Time to finish off the merry skip through the fields of multiplayer gaming, with my favourite 20 online competitive multiplayer games, to my cooperative favourite 20 list, I now bring you, the local multiplayer, in no way affiliated with anyone, completely wrong and not in any order… list, article, published set of text and possible pictures.
It’s a dying breed, the ability to just plug in 2 controllers and then proceed to shove your limbs in your friends face when they overtake you, or when they are powering up for that awesome combo. But it’s a multiplayer mode that is above everything else in terms of brilliant fun.
Whilst this generation hasn’t seen many, there are still certainly some gems out there that if you have a buddy or two and fancy some splitscreen mayhem on your PS3, then by all means, here’s a very skewed list of 20 of my favourite the blackbird has granted us over the past half a decade.
Always start with everyone’s favourite I was always told, so here we are… Haze.
Oh come on, don’t look like that, it’s only a joke.
…But no, really. Haze.
It’s a game which got bad press for all the right reasons, however, there is no reason any splitscreen compadre shouldn’t have this in their collection. 1 It’s Free Radical, the undoubted gods of splitscreen, and 2, it’s genuinely a hoot.
So what if it made it into 2 out of the 3 lists I made, (almost all 3) the ability to play against bots in an over-the-top built to be fun shooter is reason enough to pick this out of a bin.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale:
We just keep improving don’t we?
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale is very almost my most disappointing game on PS3 (that record goes to Killzone 2) but whilst being disappointing, the cast that DID turn up for you to Smash Bros.TM with and the general combat system is still fresh and fun.
Whilst the ‘story’ elements, or whatever it is you call it are a complete shambles, and Kratos may very well be the most meta, OP, MLG piece of button mashing goodness ever with a few friends, and possibly a few non-alcoholic beverages what this game does have to offer is some excellent MeleeTM BrawlTM action.
It’s about time LittleBigPlanet showed up in these lists, I agree.
And there is no game more deserving than LBP 2 for delivering nonsensical hilarity with some of the user submitted levels.
Me and my friends have been in fits of hysterics by simply kicking fish whilst playing the Street Fighter Turbo levels on here, and going really fast in multiple levels.
…And I mean like, really fast, like, trophy ping fast.
With the pure abundance of levels for you and some friends to get hold of, and the pleasure of slapping sackboys, whilst simultaneously being slapped yourself, there is no shortage of angry pleasure for you to enjoy on your sofa.
… Because… video game… you dirty so and so’s
House Of The Dead Overkill: Extended Cut:
Well, I never thought I’d be including a Move game on any list ever unless it was for “The most useless peripheral on a PlayStation system (apart from the DVD remotes)” But we’re not, so why IS it here?
It might because both it and House Of The Dead 4 are actually blinkin’ good local multiplayer games.
It’s a nostalgia trip that happens once every often, but on a whole new scale, and if there’s one thing I love more than a bit of splitscreen fun, it’s zombies.
Combining the two in a Wii remake left me on the fence at first, but as soon as sweat starting profusely spraying out of our armpits and knocking over vases it was clear that House Of The Dead Overkill worked tremendously as a party game on the PS3.
You’ll be most displeased to hear/read, there are no kart racers on this list.
Not as displeased as I am, trust me, but that doesn’t stop Blur from being a damn fine racing game in its own right, and an even better local multiplayer throwback to the ages of just lumping a load of bodies in a room and spilling fizzy drinks over everything and everyone trying to simulate going round a sharp bend whilst a hail of comedic weapons cascade over your bonnet.
Blur had a tough life, but it still remains the best alternative to SEGA all-stars racing or Ben 10 or Modnation, or whatever your preference for poorly executed arcade racing fun.
Motorstorm: Pacific Rift:
My favourite racer this generation, and it should probably be yours too, because it’s multiplayer both on and offline (as previously eluded too on another list) is an absolute riot.
Whilst playing online against multiple opponents and running over their squishy rally cars in your beastly school bus or dino-truck, nothing quite compares to doing it to a few people, and being able to see the reaction on their faces.
Or just constantly punching them off a bike because they weren’t riding an ATV, because only fools don’t pick the ATV right?
