It’s not a very clever title, but this isn’t meant to be a very long post.  I would love the game if not for the insanely awful cooperative mode.  The new mechanics of picking up other players and jumping off of other players are completely ruined by the new mechanics of picking up other players and jumping off of other players.  I’ll pause to let that sink in.

What sounds good in theory does not work in practice.  My wife and I have played up to World 4 cooperatively, but there have been a few instances where we have both wanted to kill each other.  It’s not exactly the happy Wii family from the marketing, and I blame the way player avatars interact.  If I am walking from left to right, I should be able to walk past Luigi instead of push him.  Yes, do that to a Goomba and the game is ruined, but constantly having to worry about pushing the other player off platforms or ice kills the fun as well.  Why couldn’t Nintendo just let the characters pass through each other when they’re walking or running on the same plane?  This is the single greatest frustration I have with the cooperative mode, and it makes me even madder because the fix is so obvious.

I’m not a fan of the incessant head-bouncing that goes on in the game, but I understand the desire to include that mechanic.  It would be ok if several of the more intense platforming stages didn’t require both characters to stay very close together while making long series of jumps.  We’re both Mario vets, and given how frustrating some of these levels are, I really wonder how much thought went into designing the game for more than once player at a time.

Finally, what is the deal with Nintendo pausing crap when something happens?  A player dies.  PAUSE!  Somebody gets a power up.  PAUSE!  Somebody powers down.  PAUSE!  Link is about to kill a enemy.  PAUSE!  Seriously, WTF is wrong with them?  It doesn’t make sense and it’s another element that makes cooperative play stressful.

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We loved the game at first, but we’re only able to play in very small doses before the deaths make us quit.  I also want to point out that it’s not that the game is too hard or that we can’t get past levels because of the broken co-op, but that the cheap NES style deaths aren’t kosher anymore and we don’t want to deal with it.

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