Sometimes, you just don't have the time to get knee deep in a game like Crackdown or GTA IV. That's where XBLA comes in handy. With its multitude of great arcade games, Xbox Live Arcade serves as a great balance for the hardcore gamer in all of us. This week I've had barely any time to game, and that's when XBLA came in to save the day with the wonderfully fun Assault Heroes.
The sequel has come out, but for some reason I prefer the original. Maybe it's because I actually have played it enough not to suck entirely. Nevertheless, I booted up the game and played online for a while. Through my experience online, I discovered the joys of casual gaming. I am pretty much a hardcore gamer, and even the co-op games I play tend to skew to the hardcore. However, I had a great deal of fun playing online, shooting loads of baddies with the same enthusiasm that I would playing Gears of War, GTA IV, and Crackdown.
The same elements of a fun "hardcore" co-op experience were found in my Assault Heroes adventure. First of were the memorable moments.
- My teammate was a big fan of the flamethrower, and I preferred the chain gun. With that combination, a funny scene occurred when the enemy tried to surround us. If we had been using the same weapon, they might have hurt us. However, the great combo of close range dominance (flamethrower) and mid range power (chaingun) left our enemies destroyed in seconds.
- In one of the underground sections, my teammate and I (without any verbal communication) turned back to back and shot at our enemies, leaving them no place to easily trap us. Teamwork just appeared out of nowhere, it was rather remarkable.
There was also that sense of triumph that you get teaming up with a buddy. Whether it is mowing down the Locust in Gears of War, or having fun taking down a drug lord in Crackdown, teaming up can be fun. That same type of fun translated into my casual co-op experience with Assault Heroes. When you look around the screen and all that moves is your teammate and your vehicles, it is very empowering.
One of the things I actually preferred about Assault Heroes was that I could play a little, sit down, have fun, and go back and co-op some more. It was a great convenience, since otherwise, I probably would not have been able to play a co-op game at all this past week. So, I learned that co-op can come in a variety of forms, not just my hardcore favorites. So, if you have the chance, play a game like Assault Heroes. You should easily be able to fit it into your schedule.