When the first console vidja games arrived in my small town in the early 1980s, two player mode meant the same thing that it did on a pinball console: Alternate back and forth with the other player.  Of course, at the same time we had the ability to go head to head and beat each other senseless on games like ‘Pong’ and especially ‘Combat’ for the Atari 2600, functionalities that were rare in the arcades.  (Stephen’s fave-rave, Gauntlet, was one of the exceptions to that rule, and is fondly remembered exactly for that reason.)  Now, even my ‘Grand Theft Auto’ discs have the option to go online and let strangers verbally abuse me while we try to kill one another and many of the games for the Wii U console are designed for four (or more) players to interact at once, which leads us to today’s 8-bit query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) has been getting soundly thrashed by an eleven-year-old on ‘Super Smash Bros.’ all year long, which is actually pretty wonderful, asking: What’s your best two player or multi-player game experience of all time?

8 Comments

  1. Ray H.
    June 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm — Reply

    Successfully swallowing one of my buddies with Kirby on SSBM, then spitting him out underneath the stage, doing an Up+B to grab onto the ledge, and taunting as he fell to his death. The bruise on my shoulder, along with him refusing to let me play Kirby anymore, was totally worth it.

  2. Alisha
    June 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm — Reply

    Arcade games: Getting second place in a Mortal Kombat arcade tournament. It wasn’t even something I’d planned to do, I just happened to show up at the mall the day of the tournament and signed up last minute. Didn’t expect to last too long either as I had only played the console version before that. But it was pretty gratifying to see the looks of utter defeat on the faces that had once been so smug about facing a girl at a video game. It was also how I met a few of my oldest friends, with five of the other players (including the player who won 1st place) and I eventually going on to start a D&D group.

    Console games: Champions: Return to Arms, a sequel to Champions of Norrath, itself a console spin-off based on the world of EverQuest. It was the first video game my goddaughter and I played through together.

    MMO/Online games: Star Wars Galaxies. Not only was it a sandbox world in a Star Wars setting, and not only did I have a blast roleplaying as the daughter of a Corellian smuggler and a former Force Witch of Dathomir, but I also met my best friend in that game. I’ve had real life, online and game friends come and go, but we’ve been close for over 11 years even though we’ve never met face-to-face yet.

  3. June 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    I used to play World of Warcraft a lot, primarily as a healer. A cousin of mine who lived with me at the time also played, and he was a great tank. At some point, for whatever reason I can’t remember, he decided he wanted to start a new account. So we decided to take advantage of the “Recruit a Friend” program (which gives you and experience boost when you and your recruited friend play together) and we both started new level 1 characters, a tank and healer pair to play together. Using the random dungeon finder (as soon as our levels were high enough to to use it), we spent the majority of a weekend constantly running dungeons together and leveled those characters all the way from 1 to the mid 70’s. Unfortunately some real life stuff happened that hampered our ability to play together and we didn’t get to take those characters to the level cap like we wanted, but those two days were the best experience I ever had with that game.

  4. June 25, 2015 at 1:27 pm — Reply

    I think I’m starting to sound like a broken record about this around the Internet, but my favourite multi-player experience was Secret of Mana for the Super Nintendo. Back in the day it was really cool that you could have three people play a game at once and wandering through a fantasy world trading weapons and burning up the wildlife was a huge amount of fun. I particularly remember sleeping over at a friend’s place and jumping into the game one after another as we woke up.

  5. Jeff P.
    June 25, 2015 at 4:11 pm — Reply

    What no River City Ransom or Double Dragon love.

  6. Armaan
    June 25, 2015 at 10:16 pm — Reply

    There was a Lord of the RIngs game – I can’t remember which one – that I had a lot of fun playing with my brother. We didn’t have a console at home, but a shop opened up that has Playstations and X-Boxes you could play on for an hour or two at a time. It was a lot of fun, getting through a level together while still trying to beat the other in how many orcs we’d killed(Legolas and Gimli counting orc heads was one of my favourite parts of the books). Tekken was less fun, but only because we were grossly unmatched – he’d beat me 19 games to 5.
    The MOST fun experience, however, was 2-player Portal. Figuring out the puzzles and how to work together to make that happen was an absolutely brilliant joy.

  7. Arbor Day
    June 26, 2015 at 12:56 am — Reply

    Toejam & Earl

  8. Rob
    June 26, 2015 at 2:08 am — Reply

    I have fond memories of hauling my old P.C. across town to play Duke Nukem over LAN against my friends. It’s hard to beat the feeling of being in the room with someone when them blunder into your carefully laid trap.

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.