I’ve just seen Pacific Rim, and I had a good time doing so. The story and dialogue were fascinatingly shit, but a load of massive robots punched the heck out of some monsters and I enjoyed myself because I’m five.
One of the film’s nice ideas (which they may have nicked - I only know enough about mecha to spot a few of the film’s nods to Gundam Wing and Evangelion) was having two pilots per mech who are mentally wired in to both the mech and each other. This requires a degree of psychic compatibility so that they’re always instinctively trying to do the same thing at the same time, thus allowing the mech to punch things in a fluid and timely manner.
And, gosh, isn’t that an interesting idea for a videogame? Say you’ve got a mech that needs to punch things, and you have to control the limbs manually - like the years-ahead-of-its-time Die By The Sword, but with analogue sticks and more limbs. Then imagine that this mech has to be controlled by two people, and their input is averaged out - so, say, if player one whacks their left analogue stick forward, and player two pulls theirs back, they cancel each other out and nothing happens. But if they both hit forward, the robot punches a monster in the face. Then consider that as well as simple strikes, you could have the limbs do Toribash-style grabs, allowing for all manner of incredible throws and suplexes. Or doing a hand-stand on a monster’s shoulders before pulling yourself down to knee it in the face.
Give the game enough depth, and you’d see two-player teams live or die on their ability to develop a deep understanding of each other’s tactics and likely courses of action. Teams could manage by just shouting orders at each other, but the ones who don’t need to would win. It would be a lot like the film, and utterly brilliant.
So thank fuck that the actual Pacific Rim game is a phoned-in tower of piss by Yuke’s (of ‘sometimes good wrestling games’ fame) where you just hit buttons to do a few different attacks and there are some finishing moves as well but who even cares. Brilliant work, lads. Thanks. Thanks for the game.
No, if you want to play the game described above, the closest thing you’ll get is the co-op mode in We Love Katamari on the PS2*.
Both players roll the same katamari around, and they have to make sure they work together if they want the katamari to go where it should. Say one player wants to move forward, so they hit up on both sticks. Player two wants to move backwards, so they pull back. The result is that the katamari turns to the right. This is not what anybody wanted.
Initially it’s best played for comedy value alone, as it’s impossible to get anything done. But you eventually get a feel for it, and you stop laughing and shouting at each other and just quietly work together. You develop an understanding of where each player is going to want to go at all times and work around that. You begin to, as the sexy men and women of Pacific Rim call it, ‘drift’
If you like Pacific Rim, don’t play Pacific Rim. Get your PS2 on and play We Love Katamari with a friend or loved one instead. You will have a better time.
*(The other Katamari games might’ve had this too, but I didn’t play them as much because they’re not as good.)