80s, 90s, Quick Lists, Video Games — June 25, 2012 8:30 am

7 Video Game Duos

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One great aspect of two-player (or multi-player) games is teamwork. Depending on the people playing the games, this could work out well—with player one and player two cooperating to complete tasks, kill bad guys, and get to the end of the game to beat the final boss. Or, it could turn into a frustrating battle with player two constantly thwarting player one’s efforts by pushing them into spikes.

Here are seven video game duos that you’ve likely had both experiences with.

7 – Sonic and Tails

Unbeknownst to Sonic, Tails was about to fly him into his untimely death.

What better pairing could there be than a blue hedgehog and a mutated flying fox? Tails made his debut on the Genesis in Sonic 2, but really shone in Sonic 3 where a second player could control Tails during a one-player game to help Sonic fly high above the levels. This came in handy if Sonic was caught in hard-to-escape spots. Tails also served as backup, killing badniks and helping with bosses. On the other hand, if player two was a dick, he was also flying Sonic into spikes and letting badniks attack.

6 – Ren & Stimpy

Aw yeah, you ride that Stimpy… right into DEATH.

Like Sonic and Tails, Ren and Stimpy had a similar plight in Stimpy’s Invention for the Genesis. You didn’t have to play two players, but when you did, it was best if you worked together to get around obstacles. This also meant flying Stimpy into harm’s way (or even smacking him with a flyswatter).

5 – ToeJam and Earl

The ultimate in teamwork!

Without doubt, the original ToeJam and Earl game is the standout in the series. The game isn’t a sidescroller—players control ToeJam and/or Earl in an overhead view. The neat thing about this game is that in two-player mode, if ToeJam runs too far away from Earl (or Earl too far away from ToeJam) in an attempt to mess with the other player, instead of the game getting stuck, the screen splits in two (like a Sonic 2 two-player game). The second instalment, ToeJam and Earl in Panic on Funkotron, was a sidescroller, but not as cool. The third instalment, released in 2002 on the XBOX? Well, let’s not talk about it.

4 – Bub and Bob

Narrowly missed that scary druid dude there…

Teamwork is imperative in Bubble Bobble if you ever hope to win or even get close to winning. A detailed plan must be hatched as the game goes on as to which player kills what enemy, which player gets what EXTEND letter, and so on. You even need a second player to blow bubbles at player one in order to get out of certain spots and finish the level. If you have some dick player taking the extra EXTEND letters or leaving you for dead, you’ll probably want to throttle someone. Likely the person you’re playing with.

3 – Mario and Luigi

Teamwork and family never quite go as expected… which could be why these two just take separate turns.

Mario and Luigi don’t exactly exude teamwork. Sure the majority of their games are two-player, but each player takes their own turns with Mario never crossing Luigi’s path. Although the teamwork is lacking, that doesn’t stop the fights between those behind the NES controllers. Mario taking too long and Luigi really wants to play? Cue player two sabotaging player one by grabbing the controller. Mario wants vengeance for Luigi’s dickery? Player one dumps a glass of cola on player two’s head. It sure ain’t pretty.

2 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Cowabunga! Other catchphrases!

One of the standout TMNT games is definitely Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. It was pretty awesome because you could flip between characters—if you were running low on health as Donatello, you could switch over to Leonardo. The game is solid, but teamwork again is a big element. With two players, it’s great to have someone man the side of the screen for any incoming enemies. Or you could just let those enemies attack your buddy.

1 – Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong

So many different ways to screw over the other player…

When Donkey Kong Country hit the SNES scene in 1994, the graphics blew me away. Donkey Kong and his nephew Diddy Kong play to compete with each other (taking turns) or together as a team. This is the best of both worlds—the Mario and Luigi method of play and the Sonic and Tails method. Pick your battle and see which player can anger the other one more.


Who are your favorite video game duos? How did you screw over the other player? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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