Back in the golden ages, you’d struggle to find a racing game that didn’t include mayhem in 4 player splitscreen, now its insane difficulty, one heart trying to find some which do, thankfully, Pacific Rift fills the void with its blistering ability to infect smiles on all players…. … apart from 3 of them.
SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection:
…Yeaaaaaah. So about this.
Basically, Bonanza Bros.
There really shouldn’t be anything I need to say, it’s got Bonanza Bros, it’s got over 40 other great games to play, but it still has the greatest multiplayer game ever made.
Eat your heart out Perfect Dark, Bonanza Bros. is back and packing some awkward Dualshock control scheme.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One:
It’s not often I’ll be advocating Ratchet & Clank games, and especially seeing as the ‘solus’ in this game was just painful.
However, a quick fix of some local multiplayer action and it really comes alive as a game made for co-op that really, really works with some friends.
It’s got a strange blend of challenge, and … just pure baby faced difficulty, and from what I understand not having played to great lengths the previous games, it’s a bit of a hickey in terms of its story and basic gameplay, but, as far as completing some platforming objectives go be it with 1 or 3 other players, it’s a damn good waste of a few evenings.
Buzz!: Quiz World:
Does this even?
I don’t even?
But, essentially, if you have owned a PS2 or a PS3, chances are, there are some Buzz controllers under your bed or in your cupboard awaiting next Christmas when the competitive uncles come round with their unquestionable knowledge of The Sex Pistols.
However, there is still no denying that the Buzz series has been continually well handled throughout its many iterations, and my personal favourite on the PS3 is the 9th game, Quiz World. I just thought the presentation, the style of questions, the features, everything about the game was an improvement and gave a broad range of knowledge for everyone to pretend like they know before blaming ‘Pete’ for pushing the buttons too fast.
Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes:
It’s kind of hard to ignore all the Dynasty, Samurai, Gundam, Disney Warriors games that are littering the market, and every once in a while, one of them is kind of enjoyable, it’s just a shame, you can never remember just which one it was, 4, or 17 DX Super Force Extreme II?
However, Sengoku Basara, in the exact same vain as the above has a much better crafted local multiplayer design in my eyes.
Maybe it’s just the name that stands out? But something about this game and its completely over the top combos and special moves coupled with bishi-bashing thousands of enemies with your best buddy gives it an edge.
Driver: San Francisco:
A very late inclusion to the list, but it doesn’t stop it from being a damn fine game to add to your collection if you want some local multiplayer goodness.
As a game in its own right it failed to surpass every other Driver game in my humble opinion, but excelled in offering some great game modes for you and your choice of two seater cushiony object to chase down bad guys on.
The game just gets better when you realise no one on the planet actually quite knows how to control a car in a Driver game, and when there are two of you shifting, in all possible senses constantly through a plethora of boxes and rubbish cans before eventually your elbows get tired of helping you drift round corners with power of chicken gamepad steering, it is brilliant fun.
And… then Damnation happened.
Codemasters, unrivaled kings of driving games, and completely inept of anything else once shoved Damnation out into the big scary world of video games promising some action packed co-op gameplay.
…Well, they were very vague on both points, the game is packed, surely, with, horrible …-ness. And the co-op is about as cooperative as a bank on the phone.
However, this game, really can only be played with another person, as you WILL go insane otherwise. It’s a game that excels in its diabolical gameplay, graphics, sound, all over design and proceeds to hand you one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences this generation. Grab someone you promised you would be BFFs forever, and knuckle down for a roller coaster ride of emotions from laughter, to pain, and eyes and ears bleeding, back to laughter that you’ll be glad you had no freaking idea what story just unveiled in front of you.
Red Faction: Guerrilla:
Red Faction: Guerrilla, back again I see.
Whilst its online multiplayer is one of the best on PS3, its loose party mode offline is equally near the top of its league.
We all know what happens, you grab a rhino backpack and a sledgehammer then obliterate both buildings and your triggers before handing over to your buddies and co. as you watch them hopelessly try and beat your best score because you took down the bridge without getting crushed.
It’s simple in its execution, but I’m a simple person and the destruction based score system won me over because physics are cool, and apparently completely cheating on colonised Mars.
