Ni No Kuni: the douchey co-op partner

Battles in Ni No Kuni are mostly real time. I say mostly because there’s a moment at the beginning of each battle when the game pauses to let you choose your first target. After that, it’s a bit of controlled chaos as familiars attack monsters, monsters attack familiars, and Esther undoubtedly goes down. Oh, Esther. Maybe next time use one of those healing tears on yourself.

After the jump, glims make all the difference.

Familiars may have plenty of different attack options, but what they don’t have are their own health and mana bars. Those come from Oliver, Esther, and Swain. Managing the health and mana of three different characters can get hectic, especially during larger boss battles. The usual menu of sandwiches and caffeinated beverages is available to give you a pick-me-up in battle, but sometimes the difference between winning and losing is the glims.

Glims are health and mana orbs, unleashed by giving your enemies a proper thrashing. Sometimes you get them while hitting a monster, and sometimes you get them using a well timed evade or defend. During battle, you can freely run around the battlefield — something that took me some time to get used to — so it’s easy to collect glims and keep yourself topped up.

The problem is that the AI is also going after these glims. They’re not overly aggressive about it, but many the time have I been on my way towards a health boost just to have another familiar step in front of me and collect it. As a result, I tend to run around, collecting them all even if I don’t really need them. I also have a merit badge reward that automatically collects all unused glims at the end of battle, basically making me the douchey co-op partner who grabs all of the health pickups and good loot at the end of every battle.

No one wants to be that guy, but Esther keeps dying so she can’t use the the health glims. Swaine doesn’t have good magical moves and he runs mostly brawler familiars, so he can’t use the magic glims. Plus, when the awesome, golden glim shows up — the one that lets your familiar pull off his super move — the last thing I want to see is a familiar grab it just so he can buff up his defense. I mean, come on. I’m glad you have a prism shield, Skinny, but the rest of us are still getting destroyed by this ice wolf.

It’s a good system and it encourages defense as well as timing your strikes for counterattacks. I just wish I didn’t feel so greedy as a result. At least experience is shared equally among characters and familiars. I’d hate to add kill stealing to my already crappy reputation.

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Brandon Cackowski-Schnell can’t think of a clever biography. He plays games and then he writes and podcasts about them. Insert joke here.