Happy Galentine’s Day y’all! While I know Valentine’s Day isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I like to use it as a day to focus on all the different kinds of love that can brighten your day, romantic or not. Rick and I usually keep things pretty low-key, cooking a fancy meal for ourselves and then making a little time to do an activity together, whether it be taking a walk, going to the market or sitting down and playing some video games.
Since gaming is always more fun with friends (or sweeties), I thought I’d put together a little list of our favourite games to play together. And since I still kind of suck at playing video games, we have to avoid anything that involves a lot of shooting (so, no Team Fortress or Borderlands). And while we do play PC games on our own, I find that console games tend to give a better local co-op experiences, which is why there aren’t any RPGs or MMOs on this list. Which pretty much leaves us with beat ’em ups and platformers because they tend to be accessible, colourful, and most of all, FUN!
Little Big Planet (1 & 2) Yes, this one’s been out for an entire console cycle, but there’s a reason it’s still super popular. You and your partner get to play as Sackboys, cute customizable characters that get to run, jump and swing all over dozens of cardboard environments. Some levels have little puzzles to solve and while you can die if you’re paying attention, you’ll always respawn by the end of the level, which is crucial for a total noob like me. The game is endlessly inventive and the level creator means that anyone can create and share their own levels. Also, a big part of the game is collecting stickers to decorate the world with and new outfits to customize your Sackboys. There’s even a DC Comics costume pack that was released this week that includes Wonder Woman & Zatanna!!!
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game Based on the film that is based on the comic, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game is a wonderful throwback to the arcade beat ’em ups that I used to play with my siblings at the local Chuck E. Cheese. The levels in the game follow the plot of the film pretty well, which each level ending with an Evil Ex boss fight. Again, not paying attention to your health will mean you’re down for the count, but your fellow players can revive you if they can keep the baddies at bay long enough. The game also gets bonus points from this Canuck for using Canadian currency in loot drops.
Castle Crashers Another beat ’em up, Castle Crashers is fun and cartoony, but surprisingly challenging in places. Leveling and a variety of weapons to collect mean that there is can be some nuance to how you play (ranged vs. melee vs. magic), which can be especially fun when playing in larger groups. There are also super adorable animals you can find that will give you different buffs. Everything about this game is great, from the music to the art to the controls. Seriously, if you’ve never played it, do yourself a favour and give it a try.
LEGO Anything (Marvel Super Heroes, Star Wars, Batman, Etc.) While ostensibly for kids, the LEGO games are simply charming little gems that anyone can have fun with. Multiplayer support just means everyone can join in on the fun, even if they suck at games like me. My only complaint with these games is that sometimes the camera can make figuring out where to go a little confusing, but there’s so many of these things out by now that there’s sure to be one that’ll appeal to you no matter what your favourite fandom is.
Bubble Bobble Yes, this is an oldie but a goodie. I cannot count the number of hours my sister and I wasted playing Bubble Bobble on the NES. While it was originally an arcade game, this one continues to be popular, even warranting an HD remake a few years ago. Blowing bubbles to trap baddies and then jumping on them to pop them is incredibly satisfying, especially when popping them rewards you with jewels and food. Sure, that theme song is maddening, but it sure is memorable.