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It Takes Two - an incredible game (if you've got a compatible sidekick to play it with)

Tschumi

Member
I just finished playing through It Takes Two with honey bae sweetie pie over about a week of cackling nights on the new PS5. And my girl liked it so much that she insisted I review it, or do some kinda write-up about it, so here goes.

It Takes Two is a constantly morphing co-op game which takes the best parts of series like Crash Bandicoot, the Mario Party games, and countless others, and adapts them into an increasingly mind-blowing adventure after a generous campaign which took us, well, about a week of cackling 4-hour nights as I've already mentioned.


graphics are better (read: really great) or worse in different ways, but the game is consistently supremely touching

A troubled couple is on the verge of divorce and are infuriatingly wooden to the pain it's putting on their daughter, who grabs two clumsy kid-dolls of her parents, hides under a table in the mum's neglected workshop shed, and tearfully begs a "Book of Love" by one Dr Hakim to help her save their marriage. Very feels. Nekminit, the parents have been shifted by the power of her tears into the bodies of these two dolls, Dr Hakim is a zaney mexican (?) marriage councillor book with paper arms and legs who gleefully and often hilariously pushes them through a protracted process of making up.


reviewers unanimously say Hakim is annoying, but I think they're either joking or being really dense.. he's a great comic intelude, and his annoying personality is part of what drives the plot forward with such verve and energy. I liked Dr Hakim a ton.

How can I describe this game? There are multiple emotional dynamics going on concurrently - the daughter is trying to understand why her parents are variously sitting and laying down, comatose, for hours as she makes heart breakingly futile efforts to get through to them; the parents are juggling their contempt for one another with the need to cooperate and somehow pass the tests of the insane red book who keeps shaking its ass at them; the player is loving it, until they're asked to do something very uncomfortable (one particular scene had me doing something that wanted me to chuck my controller away), and it seems like it'll never end. There must be half a dozen moments where you think you're about to get to the daughter, only for a dead end to rear its head and force you down into a new, fantastic world.


this part was fucking fun

And these worlds are truly fantastic. Hugely varied, extremely creative, with desceptively fine graphics and excellent exploration mechanics. You go from the aforementioned store house to the half-rotted innards of the garden tree, to the house proper, to who the fuck knows where... into space, into ice fields, into the actual garden, Borrowers/Arriety style, a million other places besides... It's insane and so fun.


there are heaps of these game-within-a-game deals, and plenty of player-vs-player challenges scattered
around the map - my girl even beat me in one or two of them!

The variety of gameplay is incredible, you barely ever repeat anything beyond running, triple jumps and swinging skillchecks. Each level has one or more segments where your characters are given different tools - a boomerang-like symbol, guns, much else. Just discovering these tools causes you to laugh out loud in delight. They also take place in a huge variety of environments. There's even a fantastic level where you play a basic action RPG! Diablo style... The dad becomes a wizard the the wife a badass with a flaming 2H sword... And I'm not even sure that part's my favourite!


Super sweet queen elephant

All of the above exist outside of arguably the most engaging part of the whole experience - the co-op gameplay! It helps immesaurably if you're playing this with your partner, I must say, though any old buddy can work out fine I'm sure... The co-op is perfect, often a-symmetrical as one person needs to use the tools they've been given for this portion of the game to assist the other, or vice verse, or concurrently... In one portion the wife controls a giant robot that manipulates the environment so that the husband can move along it to eventually get to a progression switch... the real world communication required to get through these challenges is a joy...

I actually think this game is a fantastic gaming trainer :p My girl had played some games before - legend of mana as a cool japanese teenage girl, later the simplistically controlled persona 4 golden, skillcheck mid-point sackboy - but this game taught her so many new gameplay concepts, she's totally level'd up by playing it! She now has a vague understanding of shooters, swinging systems, swimming, manipulating a third person camera with some kind of dexterity, side scrollers, timing jumps, running on balls, measuring jumps by holding the jump button for varying lengths of time, spacing out double- and triple-jumps, flight controls, puzzle solving, the playstion symbols, tank controls, and much more besides... Just watching her wrestle with controls and improving at them was a gameplay reward in itself! Hugely recommended.