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded:
So, here you are, you didn’t actually think I wasn’t going to include this did you? I do have ‘some’ taste.
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, is a remake, of a remake, of the original splitscreen shooter, and this version is almost every bit as magical as then.
With the addition of a few characters, modes and so on, it’s not the content that makes this an absolute buddy blast, it’s the basic premise of shooting each other without having to deal with the N64s control scheme that makes this a utterly brilliant execution of deathmatch fun times.
PixelJunk: Shooter 2:
And with that I head off into the land of downloadable PSN games, starting with the sequel to the only viable PixelJunk game. (Sorry Monsters fans)
Whilst it may have lost a bit of its charm utilising the same concept as its predecessor, it gives you and a friend more to enjoy in co-op.
Everyone loves physics, and when you can combine that with burning everyone you love to cinder by opening a magma spout above them and watching the corresponding “Where is the water” buttons being mashed, the childlike joy that the Shooter games gives us comes flooding into your room.
Easily the surprise of… the generation for me.
Tokyo Jungle is a game I still don’t understand, or particularly enjoy playing even after all the hours thrown into it, but for whatever reason, I continually see it prop up the top of my PSN folder after a couch multiplayer session.
It may be flawed in execution, but the underlying enjoyment that comes from watching Pomeranians be obliterated with whatever form of bigger, scarier or cuddlier being that may be around is awesome.
It also helps that you can run around with a friend as a pathetic chicken to take all the beatings whilst your shower cap donning panda explores apocalyptic Tokyo.
Bomberman has always been a staple of completely meta game nights since I was a wee one.
Whilst it may have lost a bit of the hype since the early days, the PSN release of Ultra still holds all the brilliance and hype screaming and name calling you’d expect from a game that centers around trapping your friends with explosives.
Probably the most basic game you’ll find in any article on the internet, but it gives unrivaled joy from friends blowing each other up against nostalgic dreams and gorgeously simple visuals.
When Vikings Attack!:
The list seemed to missing a top down twin stick lol-a-thon, and whilst Dead Nation would have provided that, When Vikings Attack! holds a better local multiplayer for my tastes.
At heart, you control a bunch of people, your friend controls a bunch of other people, you press some buttons and toggle some sticks, just either against, or with one another.
It’s not complicated, and it hasn’t got millions of modes and maps to keep you coming back for more, but what it does have is a brilliantly delivered package of fun that you make the most of with someone who is less twitchy than you.
The first game I put on this list without a doubt, and also the first PSN game I ever owned.
And it has stuck as a staple for nights in with more than just me in front of the TV. Be it bowling, or some of the slightly non-politically correct modes, you’ll always have fun with PAIN.
Yes it’s expensive, and yes it can get tiresome, but by jingo no other game comes close to the hilarity that ensues when the crotch of a multitude of characters hits an old lady in the face and gives you the win.
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars:
And I finish with my personal favourite local multiplayer game on the PS3, Supersonic blah blah cars.
Football, and cars are amongst my least liked manly things, so why is it tremendously good fun to mix them together with plenty of directing by J.J. Abrams and rocket boosting?
I still don’t know why, but the hype cells start pumping so much the very second your trigger finger is released in a game of SSARPBC, and whilst it is the number one cause of bruises and divorces in my house, it is still impossible to not have adrenaline and unicorn glitter burst out of every facial orifice when a goal is scored or an opponent’s vehicle rains down across the screen after you exercised your boosting into them, and for the pure sense of fun, laughter and general good times, it’s a PlayStation exclusive which requires all your love, plus at least 1 other friend’s.
And just like that this magical journey through the dying breed of multiplayer came to an end, there are plenty of other games I have enjoyed with a friend or two in the same building, and I’m sure there are plenty more to come, some honourable mentions that may have been on the list at one point: Blazblue Continuum Shift, Madagascar Kartz, Slam Bolt Scrappers, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Double Dragon Neon, Tank Battles and Hamster Ball all deserve something for their merits as well, plus the few other games still holding onto the greatest form of entertainment, couch multiplayer video games.
…Yes, Rayman: Origins multiplayer was good, but by heavens it took too long to convince anyone to play it with me because the game is just so appalling in the first place it wasn’t worth the effort.
/Fin … ?