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Two-Player Games for Mixed Skill Level Players?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the an-semi-level-playing-field dept.


koreth asks: "What are some good two-player games that a newbie can successfully play with a more seasoned gamer? I want to find a good console or PC game I can play with my girlfriend, who has only recently started gaming. Something cooperative would be great, but head-to-head is fine too. All the games we've tried are made for players of roughly the same skill level -- so either I end up dumbing my gameplay way down (no fun for me) or blowing her out of the water without much effort (no fun for her). Is there any game out there that gives two players tasks of varying difficulty to keep both of them engrossed, at the same time?"

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Coop all the way (5, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14937904)

You're probably best off going coop games. If you're going PC games, any MMOG would probably do the trick. There's a decently steep learning curve, but you can help each other out quite effectively. WoW is a really easy game to teach newbies: as a very casual gamer, my wife picked up on it pretty quickly.

If you're not limiting yourself to PC, a Gamecube would be a good place to go. There are plenty of games for the veteran and the hardcore alike. Of course all I can think of is the NES days with coop games like Guerrilla War, the Double Dragon series, TMNT games, etc etc. Classic NES games are hard to beat. Easy to learn, but still a whole lot of fun! When I game with my wife, the NES probably gets used the most.

Re:Coop all the way (1)

theqmann (716953) | more than 8 years ago | (#14937989)

I concur on the Gamecube. One major advantage I've seen is that it has a lot of non-standard game types, so the both of you will be newbies at learning strategies and controls.

Re:Coop all the way (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938280)

Gamecube, thirded, especially the first-party titles:

- Mario Kart: Double Dash has a coop mode where one person drives and the other chucks stuff and creates sparks for acceleration. You can switch positions at any time.

- Mario Power Tennis: Play doubles vs the computer. Lots of fun. The Chain Chomp game is one of the best mini-games I've ever seen.

- Super Monkey Ball (2): I think there are 12 little mini-games, a LOT of fun for two or more people. Maybe 6 are great, the rest are alright but get old quick. The downside is that this game sucks for a single player.

- Ghost Recon: I play this with my wife and she loves it because you don't need quick reflexes. You can creep around rocks and bushes without being seen and shoot the enemy. We use the coop mode, and I sometimes handicap myself by taking odd weapons. I think it's a great introduction to FPSs.

Stuff I can't vouch for, but is probably just as good:

- WarioWare: I haven't tried the multiplayer on this game, but the single player was fun enough to figure out that two people would have a blast with it.

- Mario Party (I haven't tried this one at all). Again, lots of mini-games, some of which might be duds but I'd bet $100 that there are at least a few great ones.

I also wanted to mention that the Action Replay MAX from CodeJunkies is well worth picking up. I know, it's a cheat etc, but my wife got stuck at one point in Rayman 3 (tough platforming level). She stopped playing the game for a few months, until I picked up the Action Replay. I booted up the Cube with a couple of cheats and all of a sudden she was having fun again. I think that if a single player game gets too hard, it's not fun anymore and people just don't want to play that game. The AR costs $40 canadian (as much as a game) but it's very worth it.

Re:Coop all the way (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938046)

3rd person hack & slash games are great fun co-op. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Gauntlet, or Champions of Norrath are all good possibilities.

Re:Coop all the way (3, Insightful)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938090)

MMOG's are terrible for coop playing. anytime ive tried playing an MMOG with friends (starting at the same time) one of us would always have a little bit more time, so their character would end up advancing past the others in the game (both in level and "place" in the game).

Re:Coop all the way (2, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938165)

Well, since the submitter specifically asked about games to play with his significant other, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If my wife outleveled me in WoW, I dont think I'd be terribly upset =P You are right about MMOGs with other friends though...that's downright impossible to keep together!

Re:Coop all the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938300)

That's only a problem in MMOGs that require level or xp grinding, and in which levels matter. That's not the case in GW. There are 20 levels but they're trivial to get, and you reach max level 20 without trying, during the normal course of the game.

Guild Wars all the way (5, Informative)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938144)

Guild Wars can give you the best of both online and offline gaming. Just you and your GF (plus AI henchmen) as you don't want other players to intrude on the two of you, no subscription fees, and none of the griefing you get in other MMOGs.

Plus, a huge and wonderfully detailed world for the two of you to explore and to battle against, with no xp grinding, nor any of the other traditional MMOG timesinks that make some other popular worlds so tedious. The time saved can then be used ... on other things. :P


Re:Guild Wars all the way (3, Informative)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938193)

I second this recommendation. Most standard MMOGs have a lot of grind forming a huge timesink, and if you are restricting it to times when you both can play, advancement will be even slower. Guildwars has a lot less grind to it, and you can make real progress in the time you play it, really conveying a sense of achievement. Plus, each account currently has slots for 4 characters, so you can also create another ton to play solo with. It's also decently easy to pick up and become good at (it's becoming great at it which is difficult... reminds me of those old Othello commercials).

Slashdot bug? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14937907)

I clicked this article and the one above it (Shadowbane Now Free As In Beer) and they both said "nothing to see here, please move along."

I clicked a little while later and I got this article..

(offtopic, sorry)

Any FPS with death match (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14937922)

Your task will be killing her and her tasks will be running away, struggling with the keyboard and dying.

