For This Week in Co-op, Kat and Tally got together online for some much needed recuperation time via Monday Night Combat (on a Monday for once! Crazy!).
TALLY: I found this session to be pretty therapeutic for me, at least. We’re both getting pretty close to the end of our school years, so the work is really piling up and it’s long past crunch time. I’ve also been pretty sick for almost a week now, working my way slowly back to the world of the living. Monday Night Combat seemed like the perfect way to kick back and just relax and decompress. We played several rounds and handled ourselves really well despite the fact that it had been awhile since either of us had last played. I played a couple rounds as the Support class, followed by an Assassin round, then an Assault round.
For a lot of the time, though, we just chatted about school, upcoming games, and life in general. I (unsurprisingly) mostly game to interact and have a good time with friends, as I’m sure most of you do, too. It’s easy, however, to become distracted at times by the games we play, like when they require more concentration, coordination, etc. My session with Kat really brought it home to me once again the importance of setting aside time to play games that don’t lay on the pressure and have minimal distractions so the players can connect on things other than what’s going on in the game. Don’t get me wrong, I love there’s necessity for players to work together, focused, in a game, but the relaxing times are great, too.
KAT: I know it seems weird that someone would say that a fast paced, scaling difficulty, fully explosive title such as Monday Night Combat is relaxing - but it’s true. When the thing you have to compare a gaming experience with involves the insanity of the final countdown of a university semester, it really is nice to just say “Forget all this stuff, I want to shoot some Black Jacks.”
Instead of paperwork, our collective efforts were put toward supporting each other, covering each others backs, and upgrading turrets when we could. Monday Night Combat was a nice example of how to just sit back and enjoy a serene co-op experience as we sat in the menu screen deciding which class we’d like to try out. I played some pretty heavy gunner for a while, then switched up to support in order to try out the healing. It wasn’t a competition to see who was “stuck” with the support class - it was a collaboration in which we each tried new things.
I nearly forgot to mention how nice it is to jump back into a well-built game like Monday Night Combat in spite of not having played for months. We had a lot of fun chatting, hitting random buttons (and subsequently randomly punching the ground or dropping bombs) to figure out what to do, and reminiscing about the good not-so-old days when the game first came out.
Try randomly picking up a game with a friend when you should be doing other stuff, it’s highly therapeutic.