The unfortunate letdown that was the Atlus Store launch

Hey, Gamers! So, many of you know that Persona 5 is my favourite game. I have been playing it for a while now, but by the time I wanted to get some cool merch, the store was closed. In the meantime, Persona 5 Royal came out, then Persona 5 Strikers, and then I played two other Atlus games that I adored! (Those being Catherine: Full Body and Shin Megami Tensei V, but I’m not done with the latter). So, it’s safe to say that I was very much looking forward to the launch of the Atlus store. When it finally came, I had to stay awake until 1 am which might be okay for normal people but I really struggle with my sleep schedule and getting it back on track and then throwing it off again wasn’t good. There are a few things that went wrong with the launch, in my opinion, so let’s talk about it!

I want to preface this by saying that I know that they’re just trying their best. I don’t want anyone to think I’m hating on them because that’s not the case. I actually completely plan on emailing the team as the website is still in beta mode, so I thought this would be a good way to gather my thoughts before doing that (and if you guys want me to include anything else, let me know!).

GUYS I’m finally writing a post that this is relevant for!!!!!!

The Date.
I have tweeted about this. I have written about this. I was so let down by this. So, there was- something going on in September. That was the official 25th-anniversary thing, right? But we basically got nothing. But after looking, I saw that the store would be launching in October. Then 30th October came, and the shopatlus Instagram page said that the launch was set for 17th November. This disappointed me because I was like “oh, October, that’s enough time to get something for my birthday in late November”. Not just that, but as late as 20th September they were talking about the launch as if it was happening in October. I get that it might not have been ready, but at least give up somewhat of an explanation instead of making it out like the October launch was never going to happen.

Finding it.
When the launch was happening, if you googled ‘Atlus shop’ or a variation, the shop didn’t show up. I had to go through the Instagram account to get the link to the shop. What was showing up was all of the notices Atlus put out about the shop coming soon on their actual site. No links to it or anything. Not the best for those who just realised the time and wanted to buy something quick in case they sold out.

This was the biggest thing for me. While official gaming merch is seemingly expensive, I’m often surprised by how cheap things are if you order directly with the gaming company. It wasn’t the pricing of the product that I had a problem with, I want to make that clear. I went to order a pillow of Joker, and then got told that my £30 order came to over £100… because of shipping.
I then went to order a shirt – a pre-order, by the way – only to have the same issue. Only having priority delivery for international shipping isn’t good, especially when it comes to pre-orders. Why the hell would I want to pay extra money to get the item in 6-10 days when I’m not going to get it until December anyway? It makes no sense.
For the record, I ended up getting a mug for £15 and had to pay nearly £50 in total because of shipping, but at least I got something.

This launch was more disappointing than Joshua’s Arsene

This isn’t something I had an issue with, but I know a lot of people had an issue with this. The only products available to properly order (not pre-order) were 25th-anniversary stuff. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the stuff was nice but why would you want all the protagonists if you’ve only played 2 or 3 of the games? There was little to no single protagonist merch, and all of the focus was on the protagonists.
I did expect this, but I can see why people were so frustrated with it too.

I haven’t heard anyone other than me have this problem, so it might just be something I’m used to from where I shop for clothes and stuff, but there was no sizing chart. It just said ‘regular fit’ for the clothes. But to my understanding, different countries have different sizing standards so I wasn’t to know what size to get without a sizing chart, which meant I wasn’t able to get the shirt I wanted or any hoodies or jackets.

Overall, this experience was disappointing, which is made a little worse by the fact that I didn’t have very high standards in the first place. Atlus said multiple times that there would be worldwide shipping, but it isn’t accessible to most people. I sincerely hope that the website gets better, Atlus negotiates better shipping at more affordable prices and that they overall just learn from this experience.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! I talked a little bit about this in a recent stream over on Twitch (our channel name is 2nerds_1game) so if you want to check that out, the video is still up. Do you have any thoughts on this? I really wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, I know this was a big thing that just went wrong… but I can’t help but feel like some things were preventable. Let me know what you thought in the comments below, and I’ll see you next post, Gamers!

Shin Megami Tensei V is NOT a Persona game, and that’s a good thing

Hey, Gamers! Since Persona 5 is my thing, I thought I would touch on some of the confusion surrounding SMTV as it’s coming out in a few days as I’m writing this – if this goes up when it’s meant to then it’s already been out for a few days! So, let’s get right into it!

EDIT: Hi, uh, Josh got me SMTV for our anniversary so if there is any misinformation, I will come back and correct it when I’m done with the game. I am loving it so far, and might do a follow up to this post on why it feels so different.

Shin Megami Tensei is its own thing. Like, completely. Persona is a spin off of Shin Megami Tensei, but not in the way that you might be thinking. It’s kind of like… if you like Mario or Nintendo games in general, and then you get Super Smash Bros. I think that’s a good comparison. They’re completely different games, right? Like, sure they have the same characters, but Mario is a platformer and Smash is about fighting. But they’re related because they have the same characters. So, to my knowledge, SMT is like the original, and Persona is the non-fighting spin off.

I haven’t played SMT yet. I want to, but I’ve been put off by its community. The thing linking SMT and Persona is the personas/shadows/demons, whatever you want to call them. Each one usually has a very long history in the franchise, and it’s super cool to actually look into it.

From what I can tell from what I’ve read (granted I haven’t read much because I do want to play these games) and what I’ve been told, Persona has a really cool thing where you can do the dungeon crawling and then you have the social sim part; SMT doesn’t have the social sim part. It has a heavy emphasis on the dungeon crawling part, and it’s significantly more difficult. From what I’ve heard from fans of the series, a lot of the mechanics make no sense (such as the negotiations).

So, Shin Megami Tensei and Persona are completely different games, linked by the idea of the personas/demons.

So, why is that a good thing?

SMT is a very old series, and the fact that Atlus is choosing to release a brand new game is great. The series started in in 1987 with the release of Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei which shows how long the fanbase have been dedicated for. The latest release, which came out in October 2020, was a remaster of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne which, while it’s always good to have a remaster… it would be better to have a new game. Which they’re finally getting! SMTV is great because Atlus are giving dedicated fans what they’ve wanted for years.

Since Persona has been more popular, Atlus has seemed to focus much more on that series. If you think about it, there’s been so many Persona games (which is shocking considering the first Persona game didn’t come out until 1996, almost a full decade after SMT). Like, not only do we have the main series games, we have things like Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Dancing!. I know there’s others, I just wanted to include examples from the most popular 3.

Shin Megami Tensei V shows that Atlus can return to its roots and improve. They can go back to old series’ and update it so it fits with other games that are going around right now. It shows that they can learn from the games that they’ve published over the past few years (such as Persona 5 Royal and Catherine: Full Body) to find out how to update their older series and to find out what people like/dislike.

Should Shin Megami Tensei V be compared to Persona 5 Royal? Hell no. Maybe in terms of graphics, but not story or gameplay. They are completely different games and therefore should be treated as such. People aren’t comparing Mario to Super Smash Bros or Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, so why would they compare these games?

I will say my experience with the SMT community has not been pleasurable as a whole, but I am honestly so excited and hyped for them. I understand their anger and frustration, but I think taking it out on fans of Persona is a little too much. I am genuinely so hyped that they’re getting a new game and I hope Atlus learns from this experience and continues updating their series’ that have dedicated fanbases.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! Have you played Shin Megami Tensei? Have you played the new one yet, since this post is coming out just after its release? Let me know! I really do want to get both the remaster and the new one on the switch but I need a new SD card first. Please be mindful not to leave any spoilers in the comments, and if you liked this post, don’t forget to give it a ‘like’. If I got any information wrong, please know that it wasn’t my intention and I am happy to be educated as long as it’s done in a polite way. If you’re looking to watch someone stream, check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch where Josh and I try to stream as often as possible. See you next time, Gamers!

EDIT: I know I strictly use Persona 5 Royal images when talking about a game that isn’t like it and shouldn’t be compared with it, but Persona 5 Royal is my special interest and I don’t have many photos of SMT and am yet to complete the game I got a few days ago. I just wanted to acknowledge that I know it might come across as contradictory but I’m literally just using what I have, what I know and what I’m comfortable with.

