playing with friends and most of the time I spend playing single player games it is with my best friend by my side laughing at my gaming shortcomings.
In recent years many games have overlooked the offline aspect of gaming. Yes, there are a few exceptions but for the most part all focus gravitates to online, which is a shame. My most precious memories of gaming have come not from a match played online but an experience shared with a friend sitting by my side and that’s where the heart and soul of these posts will lie.
This is an experience not to be missed and should be cherished, far too many people ignore the shared excitement of playing with a group of friends. As of late the Wii, Playstation Move and Microsoft Kinect have all tried to revitalise the experience but have been shunned by a large number of gamers as being for little kids and I for one happen to share this sentiment.
So with the knitty-gritty introduction out of the way I’d like to share an anecdote of one of the great memories I have shared with friends. It starts several years ago with the release of “Burnout 2: Point of Impact”. I had been aware of the game and played it on and off over the course of several days and had felt like the experience had been exhausted to the point where I couldn’t face the game anymore. Until I went to a friends to play it, both of us with our majorly clunky Xbox remotes (yes the ones that equalled the size of a nan bread) fired up Burnout and spent the rest of the night rushing through oncoming traffic in a bid to see who lasted the longest. The simple act of finding a friend or family member to play a game with sheds a new light on the whole game, before I thought that Burnout was wearing thin on the crash gimmick and that I had grown tired of the races but in one instant, new life rushed in to the whole game and provided countless hours of fun.
This is a prime example of why developers shouldn’t forget that no matter how much online is dominating the multiplayer experience, allowing friends to gather and jump straight into a game together and completely ripping the piss out of each other will never be matched.