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?

@Atlus

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!

5 years of Persona 5: A celebration of the game that changed my life…

Hey, Gamers! If you don’t like the kinds of posts where I gush about Persona 5… skip this one. It was originally going to be an open letter to Atlus thanking them for creating the game that changed my life, but I think I’d get too emotional and personal so I’m skipping that and just talking about Persona 5 and how my life has changed because of it in my normal blog style.

Josh always said that I was like Makoto, to the point where he is yet to romance anyone else

I haven’t been playing Persona 5 for 5 years. It was released in Japan on the 15th of September 2016, and I had no interest in Japan so didn’t know any Japanese. I don’t think I had watched any anime back then. I was very sick (mentally), and was just starting my A-Levels. Ah, it was a time before Joshua. Seems like another lifetime, now. But as I said, I was very sick, self-harming in any way I could think of that other people wouldn’t notice, I dyed my hair with actual bleach because I wanted to be like Harley Quinn… yeah, like, cleaning bleach. It was a bad time.

I don’t know if I’ve said this on here, but when I met Joshua, I was in another (very bad, very toxic) relationship. Joshua quickly became my best friend. We just… clicked. Eventually, I fell in love with him. I didn’t want to. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t, that it was just platonic love that I was feeling. I spent a good few days hating him because I loved him. Why am I telling you this? Well, if you’ve been here for a while, you’ll see a pattern, because that’s exactly how it happened with Persona 5, too (I’ve literally just realised this as I’m writing… I’ll have to tell Josh about this cool coincidence!).

I really did not want to like Persona 5. When I eventually started playing it (and it took months), I hated that I was enjoying it. I cannot express how much I did not want to like this game. It wasn’t because I had another favourite game (although I was playing The Witcher 3 beforehand). It was because Joshua (my partner, in case you haven’t realised) spent so much time playing it that he forgot to do his chores. Petty, I know, but it was frustrating and we had only just started living by ourselves and I was overwhelmed with all of the responsibility and he wasn’t helping. He was just on the game all day, he started skipping his classes to play it, and I just blamed it all on the game (turns out he just didn’t enjoy his classes, but he’s chill with everything now).

Joshua is very persistent when he wants something. He just doesn’t know how to let things go. So when he decided that I would like Persona 5, that was it. I was going to like Persona 5. Obviously, I did not agree with this. Eventually, though, I wanted to play DDLC and was too much of a baby to do it by myself, so we traded goods. He would sit with me through DDLC, and I would try Persona 5 for one hour. If I didn’t like it, that was fine…

The friendship – the family – of the PT showed me what real friendship was. As an autistic person (recently diagnosed), I’ve struggled with understanding this. Persona 5 helped me.

I loved it by the opening cutscene.

It was like playing Persona 5 flicked a switch inside of me. I was suddenly so much more open to trying anything regarding games (whereas before I was pretty picky), my sense of justice skyrocketed, I became more confidant in my stances and more passionate about the things I loved. I’m not going to talk much about the story itself in this post as I want it to be about the game as a whole, but there’s so much to talk about there…

Suddenly, everything around me was Persona 5 related. I started watching anime and reading manga to gain more experience of Japanese culture, I started trying to learn Japanese (through Duolingo, which I do not recommend), I played it so much and I couldn’t seem to get enough. Heck, my mother even made me a Persona 5 themed birthday cake for my 20th because it was the only thing I was interested in. I started learning about the history of Japan through podcasts, found Tik Toks from either people who were Japanese or living in Japan and I watched them religiously.

My whole life changed. I cannot express that enough. Sure, I was passionate about things before. Harry Potter was my thing for years (to the point where I am now struggling to explain to people that although I still like it, it’s not to the same extent as I’ve lost so much respect for the creator of the universe and that was a big thing drawing me to it). I said at the start of this post that I tried to dye my hair with bleach to be more like Harley Quinn. But with Persona 5, it was different.

I’ve talked pretty openly about trauma (which, if things go right, will be the focal point of the next post) on here. I am riddled with it. I always used to say that Harry Potter ‘saved me’ by giving me escapism in one of the darkest parts of my childhood. I claimed Harley Quinn was a huge reason I got out of an emotionally abusive relationship (because if she could get out of an abusive relationship, why couldn’t I?). So, what was it for Persona 5?

I don’t really have much to say about this image, apart from the fact that I took this screenshot because it was funny and I am yet to stop using it in every day conversations. I use it on most of my blogs, too. It’s like it’s a part of me now…

Nothing. I guess the argument could be made that it helped me come to terms with growing up. But, not really. I did that myself. Persona 5 didn’t provide the same level of escapism as the latter two – and my many other previous obsessions – seemed to provide. So, I have no answer on why my brain is like this. I don’t know why this is my favourite thing (to the same extent as the other stuff). The other things gave me something, helped me heal through my trauma through escapism. I think, if anything, Persona 5 grounded me.

Persona 5 is the reason this blog exists because it’s the game that started my passion for gaming as a medium. And I don’t know if you know this, but this blog is a huge part of my life. The love and support shown by the readers of this blog drive me, and the fact that we’ve established a little community of some sort… as someone who didn’t have peer support growing up, this is all crazy to me. And it’s all because of Persona 5.

My first plat. My pride and joy. I know the Royal plat is significantly easier, but it was – and still is – something I’m proud of because there was once a time when I thought all plats were unachievable.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! The closer we get to all of the reveals for the 25th anniversary, the more I think it will be Persona 6. What do you hope it is? Is there something you don’t want it to be? Let me know in the comments below! Has Persona 5 changed your life? Tell me all about it! Don’t forget, you can follow me on my socials (they should all be linked), and you can check me (and Josh) out on Twitch at 2nerds_1game (I think it’s linked on my homepage!). See you next post, Gamers!

Why I never play a game on ‘easy’ anymore

Hey, Gamers! This week, we’re going to be talking about my pride. Actually, scratch that. We’re going to be talking about how gaming has transformed me from someone who thought they had no worth and wasn’t capable of anything to someone who refuses to take things easy. It’s very personal so if you’re not into that kind of post, I’m sorry but I thought it might be nice to share this with you all!

So most of you know that I wasn’t much of a gamer before I met my partner, Josh. I had an Xbox 360 and played Tomb Raider with my dad but that was pretty much the extent of it. I’ve talked about this a few times before. What I haven’t really spoken about, however, is my relationship before Joshua. There were many things wrong with that relationship but the main thing I wanted to talk about is that he was a gamer (a PC gamer), he built his own PC and I tried to be supportive without ever really understanding. Whenever I would try to understand, he would always mock me. I remember one time, I tried to get into one of his games and he spent the whole time ridiculing me, saying that I couldn’t be a gamer because I’m a girl. This was my last experience of gaming before Joshua came along, so it was not positive and I honestly wasn’t even bothered about the PS4 when we moved in together.

I had been playing games on easy my whole life. I’m the youngest of three, and I think picking the easy mode was always expected of me because of that. But with my ex knocking my confidence completely in terms of gaming, I thought I would never play another difficulty.

The first game I played on Normal was Persona 5. I think I’ve spoken in brief about this before, but not in detail. Honestly, I’m not sure why I felt confidant enough to pick normal. I think it may have been Josh saying that it’s slow, turn-based combat so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. It may be the fact that I had already played most of The Witcher 3 and did my first 6 hours straight gaming (which, according to Joshua, is what gave me my honourable ‘gamer’ status). Playing Persona 5 on normal difficulty gave me such a huge confidence boost. I felt like I could handle anything that games threw at me (which is why I tried Bloodborne after… which was a mistake). I completed it on the same difficulty most gamers would complete it on. I felt so… empowered. I was not going to go back.

I can’t remember the next game I played on normal. The issue I had was that I had started my Witcher 3 file on easy and hadn’t finished it. I’m actually only now getting round to playing it on normal for the first time. But I have never gone back. It’s been three years since I first played Persona 5 on normal instead of easy. I have not once clicked on ‘easy’, and I never intend to again.

The thing is, once I realised that I was capable of doing it, it suddenly became easier. The thing that was holding me back the whole time was myself. I felt like I had to press easy every single time because I wasn’t good enough to be like other gamers. I wasn’t skilled enough, fast enough, sneaky enough. I just wasn’t enough… but, I was. I was enough the whole time, and the only thing that was stopping me from realising that was my own brain.

Gaming isn’t easy. It’s not meant to be easy. It’s meant to be fun, challenging sometimes, and it’s meant to fully captivate you. Once I realised my own worth and that I was capable of playing it on normal, it changed my outlook on so many things as I realised that I was holding myself back on other things in life too. I realised that I was worth more than I was giving myself credit for, and I was capable of more than I was letting myself do. I was and still am better.

There’s also something to be said about my constant need to prove people wrong when it comes to accessibility and my disabilities. Obviously, there’s the whole argument going around that games with no difficulty settings are inaccessible to disabled people, and I’ve been open about the fact that the argument was created by people who don’t care about disabled people and just wanted to use us as scapegoats (I’ll link the post at the end if you’re interested). I refuse to be a part of their fake statistics, so I try my best to play on normal or hard because games aren’t inaccessible just because they don’t have an easy mode.

Also, I am stubborn. Very stubborn, sometimes too stubborn for my own good. It’s difficult for me to admit that something is hard, and if someone tells me I can’t do it, my brain just goes ‘let’s prove them wrong’. Not the best trait of mine, but it’s there and I’m working on it… just not with this. 

