Gaming With My Valentine

Love is in the air, so it seems as good a time as any to do the obligatory Valentines Day article. For today’s feature, I’m going to go through some of my favourite games I have shared with my Valentines and the stories that are attached to them. Sure you could surprise your Valentine with flowers and a nice dinner but you could also treat them to the happy memory of a good gaming night. 

It Takes Two – Xbox

It felt necessary to put this one on the list. My game of 2021 is possibly one of the best co-op games you can currently buy for modern systems (sadly not on Nintendo Switch). The game starts off with the two lead protagonists looking to get a divorce, so it doesn’t exactly welcome the idea of an ideal Valentines game. But as soon as you start playing you will be greeted with an experience that is enjoyable and welcoming to gamers of all skill levels.

For me and my Valentine, this was a rollercoaster of ever-changing gameplay mechanics that kept us hooked right up to the end. For us, there were so many moments from this game we still reminisce and talk about to this day. Favourites include the moment I flew a plane while my Valentine fought a squirrel on the wings. Then when we rode some fuzzy spiders up a tree and of course the crazy boss fight with the vacuum cleaner. It Takes Two felt like a game made for me and my Valentine and is an experience we will cherish for years to come. 

LadiesGamers Valentines
One of the best co-op games to date

Ultra Street Fighter 4 – PS3

Sometimes the best thing for Valentines to do in video games is make war and not love. Believe it or not, I don’t just enjoy co-op games with my Valentine. We have picked up multiple fighting games over the years and battled it out one vs one. A particular favourite was Ultra Street Fighter 4. Often my Valentine would pick Cammy while I rocked Ryu (because I’m boring).

When I first played this series with my Valentine she would struggle to gain a victory over me as I’m a massive tosser (British slang for silly person). But she persisted and it wasn’t long before she began to score multiple victories. In true fashion, I would be a terrible loser but that didn’t stop me from coming back for more. Other fighting highlights include the Mortal Kombat and Injustice series on modern consoles. 

LadiesGamers Valentines
Sometimes you need to fight it out

Bust a Move 4 – PSOne

Also known as the Puzzle Bobble series. Fighting games certainly caused a hefty rivalry between me and my Valentine, but nothing ever compared to our longstanding competitive feud on the Vs mode in the Bust a Move series. If you haven’t heard of this game you simply shoot coloured bubbles from the bottom of the screen to match at least three on the top of the screen. In Vs mode, if you manage to outplay your rival you send ghost bubbles to their screen to hinder their progress. If a player’s screen fills with bubbles they lose. It’s highly addictive pick up and play gameplay. My Valentine and I have played all four games in the core arcade series across multiple platforms, mostly PSOne but Bust a Move 4 was always our favourite.

Two stand out stories I have is the time we were at a retro convention where we quite literally hogged a Bust a Move 4 cabinet for several hours while passers-by looked on confused. But the most notable tale is when we went head to head on Bust a Move 4 at our wedding. Yes, as part of the reception to an even more confused audience we battled the greatest of battles which would end in my new wife coming out victorious. For me, this latter tale was a huge deal even though I lost. You see I was never proud to openly be seen as a gamer to my family as I was kind of ashamed of it. So being able to share this hobby with someone I love so publicly was quite special. Sure I lost but the endless rivalry of Bust a Move continues to this day. 

LadiesGamers Valentines
Cute but competitive

The Puppeteer – PS3

Heading back to actual co-op games. The Puppeteer was a PS3 game that felt like it kind of flew under the radar for a lot of players. It was released well into the console’s life cycle when the system was recovering from a rather difficult start. As time progressed some truly impressive original IPs came to PS3 and The Puppeteer was one of them. A 2D platformer where you play a little puppet boy on a quest to defeat the Moon Bear King. The games presented with this memorable theatre-like presentation with distinct graphics and humorous voice acting. It was like nothing else I had ever played.

Why this was significant for me and my Valentine is that this was a co-op game where one player could pick up the Playstation move controller and control the supporting fairy character. Now usually in games, I would play as the lead player but for this experience I let my Valentine take the lead and I waved my Move controller offering assistance. It was nice to be the support character for a change. The game feels so forgotten or missed by most players but holds a very special play in our hearts. We still quote some of the silly lines from the game today.

LadiesGamers Valentines
The Puppeteer – A forgotten gem

Fable – OG Xbox

I have a very profound memory of playing the original Fable on the OG Xbox that isn’t as happy as sugar-coated as the other titles I have discussed in this article. Fable was an overly ambitious action RPG that from a marketing perspective promised a little more than it could deliver. Some may vividly remember the tall tale that you could plant an acorn in this game and watch it grow as your character grew up. The game clearly overpromised but I still found a lot to like about this title. It had a distinctly British flair to its voice acting and the gameplay was pretty decent for a new IP.

What most will remember is this was a game that adopted the morale system of good and evil that many games were rocking at the time. In Fable if you played it good or bad your character’s appearance would reflect this. In games, I usually played the good guy, but in Fable I seemed to lean more the other way which proved an entertaining change of pace. But for my Ex Valentine, my choices were not so accepting. Things came to head when I was fighting in the arena with my childhood friend/rival in the game. On coming out victorious you can choose to forfeit the fight giving her the win, or strike her down to take the victory. I chose the latter as the wind seemed to be blowing that way. But for my Ex Valentine watching this decision was not desirable as she wished the outcome was different.

What followed was a rather awkward few days between us as she would look at me very differently and at the time I felt bad about it. I guess the reason I wanted to highlight this tale (or fable) is not all gaming memories are going to be positive. Love while a lovely and happy experience is also filled with its fair share of pain and heartache. And you know what that’s OK. Maybe it’s something I’ve learned getting older but you kinda learn to cherish the good and the bad moments in relationships. The sweet is never as sweet without the sour.

LadiesGamers Valentines
Sometimes love hurts

But enough of my tales. Be sure to share your gaming Valentines picks and stories below. As always, thanks for taking the time to read my article and have a great day.


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