Ask the Kliq #19
Every once in a while, you will think about video games and then ask yourself a question that has no rhyme or reason, but that just happened to pop in your head at that exact moment. In some rare instances, not even Google or Wikipedia can provide the answer you need. Sometimes you wouldn’t even need an answer to that question.
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This Week’s Question
Summer is coming, which means more vacations, and thus more time with families and friends. For some, a good way to spend that extra time with the ones they love would be around the pool after a good barbecue. For others, that time could be better spent playing multiplayer video games. Whatever you plan to do with your summer, we are not here to judge. However, we are interested in knowing what kind of video games you play when your friends are around. Guess what? This is exactly what we asked our staff members this week.
In other words, and in italic font, here’s this week’s question:
“What’s your favorite game to play when you have your buddies over?”
Here are your answers!
Everyone knows how Koreans go gaga over Starcraft
or how Japanese love Street Fighter
or how casuals just play Mario Party
over and over again no matter how crap the games get.
Well, Saudis have Pro Evolution Soccer.
Since Footy is by and far the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia, it makes sense that the virtual form of the sport would be popular as well. Many people can point to PES as pretty much the sole reason why the PS2 overwhelming dominated hardware sales in the Gulf region as a whole with many people’s PS2 libraries simply consisting of only successive yearly instalments of Pro Evolution Soccer.
My favorite memories of the game? Probably the days when I could whoop my little bro 8-0 or 6-0. Nowadays he’s a much better competitor and arguably better than me.
Kids. They grow up so fast these days.
There are two modes of thought when you get people together. One of them says to get as many controllers as possible and give everyone a go. The other way to do things when you’ve got everyone together is to pop in a fighting game and pass the controller. Winner stays, you know. The thing to know about my friends is how many of us were comic book geeks before we were gamers. Not everyone is fast enough for a twitchy shooter, not all of us like racing. The game we throw down with is Mortal Kombat vs. DC
. Putting aside the special moves, most of the characters control the exact same way. That lets people who only put a controller in their hands every few months have as much fun as those of us who play constantly. We’ve all got favorites from the DC Universe, and the Mortal Kombat
line-up offers a lot of favorites as well. It’s the best way to kill hours and hours. I just wish there was a cheat code for easy fatalities, and some DLC for new characters.
Well we’ve had several party game flavors over the years. First there was Mortal Kombat 4
, then DOA 2 Hardcore, Dance Dance Revolution
and its mixes, then the Guitar Hero
and Rock Band
thing. Lately, though, it’s the only thing I ever turn the Wii on to play, Wii Sports
. For some reason, Tennis and Bowling are two of the things our group loves to do when we get together. Granted, that’s not always the case, and sometimes the guitars come out or someone feels the need to bash someone into the ground with a spinning kick, but mostly it’s the traditional games that made it onto the Wii.
There are a number of games that get busted out when a group of friends and I get together including Boom Blox, Wii Sports
, and Soul Calibur IV
. None of them have gotten as much mileage as Super Smash Bros. Brawl
(sober) and Rock Band 2
Brawl takes the competitiveness of the more hardcore fighting games on the market and puts a party game spin on it, allowing four people to play matches with as much random goofiness as they so choose. For us though, we always played on the map Final Destination with the items turned off to see who truly reigned supreme. Eventually, everyone stops playing with me after I clean house with Link, but I haven’t had anyone rage quit yet!
Rock Band 2 I like to play more in a party setting, since it has everything needed to get all people involved, not just those who like video games. It has enough songs in it to where everyone will find something they like (and if they don’t, you can always download some), and the plastic instruments look tempting enough to make anyone want to pick them up and feel like a rock star. There’s a reason karaoke is so popular in bars, and this is just an extension of that.
Time and time again, we break out the original Modern Warfare
, talking trash as we try to find the best sniper spots and be reject campers. This generally means leaving claymores at the top of ladders, ridiculous grenade throws that would make Peyton Manning look like he had a puny arm, and wasting entire clips of P90 ammo to blow up cars as “diversions”.
Regardless, my favorite group game would have to have been Grand Theft Auto 3. While it only had a single player mode, we would group up at my firehouse and pass the controller along. Whoever grabbed the highest wanted level and held out the longest would be the victor. The only rules were you were allowed a one time cheat to bring the wanted level down and the unlimited weapons/ammo cheat infinite. This led to literally hours of ridiculous gameplay and a good time all around. Throw in some brews and watch absolute hilarity ensue.