Ultimately, I know what I’m capable of and, because of gaming, I am now willing to push my boundaries. I know my worth, and I know that struggling with a game isn’t the end of the world… sometimes, the whole point of the game is to struggle. And that’s okay.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! Do you have a similar experience? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, give it a ‘like’ and follow my blog for more gaming content (and check out our Twitch to watch us stream!). See you next post, Gamers!

Links:

Discussing the whole difficulty setting thing: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/08/23/should-all-video-games-have-a-difficulty-setting/

Things I’ve learnt while playing games: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/01/17/top-10-things-ive-learnt-while-playing-video-games/

In defence of Haru

Hey, Gamers! So, I did an ‘in defence of Jaehee’ post a while ago, and I decided then that it would be a series but I haven’t really come back to it until now. With this month being big for the Persona series, and my favourite thing in the entire world is Persona 5, I thought I would return to this series to discuss Haru. A while ago, I tweeted that I wanted to do a Haru appreciation post but didn’t feel like I appreciated Haru enough to do that justice, so this is the next best thing so let’s get into it!

Spoilers for Persona 5, Persona 5 Royal and Persona 5 Strikers.

So, why do people dislike Haru? Firstly, I don’t think people ‘dislike’ her necessarily. I think it’s more that they don’t feel the connection to her that they do to the other Phantom Thieves. Haru joins the team during the least liked palace in the entire game. Actually, I’d go as far as to say that it’s actually hated by most players. Haru herself doesn’t have the best first impression with the thieves as it feels like she’s ‘stolen’ Morgana from them. Both of these points would usually be fine by themselves, but it’s also alongside the fact that Haru is the last permanent thief that you get on your team in the second to last proper palace (if you’re playing Persona 5, not Royal). It feels like the other characters have so much more time to grow as people, which is rough because Haru goes through so much in Persona 5.

So, let’s go through these points to see if we have some solid ground to stand on for a defence. We’ll talk about her lack of screen time, the palace that she joins in and the whole Morgana situation, all the while looking at the things that we know and get to learn about Haru throughout the game.

Let’s talk about something that Royal solved: Haru’s lack of screen time. I think everyone expected Royal to solve this as it added a third semester. However, you get significantly less freedom in the third semester as the sole focus is on the new palace and the characters who aren’t traditionally on the team (I’m trying to get through this part as ‘spoiler free’ as possible). While the third semester did give Haru more screen time, it’s also very short so it’s difficult to hang out with her in the daytime. The nighttime is much easier in terms of time management. For me, Haru was the only member of the team I did not get up to rank 10 before the whole third persona cutscenes, which sucked but I wasn’t too bummed out because Haru is hard to get up in such a short space of time. The issue is, Haru’s confidant is great. For me, it’s probably one of the best-written confidants in the game and the fact that you get SP recovery items from it also makes her one of the most useful confidants to do. So, why do many people struggle to get Haru up? I even just said that I struggle with it myself. The reason is that by this point in the game, most of the other confidants are around level 7. It’s daunting starting a new confidant so late in the game. It’s when things get so much more serious in terms of the metaverse too, so really you want to spend most of your time getting and making stuff for the metaverse before the last 2 boss fights. But, I am meant to be coming up with some kind of defence for Haru’s lack of screen time. Honestly, the best thing I have is just how great her confidant is. Okay, here me out. With the other Phantom Thieves, you get a ton of the story to advance their personalities and the friendship of the group. You don’t get that much with Haru in the main story, because a lot of it is hidden behind her confidant. And it is such a great confidant. She grows so much in such a short space of time and it’s so well written. If you put the time and effort into Haru, it won’t matter about her lack of screen time because she can grow just as much as everyone else. With Royal, you see her not being able to forgive the person who murdered her father and in Strikers, you see how strong and independent she is. If you put the effort into Haru, she blossoms.

Okay, now the whole Morgana situation. I won’t stick with this for very long because the defence is short and sweet. Morgana left. He left on his own accord before he even knew Haru. All Haru did was look after him. Stop blaming Haru for Morgana’s actions just because Morgana likes being valued by her. That’s it.

Now let’s talk about Okumura’s palace. Oh gosh, I really don’t want to talk about this palace. I don’t even want to think about this palace, but for you guys, I will. Okumura’s palace felt like walking into a room and getting the door locked behind you, and there is no way out and the room is shrinking and each exit is blocked apart from one. Then you use that one exit only to find yourself in the same situation in the next room, only to eventually loop round to the first room so really there’s no way out. Okumura’s palace is hell but by now, you have quite a few teammates to chose from and you probably have your favourites and your own way of doing things. I believe by this point in my first run I was using Joker (obviously), Makoto, Ryuji and Ann. I never used Yusuke and I didn’t use Morgana much either. Gosh, that’s changed so much! But regardless, adding a new teammate into the fight feels weird when you’ve already got a good team. I think a thing that made this a little worse for Haru is that Futaba isn’t a fighting member of the team, which means you didn’t have to swap someone out to have her on the team. So, really, you haven’t got a new member since Makoto. This goes against Haru, in my opinion. With the amount of stuff that’s weak to Psyc in this palace, it’s obvious they want you to use Haru (more so than any other palace with their corresponding thief). I feel like usually, most people would put the corresponding thief in the team during the palace (unless another member is needed more). I think with Haru’s palace being her father’s, the connection between the two is more prominent. With what we mentioned earlier about Haru’s character development being mostly in her confidant arc, many people may mistake Haru for a stuck-up rich girl. She is the complete opposite. Haru is vital to taking down her own father because her morals are stronger than the ones she was raised with. We didn’t judge Yusuke because of Madarame so we shouldn’t be judging Haru because of Okumura.
The palace is bad. Real bad. But considering that her persona doesn’t awaken until they’re in the palace and confronting her father, I think she handles the shadows so well. She just wants to be helpful. This girl is fearful of her life. Before thinking about how bad Okumura’s palace is, let’s think about why she’s going this. Her father is basically about to sell her off to someone who is very open about what he wants from her. Her father – her only parent figure right now – is about to use her for political gain. Haru is going through hell right now. She needs this to go well more than the Phantom Thieves do, and she’s willing to give everything she’s got because her life is over if this doesn’t go well. Honestly, I’d do Okumura’s palace 100 times if it meant I could have 100 Haru’s. Despite how awful the palace is, Haru is worth it. Not only is her confidant perfect, but she is also useful to the team through her persona’s skills and through her confidant items (SP recovery).

This girl – who is still a teenager in high school during this game – watches her own father die on national television and thinks that it’s her fault. Can you even begin to imagine how traumatising that must have felt for her? But she keeps going. She carries on, not just with life but she carries the business and is still a member of the Phantom Thieves. Even in Strikers when they go to Sapporo, Haru doesn’t doubt for one second that Mariko needed to be fought. And why did she do that? To help the person who could’ve helped her grieve her father but didn’t. She doesn’t doubt for one second that this is to help the woman. All Haru does throughout all the games is try to help people. She is a wonderful soul and deserves so much more attention and hype than she’s currently getting.

I wanted to write this post because I see so many people complaining about Haru. Either her voice is annoying, or they don’t like the way she looks, or they think she’s weird. But Haru is so much more than what it immediately presented to you. She is the sweetest, most useful and most scary member of the Phantom Thieves. She is so valuable to the team that it makes me sad to think about the amount of time we have to play the game without her. However, that doesn’t diminish how wonderful and useful she is.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! I hope it helped argue that Haru is actually valuable and good to have on your team. If you liked this post, don’t forget to give it a ‘like’, follow this blog for more Persona (and general gaming) content and follow 2nerds_1game on Twitch if you want to watch my partner and I goof around (I’m currently playing Strikers on Merciless and doing an AI-run of Royal). See you next post, Gamers!  

Gaming Progress: August

Hey, Gamers! So this is the monthly gaming update that I’ve recently started doing. It’s for both me and Josh (my partner), so yeah. Let’s get into it!

The first thing I wanted to say is that I haven’t played any Yakuza Kiwami 2 or Fallout 4. I think both of us have been focusing more on Dark Souls recently, as you’ll see later. I just wanted to throw that out there quickly in case someone wanted an update for those games. I do fully intend to play them, I just haven’t had as much time recently.

I did Joshua last in the last post because he didn’t really do much last month. He is sleeping as I write this so if there is anything else, I’ll add it to the end of the post but I know he wanted me to write about this particular thing and he was desperate to do it before September so that I could write about it. Joshua has officially got the Platinum trophy in Dark Souls Remastered. It was a team effort so I made him give me humanity because I picked up some souls, but he did so well. So, for those who do not follow us on Twitch (you should, btw), Josh realised that he was only like 4 trophies away from the Platinum but he needed a few boss souls. So he decided to do a ‘Jonathan Joest’ run (because Jonathan Joestar wouldn’t fit soooo). He did this fun on stream, and I believe he completed it in like 16 hours, which puts me to shame. So he completed it, summoned me to give me the souls he needed, sent me back and then I summoned him on his main character file so I could give him the souls back (because I really did not want Sif’s soul), then he did some stuff- crafting maybe – and he got it! I was – and still am – super proud of him.