My first Animal Crossing Halloween

Hey, Gamers! I know it’s the middle of November, but I wanted to take some time to reflect on my first Animal Crossing Halloween. Growing up, I always wanted Animal Crossing. I can’t remember much of wanting it to be honest, but my mother insists that I very much wanted it almost every Christmas, and each time it was sold out everywhere. It gets worse because my birthday is on the 26th of November, which is super close to Christmas and it’s when everyone starts panic buying. But nonetheless, because of the whole it being sold out thing, I never got it. Josh had animal crossing, but he’s very… uh… protective? Obsessive? Tyrannical? Yeah, that’s probably the right word. It’s no fun playing on Josh’s Animal Crossing because he’s just there watching every move you make. His brother once planted a tree and it meant a lot to him that he made his mark on the town… Josh chopped it down and made his brother cry. So, having a less controlled Animal Crossing meant that I finally got to meet Jack! We got Animal Crossing for an alter of mine for ‘second Christmas’ (it’s a huge trauma day for me and usually we have a bit more money to spend after Christmas so we have a more relaxed Second Christmas every year so I can actually enjoy it without stressing and we can get each other the actual gifts we wanted to). That was in January 2021, so this was the first chance we got. We’re witnessing all the seasons change, and it’s lovely. I feel like I’m going on a tangent so uh, let’s just get on with it!

Candy. You have no idea how stressed I was about having enough candy for all the villagers. I didn’t want any of them to feel left out, but I’m also not the type to go on the game every day… or at least, go on the game when the shop is open. I really made a point of trying to get up early just to go on it. Sometimes I got distracted, so I only ended up having 14 candies. I wanted to be able to give one to my real-life friend (although I am still yet to do that…) too, so I was happy. I gave my candy away and took it back over and over again. It was funny.

As for costumes… I’ve never been big on changing clothes. I have about 5-6 outfits that I wear in Animal Crossing, and that’s about it. But I was so excited when I realised that I could cosplay as Futaba for Halloween.

The villagers were less excited. They refused to give me candy, so I tried a goth dress and they still refused… so I decided to play a little trick on them.

Dressing up as Jack made me so happy. I laughed my butt off, to be honest. The villagers’ reactions really tickled me. Josh was sat there looking at me like I was a maniac while I was trying to explain to him while laugh-crying that I dressed up as Jack and the villagers couldn’t tell it was me at first. I probably laughed way more than I should have because my whole body ached the next day from laughing so much.

I think that’s it for this post, Gamers! I just wanted to share what I got up to on my first AC Halloween. What did you guys get up to? Did you trick any of your villagers? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to ‘like’ this post if you liked it and follow this blog for more gaming content. See you next post!

Gaming Progress: October

Hey, Gamers! October is the spooky month, a month where you pull out the blankets and dust off the slippers. It’s a month of scary movies, dress up and pumpkin carving. I did none of that. Why? Gaming. Yep, this month was HUGE so you’re going to want to cosy up with a nice blanket, a cup of warm hot chocolate and get ready because we have several games, multiple plats and a whole new console to talk about. That being said, I am going to take a momentary break from typing to make myself a coffee because I’m going to be here a while, and then I’m going to nag my fiancé for the list I’ve been asking him to make all month.

Okay, now that I have a too-hot coffee in a Tom Nook mug, a slushie, a can of diet coke and an annoyed, currently typing fiancé, let’s get to it! I will say that I am usually much more prepared for this post than I was this month. I usually keep track of the important things I do in games, I note down things that felt big at the moment that I know I might forget later on. This month, however, was not like that at all. It went by in a blink of an eye. So, so fast. I’ve been sick for a lot of it, which might be why, but I just completely lost track of this month. I also wanted to add that a few people have asked me to include my reading update here, so I will while I am reading gaming-related things. I’m going to try to get everything here, but don’t be surprised if this post is updated in a few days because I’ve missed most of the progress I’ve made. Let’s get on with it!

So, starting off small with Persona 5 (umbrella term). I have, for now, given up trying to get the plat in Strikers. I will do it, but streaming Persona 5 Royal and Persona 5 Strikers at the same time felt too much and I wasn’t getting places quickly enough. That being said, Josh has been streaming another game nearly every day since we got a PS5 (more on that later), so I haven’t really been able to stream Persona 5 Royal either. I have witnessed Makoto’s awakening and unlocked Ann and Morgana’s showtime attack. For those who don’t know, Makoto’s awakening is my favourite. This is – I believe – my 6th playthrough and it still gives me goosebumps. Makoto isn’t my favourite member of the Phantom Thieves, but her awakening truly is special. Again, for those who don’t know, I’m doing an AI-run of Persona 5 Royal and when I tell you the fight after Makoto’s awakening caused me trouble, I- I literally had to resort back to the start of the palace, fight the shadows again, heal and then do the fight after her awakening a few more times. I have played my own save file a little bit more, but I’m in the same palace, I think one day after my stream save. Also, Joshua actually played Persona 5 Royal again. He finally defeated Okumura and hasn’t picked the game up since… which I kinda get, Okumura sucks. He hasn’t finished Persona 5 Royal, and it is pretty painful to see his list of Personas. His Arsene isn’t even curse based *shudders*.

Look at this monstrosity. What the hell, Joshua. Never been more ashamed of you.

Moving on, but in the same ‘family’, is Catherine: Full Body! I have been wanting to play this game for a very long time. Did I think I would like it? No. Did I think I would be able to do the puzzles? Also no. But I wanted to play it so bad, and it was on sale at the very start of the month! So, I finished it in like, a week. When I tell you how amazing this game felt- how my confidence grew- I loved this game. I didn’t love the protagonist, he is a man-child, but I loved the game. I ended up with Rin during my first playthrough, and then we got the PS5 so my Catherine days were slowed but I’m looking to try to get the plat now. I think the hardest thing for me is Rapunzel, I’m just generally bad at Arcade games. I really, really loved this game and I’m so excited for the Atlus Store to open on 17th November because I want to get some cool Catherine (and Persona 5) merch!

So some of the games that we immediately installed on the Playstation 5 are the Yakuza games. I can’t remember which ones all together, but definitely 0 because we stream it, and 2 because that’s the one I’m on. While I didn’t progress at all in 2 (because we deleted it to make space for PS5 games), I finally finished the cabaret club czar storyline and unlocked the mad dog style for Majima. I haven’t used it, but it’s unlocked so that’s a bonus. I also took down the pleasure king as Kiryu and realised why I hated Brawler originally- I hadn’t upgraded it. At all. So I worked on that a little since I don’t like using Rush anymore. I didn’t get too far, but it’s a start. At the very least, I’ve worked out why I was so against not-rush fighting styles.

Before I move on to Animal Crossing, I wanted to talk about The Witcher. I’ve not played it anymore, and I was planning on just waiting until the PS5 upgrade comes out. However, since that’s been pushed back to the latter half of 2022, I am planning on giving it another go on our PS4 (trying to save space on the PS5, and valuable time, by only playing PS5 games on it). While a lot of the games I’ve played this month, I feel like I’ve not really been committed to, The Witcher is kind of different. I explain this in more detail in my last progress report but last month, I was on the second book, I believe. This was a big deal to me because I haven’t wanted to read since I got diagnosed as dyslexic when I was 18. I am now on the 4th book (Time of Contempt), and I am loving it. I read every single night without fail in October. This was a huge deal for me and I’m lucky enough to have such an encouraging fiancé. Josh and I have started this thing where we both go up to bed at the same time, I read and stroke his back and he watches YouTube and plays games on his phone. It’s just a nice, chill time and I think this is the first time we’ve managed to stick to a routine. Even if he doesn’t want to go to bed at the same time as me, he still comes up to get his back strokes and I feel like we’re closer as a result of this. I’m over halfway through this book, and I’m just so excited whenever I recognise names and groups of people. I have a want to play the first two Witcher games just for the story. While I love the gameplay of the Witcher, I love the story much more and I think it would be cool. I think the first game came out in like 2007, and it’s only on PC which is the thing I’m most hesitant about because I’m so used to console and my laptop isn’t the best at handling things.

Just some inspiration that I sent to my mum because my birthday is in November and the Witcher is all I can think about right now

Animal Crossing time! For reference, I am talking about New Horizons. Like most people that I’ve talked to, I felt the need to make our island perfect for the update. For those who don’t know, I bought Animal Crossing in January this year for an alter of mine (I have DID) who is a child. She is the island representative, which makes things a little tricky when it comes to moving things around. I have been working on removing things, putting grass back down, digging up trees, making an orchard… just removing all the hard work I’ve already put in. Our island has never felt good enough, especially seeing other people’s in dreams. We have this vision for our island now and it’s nice for us to be able to work together. So we had 4 actual people on our island- me, Josh and two alters. We found out that having a spare account helps with revenue and storage and we were all running out of storage so we asked around and one of my alters wanted a Nintendo account but not for ACNH, so I made the account and a character on ACNH (with permission) and named it Not-*alter’s name* so that it’s pretty clear to everyone that it’s not her. I saved up 500,000 bells to move everyone, and we started on that pretty recently. It’s been hard to work everything out, but we have our plans and I think the hardest part of it is thinking that we have more space than we actually do. We haven’t used Terraforming as much as other people seem to have, so our island’s layout is basically what we started with so we’re just working on changing it while still keeping it looking decent. I have filmed a little bit of our island because I want to document how much change it’s going through and I want to maybe capture Josh’s reaction because he doesn’t go on it a lot at all.
EDIT: I also got Tammy’s portrait. Tammy was our OG sisterly villager and me and the island rep have been competing to get her portrait first. I won. EDIT2: I can’t believe I did this but I forgot Halloween was in October. I dressed up as Futaba. Didn’t go well. Will make a full post because it was my first animal crossing Halloween.

