Well, here we are again. It’s the day singles hate, half of a couple seldom enjoys, and that ensures great tips for every Olive Garden in New Jersey. Yep, it’s Valentine’s Day and you know what that means: Unless you’re in a committed relationship you’re either trying to win somebody over, doing what you can to not feel lonely or pretending you don’t care. Well, Alexa Ray and I have got you covered and we’ve tag-teamed this whole V-Day thing to make sure no stone is left unturned.
If you’re looking to win a girl’s heart, you’re in the wrong place. My lady counterpart’s got what you need. But if you want to know how to deal with a guy on V-Day using nothing but your wits, a game console and a software library — clothing optional — listen up. Actually, throw those clothes back on. I regretted it immediately after I said it.
Guys, if I missed anything, feel free to speak up in the comments. Not every boo is wooed the same way.
If you’re in a well-established relationship and your boo is well-versed in the fine art of gaming, chances are you’ve already got a favorite game or two that you like to co-op. Try revisiting one you played on a special occasion. Maybe you first got cuddly in the spring of ‘09 when Resident Evil 5 first came out and it holds a special place in your hearts. Go ahead and pop it back in. Why don’t you go ahead and ramp up the difficulty?
May I also suggest doubling up on some Mario Kart? To strengthen that bond try Double Dash!! on Marathon mode. You know, where you play every single track the game has to offer. There’s nothing better than punching fools off cliffs while you let a skilled driver take the reins. It also works the other way around.
Are you both into JRPGs? Fire up Final Fantasy VII, VIII or IX — if you don’t have the original game discs and a PS1 or PS2, all three are PlayStation Network downloadable titles. As soon as you can customize the controls, assign each of yourselves a different character to control in combat and read their lines aloud. And don’t forget to do voices. He’ll find it a-dorkable. Trust me.
If you’re not in a relationship with your intended boo but want to be, there are plenty of ways to get your woo on. Sometimes the trouble is you don’t know what kind of games he’s into. Well, there are a few pretty safe bets. For one, if he’s into anything Tim Burton-esque, download Scarygirl. It may not be the most thrilling platformer, but that’ll make it much easier to make conversation while you’re cooperatively beating your way to Bad City. Plus, it looks like something straight out of the mind of the man responsible for Beetlejuice and Corpse Bride.
There are few people who can’t say no to a marathon Rock Band or Guitar Hero session, and if you’ve still got your plastic instruments lying around and know what kind of music he’s into this should be an easy win. Has he been talking your ear off about Taking Back Sunday and Fall Out Boy even though they’re so 2006? Rock Band’s got you covered. Pickings might be slimmer with the Guitar Hero brand but you can probably pick up a title in the series for less than a Rock Band track pack. The Beatles: Rock Band is also a no-brainer.
If you’re saying to yourself, “I’m pretty sure he hates music and Tim Burton but he likes video games,” just dust off one of those old consoles. There’s nothing an old school gamer loves more than when you hand him a controller with fewer than ten face buttons on it and fire up Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 or Double Dragon. Show him you’ve got real gamer cred.
If your intended boo is not a gamer it gets a bit rougher, but you like a challenge, don’t you? If he’s gaga for Indiana Jones, throw in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, give him the Dualshock 3 and watch him try it out. The controls are easy enough for somebody who earnestly wants to learn and if he can’t make it out of the bar tutorial, he’ll probably hand the controller over and gawk as you dispatch gun-toting clones. The first scenario has him enjoying himself and wondering if he’s looking cool in the process. The second scenario shows you know how to take charge and kick some ass. He’ll love that; trust me.
The safest bet for a video-game-themed date if you’re not sure what your guy friend is into is easy: Lego. Most any game in the series will work. Does he have an insatiable appetite for anything Batman? What about Star Wars? Indiana Jones (again)? Do you know for a fact he wishes he had a lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead? There’s a Lego game for that.
If he tires of trying to figure out even the simplest gameplay the video game world has to offer, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have you covered. Well, only if you have a Netflix subscription, that is. Go ahead and stream a good romantic flick. And by that I mean stream The Big Lebowski. It’ll really tie the date together. After all, it’s in HD!
If you have absolutely no idea if this guy wants you calling him boo, feel things out with WarioWare, Inc: Smooth Moves for the Wii, Just Dance for the PS3 or Dance Central for the Xbox 360. The key here is gauging how comfortable he feels looking like a total fool in front of you. These games are also easy testing grounds for some smooth moves of your own. The best thing about these games is that it’s really tough to fail so you can keep having fun together without anyone feeling like a total loser.
If you do not have boo and are spending Valentine’s Day with one or more bitter single friends, or you are that bitter single friend, just play anything where you can take your rage out on each other. Super Smash Bros., Halo, Call of Duty, anything. And make a drinking game out of it. Meteor-smashing Snake is all the more satisfying if the player controlling him has to take a shot upon death.
If you’re spending Valentine’s Day alone, get yourself to Best Buy, GameStop or another retailer and buy that shiny new game you’ve wanted, be it Final Fantasy XIII-2, Resident Evil: Revelations or the Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Collection. Once you’re blasting Powder Gangers to bits in the Mojave Wasteland, you won’t think twice about love.
Okay, so we went over more than ten games. Sue us.