It’s Valentine’s Day! Love continues to be in the air. You got your takeout dinner. You got your chocolate. You got your cards, wine, and roses. Now it’s time to go home and plop down on the couch for some gaming fun with your Valentine. What’s that? They want to play something a little more competitive this time? Well, there’s no harm in the spirit of competition right? Especially in regards to a solid foundation you two have built up over time. Take from us though, if you want to scratch that competitive itch in your loins then you had best avoid playing these games on your Valentine’s Day. Unless you brought divorce papers home along with your dinner, these games will probably cause you to rip each other’s hair out in frustration. Happy Valentine’s Day? Not today buddy.
1) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Okay so while there have been numerous Mario Kart games throughout the years, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch has got to be one of the best in the series and most easily accessible. If you’re a couple and think dropping in on a kart racer with no prior experience is hard that’s where you’d be wrong. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has a feature that prevents you from falling off a course or going too far off-road. Once you got the simple control scheme down pat, then you can concentrate on the real meat of the game: winning your races in first place. Each racetrack features dives, anti-gravity loop-de-loops, gliding segments, and more items than you know what to do with. But the real danger lies in the Spiny Shell, the proverbial knife in the back, when your Valentine unleashes its raw destructive potential as it destroys every racer before, swiftly drawing closer and closer to take the First Place prize away from you. Your inches away from the finish line when, “BOOM”, all your hopes and dreams come crashing down in a blue spiny haze. Because it’s never just the Spiny Shell’s lust for blood, it’s also the person who threw it.
2) Any Call of Duty Ever
Back in the good old days when it seemed like Call of Duty could never do wrong, I have fond memories when several good friends and I would set up LAN parties at their house for some mild-mannered trash talking over Modern Warfare 2. Do you want to do the same with your Valentine? For the best experience you should set up in two separate rooms. I mean trash talking on the couch sounds really endearing in thought, but peeking at each other’s side of the split screen is just encroaching on each other’s honest ability to take control over a firefight. Yet something about hearing their yells and victory whoops down the hall sounds just right. Pick any Call of Duty of your choice. Are you boots on the ground or do you want jetpacks and all that hysterical nonsense? I think I would go with something WWII themed myself.
Do you and your Valentine like watching classic cartoons from time to time? How about that iconic animation style from the 1930s called rubber hose style? If so then maybe it would be wise to take a pass on Cuphead: Don’t Deal With the Devil, because it might just feel like you’ll need to make a pact with the devil in order to beat this game while retaining your sanity, much less still care about the person holding the second controller. Of course, choosing to pass on playing Cuphead would mean also passing on one of the most unique gaming experiences in recent years. Contrary to its look as a platformer, Cuphead is actually a run and gun game where the main gist of it all is to overcome the game’s many bosses that simultaneously act as a level’s set piece. The second player would control Mugman in a game that’s been notorious for a sharp difficulty curve. Your chances at success are really going to come down to pattern recognition and muscle memory. Be prepared for your Valentine to want to chuck their controller at either your head or your TV. Your one saving grace is that there is no lives system, as they are evidently limitless.
Overcooked, and its sequel Overcooked 2, is one of the most adorable cooperative cooking simulation games I’ve ever seen. Overcooked is a game of many facets. It’s colorful and endearing to look at it, whimsical to play, and it makes for a fun challenge when you’re playing the game as a single player. However, I think the real enjoyment of Overcooked stems from its real-world problem-solving dilemmas in running a gourmet kitchen. “I need plates. I have an order for double shrimp. I need these dishes cleaned. Is that a fire?! We’re all going to burn alive!,” pretty much sums up a typical play session of Overcooked when you’re trying your best and failing at becoming super chefs. If you suck at cooking in the real world, you might just stand a chance in a video game equivalent. You can see where the real heat is coming from, and that’s both you and your partner fuming over a ceaseless power struggle between cooking, serving, and cleaning. Out of the frying pan and into the fire as it were. Still, Overcooked has the potential to make cute animal critters playing house look like a dinner reservation in hell’s kitchen. Mwahahahahaha! Order up.
5) Left 4 Dead
Of course, everyone and their mother needs to scratch their zombie itch every now and again. Why should a Valentine couple be any different? Left 4 Dead and its sequel, Left 4 Dead 2, have held up very well for being ten years old. Seriously, where has the time gone? The premise of Left 4 Dead was very simple to slip into and became addicting to play with its “director AI” making no two play sessions feel exactly alike. Playing on PC would be an ideal choice as that opens up a plethora of fan-created maps and scenarios. As a survivor to a zombie outbreak, you have to shoot down, swing at, or chainsaw your way through endless hordes of zombies. The wails, shrieks, and cries of the Special Infected always gives you a shiver down your spine. Because the game is stylized as it were a motion picture feature by use of movie posters, together you and a Valentine can make the flow of the game entirely your own. As you skirt closer and closer to an inescapable fate, you find comfort in helping each other when things get dicey. You got someone watching your back, and that feels reassuring. Then comes the escape scenario in every finale when the game decides to throw everything it has at you. Left 4 Dead players will know exactly where the hearts of their friends truly lies. When rescue eventually comes, and it’s every man for himself, will you be left for dead?
Oh, of course, I’m not really expecting you to not play these games together on the occasion of Valentine’s Day. We just want to make sure that you don’t go to bed angry and still like each other in the morning. That said, what are some of your favorite games to play with your Player 2? Do you like something more cooperative or more competitive? Let us know. If you missed out on our first Valentine’s Day Top 5 list be sure to give it a peek. As always, for more gaming news, reviews, and editorials, be sure to keep an eye on Mammoth Gamers! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!