Okay so since we’re on the topic of Dark Souls, I might as well do my progress here too. So you’ll see that Dark Souls and Stardew Valley took up most of my time this month. I want to preface this by saying that Joshua has been calling Sen’s fortress ‘Sen’s funhouse’ since I started playing so I was actually looking forward to a place where there might be some puzzles and like, fun stuff. Just wanted to let you guys know that now before you witness the betrayal that I felt. So, I beat the Gaping Dragon. It nearly burnt me out, to be honest, but I got so mad at the stupid cutscene (yes I know you can skip it) and the stupid flying move that I just killed it. I was so, so mad. And I did it, so that’s cool. I did it without Josh too, which I was happy with. I then went through Blighttown which I did need help with because I didn’t have any anti-toxin stuff. And of course, the love of my life who I completely trusted led me straight to Quelaag despite me saying multiple times “I think I’m under levelled so I’m going to grind before Quelagg”. For those who do not know, I am an arachnophobe so I was very anxious about this fight. It wasn’t too bad, though. Josh came with me and died within like, seconds and I got her down to under 1/3 health before dying. We successfully squashed her within a minute (it felt like) the second attempt. I then beat Ceaseless Discharge by cheesing him but I’m not too bothered, like, it was really easy and it didn’t even feel like a cheese.


I should have mentioned this before and I don’t think I mentioned it last week, but I originally had a dex build, but I could barely use any weapon. So, over time I have been building up my strength and can now officially 2 hand my Black Knight Halberd that I got a while ago from Undead Berg. It does mean I am fat-rolling and I don’t feel too comfortable without a shield so I’m just sticking with my Estoc for now.
And now I have to do Sen’s fortress. Usually, I summon Josh to guide me places but I can’t even do that without triggering the snake people so half the time I tell him it’s not worth it. Sen’s fortress is literally hell and I’d be surprised if I have any Dark Souls updates for you next month because I have no idea how I am going to do this.

They blocked me in

And to end our little Dark Souls section of this post, Josh has completed Dark Souls 3 and I have started it. I beat the first boss and then summoned Josh and his brothers (I call them the golden trio) and they just did everything for me without me asking. I think for me, this playthrough of Dark Souls 3 is more about spending time with them than it is to actually play the game, if that makes sense. After I finish Dark Souls Remastered, I’ll probably make a new character and stuff so I can actually play the game by myself (which I am also going to do with Dark Souls Remastered because although Josh doesn’t just do everything for me, he does sometimes goes a little too far so I want to experience it myself).

Let’s talk about JoJo: Eyes of Heaven. Have I ever talked about this game on my blog? I have no idea but I have always intended to (I just wanted to finish it first). For anyone who doesn’t know us in real life, JoJo is Josh’s special interest right now. I eventually started watching it in… January time and I adored it. We literally started watching Part 5 last night, if anyone wants to know where we’re at anime wise (Josh has watched it all but he’s rewatching it in English with me). So, I have been stuck on this one fight for months. Literal months. It’s not a game I tend to go on a lot, so the time has just built up. I hadn’t watched Part 4 when I first got to the fight but we finished that this month and I realised that watching and understanding the characters helps me fight, so I tried the fight again. I finally did it, which is cool. Josh noticed that I was extremely under levelled so I am going to try to grind a little before doing any other story fights. I have also played a little with Josh, and Josh has played a little with his brother so that’s been nice.

In Animal Crossing, we often had to time travel to witness the fireworks, but they were fun. Our island is a mess but is somehow 5 stars, so that’s cool. We’re going to try to tidy it up and do an island tour thing sometime soon. We just have random flowers everywhere, things just laying around. It’s a mess, but it’s our mess. We kicked Kidd out but one of my alters really wanted Judy. We then found Erik, and we fell in love with him so he’s staying for a while. That one spot hasn’t had a permanent villager in for a long time so I do hope he fits in well.

Okay, Stardew Valley time! I’m spending a lot of time on Ginger Island lately. I am desperate to get into Mr Qi’s room to see how far I am with completion. Josh and I played Stardew Valley together for a little bit but I don’t think he’s as bothered about it as I am, so I doubt we’ll spend much time on the farm together. The first half of the month was definitely focused on Skull Cavern, and the latter half was focused on Ginger Island and walnut hunting. In terms of Skull Cavern, I’m slowly getting more confidant. I’m getting used to using bombs, different food items, things that are just really needed for Skull Cavern which wasn’t really needed for the mines. I’m getting used to the enemies and the amount of damage they do, getting used to not fighting them and just looking for shafts. I am feeling much more confidant going into it. I do have a chest just outside so that I can store things like coffee and truffles (things that I really don’t want to lose), as well as any tools that I won’t need. On one Skull Cavern trip, I found a Dino Egg and a Prismatic Shard. I thought my luck must have been high but when I checked, it was low. I put the Dino Egg in the incubator and took the Shard to the missing bundle. I got some Sturgeon Roe the next day, which I put in the jar place to make Caviar. My Dino was hatched, grew up and suddenly I had Dino Mayonnaise for the missing bundle, which was the last thing I needed! I was so happy to finally finish it. Lastly, I caught my first legendary fish in the sewers. I had a taste of another one but didn’t manage to catch it as I had no trap bobbers.

Moving on to Persona 5 (as an umbrella term): Ann ruined my life. Remember when I was like all “oh the challenge isn’t the fighting it’s the time management, the AI is so good” yeah I was stupid and I’m so mad I said that. Why would she cast a hit all skill when there are only 2 enemies? Why? Why if it’s not just her trying to ruin my life? Oh my gosh, she did this so much that I actually had to take her out of my team, and I have never had Morgana in my team during the 2nd palace (after I got Yusuke, obviously). Guys, you have no idea how mad this has made me. I’ve legit raged over this because it’s ruining the whole run. I did keep dying to little enemies despite being over the recommended level to do the boss fight (which tends to be 18, by the way). I tried the boss fight and it did not go well, so I’ve had to pull out and grind in Mementos but obviously not a lot of that is unlocked, so it’s not the best situation overall. But I’m getting there. I plan to try the fight again when everyone is a little stronger. My main worry right now is confidants, so it’s very frustrating that the boss fight isn’t over with as my plan was to get it over with and focus on confidants.

Something I didn’t expect to be able to talk about here is Persona 5 Strikers! So, my mental health hasn’t been the best this past month and with the whole having to full out and grind thing… I didn’t want to stream Royal. I really, really didn’t. So I was looking at what else I had installed and I realised that I only had 4 trophies to get for the Platinum in Strikers. Now, for anyone who doesn’t know, I had a very bad experience the last time I played Strikers. I accidentally did Painful Past + instead of normal Painful Past for the very last fight. The issue is I didn’t accept the Painful Past + fight because I didn’t intend on doing it. I used so many items that I had stocked up on throughout the whole game, and it was all for nothing. So, yeah, bad experience. But I decided to just do it. I wanted to get used to the combat again, do the Painful Past / Painful Past + requests and fight the Reaper. And I did it. I beat the Reaper first try. Now, I’m grinding to get enough bond points to max out all of the bond skills and then I have to complete the inmate registry. Hopefully, the biggest update next month will be that I got the Strikers plat.

Lastly, I tried Genshin Impact again. When I tried it before, the controls of the menu threw me off a little. I get overwhelmed with things like that. But I clearly value the way a game looks over the controls because I wanted to play it again because it was pretty (I’ve never said a sentence that’s more traditionally feminine in my life). I got on with it a whole lot better, but Dark Souls was prioritised. I hope to be able to play it more during September.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! Big month for Dark Souls, not too much for anything else. What have you guys been up to this month? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, give it a like! Give this blog a follow if you want more gaming content (I’ve planned for this month to be a big Persona 5 month), and check out 2nerds_1game for some cool streaming stuff (the stuff being streaming, and the cool being me and Josh thinking we’re funny). See you next post, Gamers!

Why I believe Kazama ruined everything for everyone – Yakuza series

Hey, Gamers! This is yet another post I am a worried about as it doesn’t have a great conclusion so I want to remind everyone that this is my blog that I have to share my thoughts and experiences. I am not a gaming journalist, I am just someone who likes writing and loves games. I am currently playing through the Yakuza series (of course, with heavy influence from my partner who adores the series) and there’s a few things off about one particular character… so, let’s get onto talking about why Shintaro Kazama ruined everything…

So, while playing Yakuza 0, it’s evident that Kiryu would die for this man. This is when things started to feel a little off to me. I wanted to like – love, even – Kazama, but I couldn’t. Kiryu threw his life away for the reputation of a man that he barely knew. Kazama ran that orphanage for the children of the people he murdered, becoming a father figure to them. These children felt indebted to the man that murdered their parents. Was that always his plan? To have a group of kids – who would obviously grow to be adults – respect and trust him so much that they would do anything to help him? I’d argue that the answer is yes.

Let’s talk about something that Kazama truly ruined for Kiryu: Nishiki. Kiryu and Nishiki were always lumped together, and they had strong bonds with each other and Kazama. Despite this, Nishiki would not be willing to throw everything away for Kazama like Kiryu would (and did). Therefore, Kazama clearly favourited Kiryu, leading to Nishiki becoming weak and insecure as he did not have the support system that he once had. This is especially evident when Kiryu goes into jail for the murder of Dojima, as Kiryu was the only one Nishiki had. He was meant to have Kazama, but Kazama didn’t care about the boy that wouldn’t throw his life away for him. Kazama ‘gave’ Nishiki a family of insubordinate Yakuza, knowing that these men had no respect for Nishiki. He knew that without Kiryu, Nishiki was weak. Of course, he would be when his only support system wasn’t around. Kiryu always had Kazama, but Nishiki only had Kiryu. Kazama stopped giving Nishiki his love and as much support because Nishiki wouldn’t throw his life away for him, as shown in Yakuza 0. If he was given the same love and support that Kiryu was given, things would have worked out very differently.

