"Welcome to the D&D World!" With these words, one of the all time greatest series of co-op games began. Chronicles of Mystara brings the classic brawling action from the 90s arcade right into your living room via digital download. How does the hack and slashing hold up today? Is there enough here to keep the interest of modern gamers?
During the heyday of the arcade game in the early 1980s, video game companies cranked out clones of popular titles, in the hopes that lightning might strike twice. 1979's Asteroids was a smash hit, one of the greatest video games ever, and thus it spawned all manner of copycats and sequels. Space Duel may not be a sequel in name, but improves upon the hallowed Asteroids formula in unique and entertaining ways, enabling it to stand on its own as a Co-Op Classic.
Coffee Stain Studios has been releasing a steady stream of teaser trailers these last few weeks, getting everyone hyped up for its follow-up to 2011's Sanctum. Combining tower defense mechanics with a first person shooter core, Sanctum was a surprising hit. The sequel takes a slightly different path, riding the action train to Shoot-All-The-Things Town, leaving some of the strategy behind in favor of hands-on alien killing.
Escape: The Curse of the Temple - after hearing the title of the game, you pretty much know exactly what it is about. Players take on the role of Indiana Jones-like adventurers deep in an exotic temple. The object is to work together to get all players to an exit before time expires. This task is quite difficult, involving exploration, teamwork, and time management. Escape is exciting, a bit chaotic, loud, and also very, very fun.
Once again, it’s time for us to delve into the world of tabletop gaming. We’ve seen the rise of cooperative concepts in video games in recent years, and there is a similar pattern in board and card gaming. Today, we’ll consider one of the most popular board games released last year, the highly thematic and gorgeously produced Zombicide.
Way back in the early history of Co-Optimus, my first news article was a story on Aliens Colonial Marines. I have had today’s game in mind for a Co-Op Classic ever since the beginning, but wanted to tie it in to Colonial Marines’ release. So I waited, waited, and then waited some more. Colonial Marines has arrived, and the bad news is, it’s pretty bad. The good news is, almost five years later, I can finally talk about one of my favorite co-op games ever: Alien Vs. Predator.
After a lengthy hiatus, we are back with another video edition of Co-Op Classics. I've been looking forward to featuring this pairing of games for a long time, and as the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines looms, it's finally time. Come celebrate two arcade classics from the golden age of the brawler, all featuring the famous xenomorphs of the Alien movies: Aliens and Alien vs. Predator.
The Men in Black movies would seem like a natural fit for a good co-op shooter. Agents work in pairs, solving mysteries, getting into crazy shenanigans, and zapping more than their fair share of aliens, bug eyed or otherwise. This past May, to coincide with the third movie, a tie-in game was released for Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. The best information we had at the time was that the game had split-screen co-op, and so we gave MIB: Alien Crisis a little coverage.
In recent years, the deck building genre of card games has become very popular. Dominion hit the scene in 2008, and was a smash hit. In addition to a host of expansions for that game, many other deck building games have been published. One thing that was missing from the genre, though, was cooperation. The subject of this installment of Tabletop Co-Op, Legendary, introduces Marvel super heroes into the deck building genre, and adds co-op too!
The LEGO series is venerable, and a tremendous success by any measure. Brick environments and LEGO-ized heroes coupled with pop culture thematic material is a recipe for success. As the series has aged, new twists and tricks have been added to formula, and for the most part, these additions have kept the LEGO series good, maybe even very good, but not great. So does LEGO Lord of the Rings have what it takes to make the first truly great LEGO game?
Gears of War has been around since early on in the life cycle of the Xbox 360. The first game was released in 2006, introducing the world to Marcus, Dom, and the glorious Lancer weapon. A smash hit, the original was followed up by two sequels, one in 2008 and another late last year. Each of these games took what made the first great, cranked it up a notch or three, and added in glorious features like Horde and Beast mode. Throughout the series, co-op options have been solid, culminating in four-player online campaign support in Gears of War 3. To say that it has been a successful series would be an understatement.
The internet can be an awesome place from time to time. I never cease to be amazed at the sheer ingenuity and dedication of fans who are passionate about their interests, and today we have a great video game example of this phenomena. Super Mario 64 was an instant classic when it was released in 1996, and it was incredibly influential to the 3D platforming genre. Great as it was, though, it was missing one thing... co-op! Even the remake for Nintendo's DS system didn't fix this tragic flaw.
A new piece of DLC is headed to your PC, PS3, or Xbox 360 soon, in the form of a couple new decks for Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013. (If there's a game in our database with a longer name, I'm not sure what it is.) These two new decks follow hot on the heels of the five released back in September. Tying into the paper Magic release of Return to Ravnica, the new decks are themed around two of the Ravnica guilds.
It’s time once again for another installment of Tabletop Co-Op. We'll go on an adventure into a network of monster filled rooms in search of treasure. Horrible ogres and foul skeletons bar your way, but gemstones, magic swords, and bags of gold await! Join a group of friends on a trip into the Dungeon! board game.
Anomaly: Warzone Earth is described as a "tower offense" game. It has been a success on many platforms, first on PC and Mac, then for iOS devices, Android, and finally on Xbox Live Arcade last spring. One thing was missing from the package, though: co-op. The Playstation Network release fixes this oversight with the inclusion of a co-op mode for two local players. So how does the "tower offense" work exactly, anyway, and does the co-op make the experience better, or worse?
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