Ever since the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, there has been one genre of game that my family and I always turn to when we are anywhere near each other – sports. It started, on the NES, with Tecmo Super Bowl
(still my favorite game of all-time, by the way), and moved to the NHL
series on the Super Nintendo. The original Playstation and, later, the Playstation Two, housed some of the finest Madden NFL
games I have ever played. Now that we have reached the Playstation Three, my cousins and uncle and I are back to checking each other through the boards with EA’s NHL 09
and NHL 10
Most of my “real life” friends are not big gamers, so in order to play multiplayer that isn’t with a stranger over Xbox Live or the Playstation Network, I play with my uncle and my cousins. This uncle is the guy who got me started on video games, so I guess it is fitting that I still battle him for console supremacy, which is a lot easier for me nowadays. When I was younger, I would be whining non-stop because my uncle would always beat me, no matter what game we played. Fortunately he now has a son who I can make cry (yes, it feels good to win, even against an eleven year old).
My friends and I have never had one game that we tend to play over another. We tend to play games in shifts. There’s no better example of this than when I hang out with a particular group of friends. Generally speaking, we hook up whatever two to four split screen game we can get our hands on for the 360. We’ve put endless hours into Halo 3, Modern Warfare 2, Gears of War 2, Left 4 Dead, Rainbow Six Vegas
, etc. Before that, we did a similar kind of thing for the PS2 with games like Time Splitters
and even one day of Ratchet & Clank: UYA
I do have one tradition that goes back a bit. My best friend and I occasionally dig out his Dreamcast and go fifty rounds in Soul Calibur. To keep things fair, we always go random for characters and stages, thus preventing him from dominating me with Mitsurugi and me from crushing him with Lizardman over and over again. The best part is that every time, the end result is the same. He beats me twenty-six wins to twenty-four. But damned if I don’t think I can win every time.
I do have plans with another friend to make a bit of a drinking game out of UFC Undisputed 2009. We’re both pretty much equally gifted, with myself perhaps having a slight edge. The idea is to fight and have the winner take a shot of alcohol and continue onwards until we can’t go on anymore.
That’ll be one hell of a night.
Nowadays, the game we play the most is Rock Band 2
. We usually have a varied selection of songs, but we all have our personal favorites: If I’m drumming, I’ll play anything, but if I’m playing guitar, I have to play the solo in Pearl Jam’s “Alive” at least once, and if I’m singing, you just can’t keep me away from Boston’s “More Than A Feeling”. I nail it every time.
If I am with my coworkers, the NHL series is usually our choice. We once spent an entire night playing a best of seven series, split in two teams of three, and sure enough, we went all the way to the seventh game. One of my friends went to the menu to change his control scheme, but in the meantime, that other guy was messing with his controller because he was bored. This combination of button presses made us “quit” the game, and we never thought about saving our playoff. So it was all lost for nothing. We would not see our players hoist the Stanley Cup that night. I’m pretty sure one of my buddies had left his wife alone with the kids for longer than he was supposed to, probably was in trouble when he went back home, and he didn’t even get his money shot.
However, the all-time winner in my case is either Goldeneye or the AKI-developed wrestling games for the N64. Goldeneye was all about night-long silly antics with remote mines or power weapons in the Facility or in the Complex. As for the wrestling game, one thing we would like to do is start a 40-men Battle Royal, put the elimination style to “pins or submissions only” and then last as long as we could before collapsing from exhaustion. The game would automatically assign the next entrant to the last player eliminated, and WCW/nWo Revenge was notorious for being filled with all the jobbers populating the WCW locker room at the time. Starting the game as DDP or Goldberg only to be eliminated after 25 minutes and being assigned Van Hammer or Sick Boy for the next half hour was hilarious for whoever wasn’t that unlucky soul.
I very rarely game with a bunch of buddies; most of my friends aren’t gamers. But the few times when my chosen profession ends up as a means of social interaction, it really depends. Mario Kart
is an old standby, because it’s easy to pick up, easy to play, and any moron can win a race. I also have the first couple Guitar Hero
games, which are good, but nowadays, any of my casual friends will probably have Rock Band
anyway. I do have one friend who, when he has gaming nights with others, I can play almost anything with. We’ve went from College Hoops 2K8
to Raiden IV
to Katamari Damancy
, all in one night. Believe it or not, we were sober.
I know the key for me is to not get too competitive. I’m an *extremely* competitive person – ask Aileen – and I have to find something that I’m not going to care too much if I win or lose. That’s why games like Rock Band are so good; there’s really no competition, it’s all co-op. It’s also why I tend to stay away from Mario Kart, or sports games; when it comes to playing against other people, in my mind, I *have* to be #1, even when I don’t.
Maybe this is why I’m not invited to too many gamer nights…
It is now your turn, fine DHGF readers. We want to know what your game of choice is when it comes to playing face-to-face with your friends. Tell us all about your best stories in the comments section! If you would prefer to leave us a question to answer in a future edition, you’re more than welcome to do so. You can also click on “email the author” at the top of this article and add the subject line “Ask the Kliq”. We’ll put our team right on it.