RT creds confirmed

Anyway, maybe that's enough, I have been putting Kena up as my favourite 2021 game, and that may possibly still be true, but It Takes Two could very well be tied or even slightly above Kena now that I've played it - with, it's important to note, my girl.

(hopefully you all now know i have a girl, so that's settled then.)

ps. Credits reveal that the game was made mostly by, Danes? Or nordics of some description. So, yeah, another feather in their collective horn'd viking caps.
 
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Tschumi

Member
Some dude on here compared the puzzles to Mario Party mini games.
As do I in my op how 'bout that ^_^

It's also based on many other games, and the story and characters put it in an entirely different tier of experience, imo.
 
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Tschumi

Member
I'm kinda cheesed off that I've written a thread that makes it pretty clear that this game is way the fuck more than a mario party clone and all the comments have so far done is equivocate about how Mario-like it is.

-_-
 

Bakkus

Member
I'm playing this game now, but the bud i'm playing with doesn't have time every day, and when he does, there are not long sessions to be had, so I can'tread your review yet. Those frogs were spoilers for me!
 

Tschumi

Member
I'm playing this game now, but the bud i'm playing with doesn't have time every day, and when he does, there are not long sessions to be had, so I can'tread your review yet. Those frogs were spoilers for me!
I only took stock marketing screens, sorry, but yeah I'll reduce the caption!
 

Jennings

Member
We loved the game until the first boss fight and uninstalled. While the fight was a generic Mario-level encounter for me, my non-gamer partner was overwhelmed and quickly got upset. She barely knows how to use a controller and I didn't even realize until we reached the toggle-fan jumps that she didn't know the right thumbstick could move the camera.

I guess she should spend time playing an easier game so she can learn how to use a controller before we ever consider playing again.

The boss fight was completely out of place in an otherwise darling game.
 
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Tschumi

Member
We loved the game until the first boss fight and uninstalled. While the fight was a generic Mario-level encounter for me, my non-gamer partner was overwhelmed and quickly got upset. She barely knows how to use a controller and I didn't even release until we reached the toggle-fan jumps that she didn't know the right thumbstick could move the camera.

I guess she should spend time playing an easier game so she can learn how to use a controllet before we ever consider playing again.

The boss fight was completely out of place in an otherwise darling game.
Hmmmm it's a shame she didn't have the instinct to figure it out, which one is that? I can't really remember the order.. my girl was only slightly more experienced and also didn't know about camera movement, but yeah she got through it and loved it :)

I only helped her once in the whole game, some jump puzzle i think
 
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MadPanda

Member
I've recently started playing this game with my wife some time ago and it's definitely something extraordinary. It's my GOTY this year and I genuinely consider it one of the best of all time because of its sheer genius and variety Just how many games are in it is amazing, all coupled with the great story. We haven't finished it yet but we're already sad it's going to end. I haven't read An review of it, wasn't even interested in it but after trying it I was amazed. Well done Hazelight.
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
I'm kinda cheesed off that I've written a thread that makes it pretty clear that this game is way the fuck more than a mario party clone and all the comments have so far done is equivocate about how Mario-like it is.

-_-

I mean... the first thing I thought when I played was "wow this is like a Mario Party minigame" which finished with my coop buddy about 5 minutes later saying "this reminds me of Mario party"

 
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Tschumi

Member
I mean... the first thing I thought when I played was "wow this is like a Mario Party minigame" which finished with my coop buddy about 5 minutes later saying "this reminds me of Mario party"

loop applauding GIF


Amazing to me how call of duty is basically half Life, all those.. guns and crouch jumps and corridors... Damn I'm perceptive :D
 

jbortz78

Member
Awesome you liked it OP. Been putting of buying it, but after a friend has been nagging me I bought it on PSN sale yesterday, and planning to introduce it to my wife to get her into gaming🎉
 

Jennings

Member
With all the comparisons to Mario Party I bought and downloaded Mario Party Superstars tonight. I'll play with my gaming partner and help her get up to speed with console controls and then we can download It Takes Two from Gamepass for a second shot at the game further on down the road.

Competing against and Mario and I should be less stressful for her than a (frantic, for her) boss fight when learning her way around a controller.
 

