Editorial | 11/24/2009 at 5:18 PM

The Co-Op Holiday Gift Guide - Playstation 3/PSP

On the second day of the Co-Op Holiday Gift Guide, the Co-Optimus staff has put together for thee, some co-op recommendations for the PS3 and PSP.

Uncharted 2

For anyone shopping for a game for a PS3 owner this holiday season, Uncharted 2 is pretty much an easy choice; assuming the aforementioned PS3 owner doesn’t already have this game, that is.  From the gorgeous scenery and score, to the engaging and enjoyable characters, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is popping up on a lot of potential “Game of the Year” lists; and that’s just the single player aspect.  The game offers three co-op modes, Gold Rush, Co-Op and Survival, and allows for up to three players to play on-line to earn money to unlock bonus content, weapon upgrades, and new player skins for the co-op modes.

With Amazon’s Black Friday deals going on this week, you can also pick up this thoroughly enjoyable title for just $49.96.

Demon’s Souls

RPGs are typically marked by the fact that the player spends the whole game slogging through dungeons, killing all manner of terrible beasties, and questing to save some town/continent/planet from some unspeakable without ever enjoying these things with a buddy.  Thankfully, publisher Atlus has provided a solution with the release of Demon’s Souls, a hardcore (and that is a term not used lightly here) jRPG that features co-op play.  Demon’s Souls, while not completely co-operative throughout, does offer a unique way for you to enjoy the usual RPG experience with friends.  Whenever you die, something that can happen quite a bit, you can join another person’s game to help them beat enemies in order to restore your corporeal self.  Additionally, players can leave notes to one another to offer warnings (“Here be dragons”) or advice for how to overcome particularly difficult enemies (“Bring friends”).

So give the gift of co-op to your RPG gamer this holiday season, now at the low, low price of just $49.99!

The No Packaging, Eco-Friendly Option

While there were some initial concerns that the PS3 version of this game may not have lived up to its PC originator, we weren’t about to let that go without testing it for ourselves.  Katrina "ShadokatRegn" Pawlowski put the game through its paces and discovered that by just unplugging any extraneous peripherals from the system, this three player co-op title more than lives up to the co-op score Mike gave to the PC version of the game.  Indeed, the co-op experience is perhaps even a little better on the PS3 as it’s easier to do co-op on a system that has a bigger screen and already comes with the controllers needed to enjoy the experience.  All in all, a great title to play with family and friends that might be visiting over the holidays.

The game is available through the PS3’s Playstation Store for $19.99, which allows you to gift games to other Playstation 3 owners, or you can pick up a $20 Playstation Network card and use it as a stocking stuffer.

<Eddie Riggs> Interuptioooooooooooooooooonnnnn!!! </Eddie Riggs>


As we’ve covered over the past couple of weeks, Sony has released a free on-line service for PS3/PSP that allows them to use the PS3’s Internet capabilities in order to play formerly adhoc only PSP games with friends all over the world.  While we’re still waiting on the full list of games that are able to use this service, we know that one of our PSP co-op recommendations works with it and there's no reason not to go ahead and download this service to your PS3.

Thinking of picking a PSP up for someone this holiday? Our own Mike "pheriannath" Katsufrakis reviewed the PSPgo and came to the conclusion that if you do end up getting a PSP for someone, you should go this route. (OMG it’s PURPLE!!!)

[Ed. Note: Joking aside, Mike’s review actually said that the PSPgo is a good piece of hardware for folks that don’t already own one, assuming you don’t mind the $250 price tag]

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Co-Op Holiday Guide, already in progress...

Monster Freedom Hunter Unite

Building off our earlier theme of “brining co-op to RPG gamers,” shoppers looking for a co-op RPG game that’s portable may want to consider Monster Hunter Freedom Unite.  The Monster Hunter series can be likened to games like Diablo or Torchlight where you go off on a variety of quests for some reason or another, but what you’re really after is the loot; specifically, better loot so your character can be the baddest hunter ever.  Unlike those titles, though, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite places the player and up to three of his or her friends in a wide open world where you have to work together to take down or capture giant monsters in order to acquire this loot, rather than crawling through seemingly unending dungeons.  The biggest downside to this co-op title was that it was local play only, but thanks to adhocParty, that restriction is now lifted and gamers all over the world can take down fearsome beasts together.

The game retails for $27.99 on Amazon.

PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe
Another No Packaging, Eco-Friendly Option!

Looking for something a little more casual for the co-op loving PSP gamer?  Then PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe may be the game for him or her. Monsters Deluxe is a tower defense game where the player controls a little dancing chief that’s in charge of protecting the people of a village from invading monsters by building towers to take them down.  While you can play the game solo, it’s even better when you bring a friend along to help with the defenses.  Originally a PSN only title, the portable version brings with it not only all of then fun from the original, but also includes the Encore expansion, new levels, and tons of unlockable content.  Plus, it overcomes one of the biggest sticking points of the original by allowing players to play online through Infrastructure, and utilizes an interesting in-game communication system to allow players to better plan their defenses.

The game retails for $19.99 and a game voucher can be acquired through Amazon.