Re:Any FPS with death match (3, Interesting)

Jamori (725303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938652)

I've had to deal with a similar situation with a friend, except slightly modified where we were both 'hardcore' gamers. There was a time when our skill was rougly equal, with me winning more often than not. Then something kicked in and he got amazingly good. (as an aside, I don't "just suck". Other than he, I'm still arguably the best UT99 or UT2k4 player I know, and I go to an engineering school and live with 7 other guys, all of whom play the game)

He liked to play 1on1 deathmatch, and our 1on1 rounds would often devolve into a game which essentially amounted to: can I kill myself before he can?

In maps where it was an option, I would insist upon falling off an edge, or some other unusual form of death (just switching to the impact hammer and shooting the ground didn't make for a very enjoyable time...) I would, of course, have to defend myself along the way by shooting back, but that rarely resulted in a kill, since killing him was no longer even my primary objective.

We also had various other odd ways of playing the game. We'd each stand at opposite ends of a long hall with shock rifles and play "baseball". "Pitch" a ball of secondary fire and the other had to hit it.

Granted, these methods of gaming aren't likely to appeal to many, but we sure had a hell of a time with it.

Handicap in fighting games (4, Informative)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14937944)

Most fighting games have a handicap system that essentially alters the damage dealt. Turn your damage way down, and hers way up, and then tweak them as she learns the system. I can particularly recommend Super Smash Brothers Melee for this, as it even has an auto-handicap system.

Splinter Cell (1)

noemore (959325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14937947)

The Merc vs Spy multiplayer mode is insanely difficult if there are less than 3 mercs, i am not as skilled at games as my friends and it was 2vs1 and i could hold my own as the spy, this requires 2 xboxes though, so don't know how easy that is to pull off though.

handicap (2, Insightful)

alexhard (778254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14937956)

Look for games that allow handicaps to be set. Like the latest AoE, if you are both into RTS.. Handicap yourself to death..challenging for you and ultimately brings you both to approximately the same level of skill after playing around with the handicap values a bit..

Re:handicap (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938152)

One thing to note: In most RTS games, handicaps really don't help out much if you're a newbie. I know in Battle for Middle Earth 2 and Warcraft 3, handicaps simply lowered the amount of life units had. While this was fine at first, I tried a 1v4 computer fight in Warcraft 3 and simply got SWARMED. The reason: they had the same amount of attack damage and armor without the handicap...

Girlfriend? (4, Insightful)

jollyroger1210 (933226) | more than 8 years ago | (#14937974)

Theres this game I play with my girlfriend, but it's not a video game.... try it

Re:Girlfriend? (1)

piltdownman84 (853358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938065)


Or maybe some bed sports. I had a girlfriend who was always told me to get more exercise (even though i jog and play soccer in the park all the time) and would always agree that I could always use more bed sports. Did would she get cross.

Re:Girlfriend? (1)

ShecoDu (447850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938066)

It's all good.... but more often than not, relationships need to diversify their activities and playing games is a good idea to spend some time together, it's fun, you can always switch games, and if it gets boring you can stop playing it and resume the kissing and touching :P

Re:Girlfriend? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938082)

Yeah, but every time she's playing with me she's complaining about your skill level.

Re:Girlfriend? (5, Funny)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938253)

Theres this game I play with my girlfriend, but it's not a video game.... try it

The trouble with that game is that girlfriends tend to object to the multi-player form.

Re:Girlfriend? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938434)

The solo campaigns aren't bad either

Something simple - two suggestions (4, Informative)

Jumbo Jimbo (828571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14937977)

Something less than complex is probably the way to go. My girlfriend doesn't enjoy playing PC games with me, but does enjoy playing Super Mario Kart on the gamecube - I know it's console but maybe that accounts for the easier learning curve, which is good as she's a relative novice at gaming.

Another one, though I haven't played for years, that I would suggest would be Super Bomber Man or a sequel - easy to pick up and fun.

And the person above who suggested a MMO has an excellent point, though depends how casual you want the gaming to be as they generally require a large investment of time.

N64 (1)

madsenj37 (612413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14937978)

Dr Mario has handicapping ability. Mario Tennis - play doubles. You can pick computer players of different skill levels.

Be Careful... (1)

natedog44 (928601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14937984)

Mixing your "Gaming Personality" with your "Relationship Personality" is not always a good thing.

I think George Costanza put it best when he said...


Super Monkey Ball (5, Insightful)

Swimmin' Pants (911939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14937993)

I can't stress enough the sheer multiplayer bliss that can be found in the first Super Monkey Ball. It's a game that gets played a lot whenever my family gets together.

Particularly the minigame "Monkey Target." No matter your skill level, you can have loads of fun; the game is competitive, but in a way that doesn't make it less fun if you get completely obliterated by your opponent. The sounds, colors, and animations make it easy to laugh about doing poorly, to the point where you don't even care who wins or loses. It's a lot of fun, either way.

Plus, the cute graphics will probably make it easy for your girlfriend to get into.

Re:Super Monkey Ball Deluxe (1)

xplenumx (703804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938349)

I couldn't agree more. I love games, while my wife is not much of a gamer at all (she loved the original NES, but games have advanced to a point that they're just not enjoyable to her). However, we'll spend just about every evening together playing the "Monkey Race DX" in Super Monkey Ball Deluxe. The game is very simple, you control the monkey with a joystick and use one button to fire - there aren't any "power slides", super ultra-cool combos, or any "must win" moves that one needs to learn. Additionally, you can pick up weapons to fire at each other, which usually favors the player who is behind, and you can toggle a "handicap" option giving losing players a slight speed boost. I've looked for years for a game that both my wife and I could play, and to date this is the only one that has worked. My wife is hooked. My friends are hooked (both the gamers and non-gamers). Even my parents are hooked. The game sells for ~$20 - I strongly recommend the submitter to check it out.