Josh started and didn’t finish four games before we got the PS5: Ni no Kuni 2, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Monster Hunter World and Nioh. His issue with Ni no Kuni 2 was just that it’s a JRPG and it’s probably long, and we got the PS5 and games that he would rather play. He seemed to really enjoy Kingdom Come: Deliverance and he often talks about how it is more difficult in the beginning because the character knows nothing and it therefore it would be harder for the character. He said that it was very immersive and he enjoyed that aspect of it. He also seemed to really enjoy Nioh, and claims it was ‘fun’, which isn’t a word he uses often. Again, this is another one that I think he would have played a ton more if we hadn’t got the PS5. With Monster Hunter World, he did give it a good try. I remember him saying something about not having a weapon. But honestly, he hasn’t spoken much about it and all he has said for this post is that he wasn’t that into it.

But, because we got the PS5, he got Demon Souls. This was basically the one game he wanted the PS5 for. He finished it (on stream) within a week and has not stopped talking about it. Demon Souls is his favourite thing right now. Like I said, he finished his first playthrough on stream so the videos will probably be going up on YouTube pretty soon, but he also started a magic build and a strength build… and by strength build, I just mean a punchy build. He’s not using any weapons and I was watching him grind last night and it was pretty intense. Josh says that this is probably the best souls game for new players, but I’m determined not to play it until I’ve at least finished either Dark Souls or Bloodborne.

Since we’re on the subject of the PS5, we played Astro’s playroom. I’ve talked a little bit about how it was a great game to show off what the PS5 can do in my PS5 announcement post (I’ll link it at the end if I remember), but I just wanted to reiterate that it is genuinely so great. It’s such a fun game. Josh has actually platinumed it, and I’m on the last level with the special boss fight. I’ve been trying to get through it whenever I have a few minutes spare but I think I’ll really have to sit down and focus on it.

Another plat that Josh got this month was Maneater. He enjoyed it quite a bit, but he found the platinum a bit on the grindy side (but I don’t know what he expected to be honest). This was what he was playing before we got Demon Souls, so I think he finished it in a few days.

I think this is man eater? Should I have asked first? Probably. Will I next time? Probably not.

He also started playing Bugsnax and he seems to be enjoying it, which is weird to me because it doesn’t seem like the kind of game that he would like. I think more than anything, he’s just enjoying playing PS5 games. He seemed pretty proud of his collection of Bugsnax when he was showing them off to me yesterday. I think it might be reminding him of Pokemon, which would make more sense as to why he’d like it (speaking off, I wanted to add this here because he doesn’t read my posts this much unless I ask him to: this month – November – Pokemon Shining Diamond and Brilliant Pearl come out. My challenge is to make sure he doesn’t buy either of them, because I’m planning on getting them for him for Christmas. Check back next month to see if I’ve managed to convince him to hold out).

All he’s been talking about since I wrote this is Bugsnax send help please

Lastly (for Josh), and sadly, we finally got Sekiro. Why is it sad, I hear you ask? Because he’s finally met a Souls-like game that he deems to be too difficult for him right now. Personally, I think his issue is he’s been playing so much Demon Souls that his brain is having a difficult time adjusting to a new (similar) game. He is 100% going to come back to it, just not for a while. I’m going to make an educated prediction as someone who has lived with him for nearly 4 years and say that he’ll come back to it after he gets the plat in Demon Souls.

Hopping back over to me, I got Deathloop. I have wanted this game since it was advertised in the PS5 reveal. However, I am famously bad at FPS games. I think I’ve played it twice. I feel awful because I really want to play it and the story seems awesome, but something inside me is holding me back.

I’ve also been playing A Plague Tale: Innocence. It has a lot of elements that I usually wouldn’t go near (sneaking), but the story is just so damn good. I think I’m on chapter 7, and I am a little stuck right now but it’s a game that I do want to spend more time on and maybe even go for the plat. I like that it has a historic setting, and I like the family connection aspect of the story. I typically like games where you have to look after someone, although I know many people find this annoying. For example, growing up, Resident Evil 4 was one of my favourite games to watch my dad play and Ashley was my favourite. I love Hugo. He’s the sweetest, even when he’s being bratty because this poor boy has never been outside and now he just has no home and his mother is gone and suddenly his sister who barely saw him before has to take care of him and he’s just meant to trust her. Ah, I love this story.

Lastly, we got Life Is Strange: True Colors. We got the PS5 version and I am so happy we did. My last post was actually about this game’s accessibility options, so I’ll link it at the end of this post if I remember. The story was so good. Okay, I’m not going to talk too much about it because as I’m typing I have finished the game but that was on the 1st of November so it would be cheating. But Alex was a likeable MC which is something I felt like the series as a whole was struggling with. Since it was announced, I was confused as to why they would bring Steph back out of everyone else but then I realised as I was playing the game that it was by the same people who made Before The Storm, not the original game or sequel. While I didn’t enjoy Before the Storm as much as Life Is Strange and Life Is Strange 2, I did enjoy certain aspects of it much more and they have come back with a bag. I mean, I didn’t expect this game to have JRPG aspects but it somehow does. The LARP is insane and really gives the impression that the community really cares about each other. I think a huge take away from this game is that it’s okay to feel what you feel, even if you feel like those emotions were wrong. As an over empathetic autistic girl who has been through repeated childhood trauma, this hit me hard. There have been so many things that I’ve felt angry over, and I’ve felt so guilty about my feelings. This game helped me come to terms with that. I found myself really thinking about what was best for Alex over what was best for the other characters, and that was a huge change for me. I am planning on platting this game because it is beautiful. I adore it with every fibre of my body and to be honest, I think I enjoyed it more than Persona 5 Strikers, so it’s taken the top spot for my best game of the year. Ah, I just love this game so, so, so much. So much.

And I think that’s it for this post, Gamers! How was your October? Did you get up to much gaming? Do you have any big achievements? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, give it a ‘like’ for me to do a happy dance. Follow this blog for more gaming content, and check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch to watch me and Josh stream. See you next post, Gamers!

Accessibility options in games (specifically in Life Is Strange: True Colors), from the perspective of a disabled gamer

Hey, Gamers! Now, I did a post a while back that has proven to be a bit controversial. It’s obvious that I was very angry at the time and therefore didn’t communicate my points properly.

My main post was meant to be that disabled people shouldn’t be used as scapegoats in arguments created because game journalists have deadlines to meet. I was trying to say that easy mode isn’t a fix for accessibility.

I was going to do a post about why games can’t all be accessible, but I felt like it was difficult for me to communicate my points, and I know there’s always going to be some people who are like “ooh you have to hold game developers accountable” and so on… so here I am, holding game developers accountable. Because I have played a game with amazing accessibility options and I cannot stop talking about them to my friends (my friends being Josh, who I live with) and my family (that being my mother, the only other person I talk to). So let’s talk about what Life Is Strange: True Colors did right, what could be improved and how (and if) it could be implemented in other games.

Okay, moving on because I want this to be a positive post! For reference, Josh is my fiancé and we recently got a PS5. The Life Is Strange series is pretty important to me (one of the first posts I did was actually on the original game, and I think my first game review was on the second game). I’ve streamed all the games on our YouTube (apart from this one, because I’m making a video on it). The original was actually the first game I completed on the PlayStation. I also have several disabilities, including autism, dyslexia and C-PTSD (there are others but these are the ones that I feel are relevant for this post). I just figured you might need this background knowledge.

Okay, so picture the scene: two days before Josh got some money, we were sitting on the sofa after one of my Deathloop streams and just talking about the game (I think it was the first stream I did, to be honest). I was saying that the main reason I got him to read everything out loud was because the writing was really small to me. I’ve told him about how I read using the shape of words rather than individual letters, so he asked if that was impacted and I said yes. We had a really nice conversation about different ways that game developers could potentially help with this issue as I know a lot of people read the same way I do or have the same difficulty with sight that I do. We talked about different fonts potentially being used (although that might go against the design of the game), or just having the option to make the text bigger. It was nice to be able to have a conversation about accessibility without feeling attacked. It was just, chill. We thought of the pros and cons of different things, and it was nice.

