Welcome once again, Gameologerinos, to our weekly thread for gaming plans and other friendly chat. This weekend, as my oft-mentioned obsession with co-op games continues, I’ll be digging more into the physics-based platformer Chariot (pictured above), which is free this month for Xbox Live Gold subscribers, so it was hard to pass up. I’ve only played through the first couple of levels, but the initial glimpses hold some promise. For one, the premise is charming and silly: A king returns from the dead to demand more jewels for his insufficiently opulent tomb, and it’s your job to collect them. The trouble is, the king insists on coming along for the ride, so you have to lug his coffin everywhere. (Luckily, it’s on wheels, hence the title.)
Chariot is only on the Xbox One for now, so I didn’t have to make any tough decisions about which platform I wanted to use. That was a relief. I know this is a problem that I’m privileged to have, but when a game I want comes out on a zillion platforms at once—Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, PC, Vita, and so on—I have trouble deciding which one to get. I’m rarely swayed by platform-exclusive add-ons, which are inevitably lame. And I don’t really worry about graphics comparisons, either. When it comes down to it, I’ve realized there are two major factors I weigh. The first is the support I expect. If it’s a game like The Binding Of Isaac from a tiny studio, for instance, I’ll buy the PC version because that’s the one I expect to get the best support. (Ditto for a game that I expect to build a strong “modding” community.)
The other factor is the controller. I generally prefer the PS3 and PS4 controllers for their pleasing size and slightly more solid feel. But if it’s a racing game, for instance, I’ll usually opt for the Xbox 360/One because I’m going to be using the shoulder triggers heavily, and the trigger action is more satisfying on Microsoft’s consoles.
Again, I realize that not everybody has multiple game machines, and I’m lucky to be faced with these choices. But a lot of people at least have a PC and a console, and those two alone can create dilemmas as you choose between the flexible power of the PC and the convenience of a console. Portable versions occasionally muddy the waters, too. So how do you make your multi-platform calls?