Gaming with my Girlfriend: Piggyback Position

My girlfriend Sandra is a gamer and I have to say: it’s pretty awesome.  She has been PC gaming for her entire life and while this does rate her highly in hardcoreness, it also means that she is completely crap at console games…for now.

Anyway, we play stuff together. So I thought I would write about it from time to time. This month’s musings are about:

Resident Evil HD Remaster

Lately we’ve been struggling to find two player co-op games that we are both interested in.  We’ve tried a bunch and just can’t find any that hold our attention for more than a couple of hours (if you have any suggestions, let me know). As a result of this struggle, we’ve moved more towards single player games that we can both engage in while one of us controls the character — I’m going to need a short way of getting that concept across, so I’m going to call it “piggybacking.” Yeah, that’s nice.  So, we got that? The person controlling the game is a piggybacker that is piggybacking the person that is playing without controls.  Yeah, you get it.  You aren’t stupid, So, one of these games has been standing out from the rest for a while now: Resident Evil HD Remaster. We’ve been distracted by other games a few times, but we always seem to return to this one.

Resident Evil HD Remaster retains the gameplay of the original that was released in 1996 (as well as the subsequent GameCube remake).  As such, it’s a slow paced, horror-themed puzzle game. All of these things add up to an awesome time to be had between two people.

resident-evil

Resident Evil HD Remaster offers a great experience for a couple.

The slow pace gives less of an emphasis on the piggybacker. It’s not all action and/or platforming; so the piggybacker isn’t necessarily the most important aspect of the team.  It really helps the other player get involved when the action isn’t purely centered on the piggybacker. So that’s a big plus.  Too many games can quickly become boring for the person who isn’t piggybacking. Also, I’m hyped that I just subjected you to four (in almost as many sentences) uses of my new and awesome gaming term.  Thanks for reading.

Then comes the horror theme. All bros know that if you are participating in any horror themed activity, cuddles are going to be a safe bet.  Or at least a panicked clawing of that bit on the back of your upper arm that hurts like balls if someone pinches it.  Either way, bodily contact is gonna happen. If you are two people that somewhat like each other, this can be nice.  The added bonus when playing Resident Evil HD Remaster is that the slow pace gives ample time for the cuddles to lessen slightly; then an intense period will re-initiate cuddles, keeping all parties happy. The only issue is the risk of girlish squeals coming from the man. My panicked screaming isn’t exactly an endorsement of my overwhelming masculinity.

The puzzle aspect needs little explanation. You run around and work together to solve the various puzzles, and get a +1 to the relationship because teamwork.  Well, it’s that scenario, or the smarter one tries not to solve all the puzzles in a way that makes the dumber one look bad. I still haven’t worked out if this is happening yet but I’m suspicious.

On the down side, RHRED has a pretty crappy control scheme. That makes it hard for us to swap out the piggybacker.  Sandra has been playing a massive amount of Dark Souls II so she is getting good with the controller. Unfortunately, RDHRE’s controls take a lot of getting used to.

resident-evil

Situations can get hectic. Panic is a likely possibility.

Anyway, we load up the game. I’m drinking tea or eating Doritos or something so I can’t take my default role as piggybacker. We wanted to get started so I suggest that Sandra takes over for now.  Everything is going good, she is running around and bumping into stuff, but getting where she wants to go. All is well.  Feeling confident she says “I think we can start taking turns!” and I agree, as that would be cool.  So, she keeps running around and whatnot, then she walks into a hallway and a zombie bursts though a window. So she screams and turns around (only bumping into one wall) and turns to run towards the nearest door. That’s when a second zombie dives through a second window behind her and grabs her.  Well, it eventually grabs her. It was a fairly protracted scenario involving screaming, swearing, unprovoked physical abuse of a boyfriend (okay, I might have been laughing) and Benny Hill music.  The entire ordeal ended in the controller being practically thrown at me and someone’s arms crossed in a huff.

So yeah, the controls aren’t great.

Other than that little bump, RHEDR has been a smooth and enjoyable experience.  It did take a little bit of convincing for Sandra to try it. As it turned out, it wasn’t what she was expecting.  She heard “zombie horror” and assumed it was a corridor shooter like Left 4 Dead. Needless to say, she was pleasantly surprised.  She also fell in love with the utterly horrible live action opening cinematic from the original.  Oh, and Jill’s shoulder pads.  She liked them too.

Piggybacker.

  • Jbumi

    You guys should play Divinity: Original Sin together. If you do, I look forward to reading about it! 🙂

    • Luke George

      Thanks for the suggestion! It’s definitely on the list of games to look at. We’ve heard a lot of good things.

      • Jbumi

        Not only is it a good game, but the co-op is really something. Not only will there be times when you need to separate to complete puzzles, but you can get into discussions with each other that have to be settled by playing rock, paper, scissors against each other if you don’t agree! You can also separate & explore in different directions for no other reason than just because you can!