Welcome to Respawning’s Games Club! The purpose of this is to get a bunch of us together once a week, to allow us the chance to chat shit about whatever takes our fancy in the world of video games and discuss what we’re currently playing.
With Overcooked 2 releasing tomorrow, we’ve gathered some buddies around the couch, crowded around the TV to indulge in some rage-inducing, friendship-tearing local multiplayer games! Any game that allows players to gather some mates and invest a few hours tormenting eachother is fair game!!
I’ve recently been playing some Mario Party 2 with mates, on my Wii U. It’s an oldie, but a goodie, and I’ve always believed it to be the best in the series, and later offerings did little to challenge that notion (least of all Mario Party 9 and its stupid fucking car). Mario Party 2 is really just the best party experience the 90’s had to offer outside of Smash and Goldeneye.
The plot is simple as heck: A new ‘land’ is discovered, and Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Wario, DK each want to name it after themselves – but Bowser invades the land, and the party agree that whoever banishes him gets to title the place. And to do that, you apparently need to go around one of six differently themed areas like it’s a board game, collect stars, and compete in completely unrelated minigames. No, it makes no sense, but it doesn’t have to.
Supporting up to four players, the game offers sixty-five mini-games the occur after players have a turn moving around the aforementioned game board. The type of game is decided by the colour spaces players land on: if everyone has the same colour, the game will be a free-for-all; if one player has a different colour to the others, a one-vs-three game starts up; if two people have different colours, then a team-based vs game begins. The games challenge players in a variety of ways: Roll Call, for example, is a counting game that challenges memory; Honeycomb Havoc asks for strategy; Hot Rope Jump asks for reflexes.
Despite the dated graphics, the game is still amazingly fun today, and you’ll lose friends just as fast as back in the day. The game can be played with the screen controller, Wiimote and nunchucks, pro controllers, or Gamecube controllers, and for only $9.99USD (or rough region equivilants), why not grab Mario Party 2 for your Wii or Wii U before Nintendo shuts the Virtual Console store down forever..?
Some of the most fun I’ve ever had in a local multiplayer is weird indie games that I and my friends usually find. Pix The Cat has some good memories behind it as I remember we would just sit in a room, talk shit and play Pix. Another game we’d play often was Spelunky’s multiplayer mode with a just the instant kill dagger as the only item.
Then we can get to my favorite local multiplayer games, fighting games. We got Tekken, Street Fighter, Skullgirls, Mortal Kombat. Take your pick and I’m sure at least I’ll have a good time wiping the floor with you fools. Just kidding I’m not that good. But one fighting game reigns supreme. Nidhogg. This game is probably one of my favorite games ever for being so deceptively simple. Me and my friends couldn’t get enough of this game back in the day and I still put it on every once in a while.
For me, there’s one game from my life that will never be topped when it comes to pure couch co-op joy; LittleBigPlanet.
Released in 2008 (making me 11 at the time), LittleBigPlanet was at that point in my life when I was really exploring my creative side, and had a bunch of evenings where I could sit with my friend with a bottle of squash and play video games for 6 hours straight. Thanks to that, my friend from school and my brother joined me most evenings to slam through the campaign- not just completing it, but ace-ing every single level without dying, unlocking EVERY item, material, and otherwise in the game. It was all those little details- the emotive faces, the ability to smack each other in the face, the stickers and decorations- that made it feel like more than a game, but a virtual playground we all experienced together.
And then, by night, I’d sit with my head under a blanket, my parents thinking I was upstairs in bed, making levels for my friends to play. I had a whole 15-level series, ‘Zombots’, about a robot zombie invasion, made by the time I was finished with LittleBigPlanet 2- which, for me, was the peak of the series.
Every single time there’s an E3 presentation, gamescom, or any other event, I cross everything I have for LittleBigPlanet 4. I need it. My soul begs for it.
Fifa. Fifa is definitely my favourite couch coop game, I have one friend in particular and when we meet up we just spend a whole weekend on Fifa and for us there’s nothing better than creating tournaments or bespoke knock out games. I don’t know why this is but i can literally spend days at a time playing Fifa when it’s couch coop.