Claire and I have been picking our way through the splendid animation and storytelling of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for what seems to be a couple years now. In fact, I think we started this epic game back in early 2013 and our adventures, while sporadic, have been ploddingly and deliberately driving us further into the game.
Up until recently, however, Claire has been mostly content to side-seat-drive. I bought her the strategy guide for the simple reason that she didn’t quite have the nerve to take on the controller. I guess she was afraid of the battles, admittedly frequently chaotic button-mashing fests if you don’t need or don’t know the more complex strategies available.
So, she’d sit right by my side, calling out baddie weaknesses or suggesting the next play we should make. And she was happy with that.
The thing about kids, though, is that they’re rarely content to sit by the sidelines and watch. Heck, we fought over whose turn it was back in our golden era of the Coleco Vision and NES console days. I wouldn’t have put up with it for long had my dad sat and played while we shouted out “go lefts” or “shoot nows” at him. I didn’t expect my turn to go on forever, either.
She worked up the nerve recently. Just as we reached that point in the game, the point that happens in most every RPG I’ve ever played, where the linear, hand-holding story turns into a more scattered “oh, look you can teleport around and do all the quests you missed” kinda game, she decided that she was going to have another go at playing by herself.
“Let me try.” She said suddenly, and there I was watching.
And she played: grinding, bashing, fighting, leveling up the characters, and proudly showing off her battle tactics to her old man in the form of various collected trophies and captured critters.
And now I don’t think I’ll be getting many more turns for a while.