After a lifetime of dedication to PC games I have finally bought my first ever games console. It's not actually for me - it's for the wife and kids. Most parents lament the excessive amount of time their kids spend on the playstation. My family on the other hand shows almost no interest in computer games leaving me a very lonely gamer. Partly this is temperament, they prefer other pastimes and partly this is due to type of game I play on the PC. My lovely wife and girls just don't like the violent often complicated PC games that I go for. So I've bought a games console in the hope that an infusion of Japanese monkey hopping and banana collecting will give my family a small appreciation of my own hobby. I bought a second hand Nintendo Game cube for €40. This is a console that was never very popular and has in fact just become obsolete. Only a few game stores even sell games for the cube any more. Before you accuse me of total miserliness I must counter with the fact that the game cube was always recognised as a superb console for kids. It has a number of first rate jumpy banana type games and much fewer video game nasties like the GTA series. The fact that the console was cheap and that games can be bought second hand for as little as a tenner is a bonus. I amn't too hopeful that this will catch on - I expect the girls will play it for a day or two and get bored so a €500 investment in an xbox 360 would have been totally pointless. I got three games with the console: Donkey Konga (complete with Bongos) , Sonic Mega Collection (which is a port of some old Sega Mega drive games) and Monkey Ball adventure (Monkeys, Bananas, bouncing). The Monkey Ball game just confuses me but perhaps the kids will make something of it. Donkey Konga is already proving a big hit. Not too sure about the Sonic games - perhaps these are a bit past their sell by date. In fact all of this has cause me to think about what happens to older games and older gaming hardware. Why is a game that was considered terrific four years ago a complete bore today? Material for another post I think.
I mentioned before that I intended to try Portal 2 in "unofficial split screen co-op mode. Well split screen on a small computer monitor is a recipe for a headache especially when the game defies gravity as much as portal. However a minor bit of extra fiddling allowed us to drive two seperate screens from one PC. The Steam forums describes a complicated method of doing this that I couldn't get working so this simpler method which worked for me might be of use to someone. 1. First I followed the instructions in this post to get split screen multi-player working: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1847904 A minor issue not mentioned is that you need to enable the console from the keyboard/mouse options menu I am using keyboard and one wired Xbox360 controller as suggested. Getting the controller to switch to channel 2 was tricky at first but as Chameleon8 mentions plugging it out and in again during loading works. The trick for me was to do the plug / p