Re:Super Monkey Ball (1)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938524)

I own both Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2, and I find that I like the single player better in the first and the multiplayer better in the second. Monkey Target is definitely the best minigame. The main difference is that in Super Monkey Ball 1 you switch off, but in 2 you play up to four players at the same time so there is less down time.

Re:Super Monkey Ball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938615)

My wife and I played that a lot when we first got it. She's now better than me at it and was able to get past a few that I couldn't do (hence posting AC).

Dungeon Siege for couples (4, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938008)

My wife and I are currently playing Dungeon Siege together. It is simple enough that any one with point and click experience and basic math skills can excel at it, but entertaining enough to keep you clicking forward.


Re:Dungeon Siege for couples (1)

iamelgringo000 (928665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938463)

I whole heartedly agree. My wife and I have been playing on and off for the past couple of years. She loves it.

I can only suggest a board game... (5, Interesting)

ynohoo (234463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938010)

the ancient oriental game of Go [google.com] has has an excellent handicap system that keeps the game interesting, no matter how wide the skill difference.

Re:I can only suggest a board game... (2, Informative)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938180)

I wouldn't go so far as to say "no matter how wide the skill difference." I would say that if you need more than a 4 stone handicap, then it doesn't matter if you opponent gives you a 9 stone handicap -- you're gonna get curb-stomped.

Re:I can only suggest a board game... (2, Insightful)

ynohoo (234463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938261)

hell, I've played games with a 27 handicap! Believe me, it makes a difference :)
Although by that stage you're better off switching to a smaller board...

Re:I can only suggest a board game... (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938291)

I was going to post the same. My gf has picked it up and loves it. Although we actually enjoy it more to play against other people online than to play against each other..

Empire Earth II (1)

lordvdr (682194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938012)

Pretty good graphics. Has several solutions for you. It's an Age of Empires clone but is unique in its own right.
1. Cooperative play. The two of you can share the resources and control of a single civilization.
2. Handicap. In multiplayer (and single-player) you define the handicap from newbie to game god. You can be either allied or head-on or free-for-all with computer ai, etc.
3. Adjustable ai skill (easiest to hardest).

Re:Empire Earth II (1, Funny)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938698)

Yeah, great idea, until you start bickering over how you didn't protect "her" villagers and you accuse her of hogging all the gold and spending it on useless trinkets.

An enigma (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938014)

I have a see-saw and an elephant. I want to play on the see-saw with the elephant, anyone know how I can get that big ass in the air?

Does it have to be a competitive two player game? (5, Insightful)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938021)

'Cause if it does, I feel I should quote C-3P0:

I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the wookie win.

Seriously though, if you are up for 'lets work together', and don't mind sharing the controller/keyboard, I would recommend something more puzzle & adventure oriented. Could be a point 'n click, but it doesn't have to be. I mean, some of the older Tomb Raiders were good in this respect (puzzles); just remember to look at other parts of the screen once in a while or your plan may backfire. Let's face it, FPS' are more reaction time and fine motor control -- which can be fun -- but I have a sneaking suspicion your better half will appreciate something more cerebral.

If you really do want a truly 2 player game, I would recommend something coop. If you have Half Life and more than one computer (and what self-respecting geek doesn't?), then give Sven Co-op [svencoop.com] a try. Play through Half Life co-operatively. There is also a huge map pack avaliable with decent maps; not all of which are quick-blast-everything-that-moves. Other choices include other coop games, such as Halo 2. I'm sure you can think of others without too much effort; eg sports games, racing games usually have > 1 player mode built-in, at least for consoles.

Personally, I'd go for the one that gets you the most thanks-for-thinking-of-me-honey... points.

DDR/Stepmania (2, Informative)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938052)

DDR lets each player select their own difficulty level.

There's a open source knock off called step mania that's more feature-rich. Thousands of songs for step mania are available on the net, and you can add your own.

LEGO Star Wars, WC3 (5, Informative)

Kaimelar (121741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938067)

LEGO Star Wars is a very fun co-op game . . . it even allows you to drop in/out at any point, which is great if the phone rings, the oven timer goes off, etc. It's not terribly long, but the sequel will be out soon. :-)

On the PC side, WarCraft III might be a good idea -- you can play against AI opponants, and select various handicaps for each player if desired.

Puzzle games are a lot of fun to play together, too -- my wife and I have played Bookworm together and had quite the good time.

Re:LEGO Star Wars, WC3 (3, Informative)

Ratbert42 (452340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938317)

I play Lego Star Wars with my daughter. It's a little easy for adults, but it's still a lot of fun. Easy to jump in and out of the game too.

Re:LEGO Star Wars, WC3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938426)

My nephew is very good at Lego Star Wars and he's only 5 years old.. reading that one might think its a kids game, but it is really fun for all ages. It is probably one of the best games I've seen for the XBOX that is actually fun to play for more than a couple weeks, since there's so much you can do. As parent poster mentioned too, you can jump in and out of the game which is great. But there is so much to do in that game, its awesome.

Re:LEGO Star Wars, WC3 (1)

ross.w (87751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938654)

I have to add my endorsement for Lego Starwars. I have mentioned it in other posts, but I have played it with my 7yo son, and he loves it. The drop in/drop out feature is great. If my son is playing on his own, I can drop in to help him through a difficult stage.