So there’s a little anomaly in my ‘Kazama ruined everything’ theory, and that is Yumi. Why would Kazama protect Yumi if he didn’t care for her? Because he wanted to give Kiryu more motive when he got out of prison. He knew that Kiryu and Yumi were in love, and he wanted Kiryu to have something to fight for other than Kazama. Something – someone – to use to manipulate Kiryu to do Kazama’s dirty work.

And of course, all this is suggested by Awano in Yakuza 0. I think that’s probably the biggest thing drawing me away from this theory. Awano is obviously a bad guy and I do believe that they tried to make Kazama a good guy, or at the very least, a neutral guy.

Regardless of that, one thing still stands: the kids of the people he murdered feel indebted to him. The clear power imbalance there, particularly between Kazama and Kiryu, just feels wrong. It’s a gross misuse of power and whatever way you look at it, it is manipulative.

I’m not completely sold on the idea that he ruined everything, but I am completely sold that he intended to use Kiryu and even the other children that felt indebted to him, and he discards or tries to ruin those that do not feel the need to sacrifice themselves for Kazama’s gain.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! I really just wanted to share my thoughts on this because the power imbalance just makes me feel gross and I feel like he really did Nishiki wrong. I know this doesn’t really have a satisfying conclusion as I am a little on the edge with it but I still thought I might as well share what I thought. Let me know what you think in the comments below, check out our streams on Twitch (our channel name is 2nerds_1game, and we’re streaming Yakuza every Saturday), and check out my socials to stay updated. See you next post, Gamers!

Should all video games have a difficulty setting?

Hey, Gamers! So while I’m having a break from Dark Souls because I’m never playing that game again (it’s a joke), I wanted to talk to you all about something slightly controversial: difficulty settings. That is, whether or not difficulty settings should be on every game. I believe, from what my partner has told me, this was first posed by game journalists who were struggling to complete the game to review it, and it turned into an accessibility issue. Well, while I am not a gaming journalist, I do review games and I am disabled. For reference, I have a physical disability involving my feet, I have autism, dyslexia and dyscalculia (as well as several mental illnesses). I’m not saying this for sympathy or anything, I’m telling you what I live with in order for you to better understand where my mindset is. So without further ado, let’s get to it!

I am going to be using Dark Souls as an example as it is one that is very prevalent in my life, and I’ve played Dark Souls the most. I believe the original game was Sekiro, which is technically classed as a SoulsBorne game so that’s a better correlation than, say, Persona 5.

I first came across Dark Souls in, I think, 2018. My partner’s brother borrowed it from his friend, and it seemed like he and his younger brother were obsessed. I didn’t get it, but I wasn’t much of a gamer at the time. I decided to get Josh the Dark Souls trilogy when it was on sale one day after he expressed interest after we moved out. He had started to enjoy Bloodborne, so it seemed fitting. By this point, Persona 5 had come into my life and I think I had finished the Witcher 3 so I had started to consider myself a gamer. But it took a long time for me to even think about playing Dark Souls.

Dark Souls is infamously hard. If you refer to something as a souls-like game, that means it’s hard. It means it’s unforgiving. It’s meant to be that way. It’s meant to be something that you work for, that you struggle with. The achievement of beating Dark Souls is a big one and it’s a big one because it’s an infamously hard game.

That achievement would be completely worthless if there was an easy mode. There would be no struggle, no hard work, no sweat and tears. It’ll be… easy. Worthless. It literally wouldn’t be worth playing. It’s not like there’s a riveting story that’s obvious when you’re playing (not saying the lore isn’t interesting, I’m saying it’s not obvious all the time when you’re playing. I adore SoulsBorne lore and we’ve spent countless hours watching videos on YouTube). The pain and struggle that you feel when playing Dark Souls are what makes the game so iconic and so great.

I understand some people have deadlines to meet, but you’re not playing a game properly if you’re rushing it anyway. My Persona 5 Strikers review came out in August, and I got the game in February. I didn’t want to rush it because I wanted to try to write about everything, and I gave myself time to emotionally process the plot before writing. My advice would just be to play games other than souls-like games to review, if you’re finding them ‘too hard’. There really isn’t such thing as ‘too hard’ for a SoulsBorne game, because that’s the whole point of them. Review other games, leave this to people who actually care enough about the game to write about it (or make YouTube videos, whichever).

So, moving on to the whole ‘inaccessibility’ part of the argument. Now I may sound angry here… because I am. Quite frankly, this is an ableist argument made by people who are trying to prove a point to benefit themselves. There is a very, very clear difference between inaccessibility and difficulty. Just because games are difficult does not mean disabled people cannot play them. A game’s difficulty setting has nothing to do with whether or not a disabled person can play. If someone cannot play a game, they won’t play it. An easy mode won’t make the game more accessible. If anything, it would make them think that they can’t play the game normally.

Here is a list of things that I struggle with in video games due to my disabilities:
Reading both numbers and letters
Retaining information
Being triggered by domestic or sexual violence
Processing the plot

Those are the things I can think of off the top of my head but I guarantee that there are many more things. But I don’t know if you’ve noticed this but I have a gaming blog. That must mean I play games despite having these issues, right? Why? Because society doesn’t cater to disabled people in general, so growing up we just learn to deal with it. We don’t want it to stop us from experiencing things so we just get on with it. Yeah, we struggle and find things hard but we still get to experience things the way that other people do.

Before you use things like inaccessibility to try to strengthen your argument, maybe think about how society itself isn’t very accessible in the first place. We’ve learnt to deal with it, and we don’t like being used as pawns.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! This one was a little… touchy. I know this is a sensitive topic for a lot of people but I felt like as a disabled person myself, I had to make sure my voice was heard on the small platform I have. See you next post, Gamers!

10 self-care tips for Gamers who are struggling with mental illness

Hey, Gamers! I feel like I’ve been pretty open about my mental illnesses, and lately, I’ve noticed a trend in a lot of gamers having mental illnesses. So, I wanted to share some tips that have helped both me and my partner over the years as we are both gamers and struggle with mental illness. We are students so I’m not sure all of these will work for people with 9-5 jobs etc, but I figured if I could help one person, it would be worth it. So, let’s get to it!

