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.
The SEGA Genesis was a great system for co-op gamers and SEGA has done a great job in keeping the accessiblity to its titles available. Whether it's PC, XBLA, PSN or even iOS - there always seems to be a way to download a copy of a classic Genesis game.
It's time for another issue of On the Download, our monthly feature about downloadable games and content. This is my first time covering this column, and I was a bit perplexed as to what to discuss. I'm not exactly a hardcore PC gamer, but Andrew already covered that perspective a few issues ago. Do I dabble in the occasional indie bundle? Sure, but that's more Jason's domain. So what's a poor Co-Optimus editor to do in this situation?
MS-DOS has turned 30 years old this week. The Microsoft operating system for Intel computers broke the ground for many PC gamers as the operating system to play games on. Microsoft actually didn't create the OS, instead it based it on QDOS, another OS it had purchased from a company named Seattle Computer Products.
Baldur's Gate 2, which may as well be called "This is Dungeons and Dragons," is now available for your six player online co-op pleasure at Good Old Games.com. For those of you not familiar with gog.com, they have an amusing 'about us' page that pretty much gives you the nuts and bolts of the operation. The long and short of it is that gog.com offers out of print PC games as digital downloads when they aren't faking going out of business. Stupid marketing ploys aside, the site seems solid.
In what appears to be the end of an era, Good Old Games has shut down citing publisher and management difficulties with maintaining a DRM free service for purchasing classic titles.
An interesting thing happened recently with the release of DOOM II on Xbox Live Arcade - not only did you get the classic game updated to be playable on the umpteenth platform with online play and the original graphics - you got a sense of the original experience of playing the game on a 14.4 modem!
Believe it or not it's been 30 years since the classic game Missile Command has hit the arcade. In celebration of the milestone Atari has partnered with web game portal OMGPOP to create a 7 player co-op version of the game that's completely free.
At the start of 2009, our politics tag was fastened to a great many news posts here at Co-Optimus, and the reason was a horrible rash of layoffs and closings.
If you listened to the latest Co-Opticast, you'll recall us talking about 8-Bit Jesus. This is a compilation of Holiday Music as it would have been performed on the sound chip from the venerable NES. It's full of 100% pure win, I assure you. At the time of the Co-Opticast, only half the full album was available, but now, the whole thing is up for download! There are a few classic co-op games represented, such as Contraland, Bubbles We Have Heard on Bobble, and We Three Konami. Anyone who is a fan of classic NES games will enjoy these, so head on over to DoctorOctoroc and check them out! The (clever) full tracklist is after the break.
The preview beta for Good Old Games started this week, and after combing through their list of available (or soon to be available) titles, we have discovered several classic PC titles with co-op modes! All games on the service are sold DRM-free at very reasonable prices, and have been updated to work with XP and Vista.
Astute readers will notice that "This Week in Co-Op" is a day early. Well, I'm heading off for a short vacation, but I figured you'd appreciate an early column more than no column at all.
Capcom and Grin have poured so much love into this one, and I sure hope it shows: from gameplay to graphic style to music, this is a love letter to the entire sidescrolling genre and its fans, and the original Bionic Commando and its fans in particular.
1942: Joint Strike is fundamentally the same game we've seen before. It's still a top-down vertical shooter. Only now we get it in true widescreen, sans the "arcade bars" so often seen on digital remakes. And though the gameplay remains two-dimensional, the visuals are actually 3D. 1942 is a gorgeous game, even in its unfinished state. Though we saw a few occasions of slowdown, it's certainly a looker that is only going to get better over the next few months. Surprisingly, the slick new look of 1942 is outdone by the new musical score by Metal Gear composer Norihiko Hibinio. It's contemporary, but doesn't feel out of place amidst the fast-moving arcade action.
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