He's had it since November and has just recently almost played it out.

You've got to try.... (5, Funny)

smaerd (954708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938080)

...beating each other with live cats.

It's a little tricky setting up a game, but if you put about three ounces of rum in waterdish, they're easy to catch. That said, it's more fun to do it with sober cats... their claws have a higher chance of being extended at any given point in time.

Now, if you start to get the knack of the game before she does, just drug her cat more. Her cat won't be as painful, but she'll be able to swing it harder without it trying to claw her eyes out.

After a few rounds, you'll both be laughing, exhausted, and covered in each others' blood.

Oh, and if you're both knocked unconcious, the cats will eat you. They'll start with with your tongues, btw.

Re:You've got to try.... (2, Funny)

terbo (307578) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938475)

He said CONSOLE games.

Try beating each other with smoldering hot X-Boxes.

in your dreams

go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938094)

Go [wikipedia.org] is a excellent game, and it has a natural and effective handicapping system.

You can play it on a computer, or you can play it with a real physical board if you're that kind of person.

Soul Caliber (1)

GothChip (123005) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938100)

Most fighting games have a good inbuilt handicap system which evens up the matches.

Also the fact that my girlfriend used to punch me whenever I beat also soon evened up the matches until she kept winning.

Mario Party (5, Informative)

Cy Sperling (960158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938103)

My wife and I play a lot of Mario Party together. It has some tweakable handicapping anda pretty short learning curve. We usually play against 2 other computer controlled players. That sets up a nice dynamic where we can be competitive with each other but cooperative in screwing over the computer controlled players.

Another great Japanese game is "Ribbit King"- http://www.ribbitking.com/about.htm [ribbitking.com] sort of a weird golf game where you launch frogs off of a catapult to ultimately get the frog into the hole. You score points for getting teh frog to cover larger distances and interact with the dense kooky environment. It has a lot of charm goofiness and just the right amount of skill to be fun and never frustrating.

Re:Mario Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938466)

I finally bought Ribbit King for my non-video game playing ex after she pointed it out at the store about 4 times...and she -loves- it. I think it's alright, and it's complex enough to keep me entertained. She ended up getting hooked on Animal Crossing on the Cube, and when we split she eventually bought a DS and Animal Crossing Wild World...but when we're hanging out with our friends she still wants to play a round of Ribbit King

Re:Mario Party (1)

Chimera512 (910750) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938637)

in my experience, Mario Party is a great time, unless you think you're going to win, then the computer dicks you over with something random, and this isn't a mild dicking over, you get dicked over HARD, you think you're about to win, then you have no chance of coming in 3rd place, make for interesting gameplay.

Re:Mario Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938640)

i agree, my girlfriend and i play mario party together. another one on the ps2 not sure if it is on gamecube is pac-man fever, it is a party game similar to mario party. we also play the baulders gate games on ps2 and gauntlet:dark legacy is fun also. we have to play games that aren't first person because she gets bad motion sickness from the fps games.... then there is always tiger woods golf... you can give her the more powerful player and you can take the less powerful to even things up.

my 2 cents.

FFXI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938114)

Take a look at Final Fantasy XI (11). I play this game a lot with my wife and we get great enjoyment out of it.

a multitude of coop games (1)

Dead-Bum (119641) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938116)

I love to play coop console games with my wife. There are some fighting games like smash brothers for gamecube that also work, but you should look into one of the many hack and slash titles for playstation2. Champions of Norrath (and return to arms) is excellent, so are the two baldur's gate titles but CoN really refined the gameplay. Another good one is Koei's Dynasty Warriors. The game mechanics aren't great but it's really fun to decimate an army with your signigicant other. Gladius for ps2 or gamecube is also incredibly fun, if boreing in the first few levels. Tales of Symphonia for gamecube is fun if the experienced player is playing as second player (can't see yourself most of the time). X-Men: Legends (and rise of apocalypse) is also fantastic. Tom Clancy's ghost recon and rainbow six games also offer a pretty fun cooperative aspect but the splitscreen is kinda crumby. Lastly, Rogue Leader for gamecube is good, but your girlfriend would probably need to be higher skill. I have been playing coop games with my wife for years (secret of mana on the snes is f*ing incredible) and it's really made us closer. Competitive titles don't offer the same level of enjoyment at all. You don't want to frag your significant other, you want to frag the NPC that layed a hand on her. Hope this helps.

Re:a multitude of coop games (4, Funny)

Hannah E. Davis (870669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938278)

"You don't want to frag your significant other, you want to frag the NPC that layed a hand on her."

Speak for yourself :) If I'd managed to get my Horde rogue to 60 while I was still with my last boyfriend, his Alliance priest would have been going down.

I've ganked/fragged previous boyfriends in online games too, and been ganked/fragged by them too -- I find it more fun than cooperating, actually, because I get to show off, be as vicious as I want, and ideally become a better player while I'm at it.

