Gaming With Friends
Here’s an alternative to the going-out-for-a-meal-then-watch-movie with your friends agenda. Play multi-player games instead! Watching movies is an inherently passive and rather individualistic experience (unless you are one of those people who talk to each other in movies – in that case, BOOOOO). With a huge variety of games available, you can choose cooperative and competitive games depending on your needs. It is a more interactive way to spend time with friends, instead of getting drinks and a popcorn and sitting down for 3 hours.
If you’re planning on going Orchard to spend time – why not head to the multitude of LAN shops in the Dhoby Ghaut area? Some of the most popular LAN titles include L4D2, Counterstrike and multiplayer online battle games (MOBA) such as DOTA 2 and League of Legends. While some of these games can also be played over the internet, playing LAN means that you eliminate lag and disconnect issues. Plus, playing LAN is potentially cheaper than going to watch a two and a half hour movie. If you don’t game much, LAN is a perfect solution for you: you don’t have to go out of your way to get or buy a game and install it. Additionally you might not have the ideal gaming rig, but LAN shops definitely will have the bare minimum that you will need for a fun time.
This year saw the increasing integration of the Facebook aspect into all kinds of games, especially mobile ones. While some games were wildly popular for a short period of time, their hype faded quickly as people moved on to the next “it” cellphone game. Yet if conversation has dried up, or you need to pass the time, why not suggest a round of Facebook games? Games like Draw Something, Words with Friends, Tetris Battle and Scramble with Friends, while now considered out of fashion, are still very fun games that allow you to compete with friends. Facebook games are all about getting your social circles in the same game and cooperating to finish objectives. Give them a try!
Chances are, amongst your circle of friends there will be someone who owns a PS3, Xbox 360 or a Wii. Console gaming is also another avenue to get together and have some fun. For some, the buttons on a controller are much more straightforward and easier to use as compared to using your standard PC keyboard and mouse. The Wii was revolutionary when it came out, introducing motion tracking sensors and controllers. As of now, Xbox and PS3 have come out with Kinect and Move, which consist of fun games like Dance Central and other party games that promise a cheap and hilarious time with friends. If there’s a specific console that you don’t own and can’t get access to, consider places like Play Nation which allow you to play games there by the hour.
When you were in your teens, I’d daresay that most of you took a stab at MMORPGs like Maplestory or MMOs like Audition and Gunbound. Some of you who were more dedicated might even have jumped on the World of Warcraft wagon when it first came out. While MMOs are but one way you can play with your friends, strategy games such as Starcraft 2 can be a thriller too. If you aren’t too keen on paying a monthly subscription fee in order to play a MMO, that’s totally fine, because there are just so many MMOs to choose from. If you like shooters, Planetside 2 is an amazing huge experience. Or if you’re into certain ‘geek’ fandoms, the Lord of the Rings, DC Comics or the Star Wars MMOs are all free to play. The old classic Maplestory is still going strong, with more jobs and classes being added with each additional year.
As an avid gamer, below lies a few of my favourite picks for cooperative gaming:
L4D2 – a staple of LAN gaming. Grab three other friends and attempt to survive the apocalypse. If you have a Steam account and you have the game you can use Valve’s dedicated serves to go kill zombies. Even when playing casual, the game is oftentimes unpredictable, and it is a definite must to team up with your friends to avoid being picked off. The sequel to the wildly popular L4D, returns with two new additions to the special infected zombies: the Jockey and the Spitter. If you and your friends are feeling especially daring, there’s always a harder mode or even the realistic mode where you can definitely kill your own teammates in game if you are careless. Overall, L4D2 in its campaign mode emphasizes cooperation to get to that safe house at the end of the level.
Counterstrike – While 1.6 is still the staple go-to shooting game for many boys, Global Offensive, released in August brings fresh life into the franchise. Pick your side: the terrorists or counter-terrorists, both which have differing and often mutually exclusive objectives. With each subsequent round you will receive money according to your performance for the previous round which you can use to purchase items that will enhance your gameplay further. Other than the classic hostage/defusing games, you can look into Arms Race, which has an interesting win requirement: being the first to kill everyone with every type of weapon. CS:GO can be both play competitively or cooperatively with friends.
League of Legends – based on the wildly popular mod in Warcraft 3 named Defense of the Ancients, the multiplayer online battle arena
(MOBA) games has got a new player in the form of League of Legends. With heroes released every few weeks, the game remains interesting. LoL is played in teams of 3 or 5, and a lot of strategy goes into which heroes your team eventually chooses to field. The prize pool of LoL tournaments is quite substantial as well – so start practicing with your friends!
Halo 4 – after the critical and commercial success of the Halo series, Microsoft opted to release another trilogy. In the Xbox only game – instead of fighting the alien Covenant out to exterminate humanity, the protagonist Master Chief battles an ancient enemy whilst dealing with questions like the meaning of life and purpose. Grab a friend to play the campaign and follow Master Chief’s journey to defeat the alien races.
On the other end of the spectrum lies Kinect Adventures! Always an instant-hit in parties. Relying on nothing but open space and Kinect sensors, up to two people can play the myriad of mini games, all of which promise to have you and your friends laughing hysterically and getting a good workout.
Mario Kart Wii – the party game to end all party games, Mario Kart will bring out your inner competitive streak like no other. The game mechanics are simple and instantly intuitive. Spells fun for all ages!
By: Celestine Lian
Editor: Cherie Anne Lian