  1. Dry shampoo is your friend.
    A huge problem that comes with mental illness is keeping up with personal hygiene. If you’re a streamer who just hasn’t had the energy to shower or someone whose friends or family want to do a video chat, dry shampoo will help a lot. If you don’t have dry shampoo, baby powder also works (but does require more rubbing it into your hair and your hair won’t feel great after). A plus is that not only are you being social by being able to stream/video call, but you’re making yourself look put together. Sometimes you just need something to be easier to get you back to your usual self, and this is a great way to do that.
  2. It’s okay to just play your comfort game.
    I play a lot of my comfort game when my mental health goes bad. I hated myself for the longest time because I needed to play new games or play multiplayer games… but I didn’t have the energy for that. I had to admit to myself that playing different games takes different amounts of energy and it’s okay if you only have the energy to play that same game again. New things can wait, but at least you’re doing something.
  3. Handheld consoles. Just trust me on this one.
    This is going to make me sound like I’m saying that everyone can afford to get a new console just because they’re depressed so uh please know that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is on the days that you can’t leave your bed and you just want to lay there, a handheld console can really help your mood. I personally use the Switch (Stardew Valley has over 120 hours and I only got it in April/May), but if the Switch isn’t charged or I just don’t want to deal with the stress of farming or moving everything around on our island in Animal Crossing, there’s also consoles like the DS. Older consoles aren’t our usual standard of gaming, but it might be nice to lay there playing a game you used to love or always wanted to finish. It helps get rid of the ‘I’ve done nothing all day, I’m such a bad person’ feeling that often comes with bad mental health.
  4. Avoid games where mental illness is a central theme.
    This will be a hard one for some people, but the issue with games with mental illness is you’re going to compare yourself to the characters and you don’t need that right now. You are your own person and everyone struggles with mental health issues in their own way. If you want to play the game another time, come back to it when you’re in a better state of mind. You don’t want to compare yourself to fictional characters whose struggles have likely been exaggerated for dramatic effect.
  5. One glass of water a day keeps the dehydration at bay.
    So this is a huge one for me because I got so so so sick from dehydration in January 2020. I was just drinking diet coke, thinking it was fine because at least I was drinking something. So, I need you to go and get some water. Either right now, or when you wake up each day, or before you go to sleep each night. This is so important. I was lucky enough that Josh was there when I was sick, but I know that a lot of gamers live alone and I would really hate for someone to get as sick as I did. Mental health sucks, but you have to drink water. Please, if you follow one thing from this post, let it be this one.
  6. Let the people who care about you know what’s going on.
    Okay, I am the worst at replying when my mental health is bad. Like, ask my best friend, months can easily go by and she hasn’t heard a peep. Don’t do that. Don’t be me. I am learning and trying. Just a quick ‘hey, I just need some alone time right now as I am going through things. Please don’t worry, I’ll be safe. I’ll text you when I can’ text can do wonders for their mental health, as well as yours as they know what’s going on and won’t hate you for not texting them in so much time.
  7. Food. Eat.
    So I know a ton of people struggle with this, whether they just forget or they have an ED, so just know your limits but know that this is important. So depending on what’s wrong, I do food in two ways: functional, or fun. Functional includes things just cheesy pasta, instant noodles, oven pizzas. Quick, easy, done. Pop it on, set a timer and I usually play on the switch while I’m waiting. Even if it’s just one meal a day, it’s better than nothing. Preferably you’ll be eating snacks and hopefully another meal if you can do that, but something is always better than nothing. The next way is fun. This can include trying to replicate food off of games or anime that I’ve seen. This one is hit and miss, to be honest. You have to already have the ingredients and have the energy to do it, and there’s always a bunch of dishes after. But if you have the same problem as I often do (so stressed you can’t focus), then this might be for you!
  8. Changing environments.
    If your games console is in your bedroom, move it. Actually, just move it anyway. Even if you just move it across the room. I know it looks overwhelming but from my experience, the PS4 only has 2 wires. You’ll have done something big and created a new space for you to spend time. Changes in the environment are good for you when you’ve been sat in the same place for weeks.
  9. Don’t focus on the bad feelings.
    Okay, this is another one that might sound a bit stupid but it’s actually not. I’m not going to be one of those people who are like ‘just think positive thoughts and it’ll cure your illness’ because that is not how mental illness works. My intention here is to have you focus on the little wins that you have when you’re suffering bad from mental illness. The things that wouldn’t normally be an accomplishment but is because things are bad right now. You don’t have the energy to make pizza so you made toast instead? Awesome job at making toast! You don’t have the energy to play your favourite game but you can play a simple platformer that’s giving you some sort of satisfaction? Cool, tell me more about that platformer. See what I’m doing? If you focus on what you can’t do, as cliché as it sounds, you’ll trick your brain into thinking you can’t do anything. I’m not saying to be positive all the time. I’m saying that when you’re suffering from mental illness, you need to celebrate those wins. I remember the last time my mental health was bad, I washed a plate and I rewarded myself with ice cream because I didn’t think I could wash the plate. The little things need rewarding when everything seems bad.
  10. Shower.
    So for those who don’t know us personally, we’re both autistic and my partner is not fond of the shower because of that. Over the years of being with him, I’ve gotten a bit lax with my own personal hygiene when my mental health is bad. Showering is usually the first thing I do when I start to feel better. However, the past few months have made me realise that if I have the energy… I should use that to shower. For anyone who doesn’t know, not showering can lead to skin issues, infections, and even worse stuff. I didn’t know that until recently, as stupid as it sounds, I always thought we showered more for other people than ourselves. So even if you’re really suffering from your mental health and you’re not going outside because of it… showering is still important.
    Here’s how I’ve started to do it when I’m suffering badly with my mental illnesses: So the first step is to go onto YouTube and pick a video from someone who you find okay. Not your favourite, but not annoying. I’ve recently started using DangerouslyFunny because I like Stardew Valley and he uses mods that I can’t have so it’s not a big deal if I don’t hear something. I then turn the shower on and brush my teeth before getting in. I check what time the video is on, I jump in the shower, and my goal is to be out before the video is over. That gives me about 10-15 minutes in the shower. I don’t come out if I’m not done, but it means that I can do things quickly and efficiently in order to conserve energy. As I said, if I need longer then I take longer, but the more time I spend in the shower, the less energy I’ll have for the rest of the day. I focus on the important bits (underarms, under breasts and genital area) because if I can’t do anything else, at least that’s done. Obviously, I have longer showers when I can, but it’s also important to shower when your mental health is bad. Like I said before, something is always better than nothing. On days when you just can’t shower, use a baby wipe or something to wipe down your body just to keep it a bit cleaner. I know it’s not the best solution but it’s better than nothing at all.

That’s it for this post, Gamers! I would do more, but I didn’t want to overwhelm anyone. I hope everyone is okay and looking after themselves. Remember to be kind, to both others and yourself. See you next post, Gamers!

Persona 5 Strikers (2021)- Game Review

Hey, Gamers! It’s the time you’ve all been waiting for – Persona 5 Strikers review time! For anyone who doesn’t read my blog regularly, Persona 5/Persona 5 Royal are my favourite games. Persona 5 takes up around 70% of my daily thoughts. I love these characters and their stories. I didn’t go into this thinking I would love it, though, so this might be a little different from what you expected.

So, Persona 5 Strikers is the sequel to the original Persona 5 game. Persona 5 came out in 2017 worldwide, with Persona 5 Royal coming out in 2020 worldwide (literally around the time the pandemic became huge). Persona 5 Strikers came out in February 2021 worldwide. It’s important to note that any characters or storylines from Persona 5 Royal were not carried over into Persona 5 Strikers, making the game a direct sequel to the original Persona 5 game. A huge difference between Persona 5 and Persona 5 Strikers – the biggest difference – is that turn-based combat is no more. This game was marketed as a hack and slash. For a long time, Western audiences were not sure whether or not we were even going to get this game. But we did, it’s here and I’ve finished it, so let’s get into the review! 

I will forever use this image at the start of posts

Sound:

The original Persona 5 soundtrack has been highly praised since its release and Persona 5 Strikers did not disappoint. It has twists on the music from the original game and new music for new situations. It definitely carries on the whole music getting better as the game progresses thing that the original game had. The music grows with the player, and it’s honestly fitting. The music matches the themes of the game perfectly while linking back to the original game to make fans happy.

In terms of voice acting, there are pros and cons here. A significant amount of lines are voiced, including a scene where Ryuji lets the f word slip which was a game highlight for a lot of people. Having so much of the game voiced was a treat for Persona 5 fans who are used to text only lines. However, there is a downside to this that could not be avoided during the pandemic- voice actors had to film at home, and therefore the quality is not always the best. Sometimes the lines are quieter than usual or quiet in comparison to the music. This wouldn’t have happened if the world hadn’t shut down, but the show must go on and fans wanted this game in the West, therefore compromises were made. Considering the amount of spoken dialogue we do get, the voice actors did an amazing job with the situation they were in.

Graphics:

The game itself isn’t the best looking, but it’s pretty much what you would expect with a Persona game. On the whole, the graphics match the original Persona 5 game. There were quite a few anime scenes, which was nice because it is a short game so the little change between gameplay cutscenes and anime scenes really emphasise the point of the scene, and they did a great job at picking when to put that point across.

I am going to talk about the design here because all of my reviews follow this template (I might change it since my blog has changed a lot from first starting it) so I’m not sure where else to put it.

Obviously, as a Persona 5 game, this game was going to be very visually pleasing. If Persona 5 is best known for its music and the way it looks after all. But things are a little different because this is a new game, and things are meant to be different. However, they are not so different that you can’t recognise what’s going on.

So when you go into a jail, it does the same warpy red and back thing as it did in the original games whenever entering the metaverse- but in reverse. I always found this more fascinating than I probably should have considering I am 21, but nonetheless, it is cool.

To be completely honest, I prefer a lot of the jail designs compared to the palaces. My favourite was Kyoto, which was Phantom Thief themed. I felt like there were more little details in the design that linked to the jail’s themes. There was obviously a lot of area to cover as the jails were the city rather than a confined area like the bank or a castle, so I felt like they wouldn’t have paid as much attention to the little details but I really feel like they paid more attention to it and it’s just nice and consistent.

Can you tell I don’t have access to the playstation with my Strikers screenshots?

Gameplay:

I have quite a bit to say about this. I didn’t want to rush this game just to review it, I played it on stream and took my time. I was so anxious about the change from turn-based combat to hack and slash. I was really worried that I wouldn’t like it. A huge benefit of Persona 5 being a turn-based combat game was that I could take my time and it flowed smoothly. They miraculously carried that smoothness across to Strikers in a way that I didn’t think they could. It’s difficult to explain, but the combat in this game just feels right. Although something that does need touching on is the fact that multiple hit attacks did not transfer over very well, and they were pretty much obsolete until the end of the game.

Something that was difficult to deal with was that shadows would just spawn out of nowhere. This wouldn’t be an issue if there weren’t requests that automatically get cancelled as soon as you get spotted. You would sneak around, think that you were safe and suddenly there’s a shadow that has decided to spawn in randomly. This was, in all honesty, the worst thing about this game. It happened time and time again, at the worst times. It was always when you thought you should be safe and came out of hiding.

In regards to the ‘no confidants’ situation, confidants are essentially replaced with bonds. Bonds are benefits you can get by… bonding. This really suited the game and the Phantom Thieves in general, because they had spent some time away from each other and suddenly they’re cramped up together in this little caravan for the summer. They really have nothing better to do than bond, and bonding is obviously going to make their skills as Phantom Thieves better. It emphasises that they’re a group – a family – and it goes so well with the story.

A really cool feature that they added in (because the time is much more limited than in the original game) is that you can go back into the jail on the same day. If you leave and go back into the jail, SP is restored which was a really useful part of the game. It does have a downside, however, because you do the jails and don’t bother with SP items… and then you have a boss fight to do and suddenly the whole party has no SP and oh no you’re dead.

Something that they either took out or I didn’t work out that was missed throughout my playthrough is the ability to switch out members of the party during battle. Obviously, you have two new members of the team and a smaller time slot so sometimes you do want to switch party members out mid-battle (especially with the dire shadows).

Speaking of dire shadows, that was a brilliant addition to the game. I was lucky enough to realise it was too strong when I came across the first one, and then an hour or two later I read something on social media that stated that the recommended level for them was 70. The thing I will say is they’re kind of spoken about like they’re all-powerful and stuff like that… but the blue butterfly requests are significantly harder.

Similarly, the boss fights are not as challenging as they probably should be. I feel like once you’ve defeated Alice, you’re good for the rest of them. The first set of painful past requests (where you have to fight them again) aren’t much of a challenge either. It’s painful past + where the challenge lies after you’ve completed the game… and it is a huge challenge.