Re:a multitude of coop games (1)

Dead-Bum (119641) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938575)

I'm sure my wife would also love to pwn me in pretty much anything, but she doesn't quite have the experience I do. Besides, we're both too petty and trivially competitive to not let it get to us in competitive games. I realise my statement was sexist, and I apologize to all whom I may have offended, but most girls I've met aren't in the same boat as you. */end sexist generalizations*

What type of game (1)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938124)

What type of game are you looking for? My wife and I played the Baldur's Gate series on the PS2 and had a lot of fun. Since it is strictly co-op, it's easy to help her, without handicapping yourself unduly. Also, the game is simple enough that she should be able to catch on quickly.
We also play WoW together, and while I have a lot of UI mods and do some advanced stuff, she is a fairly basic user. Again, as long as she is willing to put some effort into it, it's easy enough to pick up and play.
If you're planning on an FPS or platform fighter, you're probably asking for trouble. Some platform fighters can be good, as they can handicap you, but even with that, you will still probably win a lot. Is she going to get frustrated and give up?
Only you will really know what she will stand for (you are her boyfriend, right). It's going to be a judgement call between what she will handle and you are willing to put up with. You're probably going to have to dumb down your play a bit for a while, I am guessing that you have been playing games most of your life and you are trying to introduce your girlfriend to your hobby.
Good luck!

doom II? (3, Interesting)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938141)

deathmatch or Coop- I think it's great for this..

if you REALLY KNOW YOUR MAPS, find some custom ones,

if you really need to, restrict yourself to weapons BELOW 5, give here whataver she can locate to use...

my wife really warmed up to it kinda quickly....

Everyone loves Katamari (1)

denorae (572597) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938142)

Recently, my sister came to visit me, and she has rarely (if ever) played any console games. I introduced her to Katamari Damacy, and when she first started playing it, she was saying things like "I'm no good at video games, I don't know how to do this, etc etc". And then she stayed up until 2 am playing it, and got up early the next morning to play it some more. We 3 Katamari has a couple benefits: it's very easy to learn, it has a cooperative mode, and it has competitive levels, which also have a pretty short learning curve. So overall it works pretty well for new gamers.

Chu Chu Rocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938168)

I've only seen it avaiable for the Dream cast, but my girl friend gets a kick out of it just because it's so crazy go nuts.

Na na, na na na na na na Katamari Damacy!!! (2, Informative)

riffzifnab (449869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938181)

Get "Katamari Damacy", and "We 3 Katamari". They are both really fun and have great music. The first one has a better story and intro and the second one has the co-op play you are looking for. So if you are in a pinch just get the second one, but if you can splurge a bit get them both. (:

Isn't that a song? (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938192)

"We 3 Katamari of Orient are / trying to roll up a great big star?"

Re:Isn't that a song? (1)

Kredal (566494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938233)

It was supposed to be We (heart) Katamari, but the slashcode got rid of the less than sign that makes the bottom of the heart.

Re:Isn't that a song? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938391)

Thank you, we knew that.

Katamari is the greatest!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938421)

Agree wholeheartedly (or is that whole-3-edly).

After years of dismal attempts to get my partner into gaming, "We love Katamari" was the winner. It's a shame "Katamari Damacy" never made to PAL.

Mairo party - Mario Strikers - SSX (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938187)

Plenty of games, Mario ones as mentioned, but the SSX games can be tailored to allow the novice to have more speed and control than another...plus it's a blast to play. My 3 yr old son isn't great at turning yet, but the snowboarders just bounce off of enough things that he keeps moving downhill.

Idea (1)

djdanlib (732853) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938189)

Try this.

Pick up a game at the store that neither of you have played, and agree that neither of you will play it except when you're both playing.

That way neither one will hold the advantage of having played more. It might be a little hard to keep to it, but it should pay off... that or you'll get bored.

Re:Idea (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938246)

Pick up a game at the store that neither of you have played, and agree that neither of you will play it except when you're both playing.

That way neither one will hold the advantage of having played more. It might be a little hard to keep to it, but it should pay off... that or you'll get bored.

I can tell you, that will not work.

My older brother purchased Total Annihilation: Kingdoms, and went 'easy' on me for the first game. Within the first 10 minutes, the game was over: I won.

This was quickly followed by a rematch. Within the first 10 minutes, the game was over: I Won. TA:K is known to have stronger than average defences, but that didn't do a thing.

He does not want to do a 3 out of 5.

World of Warcraft (2)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938201)

World of Warcraft is a remarkably good couples' game. My wife and I play it whenever we get a chance and she's just as addicted to it as I am. I know a bunch of female WoWers -- it seems to appeal to women (even ones that don't like computer games) far more than most games.

On top of that, it's a cooperative game which requires no particular amount of skill.

Capcom's Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo... (5, Informative)

*BBC*PipTigger (160189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938220)

Look no further than:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puzzle_Fighter [wikipedia.org]

This game strikes an amazing balance by being both compelling for serious competition and entertaining for casual play. David Sirlin has a relevant article (http://sirlin.net/archive/slippery-slope-and-perp etual-comeback/ [sirlin.net]) describing "perpetual comeback" as it pertains to Puzzle Fighter and why it makes that game so very fun.

Are you still looking further?

Well then...

Another example of perpetual comeback is the fighting system in Battle Arena Toshinden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Arena_Toshind en [wikipedia.org]) where each character has usually two special moves (in addition to their normal repertoire) that they can only perform once their health gets very low (i.e., they are about to be knocked-out). These moves (sometimes referred to as "desperation moves") usually do a great deal of damage and can easily turn the tide of a round or just win the round outright so they add cool intensity to the conclusion of many matches (even when one player is notably superior because they need to be extra careful to avoid getting hit by one or more of these "come-back" moves). These moves can be difficult to perform for those uninitiated to the common fireball and yoga-flame joystick movements they typically require but they totally have the best risk-vs.-reward benefit when a player is learning the game. I'd recommend studying and practicing the execution of those moves first to new players. Additionally, some characters have very easy ones like (if I remember correctly) Ellis and Sophia only need to press back, forward, back, forward + Triangle to do theirs. Choose an easy and fast character to start with until you learn enough to venture out.