Then… BAM.

Josh bought me Life Is Strange: True Colors because he wanted me to have a game on the PS5 that I could play off-stream when my social battery was drained. I opened it, and he sat next to me because it was a big deal to me and he wanted to be there, and I cried. I took one look at the accessibility options and cried. I knew that this was going to be a game-changer for me.

SIDE NOTE: I want you to know that I don’t cry at everything, but I do have trouble regulating my emotions because I’m autistic. When I get overwhelmed, I cry and that’s what happened. I felt so happy, I cried.

So, let’s talk about these options!

Now, the text might be a bit hard to see in the picture, so I am going to go through each thing, even if it isn’t something I use because there are people with other disabilities and most people’s experiences with being disabled is different so yeah.

Font Style

This is literally one that Josh and I discussed a few days prior to getting the game. I type most things in comic sans, which I know a lot of people love to hate but it honestly helps me a lot. I know from myself (obviously) and my father who is severely dyslexic that we tend to read by the shape of a word instead of looking at individual letters and reading like that. I believe it’s called orthography, and it basically means that because we struggle with reading, we kind of often look at the overall shape of the word and take a guess. I know for my dad in particular this is literally the only way he can read, which often leads to him reading a lot of things wrong. You may have heard someone who works with dyslexic people say that they struggle with shorter words more than longer words. For me, that’s because there’s an overall lack of shape and therefore I have to actually focus and read the letters.
For those who don’t know, I got diagnosed when I started university and it was a shock to me because 1) I loved reading and 2) my course entailed so much reading it made me cry. After playing the Witcher 3, I decided that I wanted to give the books a try. Josh jumped on this and bought them all for me (apart from the newest one because it wasn’t translated at the time). I bring this up because I have been reading every single night for the past month without fail, and it was the first time I haven’t been able to change the text. Usually with my university reading, I can find everything online, copy and paste it to word and change it to the dreaded comic sans. But I couldn’t for this. I recently actually looked at my old books that I used to read as a kid and realised how different the orthography is. I think the fact that there is a difference is great for normal kids, but as someone with dyslexia, it was definitely harder to transition to adult books because of this difference. I thought I had fallen out of love with reading, whereas what was actually going on is the shape of the text changed and it became significantly more difficult for me to actually read.
So, I was ecstatic to find this option. However, I can’t see a significant difference in the orthography. It might just be me or my game being glitchy, but it kinda looks the same to me. Let me know if you see any difference, or if I’m just not seeing it because I had it turned on before starting the game.
EDIT UPDATE: I think the main difference is on, like, post-it notes and when I was looking at Alex’s journal, I think there was a difference there too. But I think the reason I didn’t immediately notice is because I’m so used to comic sans being the only sans font I use and because, like I said, I’ve had this turned on for the whole game. I will play with it throughout my next few playthroughs.

Longer Choice Timer

This one THIS ONE is the one I probably struggled the most with the previous game especially. I remember having literal panic attacks playing Life Is Strange 2 because I had to read and pick and do it quickly. It was the most stressful situation. But now, I can read things properly and it gives me time to think about all of my options rather than picking the one that just seems ‘right’. I know from experience that a lot of people suffer from the anxiety that comes with ‘this action will have consequences’. For me, it’s because of trauma. Whenever I did absolutely anything slightly wrong growing up, my dad would always say that I need to learn the consequences of my actions. This included my reactions. A lot of people reading this probably agree with this mentality, but I can’t remember the last time I didn’t freak out about a choice that I made. Half the time I make Josh pick what we’re going to have to eat because if something goes wrong, I can’t be blamed and punished then. So having such a short time to make decisions really harmed me while playing the other games, but having the chance to really think things through now is helping a lot.

Skip Gameplay Prompt

I have this turned off because my memory is bad. I think it’s just there to turn off if people want to and they didn’t have another place to put it. But at the same time, I know some people (like Josh) get infuriated sometimes when they’re told to do things over and over, and I guess that could come into play when playing games.

Jog controls and power controls

I’m grouping these together because from my experience it’s the same thing. I have some issues with my hands due to stims, which means that they’re sometimes sore. I have my options on ‘hold’ for now because I like the feeling that it gives (the vibrations of the controller, I really could’ve explained that better). Vibrations usually make my autism happy as I say (it satisfies my sensory needs). But I totally understand how being able to tap a button could help someone with issues with their hands, especially if they have less mobility in their hands. I imagine someone with less mobility in their hands would struggle with the vibration that comes with holding the buttons, too, so it’s really cool that they thought of this.

Color Filters

It pains me to use the American spelling here, but alas it is what it’s called. I assume that this is for those with colour blindness, but please correct me if I’m wrong. I haven’t touched my settings because I’m lucky enough to not feel the need to, so unfortunately I’m not sure of the extent of options there are here but since it says ‘edit’, it seems to be more extensive than just turning something on or off.

Brightness and volume warning.

Okay so these are the big ones for me and since they’re similar in how they work, I’m grouping them together.
So, I clicked to have this option turned on due to having autism and a ton of trauma. I am terrified of loud noises but I know that sometimes I can deal with it and sometimes I can’t (each day is different). I absolutely love the way that the warnings come up. They pause the game and it’s just like ‘hey, loud noise coming up, you wanna change the sound settings?’ and then it’s the same for brightness, so if you have both turned on like me, you’ll usually have two pop-ups, one after another.
Something I don’t love about this, though, is that the volumes and brightness controls don’t go back to their original settings when it’s over. On one hand, it’s great because I don’t have to mess around with it when it comes up next, but overall it just feels annoying to have to go back into the settings manually. It’s just a minor issue, and overall I’m super grateful to have this option. Like I said, I never know when I’m going to be feeling okay or not okay, so it’s nice to have the warning and the options to prepare myself or adjust the volume or brightness so that it’s okay.

How effective are the accessibility options?

In my opinion, they’re very effective. However, I think that the biggest thing about this whole situation is showing the gaming industry how to do accessibility options. I know a lot of people who think it should just be about difficulty when that’s not the case. There are so many things that disabled people struggle with, and a lot of these things (in games) could be helped by more options like these. I think it would make a lot more people much more comfortable with gaming.

Anyway, that’s it for today’s post, Gamers! I’m on Chapter 5, so I’m going to go play more of this game! Overall I am very happy with these options, and I look forward to seeing them in more games. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, give it a ‘like’ and don’t forget to check out my socials to stay updated on stuff (I post screenshots of games on my Twitter, mainly). If you’re looking for a streaming channel to watch, go check out me and Josh on Twitch! It should be linked on my homepage, but regardless our name is 2nerds_1game. See you next post, Gamers!   

EDIT UPDATE: I’ve finished the game. Wow. So many emotions. Will make a full post on it because- wow.

EDIT NOTE: I want to say that while my original intention of this blog was to educate, that’s not its intention anymore. I want this blog to be a safe space for me and other people. I hope this post doesn’t offend anyone, I was literally just so happy that this game had accessibility options and that they helped me. I know they wouldn’t help every single disabled gamer out there, but it’s a start. Please be mindful of this in the comments. I really wasn’t trying to make any points in this particular post, I was just happy and wanted to talk about it.

Huge News! We got a PS5!

Hey, Gamers! So, first of all, I wanted to quickly apologise for the lack of posting. I’ve been ill recently and haven’t been well enough to write. I have a ton to talk about, though, so I’m going to try to post a lot more over the next few weeks!

Again, I am using this picture when the post has nothing to do with Persona 5 Royal because it universally works.

We have some big news. Josh and I went to get our COVID vaccinations (the second dose) and we decided to call into Game because we did good (I have a phobia of injections and bloodwork) so we were like ‘let’s try to get a cheap game’ because Game have a pre-owned section. We went there, saw a basket full of Animal Crossing plushies and couldn’t find Celeste so I was basically pouting while Josh noticed the Yu-Gi-Oh cards.

There were no games that I wanted, so I was kinda zoning out when I noticed a woman walk in. I overheard her say ‘digital’ and instantly thought of the PlayStation 5.

For those of you who are new, Josh and I have been looking for a PS5 since it came out (as so many people have). We actually gave up at one point because it was making us sick as we were pulling all-nighters, and it wasn’t good for our mental health at all. We figured there were only two games we wanted to play: Demon Souls and Deathloop. They’re the main ones that peaked our interests.

