Co-Op Classics is going to be a bit different this week, and next. Rather than selecting one classic game, we'll have a much broader focus. I have a unique opportunity this evening, and in a sense, it's a bit like going into a Delorean, hitting 88 MPH, and going back in time, to my childhood. I'll be taking a car full of teenagers to a real life honest to goodness arcade. My eldest son turns 14 today, and like any good gamer, he chose to spend his birthday playing video games with his friends. This week, I'll talk about the games featured at this arcade, and next week I'll have mini-reviews for each game, plus some pictures of the "co-opery".
The arcade we'll be hitting tonight is called, appropriately enough, 1984. It's located in Springfield, MO, which is about a half hour drive for me. I've been there twice, and we've really enjoyed it each time. The whole atmosphere feels just like an arcade from back in the day. Wall mounted TVs play music videos constantly, playing totally gnarly tunes from bands like A-Ha and the Eurythmics. Big puffy couches are all over the place, and there is a sweet coffee table decorated like a Rubik's Cube. A snack bar serves fine culinary treats like hot dogs and potato chips. A row of pinballs lines one entire wall. You don't need a roll of quarters here; $5 at the door and you can play all you want. In other words, it's like heaven for classic video game geeks like myself.
Of course the classics like Ms. Pacman, Asteroids, and Tron are all available, but what about the co-op?
1942, the first game in the reknowned 194X series. Teaming up with a buddy to take down enemy warships and aircraft isa great way to spend some co-op time. The series continues today with the release of 1942: Joint Strike, reviewed here.
I must admit I haven't played Smash TV much, but I plan to rectify this tonight. The over the top game show aspects and unique controls look to be a hoot. This one's on XBLA, as well.
Joust isn't a co-op game by design, necessarily. However, two dudes can play at the same time, and in my experience, working together gets you way farther in the game. But splatting your "partner" can be fun, too.
Ah, Rampage! Combining my love for giant monster movies and video games, this one has a special place in my heart. It's just so much fun to destroy building and eat soldiers for health! This game has spawned a few sequels as well.
All in all, that's a great list of co-op titles from the golden age of video games. I've really enjoyed playing recent titles like Too Human, Castle Crashers, and Viva Pinata 2, but nostalgia is quite powerful, and I'm certain that I'll have a great time revisiting these awesome titles. I'm curious to see which games the teenagers gravitate towards; my guess is Gauntlet will get the most attention; if it's available, that is! Next week, some pictures of the arcade, and short but sweet reviews of all six of the titles discussed today. Who knows, maybe I'll even get on the high score board!