Of course there are some fun cooperative experiences (like Halo or MMOs) but if your partner shows an affinity for, and appreciation of, games requiring increasing reflexive (a.k.a. "twitch") skill, I would highly recommend the plethora of http://shmups.com/ [shmups.com] out there. Ikaruga (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikaruga [wikipedia.org]) must be mentioned as one of the greatest here. All threatening bullets and beams are either white (with blue highlights) or black (with red highlights). Similarly, each players' ship can flip over to alternate between those colors as well. When you're the same color as bullets, you absorb them into your shield and they store in a meter which can be unleashed as homing shots. When you are the opposite color of enemy ships, your shots do double-damage (but you're vulnerable to their bullets because they are the same color as them). It makes for awesome tension because the whole screen can be completely covered in bullets but at least half of it is always survivable space if you're the same color as the bullets occupying that space. Check out "bullet-eater" mode too. You can beat lots of levels without firing a shot (i.e., by just alternating to the right colors and dodging terrain features).

Another great one is Raiden Project (http://gamespot.com/ps/action/raidenproject/index .html [gamespot.com]) if you can find it for the old original PlayStation. That game had very interesting cooperative properties where certain shots would change characteristics and trajectory if they hit your friend's ship so sometimes it would be strategic to try to stay vertically aligned together (or overlay each other) to benefit from these special shots.

There are lots of great cooperative Shmups but the only directly competitive one I have yet encountered is astonishingly fun. It is called Twinkle Star Sprites (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twinkle_Star_Sprites [wikipedia.org]) and (once you get over the overwhelming cute-ness) it has totally awesome gameplay and strategy. Each player can combo a bunch of lame neutral puffy enemies to generate fireballs that arc over to the opponents screen. They can shoot the fireballs directly or shoot lame guys whose concussion can send the fireballs back to the other side even bigger. Enough big fireballs makes a special move (like twirling bunnies or bouncing kitties) which cannot be reflected and can be very difficult to avoid. There are also meters and charge shots and supers and a bunch of complexity that you totally don't have to worry about at all to enjoy the game. It is one of the most fun games ever made. Unfortunately it can be difficult to find but lots of NeoGeo emulators (like MAME http://mameworld.net/ [mameworld.net]) and roms exist out there if your moral code allows you to partake of such things.

Have fun! =)


Lego Star Wars (3, Informative)

Kredal (566494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938259)

It's got a great co-op mode, doesn't rely on both players being skilled, but has some parts that need you to work together and communicate on...

It's available for consoles and the PC, and is a really fun game. (:

Mario Party (2, Informative)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938279)

Any of the Mario Party series is ideal, since a lot of the games just rely on bashing on the buttons or doing something that dosen't necessarily take the hand-eye coordination of an experienced gamer. And if you find that you're kicking the crap out of her anyway, you can play it co-op.

WarioWare is also good, because the games are so random that even an experienced gamer doesn't have a huge advantage.

Tekken... (3, Informative)

ikarys (865465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938296)

It's great :) Any version of Tekken. You can learn all the moves, and get uber good at it, and have really high end matches that feel intellectual and thought out ... and then still get ur ass whipped by an unpredictable button masher.

Mario Kart; Double Dash (1)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938306)

Mario Kart: Double Dash for the GameCube offers a fun cooperative style of play where one drives and one shoots and you can switch during the race. Best for the better player to drive most laps to start, then let the other player get more and more laps in until it's even since driving takes a lot of coordination and reflex decision making. Btw, tip : The better player drives the latter half of the race, this way you can have a final come form behind kick that makes everyone happy if the initial laps were poor. If I remember correctly there are nine or twelve different combinations of difficulty level and sets of tracks where you compete over 4 races for a medal and best time, from the ridiculously easy to the ridiculously hard so even though there are not that many tracks, you can have a lot of fun going from the starter tournament at 50cc up to the advanced tournament at 150cc.

a few games (2, Insightful)

Polo (30659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938341)

You know, there's really NO POINT to play a game that pits you against
your girlfriend. Really, relationships are about cooperation, and there's
a lot to benefit from an adrenaline experience if you're both on the
same side. Show her things and help her up, stay away from
the smack-down.

Anyway, a few games from different genres...

Katamari Damacy 1 is a really fun off-kilter game, but the 2-player mode is
not that fun. I don't know about We Love Katamari (the 2nd in the series), but
I think they fixed the multiplayer. It's quirky, simple to pick up and addictive.

I think Dungeon Siege & DS2 are pretty good cooperative games for RPG-type
games. Fighting is relatively easy and you can help each other. It's an
attractive game too. Go out of your way to share the loot.

For shooter games, Serious Sam and Serious Sam 2 are really
fun cooperative games. They might be more guy games. I've
had lots of fun attacking 300-foot-tall monsters with my friends.
It doesn't matter about skill, because the better players just help protect
the beginners and there is plenty of work to go around. Weapons
and ammo that appear always have multiple copies, so there's no
fighting over stuff.

It's too bad that cooperative games are not as popular as they should
be. I think it's because it requires extra effort and tweaking that most
publishers don't bother with.

Maybe if review sites put "cooperative play" or "family play" on their
checklists, it might help with the situation.

