So, I received my GI Magazine in the mail yesterday. The theme was Co-Op, and included at list of the 30 top multiplayer experiences. It was a good list, but the majority of the games on the list required online play. This got me a little upset.

You see, when I was a wee lad, consoles came with two controllers. NES, SNES, even the PSOne; when you bought the console, you received two controllers for the purposes on playing with friends. When I purchased my PS3, I had to throw away another 55 bucks for a second controller. That's 5 bucks less than the price of a new release game, for you mathematicians out there. Instead of buying a game, I had to buy a controller. 

Like it or not, the trend seems to be moving towards online multiplayer, and away from local multiplayer. I certainly understand the perks of playing with a group of people from all around the world. But few experiences compare to trash talking a friend in person, and bring his sexual preferences into question, and just plain make him feel inadequate about himself... all because your Spear from Scorpion finished off his Liu Kang. It's insanely rewarding, and I highly reccomend everyone sit next to a friend and maul him in a game or six. 

Sure, there's those Wii games, but they suck. 

I'd like to talk about some good Couch Co-Op experiences that I have enjoyed in my time as a gamer.


Saturday Night Slam Masters

I won't talk about this one too much. If you followed the 31/31 last month, then you guys already know of my love for this gem. If you haven't played SNSM, do yourself a favor and get to it. It's an amazing game.


Super Mario Kart

Mario Kart is insanely fun, as most of you can agree with. I first experienced the series on SNES, and was hooked almost immediately. There's nothing like robbing victory from a friend with a red turtle shell. Better yet, a strike of lightning, enabling you to run over everyone in your way on your journey to the finish line. I'm sure the majority of you play on Wii or DS/3DS, and thats all fine and dandy. Its my opinion that it was better on the older generation of consoles.



Year after year, the Madden series makes money. Sure, lately the games have suckled on many genitals, but the series is still one of the best couch co-op experiences out there. Have you ever thrown a bomb down the field for a 76 yard touchdown pass, or broke through the line and ran the length of the field for a score? I have, on many occasions. The kicker in these situations in the look on a friends face when their defense completely fails him, allowing a huge score. Then there's the ritual of rubbing salt in the wound by copying your players touchdown dance. Good times.


Fighting Force

This one was a favorite in my household. You can run through the game in a few hours solo, but the real fun comes when you have a partner. My father and I often tackled Fighting Force, and were met with great success. There were times though, that we accidentally (or intentionally) hit one another, and things came down to a free-for-all. Not only to we beat the snot out of our enemies, but we slapped around each other as well. With the plethora of weapons available, it was always fun. Whether we were shooting each other with pistols or shotguns (then throwing the empty firearm at the other person) or ripping railings off of the inside of elevators, there were always fun ways to inflict pain on each other. This game is a must-play for fans of couch co-op.


Dynasty Warriors

I am an avid supporter of the Dynasty Warriors series. I've spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours with the games, hacking and slashing my way through enemy soldiers. The only thing that heightens the experience is when I am able to find someone that I can play with. I even tried to get my wife involved by showing her the female fighters.She played for two hours, and I had very large amount of fun. Unfortunately, she picked Xiao Qiao. For those of you familiar with the series, the female fighters arent the easiest to control, and the Qiao sisters are among the toughest. The fun was cut short, but I am forever looking for someone to team up with. 


I sincerely hope that the couch co-op genre doesn't become extinct. Sure, there's always Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat or Super Smash Bros., but those games are pretty cut and dry - beat the snot out of each other. I hope for the day when games of substance return for those of us that favor face-to-face interaction over a headset and a mic. 

Keep Couch Co-Op Alive!