We had gone into Game – the very same shop – a week prior and they didn’t have them. I was anxious about asking at the till because they had told us to check the Facebook page (which I did, by the way, and there was nothing there). I explained my thinking to Josh, that they might have a PS5. He rolled his eyes and continued looking at the cards because there was a deck that he really wanted and he didn’t think it was out yet. I went over to the Animal Crossing toys because I spotted Rover, which is one of my alter’s favourites. I got that, took it back to him and was like, “babe… seriously… please, I can’t stop thinking about it,” and since we were done looking, we went to the till and he asked.

And they had two left.

Granted, it was digital and we have a few hard games (Persona 5 Royal and Strikers being two of them, as well as the Witcher 3 which has really long loading times). We looked at each other expecting the other person to say yes or no. So I did it. I said yes. And then I actually started crying because it feels like we went through hell and back for this.

So, we have a PS5. This post isn’t meant to be to show off, it’s just to announce to someone that I have it because right now the only people I’ve really told are my parents.

As for the games… of course, I’ve played some PS5 exclusives. Josh has been adding the PS5 PS+ game to his library every month (because one of us had to be smart, and it 100% is not me). So, he’s completed Maneater and I’m playing A Plague Tale: Innocence. I’m on the last level of Astro Bot and Josh has platinumed it. I do want to talk about Astro Bot real quick.

Astro Bot is amazing. Just, amazing. It is a beautiful demonstration of what the PS5 and the controller can do and I cannot think of a better way to have demonstrated that. It’s a cute, fun game for everyone. I honestly thought it would be short and childish, but both of us adore it. It’s fun, challenging and – as I put it – it makes my autism happy (which basically means it interacts with my senses in a way that makes my sensory needs happily fulfilled).

Quick note I wanted to jump on- Detroit: Become Human would benefit so much from a PS5 upgrade. So, so much. I feel like the game is so sensory inclusive and it would just really benefit from this new technology.

Moving on quickly, I just wanted to add that we did get Demon Souls and Deathloop. Josh bought them both when I was sleeping one day, basically to be like “hey, I got some money!”. I wish I could say this was an uncommon way for him to tell me when he got paid but uh, the first thing he ever bought with his own money was Life Is Strange 2 for me. It’s always an extra nice surprise. But anyway, Josh is loving Demon Souls. If you follow us on Twitch (2nerds_1game), we stream both games but he is just thriving with Demon Souls right now. It’s nice to see him so happy.
As for Deathloop… I have a feeling someone is going to call me out. I’ve said before that first-person games make me feel sick, and that’s why I can’t play FPS. Turns out, we don’t think that that’s the case. We actually worked this out when we were playing Outlast on stream and while my belly did feel a bit bleh, it’s not the usual sickness I get with Minecraft or that I got with The Unfinished Swan. I’m thinking now that it might be because of the brightness of those games, but I’m not sure. But I’m getting along with Deathloop pretty good considering I’ve never been able to be sneaky or play FPS.

So, yeah. We got a PS5. It’s a huge deal to us and we are so grateful that we could get it. I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with you all through the upcoming weeks. I’ll probably do a review of A Plague Tale: Innocence when I finish it, and I’ll obviously talk in more detail about what we’ve played in the monthly update for October.

But that’s it for this post, Gamers! If you liked this post, give it a ‘like’ for me to do a little happy dance, and follow this blog for more gaming content! Check out our twitch for our streams and follow my socials to stay as updated as possible. See you next post!

How to shop for a gamer | Christmas | Birthdays | Any occasion

Hey, Gamers! Or, uh, not gamers, I guess. This is another one of the weird times when my post targets non-gamers and I don’t know how to address my audience. But hi, if you’re here you either read my blog (thanks for that), or you’re wondering how to shop for that special gamer in your life. Originally, this post was for Christmas but it could also be for birthdays or just because. I know my family doesn’t really know where to shop for me and Josh, so I thought other families and friends might be going through the same thing. The links I include in this aren’t affiliate or anything, and most of the examples I use are going to be catered towards me or Josh because that’s what I know best, but I’ll try my best to generalise. Let’s get on with it!

Step 1) Think about the individual
So, what’s the gamer’s relationship to you? Are they allergic to anything? Do they particularly like candles or wax melts or music? Do they collect funko pops in general? I think it’s so important not to generalise here, unless you’re not close enough to the person to know this stuff. For example, I love candles but Josh hates them. I collect funko pops and while Josh thinks they’re cool… I’d probably enjoy his funko pops more than he would (as I discovered after getting him several funko pops). Gamers can be so diverse and it’s really important to know the basics before trying to gift them something, as is the case with anyone really.

Step 2) Ask them questions
Gosh, this one is so important. For example, my favourite thing is Persona 5 (it’s a turn-based video game), but my least favourite character used to be Goro Akechi, who is typically pretty well-liked across the fanbase. Therefore, say you already know what my favourite game is… and you go and get me something that has Akechi on… that’s not the best situation.
Another example is Fortnite. Fortnite is a pretty big game right now, and say you know someone is a gamer and think “hey, I’ll get them something to do with that Fortnite thing”, only to find out they absolutely hate the game.
I’ll provide some questions to ask that I think will help along with this process in case it’s overwhelming and you don’t know where to start:

For reference, Q is a new question whereas FQ is a follow-up question.

Q: What’s your favourite game?
FQ: What type of game is that?
Q: Is there a character you particularly like or dislike from that game?
Q: What do you play on (could be PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo- this would be a good question if you’re thinking about getting them a game).
Q: Is there any merch for that game that you’re liking the look of?
Q: What is your least favourite game right now?

For those who are like “oh I barely talk to them, I’m more comfortable with *relative*” or something along those lines, then I have a very simple solution for you: ask that relative. 8/10 they either know the answer or they can ask for you and it won’t be awkward. For example, my mother knows that Atlus made Persona 5 and Atlus is owned by Sega, who made Yakuza (Persona 5 is my favourite and Yakuza is Josh’s). She also knows that my least favourite character is Goro Akechi from Persona 5 (and she also knows that Oda is my least favourite character from Yakuza). My mum knows it is the 25th anniversary of Persona this year and that the Atlus store is officially opening again this month. If she asks me a question – say “what persona is your favourite to use?” – I would be thrilled to answer because she’s paying attention and wants to know more. For the record, the answer would be Mothman because my Mothman is superior… but she already knows that so uh, bad example.

Step 3- Know where to look.

And this is the step I’m mostly here for. I am addicted to looking online for more merch. Here are some general rules I go by:
Avoid Amazon unless you know the person and/ or the game well.
Check out the company’s website to see if they have an official store- a lot do and it’s not half as expensive as you’d expect.
Redbubble is likely your best bet. There are amazing things there for those who love gaming.
Etsy is a bit more personal, in my opinion. Go to Redbubble if you don’t know them too well, but Etsy if you do. It tends to be more on the expensive side but it’s so nice.

Here is the breakdown of some websites and the pros and cons, as well as situational information. I’ll try my best not to info dump, but feel free to skip to whichever part you’re looking for.

While Amazon is great for convenience and you probably know how to use Amazon, they aren’t the best for gaming merch. Twitch merch is great there. Highly recommend Amazon if you’re looking for streamers. However, here is an example of why it isn’t the best-

As you can see, not everything in the search find is related to Persona 5. There’s some completely random stuff there (although it may be tailored towards you (judging from the Harley Quinn duck), it’s not the best for those who don’t know the gamer or the game itself.

Pros to Amazon:
Convenience, especially if you have Amazon Prime. Next day delivery is obviously going to be a huge pro as you can order things when you need them instead of them just lying around your house.
Familiarity. You probably know already know the site.

Cons to Amazon:
If you don’t know the game very well, you could end up buying something that’s unrelated by accident.
Doesn’t have the best range of things for gamers.
You can shop for non-gamers too.

eBay is known for bargains so I don’t blame you for wanting to look here. However, I am yet to find a decent bargain on eBay for gamers. There’s some good generic stuff, and they do have a much wider range in comparison to Amazon. However, you never really know what you’re going to get. There’s been a few times where I’ve bought something and it was not what I was expecting. For example, I bought Persona Q2 on eBay and when I received it, it was the Japanese version and therefore I couldn’t play it. There’s a huge range of figures and cosplay there, but they’re not always going at a bargain price.

Pros to eBay:
Familiarity, in the same sense as Amazon. If you’re wanting to go there to shop for a gamer, you’ve probably already shopped there before.
You can do other shopping there for other people too.
Could potentially get a bargain.

Cons to eBay:
Possibility of getting scammed.
The quality of items isn’t always the best.
You might not get what you’re expecting.
Again, you might accidentally buy something unrelated to the game if you’re not familiar with it.