There are sneaking side questions, which were challenging at some points, but what was not fun was sneaking around in the Kyoto jail as Zenkichi. It felt much more tedious than fun. You’re used to Joker at this point (I mean, this is probably your second or third game with Joker) and he’s so smooth and slick with his movements, so switching randomly to a 30+-year-old man in a suit was not it for me, especially the sneaking part.

Speaking of Kyoto- the warp system was probably my least favourite part of the gameplay. I absolutely adored the design of the Kyoto jail but barely went (and therefore was underleveled for the next jail) because of the warp system, which I would relate to the airlock puzzle in vanilla or the new palace’s puzzle in Royal. Very frustrating, and I’m yet to work out if there was any logic behind it.

Speaking of post-game, the addition of it in Persona 5 Strikers is very welcomed. It allows players to complete leftover requests from the main game, as well as additional new requests! The chance to fight the reaper is in post-game, and it is… the post-game requests are such a huge jump from the main game requests. It really is a huge gap that I felt like could have been filled with some grinding before the last boss fight. But the fact that post-game is even a thing in a Persona game is huge and it suggests that Atlus might be looking to do similar stuff in future games.

Replay Value:

This is difficult because I’m someone who has played Persona 5/ Persona 5 Royal at least 5 times. I know realistically, this game might become boring to some. It does have less replay value than Persona 5/Persona 5 Royal purely because there are no confidants and the fact that at the end of the game, you can go back and finish any requests you need to do. It doesn’t take a whole other playthrough to complete all the requests or even get the platinum trophy.

That being said, it is a good game and new game plus is always fun to experience when you’ve enjoyed a game.

Story:

So this part will have major spoilers for the plot so if you do not want that spoiled, skip this section.

Being a direct sequel to the original Persona 5 game, Persona 5 Strikers starts in the summer that the original game ends. Joker returns to Leblanc to be thrown a sort of ‘welcome home’ party which is super sweet. Despite constantly playing either Royal or the original game, it was nice to return to the group in the timeline, if that makes sense. I’ve said before that the group are much more than friends, and this reflects that. They’re family, and that continues.

The story starts as the police department are in a meeting about some dodgy activity that definitely sounds like the work of the Phantom Thieves… or Akechi. I’m putting it out there now in case someone is getting hopeful- Akechi is not in this game. This part of the game is when we’re introduced to Zenkichi Hasegawa, a detective for Public Security. He’s tasked with checking out what the leader of the Phantom Thieves is up to because of the suspicious activity.

Meanwhile, as I said, Joker returns (with Morgana) to Leblanc! There’s a really cute scene where the whole group is there to welcome him home, and it’s really touching. We are quickly back in the attic and discussing our camping trip. Futaba makes everyone download this app called Emma. Emma is like Siri or Alexa, but better. It’s much higher tech and specially designed for the convenience of people. You can add friends on Emma, which is relevant because the next day, Joker, Morgana and Ryuji are out shopping for supplies for their upcoming trip when they notice an event happening. This event caused a lot of hype in Shibuya, and the boys quickly find out that it was a celebrity that was causing all the hype- Alice. Alice hands out cards that give out her friend code for Emma. When the boys enter this code (because their teenage boys with hormones and this is a pretty lady), they’re transported into another world… not dissimilar to the metaverse that they had fought in so many times before.

After seeing Alice’s shadow, the group gets thrown into the dumpster and ends up below ground. As they try to escape, they come into contact with Sophia- humanity’s companion! Sophia is the best addition to this game, and her journey is beautiful. Sophia is the type of character that was always good. Her journey is much more about finding things out, understanding things and just generally learning new things about her role as humanity’s companion. Sophia, despite her child-like appearance and demeanour, is very good at combat against shadows, which is good considering that none of the boys have used their personas for months. They all work together to get out of the jail, and they end up in Shibuya- with Sophia on Joker’s phone!

Something I do want to add is that I really didn’t like that the group only had their original personas. It took away from the original game and had an effect on the story in my opinion.

The group – Joker, Ryuji, Morgana and Sophia – work out that you can access the metaverse via the Emma app, in a similar way to the metaverse navigation app from the previous game. They head back to Leblanc, tell the group and the Phantom Thieves are re-established.

The leaders of the palaces – now called Jails – are called Monarchs. It is very obvious from early on that this isn’t just the natural metaverse like the team were used to months before as they had destroyed that metaverse. This was something that someone manufactured, and they need to get to the bottom of it as it was affecting people’s behaviour. People – mainly males – were absolutely obsessed with Alice and spent all of their money (even their savings) on Alice merchandise. This was then affecting their relationships and jobs as all they could think about was Alice.

Another thing that we learn very early on that becomes a trend is that the Jail Monarchs have trauma. This trauma is like something that drives them. For Alice, this was when she was bullied at school. This made her want to be loved by all of the boys and to make other girls jealous. The group got help from Zenkichi (who was just hanging around Shibuya, definitely not stalking them) and find out that Alice went to Shujin, so they went there to fight the trauma warden in order to get to the final place to fight Alice and steal back the desires. With the thieves all going through their own trauma, they understand how painful it is. They all resonate with the Monarchs, but they also understand that what they’re doing is bad. Instead of just going down hard on the Monarchs, the thieves always try to help them heal over just defeating them.

Ann had some emotional ties with the Alice case, and it’s clear that she really cares about Alice and wants her to get better and heal from her trauma so that she can be the best version of herself. This probably comes from them having similar trauma; although Ann was also sexually harassed by her teacher, she was also bullied like hell for the way that she looked, so she likely understood what Alice was going through.

After defeating Alice, the group agree to team up with Zenkichi to get to the bottom of who is creating the jails and Monarchs. They find out (they being Futaba, obviously) that someone had tampered with Alice’s phone, but they can’t work out who did it or what they actually did.

The group head over to Sendai, which Yusuke was really excited about because of a statue. They find the Monarch, who is a writer! The thieves actually attended an event where they overheard the guy basically saying that the Sayuri is useless without Madarame’s name attached to it. Yusuke went up to talk to him and handled it pretty well. However, this was very upsetting (obviously) and the group decide that something needs to be done about it.

There were similar trends in Sendai as there were in Shibuya- people obsessing over the Monarch, spending lots of money on the Monarch, a lot of the same stuff. As I said, this guy was a writer so a lot of people were spending a lot of money on several copies of his book. The trauma behind this was that this guy was basically living in his family’s shadow; the people around him just saw him as a way of earning money because of his family’s history in the literature world. He never received criticism for his work, therefore he was never given the chance to better his pretty awful writing. The group get help again from Zenkichi to send the calling card, and they fight a dragon. Things then go from 0 to 100 real fast when the group arrive in Sapporo.

But before we get to Sapporo, I need to talk about someone the group met- the creator of EMMA: Kuon Ichinose. She quickly learns that the group are the Phantom Thieves and they work together to find out all that they can about EMMA and her role in the creation of the jails and monarchs. Meanwhile, the CEO of EMMA’s parent company, Maddice, was giving a speech at a university that the group attended to try to gain a better understanding of EMMA.

Sapporo is the place that Zenkichi needed their help with originally (they had to make a pit-stop in Sendai when Sophia smelt the jail). The person suspected to be the Monarch was none other than the Mayor, who was an old family friend of Haru!

The trauma behind this one involves a child’s death, which is much darker than the previous two jails. I’ve written a post about this so I won’t go too deep into it, but it’s so much darker because it involves the death of a literal child. It’s kind of foreshadowed when the group first get to the city, but it’s confirmed at the end of the arch. This arch was so much more personal because Haru had previous ties to the Monarch, and with her father being dead, any comfort that she can get, she’s going to try to cling to that. At the end of the arch, the dead child’s mother encourages the Mayor to not just resign as that would be running from the problem. The child’s death wasn’t directly her fault, so there was some kind of unspoken forgiveness between the two.

The group then find out about a research centre in Okinawa, where this games’ beach scene happens! The beach scene is very wholesome and one of the rare moments when the group are hanging out to do something other than Phantom Thieves work or prep, which is always really nice and a valuable time to see how they bond and how the dynamics of the group carry over to their little family rather than just their team. Okinawa is an island rather than mainland Japan, so they have to take a boat. They go to investigate the research centre, but they’re closed until the next day. As the group head back to their van after a day at the beach, they get pulled into the bushes as people were acting suspiciously around their van. They even broke in!

The group head into the jail in order to escape the murderous raiders coming after them and Makoto is immediately spooked by the creepiness of the jail. This jail is much shorter and has a completely different vibe. I think every aspect of this particular jail is a puzzle, and even when you finish the jail, there’s still parts of the puzzle missing. Overall, this jail feels off. Almost anti-climactic. See, even saying that doesn’t really make sense to me because the ‘boss’ fight of this jail (plot-wise) is one of my favourites in the whole game (the lead-up to it is when Ryuji drops the now-infamous voiced f-bomb). The story behind that revolves around Sophia, which is great because she’s one of my favourite characters and she’s such a huge part of the overall plot. Up until now, you sort of have two ‘boss’ fights per jail, but you don’t get that here which is likely why it feels incomplete. But here you learn that Madicce (EMMA’s parent company) was basically conducting human trials for the jail and sent it to Okinawa to learn about cognitive pscience, and as a result of this, the ‘monarch’ of this jail committed suicide (important plot point for later). The group decide to leave Okinawa because someone was dead, it was a big deal, and they got the information that they went there for. Zenkichi was with them during this trip, rather than just showing up when he was needed.

