While we at Co-Optimus do not generally condone the act of competitive gaming, which, by definition allows you to dominate another player; there is a kind of co-op that does include domination, one we would like to paste a label on. This type of co-op can, if used correctly, be used against that game-hog sibling, spouse or significant other. Co-optimus would like to proudly introduce: B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bitch) co-op gaming. We've looked at a few examples of games that created the B.Y.O.B. co-op genre, all the way back to the days of the Sega Genesis, and culminate the list with recent entries on systems like the Xbox 360 and Wii.
This is the official Co-optimus.com list of B.Y.O.B. co-op titles. (This editorial is rated P for Profanity.)
Sooooonic, wait for meeeee!
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 - Let's face it, Sonics partner Tails is the original Bitch. Player two got to play this crazy fox with two tails that allowed them to fly, which sounds pretty cool - in theory. The problem is, the propeller-tails didn't allow Tails himself to move very fast, most time being left in the dust by player 1's Sonic. The only thing you were good for as player 2 was carrying Sonic up to hard to reach places, and assisting in boss fights. All Tails has to do now is make Sonic a chili-dog, and the domination would be complete.
Look, I'm helpin!
Super Mario Galaxy - In the Mario universe, Mario is Mario with Luigi being Marios twin who got lost in to a taffy puller - well, basically. Co-op in most Mario games allows each player to be one of these two similar characters, generally with a pass-the-controller style co-op between them. Two fair characters to do nearly the same task in a co-operative manner to complete levels. That is, until Mario Galaxy took the spotlight. Now, your pathetic player two is a star...that points at things on the screen...and collects points for unlocking things in Marios game. This player two is not a real player two. Mario has gotten so big, he's managed to lasso stars into being his bitch. Harsh.
My reticle is alien cockroach shaped!
Monsters Vs. Aliens - The Wii seems to think people like to point at things, giving Monsters Vs. Aliens the same floating reticle treatment as Mario Galaxy's star power. Instead of being a star, however, Monsters Vs. Aliens simply gives you a cross-hair and calls it player 2. This cross-hair is associated with Dr. Cockroach's beam weapon, but you're not given a physical body to show even your most roachy attributes. "You are an ambiguous weapon" - how much do you think that would mess with someones head at such an early age?
This page is devoted to showing you that not only kid's games get this kind of co-op half-assery.
They couldn't even give player 2 a guns muzzle, or part of the screen.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: World At War (Wii) - Do floating heads creep you out? What about floating cross-hairs? In Call of Duty, that seems to be all they're willing to give you as a co-op partner if you're trying to play co-op on the Wii. A second player is able to pop in at any time, but they're not given a human vessel to occupy - it's more what you might call, a floating reticle with a supplementary ammo bar on the screen. There are privates, sergeants, lieutenants and bitches in the Wii army, and player two only gets one of those ranks.
Sure, you can play with me, only I get to decide what you get for it. MUAHAHAHAHA!
Fable 2 - Peter Moleneux always dreams big with his games, promising us the world (or in this case, co-op) and delivering just a little shy of the goal. People say it's because he's ahead of his time, but we're pretty sure co-op has been done right before. Fable 2's Be my bitch co-op is a doozy. You are player one. You are the hero with the tattoos and cool armor, and awesome awesomness. Player 2 (or, everyone else in the game) starts out as many things do; as an orb. Then, if that player enters the game, they become something of a lowly henchman, tagging along in Player 1's storyline and Player 1's side quests. Player 2 can take the gold earned from the game with player 1 - but only in the amount player 1 designates for the session. Minimum wage makes Fable 2 henchman something, something.
Now, say "boooooo!"
Demon Souls - Ever had that feeling like someone is watching you? Demon Souls takes that feeling very literally when they put Co-op gameplay in their world. In Demon Souls, you quest to win the day on your own - that is, until you wander into the cave of some too-powerful beast to meet your very messy untimely demise. As a ghost in the Demon Souls world, you can earn your shell (body) back in one of two ways. One way, is to be that jackass ghost that pushes people down the stairs...with a sword - you will run around and defeat other players to earn that body back. If you're taking a more Casper approach to haunting, you're given a pseudo co-op option where your ghost will assist some other player in their own quest. They win against the big bad guy, and you get your body back if you are both successful. Did we mention you're a ghost...and your only reward for cooperating is to "respawn?"
This has been the Co-optimus "Bring Your Own Bitch" co-op list. Do you have anything not-quite-co-op to add that fits this list? We'd love to hear it! Otherwise, we greatly encourage you to go out and ask someone to be your bitch - Er, of course we mean play co-op!
Editors note: Don't get us wrong, co-op in any form is greatly appreciated. We just prefer when our player two looks more like Marsellus Wallace, and less like a bitch.