The game my friend and I played was Nintendo Land for the Wii U. It’s a party game that launched with the Wii U, its full of mini-games related to other Nintendo titles. The mini-game we played was Takamaru’s Ninja Castle, it’s a single-player ninja game where you use the gamepad to throw paper starts at origami ninjas.
The game is pretty difficult with a high skill cap making it fun to play and improve. In the beginning, while playing I felt excited, content, enjoyment, and as I played more anger. The game is super fun, your first few runs are a fun test of skill but the more you play the more annoyed you become. The goal is to make it as far as possible and scoring is based on distance and ninja’s defeated, so when you take damage or make a mistake you may become upset. My friend didn’t help much with the experience either, when I made mistakes, she made small jabs at my skill in the game which just made me more annoyed. My friend isn’t a huge gamer so after her first run she started to get annoyed at the game and of course, I returned the favor her small jabs at my skill by doing the same towards her. I noticed something peculiar that happened to both of while playing, the more we played the game the more mistakes we made, and the worse our performance became. I believe our issue was that the longer we played the more annoyed and impatient we became which directly affected our skill in-game. While we were performing worse our experience was increasing and after collectively talking a short break, we both beat our high score by a huge margin. I also noted our use of game mechanics such as reloading, throwing star speed, and enemy targeting decisions. In my time playing, I would always reload between enemies to make sure I wouldn’t run out of stars, but my friend would reload once she ran out mid-combat. I threw my stars with precision which affected how many stars I used; my friend took the spamming approach where she threw all her stars in fast succession which resulted in her reloading frequently.
I would always target the strongest enemy first where my friend targeted the weakest enemies then went for the strongest. Each of our strategies had its flaws but we both ended up with very close scores at the end of our gaming sessions. I found it interesting how our different playstyles resulted in nearly the same score. I believe this is because the game is more focused on experience and familiarity with the motion controls and less on raw gamer skill. While my skills as a gamer did help me end up with the highest score, my friend who barely plays games was able to keep up after a few rounds. In the end, we both had a great time playing even if the game was annoying at times.