Halo Games Night
GAR 24 and GAR 25 were our most recent multiplayer events, where we tried out some new and upcoming releases that offer fantastic single-screen battles. We also dove deep into a new way for us to play here at GAR - System Link.
Gaming At Rob's 24 - Friday 4th July
We start with GAR 24, where the focus was on Xbox 360 System Link. System Link and LAN, for me, has always been a single room experience, and it offers a kind of best of both worlds between the intimate interaction of local multiplayer, and the freedom of game design that you'll find in online multiplayer. Across 2 consoles, we had the ability to get 8 of us involved at the same time, so we started with a stone cold classic.
Halo 3 - With 4 of us playing over 2 screens, we had plenty of choice for what to play. We tried some standard Slayer to begin with, then moved to some other all-one-all game modes, including Oddball and King of the Hill. We discussed the finer points of Halo combat, before moving onto Halo Reach.
Halo Reach - We played a lot of SWAT, which strips your armour away, leaving you vulnerable to being taken down headshots or a couple of body shots. This makes the combat much snappier and raises the tension. We tried some of the more involve team-based modes, but didn't have time to drop into co-op.
Gears of War - The memories came flooding back for me, but it doesn't quite hold up with the setup we had. With a ton of bloom, motion blur and camera shake masking the action, trying to pay attention to 4 players on 2 large screens in front of us made every single one of us feel a little queasy.
We'll bring System Link back, as there is plenty more that we can enjoy from the Halo series - we didn't even dip into any co-operative scenarios.
Gentlemen! - Here's another single-screen game for GAR. Gentlemen! is all about taking each other out by picking up weapons spawned around the level, but the main draw is the VVVVVV-style gravity switching - instead of a jump button, you switch the polarity to either stick to the 'floor' or to the 'ceiling'. It's very pretty, characterful and I love the clever score indicators that show up each time you get a kill. Our other single-screen favourites leave each player's individual score in each corner of the screen, which is difficult to glance at in the midst of a match, but these pop up over your character with each kill. Check it out here.
Gaming At Rob's 25 - Friday 18th July
We took a week's break to recharge, then met up to try some new games.
Horizon Danger - Future release from a talented Dutch developer, Horizon Danger looks like other single-screen games, and you might initially have some dangerous pre-conceptions on how it'll play. You can jump, fire bullets that will freeze an opponent in place, and you can drop unlimited bombs underneath you. Victory is achieved by staying above the other players, the high ground giving you an advantage as you let explosives fall to the ground below. The levels are designed to make getting up difficult, especially in the heat of battle. There are a few other quirks in the design that keep things interesting. Once we were on board with how it plays we were enjoying ourselves, and will be back for more. One to watch.
Bubble Tennis: Infatuation - Bubble Tennis is a small game still in development, that is pulling together design from several games including Breakout and Windjammers. Attack to send the frisbee flying in your opponent's direction and smash the blocks defending their goal. Hit the star blocks to build up your power meter to be able to get the drop on them, and naturally, make your muscle man pose to show off.
We're fans of what TIGSource user empika has got going on here, and it looks like he's working on balancing and making the game more exciting. We'll check back for newer builds for subsequent GARs.
Persona 4 Arena - Earl and I started talking fighting games, and we're excited about holding a 1 versus 1 focused GAR soon. I picked up Persona 4 Arena once it had finally been released in Europe, following a difficult development and translation period. It kicked off talk of running a fighting game focused GAR so look out for that soon!
We’re on the hunt for more local multiplayer games! Come and tweet at us if you’re sitting on one, or are in love with one that you haven’t seen us feature before.