I decided to write about my experiences with multiplayer with friends using multiple controllers than playing over the internet on xbox live or psn or whatever. These occasions are always that little bit extra special as for one you have the added bonus of being able to punch the person who just beat you or cheated you out of a power up etc, it’s more of a social event compared with the online gaming services (which do a great job providing great multiplayer experiences, especially Xbox live).
I guess a drawback to local multiplayer game sessions is saving up and buying four controllers or however many the console would let you connect. whenever i had the money to buy additional controllers i would always get tempted to buy a game instead, i would go into town with the intention of purchasing a controller then end up with a game. My gaming tastes these days are usually of the single player variety as i love to get absorbed by the story and experience that as fully as possible without worrying about any multiplayer features, plus xbox live has changed the way we played multiplayer as you only need one controller and a broadband connection and boom your ready to go.
The memories and fun local multiplayer can provide is always worth the inital outlay, bringing your mates together having a laugh, possibly a few beers or whatever in the process of competing at whatever game you play or screwing each other over. I think everyone has those memories at some point in there lives, as for me some of the best of them came from various sleep overs in my teen years ranging from the nintendo 64 all the way to the current machines today.
The nintendo 64 is what all started it off in my opinion as it was the first console to feature four controller ports, where as with other machines you had to buy special hubs to plug extra controllers in and they could be expensive. Goldeneye was the game that started the massive explosion in four player multiplayer gaming (at least in my opinion) but at the time i wasnt old enough to fully appreciate it, dont get me wrong i found it alot of fun but i guess you could say i didnt fully understand it.
There was one particular occasion which i have mentioned in an earlier post which shows off just how awesome local multiplayer can be, it was when we had alot of family round and we were all sitting around the tv and we all decided to turn on the N64 to show them and to perhaps participate. I’ll always remember that time teaching the controls to uncles and my dad and then eventually getting killed by them in the game which they thought was hilarious as i was deemed the uber expert of games to them it was all i could do to laugh along with them even though i was secretly annoyed at getting beaten!
The sort of games we always played were party games and or sports games, rarely any shooters or anything like that, there not always the best for spectators to watch and can get a little dull. The first Xbox had a game called fuzion frenzy which was a game that to me reminded me alot of the tv series crystal maze where you compete in challenges and whoever won the most wins overall (simplified a little bit as crystal maze had a final challenge for the winning team but i wont go into that now) it got critically panned but with four players it was an absolute blast and we played it all the time. As for sports games they tended to be pro evolution soccer or fifa and they always had a plethora of options to choose from for multiplayer encounters and it was easy to set out who plays who quite simply winner stays on and loser swaps with someone else, there was also many drinking games ive played to pro evolution which just added to the mayhem.
Now with co-operative gaming i never really played that much on local multiplayer that waas something i always did on xbox live. Working together with your mates around never appealed to us. It was always competing against each other, i think the reason for this is that when you play co op games on xbox live it feels like an extra dimension that gets added to the single player and plus you dont get stuck with the often useless A.I.
These days local multiplayer doesnt get alot of attention owing to the prevalance of xbox live or other such online services (again i love xbox live dont get me wrong) but it would be nice to see a little more support given to the option to be able to play with your mates in person as i think that social occasion, that interaction, is something that games do best bringing people together from the early days of the super nintendo (from my experience) playing super street fighter two turbo with my cousins, the nintendo 64 and goldeneye.
It would be nice to see a game that really does the feature justice.
Thanks for reading