This monthís musing topic is multiplayer. Like nearly everybody else, I have had countless amazing and fun times playing multiplayer games. However, the most fun I had was when I didnít play by the rules- of the game, that is. Instead, my friend and I made new rules, creating new games. Now, Iím not talking about a local metagame, such as when my friends banned me from using the Rayfall in Custom Robo
. (I was somehow winning while using it) Iím talking about make-believe, using games for playtime, creating new stories.
Now, without this friend, itís unlikely that Iíd even be on Destructoid. Heís the main reason that Iím such a humongous Nintendo fanboy. He and I could not get enough- Kirby, Smash Bros, Pokemon, you name it! We would have lightsaber fights in his backyard, and then he would play the Pokemon Gold/Silver bike theme on the piano. (A tune that he still maintains to be one of the catchiest ever. Trust me, I did my research.) Simply put, a great pal. (Who I may be embarrassing right now. Sorry, buddy!)
One series that we both adored was Smash Bros. We have spent countless hours with each installment. You may know some of the special variants such as giant, speedy, and so on, but we took it upon ourselves to create our own variants. The first, and one of my favorites, was called Star Wars: Beam Swords and nothing else. Being one of my favorite weapons, that mode was a blast. Another mode, 007, allowed only for the use of guns, and if I remember correctly, proximity mines. Another of my favorites was the Pokemon battle: Pokemon Stadium, each keeping to their own side, using nothing but Pokemon. When Brawl came along and we suddenly had soccer balls and a new Pokemon Stadium level, we knew what had to be done: deadly soccer, with no touching of the other player allowed at all.
Another mode that I remember dearly is a different style of soccer that we played, still on Pokemon Stadium, but this time in Melee. The setup: Stamina mode, three characters, two players. Remember how the dead bodies in stamina mode would just lay there, able to be pushed around? Well, we played soccer with them. It was a game that was a bit difficult, easy to mess up, and quite a bit silly. It was also a complete blast.
Anybody remember Kirby Air Ride
? I know I do; Iíve even written a complete blog on it. Another question: Who remembers City Trial? Okay, good. Finally, who ever played City Trial free run? I donít blame you. Playing it was often extremely boring. Other than trying out different stars, there was very little to do there. That is, if you werenít my buddy and me. Somehow, we found ourselves regularly playing it for over an hour a sitting. We probably accumulated days worth of playtime on it over the years.
So, how did we do it? We would divide the available stars between us, putting them in a few categories. (Regular, bulky, speedy, etc.) Then, we took them to our secret bases. I usually took the cave beneath Wispy Woods, and he took the floating island in the sky. Then, the game would commence.
We would ride around, joust, go on visits to the otherís base, and occasionally cause a bit of mischief by stealing vehicles. Eventually, we started giving ourselves ďjobs.Ē It may sound boring to the rest of you, but these sessions were some of the most fun I had playing video games.
Eventually, we started to form a story. It was an epic tale, spanning multiple regions and involving (as usual in the Kirby universe) a dark force causing trouble. As time went on, we were sure that we had created something awesome.
Speaking of segues, this friend wasn't my only buddy with an overactive imagination. Years ago, when Halo 2 was still a "cool" thing to play, we had just come off of a lengthy viewing of Red vs. Blue. Partly inspired, partly just bored with running around and killing each other, we set out to make our own story. With one friend controlling most of the plot, we spent hours doing this, going to nearly every multiplayer level the game had to offer. If you asked me today, I wouldn't be able to tell you anything that happened in it. What I can tell you is that it was fun.
To have fun playing a game with a friend, you donít need the best multiplayer mode ever (though it does help). You donít need elevated strategy and skill. You don't even need to compete. All you need are awesome friends and a little bit of imagination.