“Oh man I won again!!!!!”
“No fair I’m telling mum”
So practically every single one of us who has an annoying older brother or pestering younger sister will have fond memories in their childhood playing video games. That rainy Sunday afternoon spent battling it out on Mario Kart or humiliating your sibling by passing them on Sonic on the Sega Megadrive (or Genesis for our American friends). I remember being the younger one who always had the dodgy controller and was always Tails in Sonic 2. Multiplayer to me was a way of life but we knew little of its origins and the exciting future still to come.
LETS GIVE YOU A BRIEF HISTORY
Did you know however that it was back in 1973 we had the first multiplayer game called “Astro Race” in the Arcades…that’s right kids in the 2010’s. No consoles at home back then!
How much money we all must of spent just trying to beat our mates…
Fast forward a few years and this typical stand in the arcade button mashing approach was the only way to live. We then saw the birth of famous titles such as “Pong” & “Pacman” in COLOUR!!!!.
So after a few crying tantrums & fist fights between my brother and I now we moved into the 1980’s and saw the introduction of Artificial Intelligence. Yes…the machine was able to intelligently predict your actions.
To combat this element we could now PAIR UP and work as a team in co-operative multiplayer. New exciting titles were created between the 1980’s and well into the 1990’s where I can remember classic games such as “Streets of Rage”, “Golden Axe”, “Mario Brothers” & “Sonic the Hedgehog”.
Now gaming was at home with consoles like the N64, Snes, Commodore & Megadrive and the genre as a whole was now developing story based gaming as opposed to who will win the race first. This was far more diverse and enjoyable for the co-operative minded, multiplayer gamers.
The sheer amount of Mario titles released just leads you to think how bad Princess Peach was at NOT getting kidnapped. Still, it kept us entertained.
As the 90’s ploughed on multiplayer gaming stayed very much in a recognisable format. The only evolution was the enhancement & improvement in graphics. Until 3D Games were developed in the form of amazing games like “Doom” which are still going strong even today.
You could even be forgiven for thinking multiplayer games were evolving solely into First Person Shooters when games like “Goldeneye” & “Perfect Dark” became increasingly popular. However in the 2000’s the competitive streak returned with revamped sequels like “Tekken 3” but also exciting racers with great graphics like “Burnout”, “Grand Tourismo” & “Need for Speed”. I remember when I used to feel the blood and adrenaline surging through my body as we come down to the photo finish anxiously waiting to find out who won!!!
Online gaming is the way we play our games now. Your opponent or team member is not required to be in the same room, town, state or even country as you. Yes I know possibilities are amazing and endless and the game is probably a bit more interesting than the older titles. I have a love and affection for on-line gaming, for example “Grand Theft Auto 5” & “Call of Duty” but I feel as if we have lost the charm of the local multiplayer. The edge of your seat gameplay, the days where there was no fear of server lagging or bloody annoying trolling campers. The happy times I remember as a kid.
Don’t get me wrong, the the online gaming world is massive and I am certainly NOT saying its wrong. But I cannot help but feel nostalgic when I look back on fond memories of sitting on that sofa on a rainy Sunday afternoon playing Sonic with my brother.
Thanks for reading,