No one wants to be that awkward position. The third wheel. The guest without another half. The odd man (or woman) out. This week in Co-op Couples I’ll explore the benefits of having a third wheel on a gaming date, and helping them feel welcome and appreciated at the same time.
During my last few weeks of summer I spent a majority of my time with my boyfriend, crashing his house, couch, and Xbox. As nerds, we spent a lot of time gaming. In the house there is also a roommate. Not a roommate I dislike, or have any resent for. In fact, I kinda dig the guy - he’s Jay’s cool brother with nerdy interests as well.
Sometimes, however, the room got a little heavy. That feeling we were making his brother mildly uncomfortable in his own home floated around us, making everyone feel a little uneasy. Two player co-op games like Monday Night Combat were all well-and-good for Jay and I - but they just didn’t fill the needs of everyone.
That’s when we got the crazy idea to bust out Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, in spite of Jay having never played the first game. Sure, it’s a sequel - but the story isn’t carried on, and you don’t really need to know the original game, though some of the little details help.
Having myself, and his brother there to help him figure everything out was incredibly helpful. Both of us had played the original, and understood the crazy camera angles and individual upgrades as well as the concept of the Fusion co-op attacks. As such, the remainder of my time crashing their home became a lot more fun for all involved as we truly worked together to win the day, and punch Iron Man in the face.
Before visiting Jay, I had also purchased the very limited DLC for the game. So, we busted out some Juggernaut action and made our way through the story as our favorite characters. A few frustrating angles came up as the game wouldn’t allow player two or three to unlock character upgrades or costumes, or save any of the progress they had made through the game. We each also picked characters that worked well together, and access different types of fusions. You see, some fusions are made for boss battles, and others are made for when your team is surrounded. We found our balance and played very well together I thought.
To be honest, without the additional help with the character Fusions crummy camera may have caused a very unnecessary fight that makes you think “why did we fight about that” after the fact. Games aren’t really worth bickering over, and it never hurts to have additional help - especially in a game that gives gamers massive bonuses for nerding out on the trivia (there is a “fusion bonus” if two or more players answer the questions right, multiplying the total experience score from each question up to four times).
Now that I’m not around 24/7 at the start of school, we’re considering playing the other half of the story (half-way through the game you choose a side) and we absolutely invited the roommate-brother to play on our Pro Registration run-through.
Try this sometime, just invite someone over to play or join a party and link up - it’ll strengthen all relationships involved and earn a few trophies or achievements in the process!