Ah, RedBubble. I shop here so much. Not only is it great for Gamers, but it’s also great for unique items. For example, Josh always gets compliments on his “I don’t need Google, my girlfriend knows everything” shirt, and I always get the chance to educate people about Dissociative Identity Disorder whenever I wear my “I have multiple personalities and none of them like you” shirt. My wish list is full of shirts, phone cases and stickers. I was never interested in stickers until a year or so ago, and now I have plenty. It’s also great for those who like anime (I know this because JoJo is Josh’s special interest right now and I needed to get him some stickers for a special project I’m working on).

My fiancé wearing a shirt I got him from RedBubble

Here are some cons to the site:
There’s not really a way of looking at a fandom as a whole, so you have to be careful what you type in.
It’s difficult if you’re looking for a game that has another meaning in another fandom. For example, Josh and I play a game called Dauntless, and the word dauntless is used in a series called Divergent (it’s a book series that gained some traction around the time that The Hunger Games was big). Because of this, it’s difficult to find Dauntless merch on the site.

Here are some pros:
Supporting small artists! Artists can upload their work for free and RedBubble can take care of the rest.
You can essentially do all of your shopping on this site, it’s so diverse.
You usually get a cute RedBubble sticker with your order.
You can get so much stuff. Stickers, shower curtains, mugs, phone cases.

I use RedBubble so much. My laptop has Persona 5 Stickers on, I’ve used them to get stickers for a super-secret project I’m doing for Josh for Christmas involving JoJo, my past couple of phone cases – apart from the one I currently have on because I got a new phone in a pretty colour so I needed a clear phone case to show that off – have been from RedBubble (a Ross Lynch one, a few Harley Quinn ones and a Persona 5 one). There’s an app that’s super easy to navigate too, if you think you’d use it a lot because like I said, it’s not just for gaming.

Etsy is beautiful. That’s honestly the main way I’d describe it. It’s very similar to RedBubble in the sense that you’re supporting small businesses and can do most of your shopping on there as it isn’t tailored to just gamers.

I find Etsy to be on the more expensive side in comparison to RedBubble, which makes sense because from what I can tell it’s just a place to get a bunch of small businesses together whereas RedBubble is a business in itself.

I find the products on Etsy to be more… classy. There’s a lot of themed bath bombs, well-made jewellery, themed candles and wax melts. There is definitely more traditionally masculine things too, but I can’t think of examples right now. Even if your gamer isn’t into things like that, there are also personalised controllers (though they are very expensive) and controller skins (stickers to put on controllers to customise them).

While I don’t tend to use Etsy as much as RedBubble, I have used it more for non-gamer things. For example, if I was shopping for both Josh and Hannah (Hannah is my best friend, she’s studying drama at uni so I’d probably get her some theatre stuff), then I would probably just go on Etsy to knock the two out in one. There’s also ‘normal’ stuff like nice bath bombs etc that a large number of people would like.

Pros to Etsy:
Supporting small businesses.
A wide range of products.
Great quality items (I am yet to be disappointed by things I’ve bought on Etsy).
Can buy things for non-gamers.

Cons to Etsy:
Products are often on the more expensive side in comparison to the previously mentioned sites.
The site might feel a bit difficult to navigate at first, especially if you don’t know what exactly you’re looking for.

Gaming Companies:
Now, I can’t talk for all gaming companies here. However, I know each time I’ve looked for official merchandise on the official sites, I’ve been surprised by how cheap they were. I believe I once got a pretty good quality laptop bag for under £30 including shipping and something that I really can’t remember. I know back when we first got into The Witcher 3, belts were only like £10. Considering this is official merch, I think that’s amazing. I know not all gaming companies have a store (Atlus’ store has been down for a few years but is coming back this month!), but I think it’s always worth a look.

General google search:
If push comes to shove, google ‘*insert game here* merchandise’. It’s probably not the most consistent thing to do, but if you really don’t know what to get, googling is always a good place to start.

Important notes to take away:

Remember to ask the gamer that you’re buying for what games they like, if they have a favourite character etc. If you’re not comfortable with that, ask someone close to them. If they don’t know, they can ask for you. You don’t want to waste your money on V-bucks for someone who hates Fortnite (unless it’s a prank), and you don’t want to buy a figure of a character that your gamer can’t stand (again, unless it’s a prank).

Honestly, your best bet is always going to be to just listen to your gamer. Remember that it’s probably not ‘just a game’ to them. It’s so much more. Gaming is a wonderful medium and it helps people in so many different ways.

If you’re new here, maybe check out my post about why gaming isn’t so bad which is linked here:

Are video games beneficial for your child?

And for my regular readers- that’s it for this post, Gamers! Remember to ‘like’ this post if you liked it, go follow 2nerds_1game on Twitch for some cool streaming content and follow this blog for more gaming content (if you don’t already). See you next post, Gamers!   

Gaming Progress: September

Hey, Gamers! Ah, September… the month of new beginnings, of starting university again and already feeling behind, and the month of decent gaming progress. Here are my previous two progress reports, and without further ado, this is what Josh and I got up to in September!

Let’s start off with The Witcher, but not for reasons you might expect. I wasn’t sure whether or not to write this here, but Josh encouraged me to do so, so yeah. When I first played The Witcher 3, I had just been diagnosed with Dyslexia. It was a huge thing for me, and completely unexpected. I was an avid bookworm as a kid and I’ve wanted to be an author since I was 12. I really, really didn’t expect it and I fell out of love with reading almost immediately. I had absolutely no interest in it. But when I played The Witcher 3, I adored the story. Josh told me there were books and after I expressed interest in them, he got them for me almost immediately. Although Josh isn’t really a reader, he’s been nothing but encouraging when it comes to me reading. This was in 2018. This month, I finished the first book. This was such a huge thing for me, as it’s the first book I had finished since being diagnosed. I am writing this on the first of October… I am about 50 pages away from finishing the second book. I read every single day now (I read instead of playing on the switch before bed), and I think it’s safe to say that the love for reading that I used to feel has come back. And why am I talking about reading on a gaming blog? Because all of this reading about Geralt made me want to play the game again. I’d like to remind everyone that I wasn’t always confidant in my gaming ability, so I actually played The Witcher 3 on easy. So, I’m going through it on normal… and then I’m going to do Death March, because I am going to go for the plat. I haven’t gotten very far into it (I don’t think I’ve met Yen yet), but I’m excited.

Something else that I’ve started playing is Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight! So, I got this game for Christmas and played it for a while until Strikers came out. I have been very focused on Strikers since it came out, so Dancing became just a game that I wasn’t good at but tried. Since we worked out how I could play digital games on my PS4 (it’s a long story), I recently decided to start over again. This is a very recent thing (maybe like, two days), but I’m determined to get that plat, too. I will perfect this game, in spite of my dyslexia and dyscalculia (they throw off my coordination).

Speaking of Persona 5… I haven’t got the plat in Strikers. I have, however, started playing on Merciless. I’m trying my best. The tutorial really threw me off, but I eventually am getting the hang of things again. I have Alice so everything feels easy apart from the fact that enemies can one-shot me. I’m having a little issue with understanding that LVL 99 is the highest I can get, so I should just focus on other teammates. All that I can improve now is my skill at the game, since I can’t get a higher LVL for Joker. I’m just trying to get my head wrapped around that, but we only have two trophies to go.

Moving on to my Persona 5 Royal AI route… I beat Madarame first try when I went back to do it again. I don’t think I actually levelled up or anything, so I’m thinking I was just having a bad day and was making silly mistakes the more frustrated I got. A few people messaged to ask if I’m playing on Merciless, which I am not. It’s a completely new playthrough on hard difficulty. I tried to focus on social stats and confidants between the time of beating Madarame and him confessing, but the best thing to come out of it was I ranked up to 3 in Intelligence, Proficiency and Guts. I’ve decided to basically completely ignore Iwai for this playthrough because he’s a difficult one to get up to 10 in a new game. I feel like between palaces two and three is just a face slap of plot, which makes it difficult to work on confidants. I believe I’m on rank 6 with Ryuji, which is exciting because he learns the insta-kill move at rank 7 and that’s going to make grinding so much less stressful during this particular playthrough. Obviously, most people find grinding tedious but the AI isn’t the most predictable anymore so I’m excited to take the stress off for grinding.

Speaking of grinding, let’s talk about Dark Souls! Of course, I’m using that as an umbrella term for all three Dark Souls games. I did get through Sen’s fortress but then Josh kept dying in Anor Londo (and then for some reason kept getting annoyed at me when I tried to avenge him and died a lot). We then tried to play together in a room that’s guarded by rhino things, who were not very happy with me and therefore would not let me light the bonfire even when I quit out the game and they reset. And then, gamers, it took us about an hour until Josh remembered he couldn’t actually be summoned until I tried to fight Seath myself. Actually, I’d say it was more than an hour. That hour (+) was filled with me getting mad at him because he obviously hasn’t put his summon sign down where he said he did, him getting mad at me because I clearly wasn’t looking in the right place, and lots of dying. So much death.

