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Great Achievements In Five Player Gaming
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 23, 2006   |   Episode 5 (Show Archive)  


Outside of making you fall asleep in your food, online gaming is one of the best innovations of the last ten years!
There have been a lot of great video game innovations over the years. These days a controller without an analog stick is unheard of, 3D video cards have changed the types of games we play, and online gaming has changed who we get to play against. But not every innovation gets a parade named after it; there are a lot of little improvements that go unnoticed. That's why Defunct Games is proud to give a lifetime achievement award to the unlikeliest of video game heroes ... the five-player game!

No need to rub your ears, you heard that right. Defunct Games is ready to give the five-player game its dues, even if it doesn't seem as important as a control with a rumble feature

From time to time your roommate will want to leave the toilet, a five player game is just what the doctor ordered!
or a portable with two screens. But despite all those other big innovations, the five-player game shouldn't be forgotten. In fact, it should be encouraged for developers to make games for as many people as necessary. You heard me, as many people as possible! And for that very reason we choose to honor the five-player games; they pushed the limits, they saw a future of bigger parties and better competition. They are the games that refused accept that four was as far as they could go, they pushed for that extra player. And for that we deserve to say a few kind words about our friend the five-player game.

How many times have you been at a party with your girlfriend, just hanging out with your buddy and his main squeeze, and then all of a sudden there stands stinky Steve, the roommate from Hell who refuses to bathe or use any kind of deodorant? All your girlfriends want to do is play some Mario Kart before they go to bed, but it's Steve's system and that means somebody is going to have to sit out while he goes every turn. Dammit! If only you weren't such a cheapskate and bought that $100 game system. Whatever are you going to do?

Bomberman is not the game to play at an airport, train station, or really any place where there are people!
With the five-player game you'll never have this problem. That's right; the five-player is the best way to keep a party like this going, even if everybody is repulsed by Steve's terrible odor. Thankfully this is not the only time a five-player game is needed, just imagine that it's just you, your girlfriend, and her three hot co-workers. This is the perfect time for some five-player gaming ... but they're probably going to want to talk, and spend money, and gossip. On second thought, maybe that's not the best example.

So who are these heroic five-player games? Believe it or not, some of these five-player games feature characters you're already familiar with. The best example of this is Bomberman, the little blue explosives expert that has attempted to explode every game system under the sun. Although not every version of Bomberman features five-players, most

Guaranteed fun?? Am I the only person who could never get this game to work right on the PC?
of the major versions do (including the TurboDuo). These days Bomberman is continuing this legacy, depending on which format you use you can play an 8 player game, 16 players, and even up to 32 in some cases.

Bomberman is a great game that has withstood the test of time, but it's not the only five-player game. When Devil Dice was released on the original PlayStation it was one of the few (if not only) five-player game to hit Sony's 32 Bitter. Devil Dice was not a big hit in the United States, so finding yourself a copy is probably easier said than done.

PlayStation 2 owners will have a much easier time locating a copy of Capcom's criminally overlooked Bombastic. This Devil Dice sequel not only features thousands of puzzles to solve, but also a number of new (and sometimes exciting) variations on the game. But best of all, Bombastic was a five-player games. This

Hopefully your party of five will be a lot better than this Party of Five!
is a great place to start if you've never had a five-player experience; and it won't set you back much money, these days you can find the game for as cheap as $5 and as expensive as $15. You're hardly going to break the bank with this title.

We can sit here and talk about the various contributions Capcom and the Devil Dice series have made towards five-player games, but if there's one true champion for this cause it has to be NEC. Not only did NEC release a five-player multi-tap for their TurboGrafx-16, but they actually supported it! Games like Battle Royale, TV Sports Basketball, TV Sports Football, and TV Sports Hockey all took advantage of the five control ports. These weren't the best sports titles around, but it's not like Madden was letting you play with any more than two people.

Hudson, Capcom, NEC, and everybody else who dreamed of breaking down the walls and letting one extra person play with their games, I commend you for your tenacity; we owe you so much and will forever be in your debt. You deserve this life time achievement award, you've earned it. Forget about the pioneers of CD-ROM technology, HD Gaming, motion-detecting controls, artificial intelligence, and fully 3D in-game surround sound ... I think it's pretty clear, the true innovator is the five-player game!


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