Any game is more enjoyable when you play with others. Whether you and your comrades have emerged victorious over impossible odds or have simply enjoyed tearing a terrible game a new one, these shared moments are some of the most precious in gaming. With Pokemon X/Y on the horizon, it’s hard for me to fathom how little progress has been made in co op availability of our current gaming selection, especially with those titles that seem to lend themselves to the possibility.
Years ago , I felt I was seeing a trend of campaigns that featured co op options and even main co op-based narratives (Army of Two, Kane and Lynch, Castle Crashers come to mind). There seemed to be quite a bit of buzz behind titles with these features. It seemed to be the beginning of a co op renaissance that would harbor a new age of bountiful, quality cooperative adventures. Personally, I couldn’t have been more excited at the prospect of gaming on a more social basis. It seems that I was misreading the signs.
Sure, a Pokemon MMO is about as likely as a new KOTOR or HL3, but the extent of Pokemon connectivity is the same ole trading/battles with a little Battle Subway sprinkled on the side? Don’t get me wrong, I have yet to be disappointed with a Pokemon installment, however, I thought I’d eventually get to experience a little more by now with my fellow trainers. While other games and series have included co op, like Fable, they pitifully come off as after thoughts and are poorly developed. Many games have frustrating restrictions on co op as well. Depending on the title, this ranges from specifying only local or online play to simply not giving an option to freely invite who you wish which forces you to host/leave until you are finally paired with your partner.
All of this said, I realize there are plenty of fresh, innovative co op games that go above and beyond in terms of delivering a solid multi-player cooperative experiences. I just feel like we haven’t had the surge in this genre as I had hoped in those years past. Hopefully with the success of the many Nintendo party based games, Monster Hunter, and co op juggernauts like Borderlands, we can see more money put towards similar titles.