Brad and I are in total agreement on both Cookie & Cream and the scarcity of cooperative two-player games on the market today. It's funny that I completed this second opinion as Chi and I are in the middle of a cooperative multiplayer kick. We've been playing Microsoft's Halo, Interplay's Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Koei's Dynasty Warriors 3 and Sierra's Half-Life. This along with the launch of new gaming consoles has eased whatever gaming malaise or disinterest may have set in post-September 11th. While Chi did not enjoy Cookie & Cream nearly as much as I did, we both shared the sentiment that more co-op games need to be made.
From Software's release will live or die by its own quirkiness and innovation. Contrary to what Brad says, this game can not be played without a second player — okay, technically it can, but it won't have anywhere near the same appeal of the two-player experience. This leaves out hermits and gamers who prefer to sit in the dark alone playing depressing games. Cookie & Cream focuses on interaction and cooperation to such a degree that it truly sets itself apart from almost every other video game on the market. The only other games that it can be compared to are the party games popularized by Nintendo's Mario Party franchise. Unlike those party games however, this game has a fully realized story and characters and is not just a large collection of mini-games.
As good as Cookie & Cream may be, I did have some problems with the game. Aside from the camera and control issues that Brad detailed in his review, there is also the issue of the game's "kiddie" appearance. At first glance, Cookie & Cream is cute almost to the point of being obnoxious so it is sure to scare off players not secure enough with themselves to sit down with a game that doesnt come with a parental warning. Length was also a problem for me. It lasts barely six hours (eight hours if you aren't very good) and comes with a $50 price tag so it isn't likely to warrant the purchase with many consumers. That is probably the biggest shame because the game is sure to be enjoyed by anyone who plays it.
Cookie & Cream is inventive, amusing and gratifying. From Software took the chance and created this game and it should be rewarded for it. It's low profile, "kiddie" appearance and age may count against it, but for those seeking the ever-elusive two-player cooperative experience, Cookie & Cream is not a bad place to look.
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