Shadowstew blog header photo
Shadowstew's c-blog
Posts 0Blogs 13Following 0Followers 0



Handhelds: Multiplayer Fun In My Pants


It's a no brainer that handhelds offer great single player experiences. But one may overlook the fact that handhelds have provided unique multiplayer experiences that is unmatched on home consoles. Let's look at some examples:

Tetris: Head-to-Head

The Game Boy's killer app was packed with the link cable. This allows players to face off to see who can last the longest in the game of Tetris. What's awesome about this is simultaneous multiplayer on separate screens. Most console games at time didn't really offer that option. It was pretty satisfying and intense playing face-to-face with your friends.

Pokemon: Multiplayer Collect-a-thon

Pokemon offered a nice twist on portable multiplayer. In addition to head-to-head battles, this game has a trading mechanic that forces completionists to make friends who have the pokemon they want. Personal note: I've became a local playground legend by being "that kid with the 100 lvl. Mew."

Advance Wars: Hot Potato

This game holds a special place in my heart for providing quick multiplayer fun with friends who didn't even own a Game Boy Advance. A main issue with handheld multiplayer is not everyone owns the same game, a link cable, or a handheld. The solution? Have a game mode where you just pass the handheld around taking turns. It might not be the first game to provide alternating multiplayer. But, being a turn-based strategy game makes this style of multiplayer work so well.
On an unrelated note: Advance Wars was among the few handheld games that provided linked multiplayer with one game cart.

Warioware: Dual-Player

One of the best parts of a Warioware game is unlocking a dual-player mini-game/souvenir. For those unfamiliar, players share one handheld system with one player sharing the L-trigger and the other player sharing the R-trigger. It doesn't sound fun unless you actually try it. However, the quirkiness of this multiplayer style just works with the quirkiness of Warioware.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures: Marriage between consoles and handhelds

Some may think that the Gamecube/GBA connectivity was a failure. They might have overlooked the fact Wii/DS and PS3/PSP connectivity are pretty common in this generation of games. While the Dreamcast/VMU may have played with this idea, Nintendo pushed this idea (They even had a press conference dedicated to GC/GBA connectivity). I could talk about how awesome the GC version of Pac-Man, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, or even Animal Crossing. But, GC/GBA connectivity really shined in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. What I especially like about this game was being allowed to explore indoors without forcing all players to be inside. The GBA screen is used when players are off-screen. This mechanic is played with when players have to split up in later levels.

Now and the Future:

It's fun to see the evolution of handheld multiplayer. These days handheld rely on wireless connections instead of link cables. Not to mention, players don't need to be in the same room anymore to play multiplayer. Some may argue online handheld multiplayer is diminishing the experience. However, unlike console and local multiplayer, handhelds aren't abandoning the old style of local play.

With the release of the 3DS and PSVita this year and knowing how these handhelds will connect to their respective home console, handheld multiplayer will get better and better. Especially if handheld/console connectivity catches on in the future, gamers may see more varied, unique multiplayer experiences with their handheld. Hell, multiplayer may be what will save handhelds from dying off.
Login to vote this up!



Please login (or) make a quick account (free)
to view and post comments.

 Login with Twitter

 Login with Dtoid

Three day old threads are only visible to verified humans - this helps our small community management team stay on top of spam

Sorry for the extra step!


About Shadowstewone of us since 3:25 PM on 12.26.2006


Let's make it simple, I like games. You probably like games too. Then, we're good. I been playing game since I don't even remember when. So let's say Year 0.

Hi. I'm Shadowstew, a currently unemployed engineer. I recently graduated at the University of Maryland, College Park, with some BS in Computer Engineering. Soon to be out in the real world workplace. Somewhere... One of these days...

A Potpourri of my favorite games:
Gitaroo Man
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Super Mario World
Legend of Zelda: Windwaker
Persona 3
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
De La Jet Set Radio
WWF No Mercy
Megaman X

Borderlands 2
Lollipop Chainsaw
The Last of Us
Bioshock Infinite
Guild Wars 2

Persona 3 Portable
NBA 2K12
Super Mario 3D Land
Mutant Mudds
Alan Wake

Incomplete First Playthroughs Backlog
Fallout New Vegas
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Ico HD
Shadow of the Colossus HD
Skate 3
Rhythm Heaven Fever
Mass Effect 3

Completed Games 2012
Mass Effect 2
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! (Third Time!)
L.A. Noire
Portal 2

Completed Games 2011
Ghost Trick
The Last Window
Photo Dojo
Fallout 3
Stanley Parable
Uncharted 3
WWE 12
Saints Row 3

PSN ID:shadowstew
Steam ID:shadowstew
Mii code:ask for it


Around the Community