“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” It’s a nice axiom, but one that often can get thrown to the wayside in the heat of the most intense gaming sessions when we play with our friends.
Co-operative and versus modes in a game can provide many a joyous occasion, and oftentimes enhances the experience. It only takes one troll attempt or cheap shot, however, to sully the entertainment.
Allow us to reflect on a couple of games that have made us (or our friends) rage against each other due to our competitive (or cooperative) nature. Those looking to make friends via playing games may want to be wary of any of the following titles.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures can royally break friendships.
Unfortunately though, as much teamwork as there is in communicating on solving puzzles, taking down ridiculously large bosses, and scouring a field for that vital item, there’s an equal amount of competitiveness to a game like Four Swords, and that’s where things can get hairy.
There are so many ways for the multi-colored Links to completely troll each other. One player may pick up another and carry him for an extended period of time or thwack him on something just for kicks. Some players care not to share the wealth and prefer to hog all of the force gems and special items for themselves in order to get the most impressive score at the end.
Jeers from your other three teammates can be directed at you should you be the one still staring down at your GBA screen, still trying to find the exit of the underground cave that everyone’s already made it through. Not to mention the humiliation as your slow progress is suddenly shown on the main TV screen for all to watch.
And then some players, in an outburst of annoyance or frustration, may accidentally yank their GBA link cable straight out of the Gamecube controller port right at the end of a lengthy level, initiating a communication error that sends everyone back to the title screen. Yeah, that happened.
In any case, players can turn the tide of the end-level scoring by voting on who was the most or least helpful during a quest. Unfortunately, this also gives way to picking on people who just so happened to have more force gems than they did, thus sinking their score considerably.
Man, what an evil game. I suddenly have the urge to play it.
- Patrick Kulikowski
Kirby’s Dream Course will wreck your friendships.
This game was a veritable staple of my childhood. The joys of miniature golf fused with a pink puffball who can copy a myriad of special abilities from his enemies. Most of all, nothing beats the fireworks when I would get a hole in one, validating my skill in this somewhat obscure Kirby adventure.
However, it also taught me a valuable lesson in competitive gaming: that if you get too wrapped up in defeating an opponent, you’ll forget to play the actual game. In Kirby’s Dream Course, players take turns trying to shoot Kirby into a small round cup after eliminating all the enemies on the screen. After your turn is finished, you remain wherever you’ve stopped, even during your opponents turn. This means that you are prime picking for multiplayer mischief.
If two Kirbys (Kirbies? Kirbi? Is that the plural?) collide, they go off into different directions, decreasing stamina and messing up subsequent shots. Even worse is when you use one of your special skills and either burn them to a crisp or send them careening off a level. Unfortunately, there’s no way to defend against this unless you use a special ability, which leaves only one avenue open: retaliation and revenge. I would get so caught up in sabotaging my opponent that I would forget to actually aim for the cup.
And in forgetting that, I also forgot my friendship with my opponent, as we wound up becoming embroiled in turn after turn of us bashing into each other and trying to throw each other off the ledge, until it got to the point where we would just yell at each other whenever we even tried to play the game seriously.
I thought miniature golf was frustrating. This takes it to a whole new level.
- Tom Farndon
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars can smash friendships.
Soccer is a game of cooperation and friendly rivalries. However, as any other sport out there, turn it into a videogame and it can quickly turn into a festival of swears and insults as each team member fights each other for points and glory.
For regular soccer videogames, this may not always be the case, as some forms of camaraderie still exist (in other words, your AI controlled teammates won’t try to steal your goals). However, when professional soccer players are replaced with cars, it quickly turns into a smash fest.
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars is an awesome game with a great premise. Soccer games of up to 4 vs. 4 are played with cars that are acrobatic, rocket-powered and can reach supersonic speeds (as if the name of the game didn’t hint at any of that). The cars have the ability to rocket jump and fly around using boost, as well as push or destroy other players.
And that’s where the hate begins. Imagine this: As the ball nears the opposing team’s net, you drift around to get ready for a good shot. However, as you begin to boost your way to the ball, your friend gets in your way and you hit him instead. Then the other team hits the ball and scores. Rage ensues. If that’s not enough, other rage inducing moments include other players stealing all of the boost pick-ups when you’re in a rush and team members pushing you out of the net when you’re trying to be the goaltender.
As rage-inducing as I make this sound, it’s all for fun in the end. Unlike games such as Mario Party, the rounds are short, so you don’t need to wait long to exact your revenge.