5 Reasons Local Co-Op Rules

You hear a lot about online games and social games in our ever-increasingly connected world.  In fact, I think most of the games I’ve played recently have been online in some way.  So much so, in fact, that I’m sick of it.  I miss the good old days of playing in a room with a bunch of my friends, shouting at the TV.  Thus, for your pleasure, I’ve compiled a list of five reasons that local co-op rules.

1. Actually Seeing Other Humans

Did you know that by playing games together, there’s a psychological bond of trust created between people?  It’s true.  I heard it on the internet or something… maybe it was like a TED talk.  In all seriousness, though, actually getting face-time with your gaming buddies can be a challenge nowadays.  Very few games support local co-op, and many of those that do are, well, not good at it.  I like seeing my friends and playing games with them.  Plus, how else would I show off all my random cool video game themed t-shirts?

2. No Waiting for Matching

Don’t get me wrong, matching can be great, but sometimes the wait times are killer!  On Gears of War 2 I’ve waited more than five minutes sometimes– same goes for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.  As a DPS in World of Warcraft I have to wait more than 30 minutes to do a random heroic.  Those are precious minutes of my life ticking away.  I mean, with all that wasted time waiting I could be doing something important.  Like thinking up witty blog posts.

3. No Trolls!

How many times has this happened to you: you finally get matched in your game of choice, and then you’re stuck with someone either completely inept or who has apparently entered into a competition to be the most annoying twit on the face of the Earth.  While normal social convention would work towards teaching the troglodyte how to behave, the online nature of your relationship with this person makes it nearly impossible to get across that you would rather date a cast-member of Jersey Shore than play with them.  Local play eliminates this problem– provided you aren’t friends with a lot of trolls.  You aren’t, are you?

4. Tournaments

I freakin’ love tournament-style play.  It opens up a world of possibilities, match-ups, and ridiculousness.  I have fond memories of doing local brawler tournaments with friends long into the wee hours of the night.  I suppose you could do tournaments online, but do you really want the loser complaining that it was lag that killed them?  Tournaments always have been, and I think always should be, local.

5. SuperFun

Can you have a party while playing online?  If you said yes, you are unfortunately wrong.  One of the best parts of playing a game locally is that the fun happens just by being in the same room as your friends.  I bet that that when it comes to playing a game locally versus playing a game online, you’ll have more fun with the local play every single time.  While online gaming has come pretty far, there’s really just no substitute for the real thing. (That’s what she said…)

So there you have it.  I think it’s time for a local play resurgence.


  1. Chris Haddad

    Caroline, you totally forgot about immediate commiseration when you get epicly greased by a battle you and your buddy weren’t prepared for.

  2. lirelent

    In college, late on Friday nights we would take over one of the giant freshman auditoriums and hook up the game cube to the giant projector screens and play smash brothers into the wee hours of the morning. Your absolutely right, that those experiences can in no way compare to an online experience.

    • Caroline

      That sounds like so much fun! I have fond memories of many a smash bros tournament. Kirby was my best.

  3. You’re right about the fact that being in the same room as someone makes the difference between good times (scratchin’ and survivin’, good times!) and memorable times. I can name a ton of great times I’ve had gaming with friends in the same room and only a handful of good times I’ve had playing online. Halo/Starcraft/Serious Sam lans, Smash Bros tournaments, GAUNTLET LEGENDS, just to name a few. There’s definitely something more fun about staying up late with friends as opposed to staying up by yourself, playing online, maybe with friends.

    A step back to local co-op days is imminent. Most recently, My roommates and I have been having a blast with Risk Factions on the PSN. It’s just not as fun if you can’t stare the backstabber who stole your Australia in the eyes and ask, “but… alliance… why?”

    Great post, looking forward to more.

  4. I’ve always wondered why people act as through online coop and local coop are comparable experiences, overall. There really isn’t any comparison in terms of human connection. The closest you can come is voice-chat connecting with friends via online services, but even then they have to be really close friends and from what I’ve seen you have to establish an online rapport with them, which can take a while.

    This is the main reason Castle Crashers is one of my top-5 Xbox 360 games I’ve ever played. I’ve clocked in probably 60 hours of quality time with friends playing that game. =)

    • This is the very reason you compare two things: they are different. To compare is to examine and note the similarities or differences of.

      Any way, I’m always in favor of the return of local co-op. I’ve got 5 controllers for my PS3 and probably 4 games (out of 30ish) that’ll let me use 4 at a time. Why are so many developers seemingly convinced that gamers have no friends in real life? It’s simply not true! This is why PSN games and indie games rule, by bringing back games that friends can play together. Rock on!

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