For anyone who's seen Zombieland you understand that there are certain rules one has to follow in different situations in order to survive - or, at least make the best of a situation. Download play may or may not be considered a different type of co-op gameplay. For our purposes today, we'll lay out a few rules for download gameplay with others in order to survive, and definitely make the best of it.
Rule 1: Make up your mind.
We know it's easy to switch between 120 arcade games in the course of an afternoon. In fact, I did that this weekend (in demo form, I did it all for you. You owe me). It can be very enjoyable to switch gears every 10-20 minutes, but your co-op buddy probably doesn't appreciate DLC A.D.D. Pick a game, play that game, rack up the top scores and good times.
Rule 2: Don't be a dick.
We know some people can afford to buy hundreds of arcade games, or all of the DLC packs for a particular game. Be considerate of those that may not be the most up to date and play what you can for the sake of co-op without making the other party uncomfortable about buying a 1600 or $20 title. You may even enjoy going back to games like Bionic Commando: Rearmed, Aces of the Galaxy, or Castle Crashers - I know I've had more than a lot of fun revisiting those old titles recently.
Rule 3: Open your mind.
Sure, a lot of stuff on the XBLA and PSN Arcades tend to be obnoxiously bright colored, cartoony, or otherwise "casual" looking. Don't be fooled, these stylized games can be a load of fun for any and all ages and genders, and may even pose as a bit of a threat if the difficulty is adjusted right. Also make sure you check out some co-op aside from the traditional shooters. Arcades mix up the co-op a lot more.
Deceptively colorful, satisfyingly brutal. Also, volleyball.
Rule 4: Reach for the scores.
You and your buddies are on a roll, racking up that high score. Compete with each other in the friendliest of fashions, or help your buddy boost that high score. You can both be on the top of your friends leaderboard, First up to Fourth place are on lockdown when you work together.
Rule 5: Discuss.
So you kicked it up a notch and rocked Dishwasher Dead Samurai on the hardest difficulty. How are we supposed to know if you don't go to the forums and boast like crazy? Share your inside jokes, boast top scores, discuss strategies for Ikaruga that may help some of us out - Talk it out. CoG seems to think we don't have anything co-op to talk about, let's prove them wrong and get the forums buzzing. Please? Pretty please?
Okay, so this one wasn't very long or especially awesome, I have a reason for this. For all those interested in co-op demo/trial games, I spent approximately 16 hours on Saturday and Sunday, during my usual On The Download writing time, downloading and testing trial games on XBLA. I would have done the same on PSN, but PSN doesn't like fun - it was too difficult and cumbersome to download the demos, install them, update them, and then test them. We will assume the demos that have co-op on XBLA also have it on PSN, but if you discover I'm wrong, hit up the tip line and we'll change it.
So sue me, I like Armored Core - which is about due for a DLC pack or two.
New in Download
PAX East revealed a few fun surprises for future On The Downloads, including Dishwasher: Dead Samurai Vampire Smile, and the PSN version of Castle Crashers. We'll send out a few questions for James Silva of Ska Studios about Vampire Smile, hopefully giving us a nice OTDL issue on the way. If you have any questions for him, add a comment!
Also, the iPad revolution is upon us, and they're already unloading the co-op games. Maybe Apple will see what a great co-op download thing we're doing here and send us one, or in the name of co-op, two - otherwise, we probably won't have a whole lot of iPad news for you in this feature anyway.
Finally, Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce has released a second free DLC pack. Go play that game already, it's fun!
Free For You
Since I have been knee-deep in co-op trial games on XBLA, I'm just gonna say: There are a lot of great, and amazing co-op games on XBLA. At that, everyone should go give the Watchmen: The End is Nigh games (part one and two are both co-op trial games) a try. The trials are 2 player local co-op, and worth every penny of the "free" price tag. Seriously though, don't buy those full games. They're fun to mess around with for free, but silly expensive for what they are.