On the heels of my failed attempt to join people online and play a game of Borderlands 2 co-op style, I decided to play a game that is absolutely, one hundred percent designed to be played cooperatively with a partner in crime. And like the stubborn gamer I am, in protest of my recent disappointments with every possible partner that should have played Borderlands 2 with me, I shunned the the world and decided to go about this co-op journey completely solo.
That's right, I tried to play Ibb & Obb, the most recent release from the PSN as part of their Summer Play promotion, alone. All by myself. A one man wolf pack.
And it was probably the worst decision, too.
So the game itself is cute, colorful and stylish in the most basic and simple fashion, in every way possible. The pastel colors are utilized to their full potential, but many of shades of the color wheel are vividly splashed around the landscape that you are asked traverse. And when I say "you," I mean "you and your partner." That is, if you have a partner.
The game doesn't hold your hand, nor does it walk you through the learning curve of figuring out how to play the game. It just kind of dumps you in and let's you learn on your own. It's not exactly a complicated game, as once you figure out the basic premise and understand the physics of the co-op platformer, you are well on your way.
After that, however, is where the fun stops for a one man wrecking crew. You see, there are two characters that play simultaneously, which if you have a second player along for the ride, makes things a lot easier. You control one guy, and your buddy plays as the other, helping each other along the way, solving physic-based puzzles in order to continue the adventure. One character is on the "normal" plane of the level, while the other is upside on the reverse plane of the terrain. You use launch pads, introversion gates that fling you from one plane to the other, and other forms of physics to help each other, very much in the same way that Portal 2 did.
In fact, the game took a lot of what Portal 2 did with the co-op physic-based game play and problem solving and twisted it into a simplified, basic version. And quite frankly, if you are going to be inspired by any puzzle game when developing your own, it might as well be Portal 2, right?
Here's where things got horrible for me. If you are choosing to play all alone, you still have to control both characters simultaneously, one with the left analog, the other with the right analog stick. There is no AI to control the other character, you have to move them both at the same time. The first few levels are very doable with this style of game play, but eventually it gets down right tough to nearly impossible. With enough practice I'm sure it can be conquered by your lonesome, but seriously, this game was designed to be played co-op. Trying to play this solo is flat out ridiculous.
So now I'm left with the question of whether or not to enlist the services of someone online, or invite someone over for some good old fashion couch co-op. Whichever path I decide to take, one has to be chosen. I will not be able to complete this game on my own, not matter how stubborn and determined I am to make a point.
The white flag has been waved.
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