So, they head back to mainland Japan. Zenkichi goes to work more on the case and the group get back on the road. During this time, they’re branded as terrorists by Akira Konoe (you know it’s serious when I remember their full name), the CEO of Madicce that was mentioned previously. When relaxing in a hotel, the group almost get caught by the police (which, at this point in Persona 5, like, why do they even try it’s like they’re a joke) when Zenkichi gets arrested instead because he’s a ‘gud un’ as I’d say 5 years ago when I was trying to be more Yorkshire than I care to remember. Let me clarify because I realise that this may be a big jump here-

So, Zenkichi works for Public Security as previously mentioned. I’ll talk more later about my feelings towards him earlier on in the game but I think it’s clear by now if you’re reading this, he’s spent a lot of time with our favourite group of justice-fighting teens (and Haru and Makoto, who are technically adults). Basically, long story short (I’m aware this review is very long), he’s grown attached to these kids. He sees them try to do good in the world, he sees them with his daughter and he realises that in all of this mess… he’d missed what mattered to him the most: justice. Justice for his wife, who I didn’t mention earlier but she got murdered in a hit and run and their daughter – Akane, lover of all things Phantom Thieves – witnessed it. She told her father who had killed her mother, but it was out of his hands. Akane, being a kid, couldn’t understand that. Getting justice for her mother was the most important thing to her, and she resented her father for not doing anything. Akane didn’t know that the thieves were the thieves when they met (she probably would have passed out, she loves them as much as I do, if not more) but she’s about to find out because she gets kidnapped in order to trap the group in a jail. Not a prison jail, a metaverse jail. Yeah, I figured that distinction was needed considering there’s a warrant out for their arrest.

Okay so Akane’s jail is all Phantom Thief themed (pretty cool if you ask me), but it has the worst warp system I’ve ever played. I still do not know how it works. I don’t know if there’s any logic behind it- this is the plot part so I’ll stop but anyway, the main group – the party, I mean, all party members of the group – get trapped in Akane’s jail. Literally trapped. To be honest, I felt like they should have gotten out of it… it’s not the worst situation they’ve been in and I felt it was a bit cheap of them to trap Joker like that when he even managed to get away from that laser trap in Madarame’s palace in the original game. It felt… uncharacteristically naive of them… sure, one of them alone maybe, but not all of them and certainly not Joker.

ANWAY, did you notice how I emphasised all party members? Do you guys remember who is not in your party? Who you literally cannot make fight? If your answer was Futaba, have a virtual cookie! Futaba… uncharacteristically, I felt, leaves the jail and then Zenkichi comes and Futaba brings him into the jail but he doesn’t have a persona. That means there’s a sneak level. This was probably the worst part of the game for me because I’m characteristically bad at sneaking, and I was fine with the side quests (eventually) but Zenkichi sneaking was awful. But it worked, we got everyone free and guess what?

The best persona arrives.

Blue because I took this picture on my phone to show my best friend who loves Les Mis as much as I do

Now when I say ‘the best persona’, I say this because 1) I already knew the character the persona is based on, 2) history nerd, French revolution, 3) I love persona awakenings and I felt like this was deserved, 4) guys, the more I think about the links between Zenkichi and his persona, the more I have to write a post on it because- it- words. They’re perfect for each other. Every single little detail. It makes my nerd brain so happy.

Okay, so Zenkichi awakens to his persona, Valjean. Super cool awakening, if you haven’t played this game I recommend you watch it on youtube or something because I loved it. As I said, the persona itself is very well tied to Zenkichi. If they had the persona in mind before the character then he is a very well written character, right to the little details but that’s for another post.

Akane’s boss fight is different because the thieves go 1 V 1 with… themselves, but Akane’s version of them. I have written a post on that, which will be linked at the end. I just thought it was cool because boss fights are usually where you can make sure your whole team is good to go to the next area and with this boss fight being lacking and the next jail being the big bad guy… it’s scary because it’s like there’s no test to pass. But I guess that’s more gameplay than plot.

Next, we head to Osaka! I was super hyped about this because I was playing Yakuza 0 at the time and Majima is my favourite character. Like I said, this jail was set up to be the big guy, Akira Konoe. Konoe’s trauma… I was genuinely triggered by his trauma. He was abused by his father as a child, and ended up killing him and claimed the murder was committed by a burglar. For me, the way it was revealed felt a bit harsh. Like, with the other traumas, it was typically obvious or there had been a few hints. I felt like this wasn’t the case with Konoe, and I don’t know if that’s because I was underleveled and struggled in general in this jail (also this jail had spider shadows so I feel like I might have missed something important out of fear of being jumped on by a massive crawling robot spider), or if it’s because it genuinely wasn’t there. The writers might have wanted it to be a shock, but as someone who went through similar abuse as a child (and I was streaming), it had a… not good effect on me.

This jail felt much more like a palace than the other jails did, which was oddly comforting (it was odd because of the spider shadows because I really did not want to get comforted in a spider-infested place). The group’s reaction to Konoe’s trauma was uncharacteristically harsh in my opinion. They were just like “that’s not a reason to do this” whereas, with the other people, they showed a lot of sympathies. I’m struggling to be unbiased when talking about this jail because it did affect me mentally, so I’ll skim. The main thing to add is Konoe gave me major Tony Stark vibes throughout the whole game, and to me, it was confirmed by his boss fight that he was based on the Marvel character. I half expected him to die for the greater good, to be completely honest.

So Konoe is in jail, so is Owada (the person who actually killed Zenkichi’s wife). EMMA was set to be shut off. Everything was good.

… this is a persona game, so obviously with no ‘god’ fight, that is clearly not the case.

So the creator of EMMA, who I mentioned before, Kuon Ichinose… yeah she’s the next boss. But, there is a mini-boss: Sophia. Literally my least favourite part of the game. Sophia is the type of character that you want to protect at all costs and her turning against us hurt. But, dear reader, why would she turn against the Phantom Thieves, I hear you ask? Well, Ichinose actually created Sophia! Sophia was created before EMMA, but she was thrown away after hurting Ichinose’s feelings. They tried really hard to give Ichinose redemption but it didn’t cut it for me. She turned Sophia against the people that loved her the most for the sake of EMMA. That’s like a mother using her oldest child for the benefit of the youngest. It felt dirty. But overall, this jail gives me Mementos vibes. It’s chill.

So, we learn a lot about Sophia here, which is cool. Ichinose created Emma, Sophia can override her coding when she loves people enough, and she has a heart… because she has a peRSONA!!!!!! Okay, I know this was expected but it really, really is a “hell yeah!” moment. Sophia is standing up to her literal creator because she has a heart! I- I was so proud of her.

We learn about Ichinose and that her parents died when she was young, and people called her a doll because she was emotionless. She created Sophia, and then EMMA. Sophia forgave her (I didn’t).

And then we’re onto EMMA, or ‘The Demiurge’ or the Ark. There’s a lot of names for EMMA now. The jail is pretty simple, like the stairs part before the Yaldabaoth fight in the original game. The best thing about this is when you come out, you’re still in Phantom Thieves gear because of course, the metaverse has merged with reality again. But at least you can come out and regain SP again (I appreciated it). The fight is pretty basic plot-wise, nothing special (plot-wise). Just like the Yaldabaoth fight, EMMA thinks it’s a god because that’s what the people desire.

Then when that’s all said and done, they go back to Leblanc late without informing Sojiro. Futaba finds a way to get Sophia out of Joker’s phone… and she chooses to go with Ichinose. Which is heartbreaking for those who fully wanted her to stay with Joker forever (like me), and the group – once again – part ways as a new school term starts.

Opinion:

Obviously, it’s a Persona 5 game. I’m going to love it regardless. My old English teacher once said “they could record 2 hours of a turd and put a Star Wars flag on it and I would watch it” and I honestly feel the same way about Persona 5.

That being said, I had doubts about Strikers. I had a lot of doubts about Strikers. I was worried about so many aspects of this game it would probably worry you that I even think of all these little things. But not one single one of those worries came to fruition.

Persona 5 Strikers was a beautiful story and a great experience for me as a devout Persona 5 fan. The story didn’t slack, but it felt linked enough with the original story that it was comforting. The old characters were, on the whole, their wonderful selves and the new characters were beyond amazingly written. I always say that the writers of these games do an amazing job. I said it mainly with Akechi in the original game, but now I want to draw attention to the writing of Zenkichi.

Okay, I hated this guy. Like, vanilla Akechi level hated this guy. Oh my gosh, I hated him so much I punched my set of draws. Guys, I don’t even know why I hated him other than him being the police and this is a Persona 5 game. If you do watch our streams (we are uploading them to YouTube, as I write this I believe there’s 12 on there for Strikers), you’ll hear how much I hated him. I- ugh I cannot put it into actual words. And then something in me just clicked one day and then he was my favourite. I don’t know what happened, but I realised that the old gramps was growing on me. It was a very slow process and I didn’t realise it was happening until it was too late and I loved him. Nothing he did felt out of character either, which leads me to believe he was a focal point in writing whereas they may have laid back off of the original characters.

Sophia was precious throughout the whole game. I was disappointed in her decision to go with Ichinose because I couldn’t for the life of me forgive that woman, but at the same time, she had witnessed the group forgive people so it makes sense as to why she would forgive so easily. But again, a well-written character who fits so well into the story.

