206: Split|Screen

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I'm a local co-op lover myself, nobody wants to sit around the living room and watch me play Call of Duty, so the Wii has been dominating the gaming timeslot I have in the evening.

Bit.trip.beat is driving me and my little sister completely insane.

Split-screen is awkward. Also, if online play starts to sap your social skills, that's your fault, not the game's.

Most of my best gaming experiences were playing Games like goldeneye and perfect dark with my friends, and then later, nightfire (We had high hopes after goldeneye...)

But meh, I enjoy TF2 nonetheless, but I wish games would stop cutting out Local play.

conqueror Kenny:
Split screen is dying out because LAN is all the rage now...etc.

LANing has been dying out slowly with the onset of greater connectivity to the internet. Back in the day (yes I'll use those words) some ten years ago, when everyone was sitting at (at most) a 56.6kbps modem the only way to properly play games against each other on a PC-rig was to drag said rig over to your friends house or do what my group did, rent a locale over a weekend and have 20 people show up, each paying a small part. LAN parties were also the best way to get new pirated games or music, making the meeting pretty darn vital for exchange of "warez and fluff".

Now as the speed, and availability of broadband, connections increased the need to participate in medium sized LANs decreased, since you could stay at home and play online instead and use (at the time) Napster or other software to DL what you needed. Medium LANs grew "out of fashion" and today a lot of the larger (100+) LANs are non existent.

The big LANs still persist here in Sweden though but nowadays they are more for the spectacle of it. People come to LANs not for what the article states, social gaming, but just for the socialization. Personally I think it was a deathblow to LANing when internet was introduced to them. People simply stopped "wasting" energy co ordinating large games of SC or Q1-TF when everyone could just go online instead, in modern days you'd be surprised how many people come to a large LAN like birdie, dreamhack etc. and play nothing but WoW.

Bad thing or not? I dunno, I just miss the days when everyone played the same games at LANs, together, without thoughts of skill levels (you made teams to accommodate) and then after a good long two hour game, had a equally long discussion/rant/laugh about the game just played.

Im in fact going to do some Xbox LAN/Splitscreening on the 30th! its always more fun with good friends instead of the random 13 year olds on Xbox Live.

This is why I love Halo 3

4 player splitscreen for both online and offline = best time with friends ever.
Is it really that hard to implement?

I raise a glass to you, good sir. I like online multiplayer just as much as the next guy, but local split screen (4 player particularly) games will always be the cream of the crop for me. I can't recall one memorable moment of gaming involving sitting alone on the couch playing deathmatch games with anonymous individuals online, but I couldn't begin to count how many memorable moments I've had with my best friends sitting next to me playing 4 player split screen. If I don't see a good 4 player co-op splitscreen game in the near future, I'm going to lose hope in humanity.

Yeah... I almost never game online for the very reason that it lacks all social contact. When I wanna do multiplayer it's almost always local, or online with people I know. But then, I'm a social person.

Which reminds me! Me 'n my friends used to play Perfect Dark "zombie" mode, original L4D in a way, where we'd set a green team of fist sims on perfect to dark difficulty and see if we could actually kill them more than they beat us dizzy into the corner. Best stuff ever.

I liked this article, and I think it speaks to that larger 'trolls in gaming' problem. We treat people differently when we're in front of them, and usually have to learn how to be civil to people online. Which is weird.

However, I think this article overlooked one crucial element that until recently worked to the detriment of everyone playing the same game on one screen; TV screens are tiny. (Apologies if this was mentioned and I overlooked it.)

It's only been with the spread of HDTV's that are sharper but more importantly bigger. Eyestrain isn't fun, especially in videogames and I'd say it's only been within the last year/18 months that the larger televisions have become affordable enough that most people can buy them and, when the screen is split, not feel like they're being screwed out of critical information.

I hope that split-screen gaming comes back as the technology allows for a better experience.

messy:
This article came as a breath of fresh air, I thought I was the only who seemed to sense the negative effects of online dominated multiplayer. Even if you know the person on the other end of the cable you loose the intimacy of sitting in the same room, you miss the joy of seeing your opponents face drop as you head shot them, the moments that just make you laugh due to the improbable way one of you just died and more importantly you miss the conversation.

Online the only voices I hear are the occasionally "boom head shot" followed by stream of abuses, and you are forced to turn off everyone else's voice to hold a conversation with friends whereas with friends the conversations can go a little deeper. When you know the people and you have the privacy of a living room you the discussions can go slightly deeper and you can discuss current events, all interwoven with explosions.

I fully agree with both you and the articles writer. Normally I instantly mute anyone I play with online. However the biggest thing I agree on is how much I miss not having offline multiplayer. I generally have friends over often and we love our video games. Luckily there are a few games that buck the trend of no offline multiplayer. Right now the two best I can think of are Gears of War 2 and Resistance 2 since they both allow split-screen multiplayer that you can bring online. This allows both the slight thrill of massive online games and the awesome experience of having fun with your friends.

I'm glad the writer commented on Burnout Paradise since I agree that offline multiplayer would have been perfect in that game. Even if it was just racing with them and bots (like with Burnout Revenge for the 360) since it still allowed sensation of playing with friends. I know there is a party mode but its just pass and play instead of simultaneous play. Hopefully offline Multiplayer will pick up soon, especially in First-person shooters, third-person shooters and racing games since they're the ones that benefit most from it in my opinion.

Four-player splitscreen is a blast, especially if you're using an hd lcd/dlp projector. You can dim the lights then make your screen as big as 100". Games like COD4/WAW or Halo3 are perfect for this. Playing them in high-def makes each of your screens easy on the eyes.

Splitscreen makes the battle always frantic, because it's always impossible for you not to find each other...or not to be easily taken out with a sniper...lol

Admitadely my favourite game memories were of sitting on a couch with 4 mates and going crazy on the N64. Every game was custom built for four player and we'd have half an inch of screen for each person. It wouldn't matter. We were having so much fun. Winner stays in and loser goes out. Every game the same. Conkers bad fur day, goldeneye, Mario kart, you name it, if it had 4 player on it and on the N64 we played it. Maybe as far as the gamecube sage this coninued. Nothing compares to seeing that raw pure emotion of distress when you thrash a person in battle on mario kart.

Strangely we never wanted more screen space. We wanted MORE screens to play 5 player snow board kids, 7 player diddy kong racing, it didn't matter. We wanted more mates in the room to have more fun. Nowerdays, the closest we get is LAN parties and well. Let's just say the cooler of my mates wouldn't be seen dead in them. Still. When a game like castle crashers comes out, my new foursome team together and go nuts. We went mental for splosion man. We were cathartic for brawl. WE DID IT! No matter what it was. So long as there was 4 player, we played it. No matter how big the map, we did it. More than all that we had fun doing it.

TVs now are big enough to give a generous 25 inches of screen per player. Why are producers so afraid of going co-op? If anything, it's what made goldeneye and games like it so popular. People could come round, play something, like it, go out and buy it. Job done. Almost a decent demo. Now, we don't get close.

It's already been mentioned but the game was awesome back in the day. Super Bomberman on the SNES with 4 players. Gaming heaven.

So much fun.

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