Ellery

Member
Love your post. I agree. Absolutely incredible and it is super enjoyable. Couple of beers (or other legal substances to intoxicate you and your mate with 🍏 ) and the laughter and fun is endless.
 

Tschumi

Member
It has online co op.
I wouldn’t dare play it with a rando though.
As such no matchmaking.
View my link in the above post, you can give a friend a "friend pass" and they can download the game even if they don't own it, so yeah you can choose which friend
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member
I also just finished it last night but with a big hairy man, not a lovely woman i can bone :goog_crying:

Great writeup and great game OP. I am also playing it with my ex-partner but we've not got a lot of time to play it now we're split up so probably won't finish it with her, truly symbolic.

So much stuff in this game is a metaphor, whats your favourite? The snowglobe was their physical attraction/sex life.
 

Tschumi

Member
I also just finished it last night but with a big hairy man, not a lovely woman i can bone :goog_crying:

Great writeup and great game OP. I am also playing it with my ex-partner but we've not got a lot of time to play it now we're split up so probably won't finish it with her, truly symbolic.

So much stuff in this game is a metaphor, whats your favourite? The snowglobe was their physical attraction/sex life.
I really couldn't say.. most of my cognition was taken over by how much fun i was having with the co-op partner lol... I think.... I can't be sure but at this moment i think i most enjoyed the garden.. more for gameplay then meaning... snow and underwater was pretty mind-blowing... I thought the awful thing you do to the elephant was a great metaphor for how they are tearing their kid apart
 

Poop!

Member
Great game but I'm playing with my 7 year old and some of the puzzles makes me want to break my controller playing with him. He means well but doesn't really get what he needs to do sometimes.
 

EverydayBeast

thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
Did we ever see a party game win game of the year? What I want to know is where are all the Capcom resident evil fans? You entered the year with confidence and exited with a brown bag over your heads.
 

Tschumi

Member
Great game but I'm playing with my 7 year old and some of the puzzles makes me want to break my controller playing with him. He means well but doesn't really get what he needs to do sometimes.
Ah yeah, that's a shame, my girl and i at least agreed it's more of an adult age group kinda game.. maybe one day haha
 

Maiden Voyage

Gold™ Member
Played about an hour or so last night with the wife. It's a great game so far. Dr Hakim is an awesome character. His intro was perfect timing as I was starting to get bummed by the seriousness of the plot. He does a great job in keeping things light hearted.

Some aspects were a bit difficult but we've managed to get through the second boss. I am looking forward to our next play session.

This game is an easy recommend for anyone on the fence.
 

ymoc

Member
I'm playing through it with my brother. So good. It's one of the most imaginative games I've ever played, constantly throwing new ideas at you. And the art style, the different settings, etc, it's all just wonderful.

Worthy GOTY.
Same. We like it too.
Though the game kinda lost some charm in the last third or so. It was also way too easy. It's such a shame they didn't give optional puzzles or platforming on the level of that Hell Tower or what was it called in the snow village. It was the only challenging thing in the game and was really fun.
Also the magic castle and Cutie was the most hilarious part of the game. Pity the rest of the game didn't come close to that comedic high.
 
It's a throwback to a time where gameplay mechanics and fun factor mattered more than how pretty a game can look or how movie like its plot can be. Awesome experience, me and the wife loved it. She also became way better at games thanks to it lol. We watched TGA and she actually celebrated when it won game of the year, its probably her favorite game of all time now.
 
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DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Was my game of the year as well. Enjoyed every moment of it, and I don’t think I ever laughed at a game’s dialogue so much before. Brilliant and charming game!
 
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Tschumi

Member
Same. We like it too.
Though the game kinda lost some charm in the last third or so. It was also way too easy. It's such a shame they didn't give optional puzzles or platforming on the level of that Hell Tower or what was it called in the snow village. It was the only challenging thing in the game and was really fun.
Also the magic castle and Cutie was the most hilarious part of the game. Pity the rest of the game didn't come close to that comedic high.
The game is less of a cake walk if your partner can barely play games.

I can imagine the brand of butterbrain who cackles and guffaws through that cutie scene..
 
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