My girlfriend and I just beat Castle Crashers.
I know, I know, if you’ve been playing video games for a while, you beat it a minimum of 6 months ago and unlocked all the animal friends and whatever, but I just got Xbox live, so shut up. For casual gamers, little achievements like this are major victories. We did it! We beat a game together!
It doesn’t happen often. I can count on one hand the number of games Katie and I have beaten together, and only count on two the number that I’ve beaten alone (maybe count on a toe or two as well, my memory ain’t so hot). But the time we’ve spent digging into walkthroughs and figuring out the intricacies of co-op play are well worth it. I don’t think I enjoy single-player games anymore.
Katie, by way of introduction, was not a gamer before I met her, and to be fair, I’m not much of one. We had been dating for a while and every now and then I’d pick up some used game from some store for $10 and she’d watch for a little while as I ran through the first level or so, realized it sucked, then threw it on a shelf to never be played again (I’m looking at you, Overlord. And Two Worlds. And Hunter: The Reckoning). Me being a generous person, I wanted her to join in. Sitting there and watching someone have fun isn’t much fun.
So the next logical step was LEGO Star Wars. Two-player, low stress, easy game, really. Dying in a video game is a very, very disheartening experience, so I needed a game where death didn’t matter much. You die, you lose coins, you come back. Pushing through is the main thrust of the game. And in the end, it was a good choice. Any of the LEGO games are great intros for a new gamer, and not because they’re more child-like in tone, but because the emphasis is on puzzle solving, not health bars and continually saving your progress, otherwise you waste hours upon hours of work if the power goes out.
The thing is, Katie was good at the LEGO games. Real good. And I loved playing them with her. There’s so much joy in knowing that a person that you’re trying to impress is actually impressed by, and even looking forward to, something you’ve introduced them to. I picked up LEGO Indiana Jones almost the day it came out, just to recapture that feeling. And by then, I figured it was time to jump into…one-player games.
Yeah, I know, it’s not the purpose of this column, but I’m writing it, so I’m going off on a tangent. Sue me, if you can find me.