Freeciv! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938417)

I play everyone's favorite open source strategy game with a friend who isn't nearly as good at it as I am.

Usually we team up against several AI opponents. It's also possible to give a player some AI "teammmates", and this can help level the playing field a bit, though you'll have to experiment with the right number of AI teammates (me vs my friend and 3 AIs = him gleefully kicking my ass for once).

Just about all RTS (Especially TA) (2, Informative)

xtieburn (906792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938468)

More or less any RTS will do it. They pretty much all give the option of having any configuration of players. So if you want you set her up with a couple of AI helpers and try take them all down. Alternatively you do what I did when I started playing Total Annihilation.

Me and a friend both faught on the same team he had more experience so he was on defence. Meanwhile behind the lines I was building any ol base I wanted, which taught me what buildings there were and what they all did. Shortly after that I started building all manner of offensive units and structures.

Only took a couple of games for us to start building seperate self sustaining bases. Although even if it takes longer experienced players typically love to be on the front line defence in TA. (It gets seriously hectic and weve had a kill counter go up by over 300 units in a matter of seconds.)

Im fairly sure you can do that kind of thing with any RTS but TA is cheap to buy has a spare CD for multiplayer games and is still arguably the greatest muliplayer RTS ever created.

Super Bust-a-Move... (1)

SoCalDissident (953017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938482)

is one of the only ones my gf will play, besides really old ones like frogger... Or DDR and Kareoke revolution.


voidstin (51561) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938485)

OMG this game is so fun. The songs are short enough where alternating is realistic, and even dumbed down, I love playing with friends - i just concentrate more on my showmanship than my playing :) I hope that w/ guitar hero 2 you'll be able to play 2 player at different skill levels...

Donkey Konga is ridiculously fun two (or four) player as well... regardless of skill level

Serious Sam (2, Informative)

minipulator (821212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938486)

Hey there, I went through this same problem with my girlfriend before. She's a pro now, and we owe it to Serious Sam's co-op play. I will list my humble reasonings below: 1) Dying doesn't matter There are unlimited lives, so there's really no penalty for getting killed over and over again. 2) HORDES of enemies If she can get proficient at killing this many baddies at once, there's nothing she won't be able to overcome. 3) Wonky physics Levels turn upside down, gravity pulls you from side to side, etc. Learn to expect the unexpected. I would personally recommend either Serious Sam, or Serious Sam: Second Encounter (not to be confused with Serious Sam 2). Serious Sam 2 was fun, but did not have any of the above listed elements to it (at least, not at the point I've currently played it through to). Since the game is an FPS it's a great place to start for the more hardcore action-oriented games you are likely to be into. An added bonus (at least for me) is that the game is a little bit older now, so if you have unequal computers, both are likely to handle this just fine.

Bushido Blade 2 (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938505)

Back during junior high, a friend of mine and I used to whittle away many hours playing Bushido Blade 2 for the Playstation. I used to play a lot of Street Fighter type games, but my friends were never as big on them and didn't get into them much. So generally, if I got one of them to play me in Dead or Alive or something, I would get miles ahead of them.

Bushido Blade 2 was a simple 3D samurai fighting game based on the "one shot, one kill" theory. If you cut someone in the leg, it slowed them down. If you hit them in the head, they died instantly. Matches were generally fairly short, and the system would tally your win-loss record. The controls were simple, but there was a decent amount of tactics and strategy involved, focusing less on combos and more on timing and patience. Thus my friends who weren't Capcom freaks were an even match for me, and we always had fun watching a guy bounce backwards after getting stabbed in the chest.

Nightstalker with the short sword or Hongou with the broadsword. That's all I have to say.

Something to think about... (1)

lith123 (961745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938543)

Women are a little different than men... If you dont want to keep her, play video games with her. If you do want to keep her learn a skill with her that allows romance to be thrown in the mix... I suggest Salsa Dancing... (I'll get flamed for this, but dont knock it till you've seen girls who dance salsa *drool*) While all your friends may call you a fairy, they will be asking you for dating tips when you have the latin version of jessica simpson attached to your arm everywhere you go. But back to the subject at hand, Learn SKILLS together with your mate that have some reward, not just waisting time because theres nothing better to do.

Have a look at Civ 4 (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938583)

You can play in a coop mode where you essentially play two parts of the same nation. You actually play different countries and have different cities and troops, but you share technologies, maps, etc. Civ 4 has pretty robust helper AIs so you don't have to micromanage if you don't want to. She can just do what she wants, let the game take care of the rest, plus have you around to bail her out if she gets attacked. As she gets more play experience, she can take over things the AIs handled for her.

Why only "computer" games? (3, Insightful)

dextromulous (627459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938601)

Why not play a card or board game or something else altogether?

It is very easy to "mod" a RL game so that you can even the playing field. Examples follow:

  • "Risk" like games: Different distribution levels of armies.
  • "Go" like games: One player starts with more pieces on the board.
  • "Monopoly" like games: Start one player with a few properties.
I could go on, but you get the point (I hope.)

There are also some games that lend themselves better to n00bs like Cribbage... I can't count the number of times I've been beaten by people who just started playing, and I've been playing it for almost 20 years.

Puzzle Bobble! (1)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938620)

It's cute, it's simple, it's colorful, and it has a handicap system to help even out players of differing skill levels. (May be known as "Bust-a-Move" in your locale). Other good puzzle games include Super Puzzle Fighter 2, and even good ol' fashioned Tetris. Gauntlet 2 can also be good as an old-school choice, as it encourages working together for the best effect... even if you've got it on free-play.

