Video Games and Siblings
Anyone who grew up with siblings and video games understands the struggle of a game that doesn’t offer split screen multiplayer. I grew up with the Nintendo 64, so the only time my little brother and I would fight was over whose turn it was to use the console. His Legend of Zelda vs. my Cruis’n USA. We would always settle the argument with a best 2 out 3 on Super Mash Bros. This was back when video game consoles offered the option to have up to four players playing at once. Things have changed since then.
Microsoft and Sony have seem to forgotten that not every gamer is an only child. I have fond memories of my little brother and I spending afternoons completing split screen co-op campaigns on Halo 1-3 and early Call of Duty games.
Besides certain video game titles, I cannot remember the last time I saw a modern game that offered split screen co-op campaigns, or multiplayer. What are siblings supposed to do with a single player campaign? Share? Wait until one completes the game, delete their progress, and allow the other to start a new campaign? Buy another gaming console, and television, so they can play together via system link? I’m sure parents will love that idea. But I digress.
A Happy Accident Turned Discovery
This past weekend my friends and I were facing the same problem. A free Sunday with empty pockets from the previous two nights. There was only one thing to do… drink and play video games.
Recently, there was a photo we saw on the internet about a drinking game involving Super Mario Kart. Basically, you and your friends start the race with a full beer. You have a choice of either chugging your beer before setting off, or pull over just before crossing the finish line and then chugging it down. The whole point of the game is that you cannot drink and drive, and you have to finish your beer before finishing the race. It’s a dumb way to get tipsy with friends while playing video games and having a few laughs. I didn’t have Super Mario Kart, but I did have an Xbox One with Forza 5 so we figured we would try it.
While I was setting everything up I discovered something by accident. I accidentally signed-in both Xbox One controllers to the same profile which resulted in both controllers registering as player one. Each controller could navigate the home menu as player one seamlessly.
That meant a single player race now had with two players controlling the same car. A total freak out for us until we decided to try to finish a race using both controllers. I would control the throttle, brake, and gear change while my friend handled the steering. It took us a while get the hang of it due to having different driving styles, but after a few laps we were in sync. Reminded me of the movie Pacific Rim only with racing instead of giant battle robots. Or, the episode of Top Gear UK when they competed against Top Gear Germany with double-decker cars that had one driver controlling the pedals and the other one on steering duty.
Co-Op Forza Racing
Literal co-op racing is so much fun! It creates a new challenge of figuring out where your buddy’s racing line is and adjust your throttle input to compensate. They have to predict when you are about to get on the gas when exiting a corner and when you’re going to start braking. Losing control means having to save each other by working together with counter steering and throttle input.
Trying to race as fast as possible is difficult but equally more rewarding when you and your teammate get it right and drift around a corner into 1st place. Both controllers are receiving the same signals so both players know what the other is doing. Its co-op racing at its literal definition.
This offers new possibilities for games among friends. Groups can team up to see who can set the best lap times. Rookies unfamiliar with racing games can learn how to play by teaming up with an experienced player. They get to learn about racing lines, gear changes, and counter steering while playing instead of watching someone do it.
I also tried this with Forza Horizon 3 and it works!
Try It Out
This is how I learned this, glitch? Not sure what you would call it. Turn on your console and both controllers. Then remove a battery from 1st player, set it back, and turn it back on so Xbox One asks you to sign in to a profile.
All you have to do is choose the same profile as player one and then test it out to see if both controllers can navigate through the home screen.
I am not a gamer, nor do I claim to be one. I enjoy video games at a reasonable level, and do not consider myself tech savvy.
So for those of you reading this who already knew, sorry for sounding like a “noob.” I tried researching to see if anyone else had done this. Couldn’t find anything so I’m not sure if its just a glitch in on my console or its something everyone can do. So, I recommend this to anyone who has the means to try this to find out.
For any siblings out there this can also work as a way to troll your older or younger siblings. Set it up without them knowing and then watch as they shout in rage when you press the handbrake during the final lap of the race.
My friends and I had a blast playing co-op racing. It took us back 15 years. Back when cooties were real, candy was recreational, and TV’s were heavy. A time when text messages were hand written notes passes in class. If it wasn’t for the empty beer cans littered around us we would have looked like children. Four boys huddled around a TV playing video games.
Let me know if any of you try this, or already knew about it.
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