This week has been a busy one for me. That's part of the reason why This Week in Co-Op is a day late. However, I hope that I can make it up to you all. I think I might be able to, because I've been spending the week playing a game that most all gamers can agree is either cool, or at least features a cool character. The game in question is Duke Nukem 3D on XBLA,.
I've played the single player part of Duke Nukem 3D, and it is super retro fun. Actually, for a game that originally came out in 1996, it holds up decently. Duke himself is the main draw of the game, but it also features great weapons, enemies, gameplay, and so forth. Also, the XBLA version has up to 8 player co-op. I've already stated that Duke is cool, since he's basically a one-liner machine. So, if one Duke makes the game great, eight Dukes must be epic, correct? Yes, indeed this is the case.
To be honest, I could really care less what Duke Nukem 3D's storyline was about. It doesn't need to have one. Heck, the game could feature talking animals, and your gun could shoot mind bullets and I would not care. As long as Duke is in the game, it's gonna be fun.
But, with eight Dukes makes the game seem like a 90s action hero gathering, and in the best possible way. It would be like if Martin Riggs, Ash Williams, and John McClane all got together and decided to go on an enemy-killing tangent. What makes it so fun and funny is that you have up to eight Dukes spouting off one-liners like it's going out of style. Once you've heard a chorus of "Hail to the King," you will understand.
Gameplay-wise, the game does get quite a bit easier with the addition of up to 7 more Dukes. However, you don't approach Duke Nukem like you'd approach a game like Ikaruga or Braid. You are there to enjoy yourself, and you definitely will. The sheer fact is that an army of cussing Dukes is fun and hilarious. Quite literally, enemies just line up to die, since they are almost always outnumbered. However, in the games I played, everyone got a fair shot at enemies, since certain maps are big enough to allow enough enemies for everyone.
Also, the co-op experience is pretty solid. You can always find you teammates, since the echoes of dying enemies can be heard quite clearly; the distinct sound of a Ripper functions like a basic radar. Though this has been repeated a billion times, this still is true: the game is fun. It's not that hard, but it's a fun way to get together and hang out with buddies.
Few games offer 8 player co-op, and few games are so naturally funny like Duke Nukem 3D. I had a blast with the game, mainly because I could just tool around in the levels, exploring sometimes, while other times I protected my teammates backs. It seemed like a fun balance, though the game never really was hard. Though I suppose having 8 Dukes in the game might have that effect.
Oh, and I hope to play with some of you guys.