There are also some party games that do automatic leveling of the playing field. Mario Kart, Mario Double Dash, any of the Mario Party series, and (for a non-Mario game) an obscure board game title for the PS2 called "Top Shop". (Top Shop is sort of like Monopoly, only fun.) In any of these games, you're subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtly) punished for being too far in the lead, so things can even out.

As far as specifically co-op games, they can be difficult to find. That said, the Baldur's Gate series for the PS2 worked well for me and my girlfriend. I saw WoW mentioned above, but there's an easy solution to not inching ahead of your partner's character: each of you create a character that you only use when adventuring together. My girlfriend and I do this with Guild Wars - each of us have multi's that go do their own thing, but we've also got two characters that work together exclusively. Other co-op options include RTS's, so long as you're both playing on the same team (Age of Empires 2 comes immediately to mind) and work together. Also, some of the alternate, team-based modes for UT work well if she'd like to get into FPS's. (I recommend Invasion in UT2k4.)

If it's just a matter of easing her into gaming, I heartily recommend The Sims. It'll get her more comfortable with using her computer (your computer?... not for long if she gets hooked) for gaming, and will make it easier for her to want to seek out other video games later.

Also, finding an RPG to play together can be a lot like reading a book together. If the story is interesting, then it may not even matter that one player doesn't have the controller - just make sure you don't kibbutz too much, and if you're playing in parallel, don't get crazy with the spoilers.

And, of course, there's a lot of crossover between playing computer/console games and playing traditional card/board games. In anything vaguely strategy-related, there's a lot of knowledge that carries over, and if either of you starts to win excessively, it's considerably easier to make some house rules for them than it is for computer/console games. Go to your local small gaming shop together, pick out something that catches both of your fancy, and try it out. [insert blatant plug for my sig here. ;) ]

So, there you go. All kinds of options for all kinds of tastes. If one of them doesn't work, try another!

Serious Sam 2 or City of Heroes (2, Informative)

TommyTyker (605166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938626)

Serious Sam 2 is mindless co-op fun that does not require much upstairs to enjoy or get into. Something more engrossing is City of Hereos (or City of Villains). It's a MMORPG that was primarily built for the casual gamer, and is pretty easy to get into.

Handicap yourself (1)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938643)

Take a game like StarCraft, create a scenario where she's got unlimited minerals and vespene, plus a fully-functional base. You start out with nothing, well maybe just a few hydralisks and your goal is to take over her base. Her goal is to defend it.

Or Quake for instance. You only have a machine gun with 80% life, while she has a BFG, railgun, rocket launcher, etc, with quad damage.

Those are just examples. You can choose any (modifiable) game you want. Make it as lop-sided as possible, then adjust it as she progresses.

Some suggestions: (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938659)

Believe it or not, Tengen's Tetris on the NES (not Nintendo's version) has a great multiplayer mode that tends to be a great hit at any get together that I have, and good times are had by all, seasoned Tetris veterans and newbies alike.

Of course, Tetris only goes on for so long. Here's a short list of fairly good games:

-Culdcept (PS2, Card Battle/Board game)
-Mario Party (N64~Gamecube, Minigames/Board)
-WarioWare, Inc (Gamecube, Minigames, hectic)
-Burnout: Revenge (Multi, Street Racing, easy learning curve, fun crash mode)

Best fun games for All levels of skill (1)

bradray (524725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938675)

On the xbox there is a title called Fuzion Frenzy. It is a collection of tons of small games that you can play over and over again with up to 4 people. My 5 year can sometimes play with the best of us at some of the games. One of the funnest mini game is sumo where everyone is in a gerbil cage trying to roll around and knock everyone else off. Very simple, yet fun games. I beleive there was something similar called Mario Party, although I've never played it.

Moonbase Commander and Crack Attack (1)

bocskay (691642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938680)

Check these out. Moonbase Commander [the-underdogs.org] is a top-down, turn based game. My girlfriend found it easy to learn, and soon enough, easy to win. It's good co-op against the computer or against each other. Another two player game is Crack Attack [the-underdogs.org]. It's a Tetris style game with multiplayer. My girlfriend comfortably kicks my posterior these days. The cool thing is that they are both free.

Fusion Frenzy FTW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14938682)

The game I HIGHLY recommend is called Fusion Frenzy. It's a great party game. It's for the Xbox only last time I checked. Its fun and has some decent background music. You play against other players in games that don't require alot of skill level. Usually the game use just the analog stick or they use at most 2 or 3 buttons. Great game for newbie gamers.

Board recommendation (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938697)

I don't know of any computer games that work well, but for a board game Knightmare chess allows people of almost any 2 skill levels to play chess against one another (if you play random card variation). You'll play your hardest, she'll play her hardest but the luck factor is deceptive so the games will turn out pretty 50/50.

Bub & Bob 2 (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14938702)

Well, here's one my girlfriend and I play all the time, although it's Mac-only:

http://www.mcsebi.com/bb2.php [mcsebi.com]
Bub & Bob 2, a damned good port of Bubble Bobble, for Mac OS X

Plays better than any other Bubble Bobble port for PC that I've ever played (is it just me or are the ones for Windows totally shitty?)...

We bust this out on the iBook at the coffee shop and play for hours whilst ingesting tasty coffee etc.. fun stuff! :)
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