I enjoyed this game so much. It felt so right to play it. The ending felt… good. I don’t really know how else to put it. I felt like if this was the last Persona 5 edition… I would be okay with that. I am so happy that we were lucky enough to get a sequel with my favourite characters. I am getting a little emotional, but you guys know how much Persona 5 means to me. It has had such an impact on my life, going into adulthood myself, it felt like such a nice piece of closure. Of course, I am going to play these games forever, but I think I would be okay with Persona 6 now.

This game is a wonderful thing for Persona 5 fans. It is probably fanservice, but I’ve never seen fanservice as a bad thing to be completely honest. I have done a post on whether or not you can play Strikers without playing the original or Royal first, so check that out if you’re in that position.

But that’s it for today’s post, Gamers! I am sorry it’s a day late, I have university stuff on but I’m learning from my mistakes and I would much rather provide you with edited content over unedited content (especially when it’s over 5000 words). Make sure to follow my socials to keep updated, and if you’re looking for someone to watch stream, check out the twitch link on my homepage (or just follow 2nerds_1game) for some gaming (and persona) streams! See you next post, Gamers!

Links to other useful posts:

Can you play Persona 5 Strikers without playing the OG games: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/06/03/can-you-play-persona-5-strikers-without-playing-the-original-game/

Akane’s Joker: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/03/29/3-akanes-joker-3/

Third jail trauma: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/03/14/526/

My Alice advice (because I really struggled to beat her and all of the guides had spoilers about what happened post-beating Alice): https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/02/28/how-to-beat-alice-persona-5-strikers-no-spoilers/

Why I didn’t pre-order Strikers until like a month before: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/01/22/why-i-havent-pre-ordered-persona-5-strikers-yet/

The issue with Saeran

Hey, Gamers! So this time we’re hopping back on the Mystic Messenger train! This post is going to be slightly negative, which sucks because I made this blog to be positive about gaming but I know a lot of the fandom do not understand the issue with this character and since I’m part of the group being affected, I thought I would explain it a little better.

For anyone new to my blog- Hi I’m Eleanor and I have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).  DID is a disorder that stems from repeated childhood trauma, around the ages of 3-7. Many survivors with DID also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or even Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD). As you can probably tell, it’s a very sensitive subject as it involves the repeated trauma of a literal child.

Most of you will actually know DID by its old name- multiple personality disorder. This name is old (it changed in 1994, so it hasn’t been used in this century!). Many systems (those living with DID) find the term ‘multiple personality disorder’ harmful to the DID community, myself and my system included. It was changed for a reason and using old terminology that has been changed to better suit the situation just so it’s ‘easier to understand’ is ignorant and wrong. The name was changed so that the emphasis was put on the fragmentation of identity rather than the multiple part. Furthermore, DID is not a personality disorder, it is a dissociative disorder so the old terminology further lessens understanding.

I am going to try my best not to go off on a tangent for this post, or go on any rants. However, I want to put a disclaimer that I do not and can not speak for the whole DID community. If I say “most of” in this post, this refers to most of the systems that I have spoken to. My opinions are mine alone unless I state otherwise but even then, I cannot speak for everyone.

I was anxious about Unknown’s route. I was aware of it, and I had read that he has several ‘sides’ that go by different names. Representation of DID has not been good, and I loved this game. It really helped me keep a schedule in the first lockdown (which is good because I have autism and thrive on structure). I loved the characters and I was excited to learn more… but at the same time, I was so anxious. I like to think that I’m not sensitive about a lot. I don’t think I’m overly touchy or anything. But I am kinda protective over the media portrayal of DID (and autism too). A whole ton of the DID community is like this. So yeah, there was a lot of anxiety leading up to it. But I had 11 days, I tried my best to go into it with a clear mind. I was in a good headspace, and I was also kind of excited. Like, if they got this right, it would be awesome to share some good representation with the community.

Alas, that did not happen.

Before I talk about the bad, I want to talk about the good! A popular misconception about DID is that you can have it without the trauma, which is wrong. It’s actually hurtful to think about, because it’s like, people think that a coping mechanism developed from repeated trauma in your childhood is just something cool or fun that anyone could have. But Mystic Messenger not only got the trauma right, but also the repeated trauma right which is something that I was happy with. It’s very clear that Saeran was struggling to cope with his childhood trauma, which is why it would make sense for him to have DID. I just felt happy that they did their research about that.

And before I really get into the ‘bad’ stuff, I’d like to explain something because I feel like I’m going to get comments if people don’t understand this beforehand. We – people with DID – have been portrayed as monsters time and time and time and time again. There’s always bad system communication, a ‘bad’ alter that all the other alters are scared of and who are harmful to society, or a literal cult-type thing. These portrayals always make it seem like the only goal should be integration rather than functioning multiplicity, and they completely ignore the amount of hard work that needs to be done in order to integrate, and how harmful it could be to the system. There’s so little good representation out there. It really sucks. Why do we care so much? Because being a system is what helped us through the toughest time of our lives. Systems are typically painted in a negative light when it is literally the best coping mechanism our brains could do with what they had. We were kids when we went through this trauma. This isn’t just how we coped, but often how we survived. Systems deserve better. No child should go through trauma, but if a coping mechanism is painted in a negative light, it dissuades people from supporting functional multiplicity, which is often the best goal for systems. This is why it’s so harmful.

So uh here we go: having a ‘bad/evil’ alter. That’s where we’ll start. The goal of a system is to help the host through traumatic events. I’m not saying that every single alter is perfect, but the way Saeran was portrayed was awful. He was a metaphorical monster (I have to define what kind of monster because the atrocity of Split unfortunately exists). There seems to be some sort of system communication between Ray and Saeran, so Saeran coming out and doing that to MC likely wouldn’t happen. I’m not saying that Saeran would have just liked MC because Ray did, or that Ray would have complete control over him. I’m saying that most systems have a united outlook and it’s very rare for things to go that drastically different. It’s clear that his system is in chaos, but showing that is actually pretty harmful to the DID because while it is a part of having DID, it’s an over shown and often small part of a system’s journey. I don’t think I’ve consumed media where there wasn’t a ‘bad’ alter. It’s just uncommon amongst the DID community, especially for any alters that could be seen as bad/evil to front so much. Remember that DID is formed in childhood, therefore when most people have a hero/villain perspective of life, and most kids don’t want to be the villain so a lot of alters have morals based on this.

Next up is the whole integration VS functional multiplicity thing that I mentioned previously. For those who don’t know, there are usually two routes you go down when you heal from your trauma: integration or functional multiplicity. It’s like an end goal. Integration is when a system (two or more alters) kinda merge back together, like a singlet. I’m not 100% of the details because it’s never been a goal I wanted to achieve and therefore didn’t feel the need to research it myself. However, I do know that it is a lot of hard work, can take years, can be emotionally painful, the process itself can be traumatising and a lot of therapists think that this is the only option. A lot of people, in general, seem to think if you successfully integrate, you are ‘cured’ of DID. This often gets forced on systems, particularly new systems that haven’t had the time to do the research and work out what’s best for them and their system themselves. It’s often seen as the only option and this is seen in Mystic Messenger. The hard work and pain and everything is missing, and everyone seems to think that integrating is the best for the system. If the system had received the correct help, they could have gone down a different route that was better for them and not as damaging (to me, I felt like they were in pain in the end but that just might be me remembering wrong because it’s taken me a few months to be okay to write about this).
For those who are curious as to how they could have done it better: Functional multiplicity is when a system can function together as one in society when they all work together to get things done successfully. It can take a lot of work, a lot of patience and a lot of time but it’s the calmest way and it is what most systems choose to do because it leans more on the acceptance side. From our perspective as a system, integration is like trying to pretend the trauma didn’t happen and working to get rid of trauma, acting like it’s something to be ashamed of. On the other hand, functional multiplicity is like accepting the trauma as a part of you and working to move past it, and you can do it at your own pace, and honestly… you’re not alone. Some of my best friends are members of my system and I am thankful that we were never forced to integrate. I would be lonely without them.
That being said, some people do choose integration and that’s their choice to make, and I respect that. Remembering to do what’s best for your system is always most important, I just feel like Saeran was never given the option to choose.

Another thing that I didn’t like about Saeran is that he is literally trauma-inducing. I’ve spoken about this before but I got massively triggered due to the threat of sexual assault. I know that this isn’t directly to do with DID, but it just didn’t sit right with me that someone with a disorder caused by trauma was causing more trauma.

I know I’m going to get people defending this and his character, or saying that I’ve interpreted things incorrectly. People can obviously have their opinions and I have mine. I have a blog where I share these opinions, and this is it. While I am happy that they seemed to do at least some research into DID, it is – yet again – used to villainise us, fetishize us and it spreads misinformation. Another thing I know that I’m going to get is “oh you’re saying that someone with DID can’t be a villain” no. I’m just saying that we are not part of the horror genre, nor should we ever be considered part of the horror genre, and that’s the vibes that this gives off. We’re always portrayed as the bad guys and there’s no reason for it.

But that’s it for this post, Gamers! Leave your thoughts in the comments below. If you’re new and just here for this post, please remember to be respectful and know that this is a real disorder that real people deal with that stems from repeated childhood trauma. Check out my socials if you want to keep updated and I stream (with Josh) over on Twitch @2nerds_1game, but all of that should be linked somewhere. See you next post, Gamers!

Just wanted to add a link to my post about what I think a game involving DID should look like for some comparison: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/01/03/an-insight-into-what-i-think-a-game-about-did-should-be-like/