It’s o so quiet

It has been quiet here at couple gaming.  This happens from time to time. It is only the wife and I who run this and sometimes life just gets busy you know?  Ophilye often says we need to update the site with new on this game or that game, but that would mean we have to stop playing those games first, and sometimes we don’t want to.  So this is just an update that we are still here.  Playing games like you.  Once we get some time we will post about them.  Until them, game on my friends 😀

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A Co-Op we can get into: Trine 2

Trine 2 gameplay

 

 

 

 

 

Ymiris is an absolute gem of a gaming husband: he is constantly looking for games that we can play together, either as a couple or as a family.  During the last Steam sale, as a family we probably picked up 20 or so games/expansions.  We would have picked up more, but there were a few we were really waiting for that never made it on the list (What, Civ V expansion is too good for a summer sale?)

One of these was Trine 2.  We had seen the video of it, displaying something unique in the Co-op realm: a side scroller with three playable characters and beautiful, colorful backgrounds.

What this doesn’t capture is a few things that make this not just an enjoyable co-op, but one that doesn’t make the other player stabby.  Dear rest of the world making co-ops:  PLEASE TAKE NOTE.

1)  One player’s activities does not always affect the other.  If Ymiris is stuck trying over & over to get a bottle for some unknown reason (I can only think it represented some lost ice cream in his psyche & he was dead-bent on showing it who was boss), I am not caught up in that unless he needs help.  I can continue on, explore other places, or find my own trap

2) One player can affect the other, and be incredibly useful.  The mage can create boxes and planks out of thin air to elevate the other character and drop them from tall heights to get a particularly cumbersome bottle.

3) Working together means a get-out-of-maze-free card.  If you’ve tried multiple times to jump over the lava pit with shooting fireballs, use the mage to elevate the other person over said trap, being careful for the fireballs.  Voila! No dexterity needed.  This became particularly useful in not throwing down the controller & forbidding the game to ever enter the house again just because jumping had to be timed just right. (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, LITTLE BIG PLANET!)

4) One person can leave, go get lunch, take care of the child, paint their toenails, or talk to the neighbor without really hindering the other.  Because you can switch between characters, you can create your own planks & boxes as the mage, then switch to the thief to finish the journey.  It’s not as quick, but it’s doable, and you get the same amount of satisfaction for outwitting the land.

5) The puzzles are not always “make mage lift/lower something magically.”  There are a number of other puzzles and secrets throughout the game that makes continual playing worth it, as well as repeats.  I still love the puzzle of how to get out of jail, and Ymiris found the snowman, which was so neat to find.

To be fair, there are still downsides that need to be worked out if there is to be a Trine3.

* The mage is by far the most fun to play, as he is able to pull and push parts of the scenery to have the most impact.  The thief is the next most fun, and the meat shield is just that- a shield.  The last two characters need more incentive to play – maybe a different dialogue depending on who is out, or a special move that two specific characters can do together.  I would love to see the tank throw the wizard, or the thief go stealth & carry the tank as if they were levitating.

* We did not play Trine1, but we have heard that this storyline is awful compared to the first, and that not much was added.  We are writing this based on only Trine2, and would not suggest Trine1 – especially because it does not have multiplayer across computers.  If you are looking for a storyline, this isn’t it, though I may change my mind on this once we have finished the game.

* The 3D is _too_ beautiful.  Ymiris will spend 30 minutes ensuring it is set up perfectly, because seeing a purple dragon swaying before you, it’s gold jewelry dangling and sparkles shooting in 3D, is too much to give up.  This will be my new go-to game for explaining why I want a 3D monitor.  Trine3 will either have to make it less sparkly, or come with every 3D monitor because seriously, this was mind-bogglingly beautiful, and Ymiris should not have all the fun.

Overall, I definitely suggest it.  I also have heard there is a setting to let more than one of a character out – so, conceivably, you can both be wizards at the same time.  I also know that there is the ability to coop with all 3 characters instead of just 2, but we haven’t been able to try that out yet.  Message us if you want to be our third! 😀

Last, I did have the opportunity to meet the Thief -err, Entrepreneur – from Trine at PAX this year.  We also wanted to include some gameplay of why we enjoy it so much.

Trine 2 cosplay

 

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Top couple games for 2012

Looking for a game that you and the SO can play together?  Try the following;

Dungeon Defenders is a hybrid game combining aspects from both Action Role Playing and Tower Defense genres. Players can choose from many hero classes, each with their own defenses, as they defend Eternia Crystals from hordes of creatures. Besides building static defenses, players can fight with a massive arsenal of weapons and familiars.

Trine 2 is a sidescrolling game of action, puzzles and platforming.
You play as one of the Three Heroes who make their way through dangers untold in a fantastical fairytale world. Physics-based puzzles with fire, water, gravity and magic; Wicked Goblins; Climb the tallest trees and towers in the enchanted forest!

