My husband and I have plenty of things that we enjoy doing together, but one of our most notable shared hobbies is gaming. Whether it was 1080 on the Nintendo 64 or Halo 4 on the Xbox 360, we’ve spent countless hours gaming cooperatively and competitively.
Some of the games we’ve played over the years were already my style, and I gladly would have played them alone. Racing games were always my forte. In fact, I have a hilarious story about boys trying to impress me while I was in an arcade on vacation one time but I did much better in the game than any of them… I’ll have to tell that one another time.
Others, though, were things I never would have tried. Shooters seemed nearly impossible, especially when they required using two joysticks and all of the buttons on a controller. However, being player 2 and having the ability to play alongside a much more experienced gamer made them accessible. Now, I don’t think twice about playing alone.
However, being player 2 or just playing cooperatively in general has always had its downsides. One of the main ones: no matter how much a game touts local cooperative play, some of them just don’t work well.
Case in point, one of our newest coop acquisitions: Yoshi’s Wooly World.
The concept is cute, and since my platforming skills are still decidedly lacking, playing cooperatively allows me to try. When I fail, the game is the type that doesn’t penalize you (throw you back to the beginning, deduct points, etc.) so I can just keep trying… even though you’d think it can’t be that hard to jump across gaps in a game made for kids.
But even though the game is supposed to be very two player-friendly, sometimes it’s not. We push each other off platforms because the characters can’t stand beside each other, and sometimes levels just don’t seem meant for two players. They’re so high speed that a second player becomes a hindrance, and I find myself dropping out just so that we can finish it because otherwise we would be stuck on the level forever.
Worse, though, in this day and age, local multiplayer (multiple players on the same console) seems to be becoming more scarce. The newest Halo game (a favorite) doesn’t support it. If we had two game systems, we could play together, but that would be ridiculous for many reasons. Even racing games sometimes favor better graphics over the ability to play with someone else on the same couch.
It’s a sad state of affairs for player 2, but at least there are still plenty of games that we can play together.