Speaking of death, Josh beat Dark Souls 2 and the Fume Knight. Josh hated Dark Souls 2 for the longest time, and he’s definitely one of those gamers that is more likely to blame the game than his skill, but he overcame the bad hitboxes and weird stats to beat the game and the hardest boss. He has about 50 hours in Dark Souls 2, which is crazy because he probably has over 100 hours in each of the other SoulsBorne games, but I remember a time when one hour was too much time wasted on this game. It’s so nice to be able to see him grow like this. He kept giving it a chance even though he passionately hated the game, and he completed it.

We have both done some PVP in Dark Souls this month. Josh started doing it in Dark Souls 3, and I started in Dark Souls Remastered. I have beaten Josh a few times, and I’ve gotten pretty good at backstabbing now. Oh, and I can officially one-hand my Black Knight’s halberd. The main issue is that… I’m not sure if I like it, if I’m being completely honest. I mean, it’s cool to have a weapon that does so much damage, and I really had to work to be able to wield it properly because I had barely touched my strength stat, but I’m not sure if it’s for me. I’m sticking with it for now to see how it goes. It’s still very new, and I need to get used to weapons in order for them to feel right.

My fiancé is the best because he cosplays the protagonist of my favourite game in one of his favourite games so I can say I was protected by Joker

Since we’re talking about Dark Souls, it feels like the obvious moving point over to Bloodborne. Oh, guys, I cannot believe I am even talking about this game again. Believe me when I say I was hoping to never play this again. But I decided enough was enough and I had to play it, so I installed it and since Josh’s brother was playing it too, Josh installed it so he didn’t feel left out. So, the first character I made was not the best. But I beat the werewolf with a backstab once I got weapons, and then I got increasingly frustrated and disorientated because I recognised where I was but couldn’t find where I was trying to go. I then made a new character because I decided to stream Bloodborne because if I’m suffering, someone might find it entertaining and then at least someone is enjoying the experience. I beat the werewolf without weapons, the first try. I was super proud of myself. And then, after a ton of grinding for Blood Vials – and a few deaths – I did it. I beat the Cleric Beast. This monster has been haunting my dreams for over a year now, so I am so happy it’s finally over. I know it’s just the start of the game, but this was such a huge accomplishment for me.

We’ve started playing a lot of games this month. Josh started Mochi Mochi Boy and got the plat; he also started playing the Surge and Genshin Impact; I started playing Kingdom Hearts on stream. I also played my Royal file (my personal one with my super cool Mothman who is superior to all other personas) for a little bit, which was fun. I hadn’t been on it since Strikers came out in February because I was so focused on that, and then started my AI route a few days after.

The last things to talk about is Judgement and Yakuza Kiwami 2. Yes, I have come back to it. I didn’t intend to not play it for the entirety of August, time just slipped away. I helped out the orphanage and did the Nishki family fight. It makes me so sad because Nishki just deserved better and Kiryu deserved better and it’s heart-breaking that Nishki’s family thinks of Kiryu negatively. Josh finished Judgement this month, too. It’s the longest it has taken him to finish a Yakuza game, but he says it is one of his favourites.

Did he need sleep? Yes. Did he go to sleep? No.

But I think that’s it for this post, Gamers! What did you get up to in September? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, give it a ‘like’ and follow my blog for more gaming content. If you’re interested in watching some of the above-mentioned content (like my Persona 5 Royal AI route, Bloodborne and Kingdom Hearts), check out 2Nerds_1game over on Twitch, where me and Josh stream most days of the week. See you next post, Gamers!

P.S: This is the 100th post on this blog. Huge deal to me. Thank you for all the support.

Is Persona 5 Royal worth buying, and what to expect if you get it (plot spoiler free)

Hey, Gamers! I’ve never done this before, but this is the second time I am writing this post. After talking to Josh (my partner, if you’re new), I realised that instead of just listing off different circumstances that Royal would or would not be worth it… I should just tell you what you should expect from Royal so that you can make an educated (plot spoiler-free), informed decision on what’s best for you. Persona 5 Royal has been out for over a year now, and I was lucky enough to have gotten the Phantom Thief edition (luck doesn’t really come into it, I did have a full autistic meltdown when I thought I couldn’t get it and 100% had to sacrifice things to get it), and I owe a lot of my experiences as a gamer to Persona 5. I really love this game. That being said, I live with someone who doesn’t passionately love this game the same way I do and because of that, I can now be unbiased in this post. So, long intro over, let’s get into it!

What can you expect from Persona 5 Royal?

I’m going to divide this into sections to make sure I cover everything. If you don’t want to know about a certain part, skip it but remember, I won’t spoil the plot. I’m not that kind of person.

So with Persona 5 Royal comes three new advanceable confidants- Kasumi, Maruki and Akechi. Akechi was in the original game, but his confidant was automatic and based on story progression (similar to Morgana, Igor and Sae). There is definitely an added benefit to his confidant being based on the time you spend with him over story progression, and I’ve discussed this in a previous post (that does have spoilers, but I’ll link it in the bottom if you’re interested). Kasumi and Maruki are brand new characters that were developed just for Royal. You need to finish all three to unlock the third semester. In terms of characters, they are interesting. I was worried that Kasumi and Maruki would just be surface-level characters, but they’re very well developed. They tie in well with the new plot and the original plot. I was worried that they would feel out of place with the original stuff, but they fit in very well. You can tell that these characters were thought about considerably, and they really thought about how to fit them in with the original plot. They’re there without getting in the way. Akechi’s confidant also doesn’t feel out of place. It’s very natural and – if Royal was my first playthrough of the Persona 5 story – it helps with keeping Akechi’s backstory and goal hidden as it doesn’t draw too much attention to it like it did in the original game.
The third semester is good. The story content of it is fabulous. It is very well written with a very good set-up. However, I feel like the way it was marketed was poor. The third semester is heavily story-driven and you don’t get much time to focus on confidants and social stats. It’s very much taking your hand and being like “no, don’t do this, look at all of this wonderful plot, do that- no, don’t get distracted! I don’t care if you wanted to finish that, do this instead, this is right in front of you”. I think the best way I can think about to describe how the game does this is through Morgana and sleep. It’s a meme that in the first game, Morgana makes you sleep so much. This is fixed for the most part, but in the third semester, it’s very much like the original game. I actually said that I thought they made the third semester before they re-made the rest of the game (but that’s a whole other topic). The third semester is so story-driven that there’s very little time for you to do your own thing. Great story, like I said, but not really what it was marketed as in my opinion.
There’s also another character who is less in your face. His name is Jose and honestly, he makes Mementos so much better. He’s the sweetest character. I think he adds a lot of mystery to the game, which I know a lot of people like. He’s an improvement, but I like him most for game mechanic reasons.

Persona 5 Royal feels like a whole other game. For example, I played the original Persona 5 until the day before I received Persona 5 Royal. I literally finished my second playthrough the day before. But from the moment I clicked x when it asks you to do the Network thing… it just feels different. Slicker. More… on point. Everything just feels like it’s been improved, which is really what you want when you’ve paid for the price of a full game. They’ve improved so much, and the feel of it is weird because I was completely happy with the feel of the original Persona 5. I thought it was cool. But then I played Royal and it just feels so… disappointing whenever I go back to the original because it just feels… less.

