Couch gaming

During this Winter season, I have had quite a bunch of fun playing on my Switch to multiple games, especially local multiplayer with friends, and I just wanted to write a little bit about it.

📆 29 Dec 2023 📕 1171 words ⏳ 3 min. 🏷️ gaming thoughts

There have been quite a bunch of games that have interested me during the Nintendo Switch Holiday Sale, and one of the main factors in my buying decisions, is if a game has a multiplayer option, something that is a necessity, since I have sibling, as well as friends coming during weekends sometimes.

Of course everyone already knows of the two must-haves on the Switch, Smash Bros Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, as well as pretty much any Mario Party title. I don’t have any modern release, but I have an NSO subscription, and I can access both Mario Party 2 and 3 on the N64, which is more than enough for me.

However, these games don’t really have what it takes to be fun for everyone. If you are good in any of them, you already have a big advantage, which can make it boring both for the newcomers, as well as the experienced.

This is why I started to look more into party games that everyone can enjoy regardless of the experience of other factors. And not only party games, but also games with a story or levels where we can cooperate instead of competing with each other.

The first game I got for this purpose was Castle Crashers. This is a Beat’em Up style game where we can play as knights and fight against hordes of enemies. This is a quite a classic gem, and quite a fun adventure to start playing together. It has simple controls, a bare-bones plot that works and many challenging boss fights. The only problem with this game is that it does require the player to get better, to learn enemy patterns as well as using combos and similar stuff. It is a great game to play all the way through with the same friends, but its not as easy to just start from scratch at any point with anyone, especially on later stages.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge came next. I didn’t actually buy this game, but a friend brought it to my house, and played the whole thing in a single sitting. This game is not as unforgiving as Castle Crashers, it feels more balanced and it can be played by up to 6 people, which makes it very chaotic and fun, and very easy for the players to revive each other. Thanks to how short it is—which took us by surprise to be honest—I think this game works better, we can start it from scratch at any time. And not only that, the game was an infinite mode where we can just play and see how far we can go, which is quite nice.

From there, I decided to got for an actual party game, and ended up buying Ultimate Chicken Horse, due to it being recommended by both Luke and Linus in The WAN Show, as well as on multiple videos I watched about party games such as this one. I have had a bunch of fun with it to be honest, it is a game where you basically create the level everyone has to complete from scratch, you can make it as easy or as hard as you want, mess with each other, pick on the best player or make it impossible for everyone and it is all the same. It is just chaos all the time and we’ve not even played a full 4 player game just yet, just 2 or 3. There are also some online maps and many other things we have yet to explore, but I am happy with it.

During the Holiday sale I also got games to play by myself—mayhaps too many of them to be healthy. One of them is Hyper Light Drifter, which is game that has been on my wishlist since 2017 or so, simply because of its unique aestethic, art design, music and gameplay style. It seems to be an action adventure game, kind of like Zelda, but more difficult. Regardless, the point is, this game is actually available as a 2-player experience! and it is quite a good one too. The second player can’t do many of the actions of the main one, but they can still have fun slashing enemies and moving around. At first it felt somewhat weird, but it honestly works quite well! But as it is only two players, it is more limiting and its also harder to get for people if I invite them to play midgame.

Then there is Spelunky. Now this is a game I’ve been meaning to try out for ages. Roguelikes have been a genre I’ve always been amused by, and after trying titles like Dicey Dungeons and Into The Breach early this year, I was eager to try this classic right before 2023 comes to an end. As expected, I ended up doing multiple runs and playing quite a bit. The challenge is real on this one I must say, but I somehow kept going back at it.

Surprisingly, the local co-op on Spelunky is a blast. Since starting a new run is a single button away, everytime we died was met with laughter and eagerness to try again, rather than actually annoying anyone. This is the kind of game where no matter how good or bad you are, having teammates will only lead to chaos. Be it because they kill themselves, they trigger a trap that hurts you, they get launched by a trap and push you, or they all drop down while you are still up and leave you to walk blindly towards your death. Despite all this, we actually managed to go further than I had managed to do alone, almost reaching the Jungle, but still with a long way to go.

Early this very same day, I also started playing Hades, of course, this is a single player game that doesn’t have any multiplayer options. However, after some research on Reddit, I stumbled upon Ember Knights. This game is pretty much Hades with a lackluster story and multiplayer, but other than that, the gameplay, the mechanics and the fun were definitely there. I actually introduced this game to a friend, who is a gamer, and my sister, who isn’t into games at all—other than Smash. We managed to fight many different bosses, try a lot of power ups and keep improving ourselves, even after dying at the same boss a couple times, we kept at it, and we all improved together, I forgot at which moment she finally stopped saying “one more time” and we just kept playing for a little bit until we were actually forced to stop. Can’t wait to get back to it at some point!

This is it for today’s post. There are still some games I would like to try that are great for couch gaming, from Overcooked: All you an Eat, to Super Mario Bros Wonder, which I may or may not get very soon too.

This is day 97 of #100DaysToOffload

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