Co-op and Multiplayer

When I was younger, gaming was a very social activity. My friends would come over and spend all weekend (and all summer) sitting with my playing video games. Sometimes we would take turns, and sometimes we’d play against one another. Some of my fondest gaming memories are of playing co-op Donkey Kong Country 1 and 2 on SNES with my friend Adi, taking turns playing Super Mario Kart (and later Mario Kart 64), playing Clue on SNES, and playing a shit ton of Kirby’s Dream Course. This has become more and more rare. Hell, now multiplayer primarily means shooting each other online. Sure, it’s fun. But I miss the other stuff. Multiplayer used to mean multiple players. Now it implies a deathmatch style competitive game. Playing together through a story mode is now called co-op. Both co-op and multiplayer games are now online and rarely local. Local play is where the real fun is.
Besides online FPSs like Call of Duty 2 and 4 and Team Fortress 2 and MMOs, I haven’t done a lot of multiplayer. When I’ve played those even, it was with random Internet folk not people I actually knew or set up a game with in advance. Since I started college, my co-op and multiplayer experiences have been pretty limited. I used to play a lot of Mario Kart Double Dash with Will and Patrick during freshman year, and that was great fun. I really had a blast. Later I played Gears of War with my brother and again with Collin. Gears of War is a terrific first person shooter, and I really like the co-op campaign. I’m looking forward to the sequel. I also played through Contra 3 in co-op with both Edward and Jon. Back in freshman year, I beat Secret of Mana for the first time with gem. That was the last RPG I beat on a console! That year I also played Diablo 2 with Andy and Antonio.
When Smash Bros. Brawl first came out, I played it all night with Collin and Duncan. However, after that first night, I’m not sure I ever played against anyone again. Mario Kart Wii got quite a bit of play with gem, Jackie, Jo, Ed, Hannah, Justina, and Laryssa. I also played a night of Kirby’s Dream Course with Collin as well as some co-op N+ obsessively for leaderboard positions.
A few years ago, my friends and I played quite a bit of Wario Ware Inc., Mega Party Game$ for a short while. We played Wario Ware Smooth Moves when it came out, but it definitely wasn’t the same. We did have some good times with Rayman Raving Rabbids and Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 though. gem and I also went through LEGO Star Wars 1 and 2 as well as the co-op Guitar Hero 3 campaign. Tetris DS also got a lot of play, especially at AX 2008.
Of course, gem and I played a lot of Guild Wars. We made the guild Divine Alliance. I played a bit with Antonio, Jon, Gabby, and James a bit too but not very much. I also played Hellgate: London with gem and a bit with Antonio, making the same guild. I PVPed a lot in World of Warcraft with gem and William. I also ran instances with them and Antonio, Tri, and Andy. We actually ran 10 different instances (counting SM as 4). Our guild is called Playground Justice, and I do enjoy playing World of Warcraft with them.
This week I’ve been playing a lot of Castle Crashers co-op, but I’ll write about that in its own post. I know I mentioned a lot of games here, but this spans over four years. I’d really like to play more multiplayer, preferably local co-op. In those four years, it looks like I’ve played 24 games with other people. I might be missing a few, but that’s just 6 per year. Only 11 of those were co-op, counting the MMOs.
I’m not intending to make this post just to rant. I enjoy multiplayer and co-op especially. Rather than wish, I’m going to try to seek out co-op and local multiplayer games more often and will post my experiences here. Hopefully I find some good games out there!