BY CHANELL TURNER: My husband is a hardcore gamer…we are talking Saturday morning, noon to six in the evening dedication. It does not matter if it is a little known free offering from the PlayStation Network Store, or Destiny 2, he is all in. This has been his life ever since he could sit upright and hold a joystick. As for me, I lean more toward the casual side of the fence. Super Mario, Sonic The Hedgehog, Legend of Zelda (any entry), I am a retro gal.
While I enjoy jumping onto the PS4 for an hour or so, I appreciate the art form of video games: the storylines, theories, character development, and impact on pop culture. Since my husband and I have different connections to gaming, enjoying his favorite past time has proved difficult. However, once we find a two-player game we cannot put down, his hardcore-ness rubs off on me.
For the grown gamers who want to involve their spouse and children in the form of entertainment they are passionate about, what are your options?
While, I have heard of some first-person shooter couples, for more casual gamers, you may want to start elsewhere. The experience should first and foremost be about one thing and one thing only: having a blast. So, in light of that, here are three co-op games that have almost turned me into a hardcore gamer, but more importantly allowed me to enjoy an essential part of my husband’s life.
Cuphead is a new shoot ‘em up title by Studio MDHR, and it has everything going for it: a vintage look, simple but intriguing premise (you play as two cup-headed mugs seeking to save their souls from the devil), and a retro swing band that is out of this world. Cuphead is fast-paced and can be frustrating at times, but its charm outweighs the challenge.
Cuphead does not feel like an ordinary video game, but an experience that takes you back to the days of Betty Boop and Steamboat Willy. This game requires some serious teamwork, but give Cuphead and his friend Mugman a try (simple mode please!), on a Friday night.
Marvel Heroes Omega
This is a perfect one for the kids. Marvel Heroes and Omega is a superhero styled top-down co-op experience. Players pick from a who’s who of Marvel legends to save the world. Battle Venom as Wolverine, Black Panther, Ironman, Captain America, Hulk, or any other Marvel character that meets your fancy.
The violence is believable but tame enough for older children to participate. If you have some Marvel fans in the house, I would recommend pulling this one out.
Sonic & All-Star Racing Transformed
This title has been responsible for numerous shut-in Saturday afternoons. It is a perfect blend of retro Sega goodness and high-octane racer. There are tons of characters from the good ‘ol days of Genesis platformers with some new personalities mixed in. Mario Kart is a great game, but sometimes you want to experience the non-Nintendo family gaming experience, and this title delivers.
Nothing too complicated, just the stars of Genesis days past racing in exotic locales. It will be fun to relive the coolness of Sega while enjoying some Need For Speed action.
Whether it is the 30’s style world of Cuphead, a Marvel universe, or some Sega racing; these are titles that everyone can jump into. Also, each has a retro feel that bridges the gap between what many of us enjoyed as kids and teens to what is new and fresh today. You may be surprised; you may create some gaming monsters in the process.