Game mechanics-
Okay, so this was one of the biggest changes that I struggled with originally. They’ve improved it. Nothing in this game feels ‘less’ than the original. There are three things I wish to discuss here: ammo, will seeds and Mementos.
So, ammo used to replenish only when you entered the palace. If you used all of your ammo by the first or second fight, you just had to deal with no ammo. This was the worst in the final palace of the game as it was fairly long and had to be done in one day. With Persona 5 Royal, ammo replenishes after each fight. It actually makes much more sense in terms of how it is explained (because they’re not using real guns or ammo). It makes long says in Mementos easier to deal with (especially if you are preserving SP, which is usually a good idea).
Next up is will seeds. Will seeds are not compulsory, but they are a nice addition to the game. They make sense for plot reasons, and it’s nice to break a palace up with little goals like this. They restore a little bit of SP, which is always a positive thing. I think in terms of playstyle, the will seeds most benefit those without the DLCs and who want to do palaces in one day. That being said, you can’t go wrong with SP recovery and they’re collectables. Once you get all three, they morph into one big thing which gives you a skill. However, once the palace leader has been defeated you can take the crystal (all three of the seeds morphed together is a crystal) to Jose, who will turn it into a ring which comes with an improved skill.
Speaking of Jose, now is a good time to start talking about Mementos. Jose brings three new things to Mementos in terms of game mechanics: flowers, stamps and a new shop! Jose helps break Mementos up in the same way that the will seeds help to break the palaces up. Before I move on to talk about how everything works, I want to add that Jose sells missing will seeds from the previous palace. I only found this out yesterday (and it would have alleviated my worry that one night I couldn’t sleep out of fear of missing a will seed in Okumura’s palace). They’re significantly more expensive than the other items but if you need them, it’s nice to know the option is there. So, Jose’s shop offers two things using two different currencies: items can be bought with flowers, and changes in Mementos cognition can be bought with stamps. You can find both currencies in Mementos. You have to really look for the stamps, and they’re sometimes hidden behind breakable walls. But the flowers are everywhere and the stamps give you a real reason to keep exploring the floor in Mementos past finding the way up or down. Jose’s stop gives you pretty good items, including the well sort after SP recovery items, which are on the more expensive side but are still very easy to get. You collect flowers that are on the floor in Mementos the same way you would pick up any item in Mementos- that is by driving over them. You have a HED on the screen that keeps tabs on how many flowers you have. Jose shows up every few floors, and as far as I know, it is completely random. You can just go up and down a set of stairs to spawn him in if you have a lot of flowers and want to leave for the day. Flowers don’t carry over, so if you have like 60 flowers (because you need 75 for SP recovery if I am remembering right off the top of my head) and want to leave… if you can’t find Jose, those flowers are gone. This typically won’t be an issue because usually (from what I’ve gathered via talking to people and from memes) when people go into Mementos, they go to grind which means they intend to be there for a while. Now, the other thing that could be bought from Jose is changes in Mementos’ cognition. This can be exchanged for stamps, which – for Jose, at least – is a fun little game that he set up throughout Mementos. You can keep an eye on how many stamps you have left to get on each level (not floor, each section of Mementos) on the overall Mementos viewing screen (I’m not sure what else to call it, there is probably a better description but it’s lost on me right now. The screen where you can travel from one area to another). Typically there’s be a stamp at the end of each floor, and then some floors have hidden stamps and some floors even have stamps at the start (I actually nearly missed one on the start of a floor because autopilot kicked in). So, what do these changes in cognition do? They can increase the amount of experience, money and items you get during your time in Mementos. This makes grinding so much more worth it, because 1) you level up faster and 2) you get more out of your time there.

EDIT: I forgot to talk about showtime attacks! They’re basically locked behind story, and they’re just a fun new special attack that plays a scene between two characters. They (for the most part) don’t spoil the plot, so feel free to look them up on YouTube. My favourite is Makoto’s and Ryuji’s, followed by Haru’s and Makoto’s.

I also forgot to talk about fusion alarms, but I do struggle to explain it other than it’s an addition to the Velvet Room and I’ve made cool personas from accidents because of it.

Confidant abilities-
I thought pretty hard about whether or not to include this in another section or just have it be its own section, and I went with the latter. There are a few things that I wish to talk about here, and most of them involve the Thieves.
So one thing that is important (at least it was to me, so…) is that Baton Pass is automatically unlocked. It’s not locked behind a confidant rank. This is a godsend for my AI-run personally, but it also clued me on to some other abilities changing.
The main one to talk about is Ryuji’s rank 7 insta-kill. Everyone hated Ryuji’s insta-kill ability and I often heard of people choosing not to advance him past rank 6 just so they could get on with their game without the ability. But, Royal changed this. The skill only activates by pressing R2 (don’t hold me on the button, might be a different one but the point is that you don’t have to activate it), and – the best thing – you get the experience that you would have received from the fight!
Other characters have had slight confidant ability changes. It made Ohya’s skills better (still pretty bad, but better), and it overall feels like each character has just been thought about more in terms of their ranked abilities. But yeah, the main one to bring up is Ryuji’s.

General thoughts/ opinions-
When Josh and I spoke about this, we came to a conclusion based on both of our experiences: Royal is worth it… if you’re the type of person who can play through Persona 5 again. Some people just play it once, liked it and that’s that. They got enough enjoyment out of the one playthrough and wish to move on to other games, and that’s completely valid. But despite all the changes in Royal, it is still Persona 5 at heart and if you can’t do NG+, you probably can’t sit through Royal. I say this because that’s what happened to Josh. I obviously love both games, I’m playing them almost constantly… but Josh has other games and he wants to experience other things over the same thing, and that’s okay.

There are a few things that are additional such as the thieves den, twin outings, a whole new place, darts etc but I think I covered the main things.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! I am sorry it’s last. As I said, I had to re-write this post because I just wasn’t okay with it. If you liked this post or found it helpful, give it a ‘like’ and follow this blog for more chilled, passionate gaming content. If you’re looking for streamers, check out 2Nerds_1Game on Twitch (and YouTube, but it’s just 2nerds1game there) to catch Josh and I streaming Persona 5 Royal, Kingdom Hearts, Bloodborne and more! See you in the next post, Gamers!

What’s happening with the Persona 25th Anniversary, and why are people upset?

Hey, Gamers! So I (stupidly) put off posting on Monday as it was Persona’s official 25th anniversary, and we were all expecting something big. That thing didn’t really come, so I needed to compose my thoughts and really think about what I was going to post because I was planning on posting about the big event or announcement we were all expecting (and I’ve been working on the next post for a few months and I am not willing to ruin it by rushing the end). So, now that everything has calmed down and I understand what’s happening, I thought I would share my understanding with you guys! Here we go!

The ‘big announcement’ was basically an announcement of an upcoming announcement in December, when Atlus is hosting a concert that celebrates music from the Persona games. First of all, I think we can all agree that the music from these games is amazing and definitely deserves celebrating. My issue is, I remember (maybe incorrectly) a concert happening maybe 2 years ago. It just feels a little… disappointing that this was the thing that Atlus revealed on the big day. I think if this announcement in December isn’t Persona 6, people are going to be disappointed. People were upset because they were expecting this big announcement to come on the actual 25th anniversary, which was Monday. So, they were really let down that all they got was an announcement of something happening in December.

So, if you go on the Atlus (West) website, it says that the 25th Anniversary events will happen from September this year (2021, if you’re reading in the future) to ‘Fall’ (Autumn) 2022. This is obviously a huge, huge time fame. At first, I was like “there’s no way I’m going to be able to stay hyped for that long” but now, I’m glad for the long time. It gives them – Atlus – more time to work on the announcements, any trailers and – more importantly – any games. The longer they have to work on these things, the better they will be. They may have planned to announce Persona 6, but decided in the end that now wasn’t the time. At the end of the day, with Persona 5 being so popular, stylish and sleek… they have to top that with Persona 6. I genuinely feel sympathy for them because I love Persona 5 so much, I don’t know if it’ll be possible to top it (mind you, they did an amazing job with Royal and they have clearly shown that they can improve and work on their mistakes). I sincerely hope that the fanbase will enjoy Persona 6 as much as they’ve enjoyed the other games, if not more.

So, what can you look forward to? Atlus West currently have some wallpapers on their website to celebrate the 25th anniversary. I have the Joker one as my home screen on my phone if anyone wants to match me (Josh was all dramatic because my home screen used to be him but now it’s Joker). The official Atlus shop has actually not been running longer than I’ve had this blog, and almost as long as I’ve been into Persona 5, and that’s coming back this October! I am very hyped for this, please expect me to complain about Atlus taking all my money when I inevitably do a post on all the cool merch I’ve bought.

In terms of any big announcements, I’ve heard so many guesses. Personally, I think it’s going to be Persona 6. Many people think it could be a Persona 3 remake, ports for the first 5 games (I’m putting 5 games because there’s two separate Persona 2’s), I’ve seen people guess Persona 5 Arena which was actually my original guess, but I don’t think that anymore. Heck, it might not even be a game. They might just be pranking us. Who knows?


So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! I hope I’ve cleared up a little bit of confusion for some people. Let me know what you’re most looking forward to during this time of celebration, and let me know what game you want the ‘big announcement’ to be. If you liked this content and want to see more Persona (or general gaming content), give this blog a follow! I’m not a gaming journalist, I’m just someone who’s pretty passionate about games and I like to overthink them and write it all down. If you’re interested in watching someone play Persona 5 (Royal or Strikers, currently), I am doing an AI playthrough of Royal and a Merciless playthrough of Strikers (trying to get the plat). See you next post, Gamers!