A healthy marriage is like the ultimate cooperative game: you need to know when to give and when to take, when to push and when to pull, when to talk and when to listen. But most importantly, you always have to remember when it’s your turn to take out the trash – something Hazelight Studios certainly did when developing the Almost Completely Waste-Free. It takes two. This absolutely stunning cooperative platformer manages to cram enough unique and exhilarating gameplay ideas to give Shigeru Miyamoto a headache, without a single hiccup among them.
Centered around a pair of pint-sized parents, May and Cody, It Takes Two is a lot like Honey, I shrunk the kids if the director stumbled on LSD. The world around you is not just oversized, but augmented with all kinds of fabulous contraptions and all anthropomorphic. May and Cody’s journey from their garden shed to their home takes them on dazzling detours everywhere from outer space to a tiny nightclub housed inside an air conditioning duct (assisted by hordes of anthropomorphic glowstick flutes, naturally), and serves as a, 10-Hour Explosion of Co-op Platform Happiness that constantly conjures up new ways to engage and entertain.One moment Cody and May collaboratively lead a giant pencil around a connected image, the next they cast spells and swing swords as a wizard and barbarian in an isometric dungeon crawl. Before you know it, they’ll be leaping along the tumultuous crystallized interior of a kaleidoscope, and just when you think he must be running out of ideas, Cody will be piloting a small plane through the tops of the mountains. trees as May clash in a Street Fighter style showdown. with a member of the local squirrel militia on his wings. It simply switches from one brilliantly bonkers playstyle to another, each with their own set of mechanics, and hardly any of them are ever recycled at any point. It Takes Two is like a box of donuts in your office break room: it arrives fresh, is nicely devoured, and absolutely nothing in it stays long enough to go stale.
Co-opportunities for success
Above all, every action is fantastic to perform. The platforming basics are there, with May and Cody’s jump, double jump, and dash abilities being extremely responsive and allowing for effortless levels of platforming precision. But it was the complementary and character-specific abilities that are refreshed in each chapter that compelled me and my partner to work as a team and make It Takes Two a special style of platformer, carefully transforming Seemingly simple climbs on the side of a cliff. choreographed back-and-forths and coordinated chants of “3-2-1-Go!”
At first, Cody might have a cartridge bag of nails he can throw into walls to make a rung path for May to swing with her claw hammer, while later May can use her water pistol to soak fertile soil for Cody to plant. and blossom into a curvy flower with petals for platforms. These gadgets and abilities each deftly serve as platform puzzle-solving tools and boss-fighting aids: May’s cloning ability allows her to teleport from one weighted switch to another to trigger timed mechanics, but it also allows him to lure a charging bull boss towards an obstacle before teleporting out of danger at the last second. The only catch with all of the shared abilities is that there are sometimes times when the level of enjoyment is out of balance, where one character is freaking out around an area while the other can only watch, but all s ‘balance at the end and – if anything – it makes me want to replay it with swapped characters, just to see what the other half was like.
It Takes Two also has the ability to effortlessly bring joy to the mundane. In real life, my children’s fidget spinners seem like unnecessary trinkets, the forgotten leftovers of a passing fad now cluttering up shelf space. In It Takes Two, it’s whirring hoverboards that let you ride giant inflatable slides, performing spectacular in-flight tricks like a pair of tiny Tony Hawks.Additionally, while many elements of the It Takes Two environments are there to serve a very clear gaming purpose, a substantial amount of objects are interactive for no other reason than because they are fun. The giant bass drum pedal doesn’t play a role in reaching a level goal, but you can still hit it and hit its hammer in a towering drum, because it’s fun. The neatly lined dominoes in the cardboard castle area might well be a static backdrop in any other game, but in It Takes Two you can knock them over and knock a hapless little soldier down into a bottomless pit, because it’s fun. It really is the Mario method of cramming so much magical interactivity into every square inch of every play space, and ensures that every curious action will be rewarded. The fact that it takes two to bless you with endless lives and extremely generous checkpoints, only makes you more emboldened to experiment.
The only real complaint I can level with It Takes Two is squarely against the character of Dr. Hakim. This walking, talking “ Love Book ” serves as a guide for May and Cody on their journey to rekindle love into their marriage, and he’s basically unbearably grumpy from his first early appearance, and that doesn’t change in the many cutscenes in which he appears throughout. The only good thing about him is that every time he shows up you know you’re about to receive a new toy or game-changing ability so I never felt too sad to see him, although each of his lines made me roll my eyes rather than laugh.
Appearances of Dr. Hakim aside, I enjoyed the story of It Takes Two as a whole, especially how it perfectly takes elements of May and Cody’s reconciliation efforts and incorporates them into the gameplay. At one point, the couple rediscover their attraction to each other by literally using two halves of the same magnet to make their way through a level, for example. I was quite charmed by how the two actors gradually learned to love each other again, even though the final moments of the story were aimed at Pixar-style emotion but turned out to be slightly sweet.
Of course, a lot of the wedding metaphors went over the head of my 10 year old son who was accompanying me on the adventure, and it made me wish for a game like this that was more made for it. a parent shares their love. to play with a child as opposed to a couple playing together. Even so, it didn’t really impact the fun we shared, as much of the contextual bickering and banter between the on-screen couple was drowned out by our own laughs and screams as an impromptu snowball fight erupted or we struggled to co-operatively draw a smiley face on a giant Etch-a-Sketch.