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Last updated on Oct-18-2019 Download

2 player or not 2 player

2 player or not 2 player
by on (#46681)
See the Shakespeare reference I just made? So awesome, I feel all kinds of dorky-smart now. :P

Anyway, I'm wondering, how important is a "2 player" option in games? I noticed that there are a lot of older games on the NES and SNES that include an option for 2 players to play, and some of those games would otherwise be more suited for 1 player. However, there are some games where there's only 1 player, but most would expect an option for 2 players (like Nintendo Tetris).

Back in the day, how important would it have been to have a 2 player mode? Would it have increased sales at all?

by on (#46682)
Games from the 8-bit arcade era were expected to have a 2 player mode, even if they had only one active control at once (like Donkey Kong or Pac-Man or Vs. Super Mario Bros.). This, along with the fact that Atari Games kept the arcade rights when Elorg granted console rights to Nintendo as part of Mirrorsoft's settlement of late royalty payments, is why Vs. Tetris is based on Tengen Tetяis and not Nintendo Tetris. Once AAA games for NES stopped being arcade-like (e.g. password or battery save, no scoring, and expectation of play much longer than 30 minutes on a credit), a single-player-only game became more practical.

But having 2 players on one screen does limit your palette options, which is why Super Mario Bros. 3 was alternating except in the battle sequences that were throwbacks to Mario Bros. 83. In fact, palette limitations are why the game formerly known as Tetramino has no hold piece.

by on (#46683)
Rare did an excellent job of adding multiplayer to many of their games.
I think the most ridiculous example would be "A Nightmare on Elm Street", which has four simultaneous players on the screen at once. And each player even loads VRAM animations separately.

Battletoads did a good job too, even though they screwed up and made one level unbeatable in 2 player mode. But a second player can always rejoin in by pressing Start at the map screen. You can use that trick to get more continues in Battletoads by playing a two player game just to use up a couple continues as Rash, then switch to Zitz.