The sequel to 2007’s Game of the Year, Portal 2 is a hilariously mind-bending adventure that challenges you to use wits over weaponry in a funhouse of diabolical science.

Magicka is an action-adventure game set in the fantasy world of Midgård, where elemental magic rules the land, goblins and trolls are perfectly harmless – well, perhaps not entirely, and all the villagers are wise-cracking smartalecks

Minecraft is a game about placing blocks to build anything you can imagine. At night monsters come out, make sure to build a shelter before that happens. Couplegaming even has a Server you can join

Civ 5 is a turn based strategy game.  But don’t be turned off by that, playing with your SO against the A.I. or each other is a great time sync

This list is by no means complete, each gamer has a different style.  Maybe your SO is an FPS fan?  Try any of the co-op ones like, Left 4 Dead 2, Serious Sam, etc.  The games above our for people who are trying to get their SO to game with them, they are the most approachable, in-expensive and fun games to introduce your SO too.  Enjoy!!

 

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The Secret World

The Secret world if an MMORPG. However it is not your typical MMO. It feels more like a single player RPG with some random strangers running around playing with you. The combat is different from all MMO’s. You have to actively dodge, cripple or incapacitate and attack enemies. Your skills, combined with your abilities let you chose to play anyway you want, however they still offer templates for you if you desire. How you combine the skills and abilities also changes your look. For instance because I have blood magic and chaos magic in my abilities, I’m always on fire. The sheer amount of different ways you can go in this will keep the game interesting and prevent people from being forced into a certain role. The story line is pretty impressive too and has both Cthulhu and Nordic myths, as well as many others I have not seen yet. The game has cut scenes for a lot of the quests and the voice acting is good. So far Ophilye and I have been going after a lot of the lore simply because we want to know what is going on with the story. And so far not once have I felt like I was grinding. Which is a problem I have had with MMOs for awhile now.
Honeslty I could go on for a very long time about why this is worth trying, but I will break it down and let you decide.

  • Unique combat where movement and selection matter
  • plethora of abilities and skills that can be combined for customized play
  • quests that matter and drive the story, no grinding or collection quests
  • Feels more like a single player RPG
  • Excellent variety of MOBS and zones, nothing feels reused.

If you like that break down, give this game a go and let us know what you think.

The Secret world boss fight

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In the Pit

Yes, I have been BIG into PC gaming again. I have neglected by XBOX 360 in favor of my PC, and due to the dashboard of the 360 with its crap load of ads I have even been using my PS3 for streaming video. However I do on occasion see the need to start the 360 back up. This is one of them. In the Pit. I game that has 0 graphics and 0 cut scenes. Obviously this is not for everyone, but if you like imaginative Indi games you may want to check it out.
The basic primes is you are a monster in the pit. When someone gets thrown in the pit you eat them. You have to find them by listening to them breath. As you get closer you can hear their heartbeat and once you are close enough, the controller will vibrate meaning you can now eat them. Simple yet brilliant. It is only $1, so give it a go will you?

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Dark

So, after playing as much Diablo 3 as I could, and still waiting for XCOM: Enemy Unknown to be released. I decided to look into re-visiting Vampire: The Masquerade. It is one of my favorite games. Of course I had to see if there was a new patch for it, and in doing so found what appears to be a 3rd person vampire game.

Dark. So far not a lot of info on it. Looks to be a 360 and PC game releasing sometime in 2013. But judging by the trailer, it may be something fans of Vampires may want to keep an eye on. I will be.

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DotA2 the beta

I was lucky enough to get an invite to the DotA2 beta that is currently going on. Let me say that I have never played Defense of the Ancients, League of Legends or any other game like this. I am not sure how I got in the beta, but I can only assume it’s because the devs wanted fresh eyes.

Anyway, since I have never played this type of game, nor has Ophilye, we decided to do some reading on the game and talk to a few friends who are avid participants. First off, the game really does seem simple at first. It is a 5 vs 5 match. The object is to destroy the opposite teams Ancient (base if you will). You pick a Hero of your choice, which there are a lot of choices and queue up and have fun. Each hero does different things and plays different roles. I am not going to go into to much detail because I am not writing a guide. I do not have the skill or desire to do so. So simple enough right? Well not really, because there are a lot of rules you have NO idea about till you play and learn. So Ophilye and I get done reading basic guides and join a few bot games to get a feel for things. During both our reading and our discussion with friends we were warned that the DotA player base are ruthless ragers. Meaning all they do is complain about your skill or lack thereof. We dismissed this because all online games have this. So we join bot games and have a GREAT time. We are familiar enough that we decide to go ahead and queue up for the real game. Ophilye and I take turns and quickly we are addicted. The game is fun, challenging and always different. After 20 or 30 matches I start seeing the future of Ophilye and I. Constantly finishing up our day so we can play DotA 2 together. Each time you pick a Hero you must pick to best assist your team. I often pick ganker or support as I do not want to lead, but just want to help. Ophilye often picks support as well because she also likes to just help. It’s a challenge because we still do not know what item is best for what Hero. It is a constant learning process for us, not to mention the ability of each new hero we play. Did I mention how many heros there are?! I really could see playing this game for a long time and getting better and better.

