It's kind of funny how playing games with people changes over time. Different ages of gamers tend to focus on different things while playing. While more mature gamers might be more interested in what kind of weapon or ammo you have available, kids seem to focus more on the look or type of character they are in the game.
"No Uncle Nick, you be the girl."
And this is how my session of Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes started with my 5 year old nephew Jadden.
I had snagged the game for just such an occasion, after all, it was only $13. After tiring of the Transformers game I had suggested moving onto this Star Wars title, because we could play together.
His eyes lit up - "You mean on the same side?"
"That my young Padawan is called Co-Op."
So after firing up the game we immediately had to switch controllers, because there was no way a boy of age 5 could play as a female character. Soon we were off into the tutorial section of the game.
"Jump you can with A, and with the force another jump with A you can" exclaimed Yoda.
These frequent pop ups annoyed my small companion, my nephew that is - not Yoda.
"Skip past this stuff, I just want to play."
We raced to get past the tutorial, skipping Yoda when we could. But a tricky jumping section showing off some platforming elements caused us some grief. Jadden just couldn't get past it. He was frustrated, I could tell, but I didn't want to quit so soon. A $13 investment is still an investment. After some coaching we made our way through, and still that Yoda character kept popping up.
"Skip tutorials, you can not."
Though we found this little green guy annoying, something caught my nephew's ear. Something about a master.
"I'm the Jedi Master, right Uncle Nick?"
"Sure," I agreed complacently. To be honest, I didn't care, at this point I'm just hoping for some easy achievement points. The game is mildly entertaining, don't get me wrong, but it's not something I plan on playing by myself.
So we battled our way through the first set of robots, dispatching of them easily. But once we came to the bigger bad guys, the ones that you can jump on their back's to dispatch - it got ugly.
To hop on the back and control one of the larger battle droids, you simply needed to press X once. If you double tapped it you'll jump on their back and then slice them apart with your Light Saber. This is not what Yoda wanted us to do. To my nephew's dismay, try and try he did, but he kept destroying them.
"This game is hard. I can't control them. And you keep killing all the guys."
Uh oh, this is starting to sound like a co-op feud.
Slowly we worked through it, moving onto the next set of tasks. We dispatched numerous droids along the way - picking up blue somethings for whatever reason - and of course, each time I picked them up...
"Hey...I needed those!"
"You don't even know what they do," I said.
"What are they for?" he replied.
"I have no idea."
And so it continued. Soon we hit a jumping puzzle where you needed to volley off opposite walls and collect those blue things again.
"I'll go first Uncle Nick, I'm the Master so I should go first."
When the Clone Troopers showed up, he called them our "best friends."
Finally we reached the boss, a spider like creature where we had to use the force on and slice off his guns. After some careful coaching the pattern became immediately apparent. I was told we just need to do that a few more times and he'd be dead. Sure enough, Jadden dealt the killing blow...
"I got him! That's why I'm the Master!"
"Good job!" I told him. The sense of accomplishment was two fold.
Then came a familiar sound. Cla-chink. 3 Achievements unlocked for 75 gamer score. I guess it's really not that bad to let the 5 year old be the master.