However as of last night I have decided I am no longer enjoying myself. I do not think we will play this game after beta. Why? Simple, the community is really horrible. It seemed that when we first joined everyone was like us. Just learning and enjoying themselves. Now ever time I get in a game people are yelling at everyone else and calling them names. I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to the internet, but I still do not enjoy it, and it happens the entire match, which can be over an hour. No one who is a normal person wants to spend an hour hearing how much everyone sucks. What is also sad about this, is the person yelling if often not playing correctly either. I was warned about this, but I didn’t really believe it till now. What is really sad about this is the fact that the game itself is fun. But because it’s a competitive game people just don’t want to ever lose. I know I am odd in the aspect that I don’t like to lose but I don’t really mind when I do. If only people would stop looking to pass the blame, and just teach or say “gg” and move on this game would be a must have for everyone.

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Elder Scrolls: Skyrim


Skyrim is finally here. Since I didn’t really play that much of Oblivion I shouldn’t have been as excited for this game as much as I was. Yay for marketing. However once Ophilye gave me the ok to buy it I started doing some serious research. I know, what research do you need? Just buy the game! Well see, I had read that Skyrim, unlike the Elder Scrolls games before it, was built for the console first and PC second. Reports came out of horrible controls on the PC, but as expected better graphics. All the amazon reviews had the PC averaging 5 stars and the Xbox360 5 stars. I also was very interested in MODS for the game but didn’t want to sacrifice anything by sticking to the PC route that was appearing to have a lot of problems.

So what version did I buy? PC. But I did also buy a 360 controller receiver for my PC. This way I can play the game with better graphics but not have to deal with the second hand controls given out the PC folks. Let me say this, it works great!!

Now on to the gameplay. Its very addicting. The story is well written, customization of your character is top notch, quest are fun and rewarding and the leveling system is the best I have seen on an RPG. I am fully addicted. I have decided to go the mage/thief route while playing the lizard race. This allows me to regen health while dealing out a fair amount of damage from spells and my bow. The great thing about Skyrim is that I am not stuck to a class. If I like to use something, I will level in it. I use magic and a 1 hand mace for close combat, so it levels up as I use it. I use my bow for long attacks and it also levels up. I can level anyway I want and create any number of class mixes. It is amazing.

Quests are plentiful. You can find a lot of them in the city as well as chances to level your skills like potion making, smelting, etc. However Skyrim really rewards people who explore. Don’t follow a path, just wander the land and discover new things, encounter new beasts and find things you otherwise wouldn’t have. I love this part of Skyrim more then anything else.

There is so many good things to say about this game and you have probably heard them all already. So I am adding my voice to the thousands who agree this game is what we expected. Of course because it’s PC I have some lockups and crashes. And my Gaming PC is top of the line, but they are few enough that the enjoyment I get while playing far outweighs these issues.

If you have been on the fence about this game, take the leap. It’s well worth it!

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How Batman can be a co-op game

I know it’s not easy finding games you can play with the girlfriend/wife or partner. Let alone let the kids watch and join in as well. So let me enlighten you on how Batman, a reported single player game can be a family affair.

Batman like a lot of other games have puzzles you need to solve. Lots of them require no real thought while others take a bit more of the brain matter. If you’re anything like me, your wife is smarter then you and will love the opportunity to prove it time and time again. So while playing ask her to help! And keep here there for assistance later on. If things go well she will start to get interested in the story and demand you play so she can see what happens next.

There are currently 3 playable characters in the new Batman. And anytime cat woman comes on the screen, my wife and daughter both want to play her. I know it’s hard to watch others play, I do, but I let them. So when this happens while playing, and your SO or child shows interest, let them enjoy the game and you sit back and watch the action. It’s more entertaining then you think and may help you out later. If you’re playing the first game you will just have to let them take control over batman and hold your tongue.

Batman is a family affair. Despite the action, characters and guns in the game, Batman is no killer. There is no blood, no head shots, and nothing but a physical beat down. And if done right a lot of the fighting can be very quick with silent take downs. This is appealing to younger children and SO’s who don’t really like the violence of a lot other games. If you child or SO love action games and don’t mind violence, they won’t miss it here. As the game still feels very gritty and there is plenty of opportunity to lay the smack down.

There is SO much to do in Batman that you will at some point want to take a break. If you got the family hooked, you can now grab a beverage, sit back and watch the movie…errr game and before you know it, they will all be asking when the next Batman is coming out.

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Mechwarrior Online

Finally a new mechwarrior game is coming out. However it is now online only in the form of an MMO that is free to play.
This is a PC only game currently, with a release date of sometime in 2012. More information can be found on their site. Head over to http://mwomercs.com/ to reserve your pilot name and get more info.

Lets hope they don’t let us down!!

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