November is my favourite month of the year. It’s the month Josh and I got together, it’s my birthday month, and it’s the month I spend arguing with the entire world that Christmas cannot start until the 27th, which is the day after my birthday. It was a pretty big month for gaming, so let’s get straight into it!
I usually write a list that I keep on my phone, but I haven’t updated it for a while so I’m a little worried about having to rely on my memory and the great power that is Josh’s memory (I swear, that man can remember every single pokemon but can’t remember I’ve asked him to put the dishes away). I want to say that this month has been a big… conclusions month for me. I finished at least two games, which is huge because I always put finishing games at the back of my list because I just want it to last longer.
Let’s start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start)- November 1st, I completed Life Is Strange: True Colors. It was such a powerful game and I adored each bit of it. I have some news which is a big deal for me: I think it’s the best game of 2021. There. I said it. It beats Strikers for me. It was that good. If you haven’t played it, I highly recommend it, even if you didn’t like the other games. From my perspective, there’s no annoying characters or anything. The team have really learnt from past mistakes, and it’s evident by playing this game. I also completed the DLC, and I wanted to mention that as someone who has C-PTSD, I think they did a wonderful job at showing the symptoms and how they can affect your life, and I love that they included trigger days (as Josh and I call them). Trigger days are something I feel stupid for having, like, it’s just a day something bad happened on. But them showing it in the DLC made me feel so valid, and I haven’t really had that validation from anywhere other than Josh (who would probably validate me regardless of what’s going on). Mental health has been handled in games, and sometimes it’s done well, but I’ve not seen it be handled this well. What’s more, is I love that you get to see the consequences of previous games’ events. I thought that was really cool and done really well.
Yakuza! Yes, my dear readers, I have finally finished Yakuza Kiwami 2. What does that mean? Of course, I started Yakuza 3. I don’t have much to say about it because the only major thing I’ve done is the Majima boss fight and that was in December so shhh act like you don’t know that until next month. I’m not struggling too much with the controls, so that’s cool. I’ve definitely tried to adapt my playstyle over getting annoyed at the game because I saw Josh really struggle with the transition between the remade and remastered. For the first time, I’m actually trying to take his advice on board. I think from that, he’s starting to actually respect the fact that we do have different playstyles and while that’s okay, there are things that we both could learn.
Speaking of respect, I’ve lost all respect for the writers. I’m half-joking, of course, but what the hell. Sayama was willing to die just to be with Kiryu and now she’s just going to America? Like, I’m all for strong female characters who put their career first… but usually, those types of characters put their lives before relationships too and that didn’t happen. You can’t convince me that this was a good idea. It’s been about two weeks and I still think it’s the most ridiculous thing to happen in these games and an old lady has been hired as a hostess twice. I cannot. Haruka could’ve had the mother figure that she very clearly needs, for crying out loud. And just think of all the snarky comments that she could make when Kiryu does stupid stuff. It’s like they took the plot of Yakuza Kiwami 2 and went “ah, nah, let’s bin it.” Like, what.
Okay, so, let’s talk about Kiwami 2 instead of 3 for a moment. While it has taken me a while to play through it, I did really enjoy it. I loved Yuki appearing again, I thought that was cool. I collected all the Sotenbori coin lockers, which is something neither Josh nor I had ever done before. It took me a while to get used to the Dragon engine, so even just walking around felt a bit off to me. It took me a while to get used to the Dragon fighting style too because I didn’t unlock the Dragon fighting style in 0 and Josh kept badgering me to get on with the plot in Kiwami (which, really, is what happened in 0 too, so let’s just blame him, okay?). I did it though. I’ve noticed a trend with Yakuza games where I play like half a chapter at a time with really long breaks in between, and then I get to like chapter 6 and I play the rest in like a day or two. Happened with Kiwami and Kiwami 2, but so far I like 3 a lot so I’m hoping to be more consistent about it.
Lastly, for Yakuza, I finally finished the Cabaret Club Czar stuff from Yakuza 0. So, Mad Dog has been unlocked! I just really missed playing as Majima, and since we keep Yakuza 0 to stream anyway, I thought I might as well finish that off while it’s still on the PlayStation.
Staying with Japanese… made games, let’s move on to Catherine: Full Body. I think I mentioned last time that I fully intend on getting the plat in this game. I am trying, slowly but surely. It’s not something I feel super pressured by, and I’ve already played the game once so I’m not on edge wondering what’s going to happen so whenever I have a spare 5 minutes, I just go on and go through a bit of the story, complete a puzzle and call it a day kind of thing. Probably the healthiest way I’ve played a game in a few years, to be honest. I’ve also slowly been tackling Babel. I got the DLC so that I can play as Joker (because… it’s me, guys), so I thought it would be fun. I’ve tried everything. I’ve even tried playing with Josh (note to self: don’t do that). That ended really bad and caused us to argue because we were both struggle to communicate our intentions. But regardless of the struggle, I got to level 100 in the first stage. Not much, but for someone who didn’t even know if they could play this game at all at the start of last month, I think it’s great progress. Sure, I’d like to move faster but I’m not rushing to get another plat for 2021… although that does sound good… but no, can’t do that, that would be too much pressure.
Sticking with Atlus, the whole let down of the store drop was followed by further let down when in my AI route, I discovered that Makoto’s AI wasn’t better than the rest. A bit disappointed considering all the robot jokes. Sort yourself out, Atlus (jokes, jokes, ily). For real though, it was very frustrating. I’m just about to do the Kaneshiro boss fight and I am dreading it (should actually be doing it the day this post goes up!). I finally got Ryuji to Rank 7 to unlock Insta Kill, but we’re so early on that it takes forever to grind those levels. But it does mean that I can grind off-stream now, so that’s a bonus. Another thing is that it was my birthday and Josh got me a Tycoon deck!! I’ve been starting every stream off with a round or two of Tycoon, and I’ve discovered that it’s just a really nice, chill way to start off the stream.
Keeping with the Atlus theme, Josh bought me Shin Megami Tensei V for our anniversary. I’m still very early on because someone has been hogging the switch with another game that I’ll talk about later, but so far I’m really enjoying it. I haven’t even reached Tokyo Tower yet, I think I’m around Level 11. The grind is real but I’m not finding it half as difficult as I thought I would, to be honest. I’m really, really enjoying it and I hope that I get to play it more soon.
Animal Crossing time!! Now, normally I’d be like ‘for reference, I’m talking about New Horizons’ but I cannot do that anymore because Josh got me New Leaf! I’m still very, very early on and I keep misplacing my DS and forgetting that it needs charging but I am getting there, slowly.
Now, it’s New Horizons time because I’ve still been spending too much time there. I know I just said about Josh hogging the switch, and while that is true, we had a lot of time before he got this new game to enjoy the new update! Kapp’n is my second favourite NPC now. I realised that I have the most amount of hours in this game, which is something I feel guilty about because it technically isn’t mine, but I am doing all of the work so then I didn’t feel so bad. Everyone is now moved (we thought that everyone was moved and was super happy but forgot Ankha because she was away from the other villagers), and we… okay, I got rid of Audie. I was actually thinking about doing like, a give-away thing because I know some people really want her… but by the time I thought of that, she was gone. We spent a long time looking for someone, and the plot just remained empty which was weird. I figured it was an update thing. But then Josh got me 2 amiibo cards- Ione and Celeste! Ione was the one villager I was looking forward to most, and I absolutely adore Celeste and wanted to invite her to coffee. So, after some hard work and time travelling (yeah, we also started time travelling this month), Ione was moved in and Celeste, Blathers and I were all enjoying some of Brewster’s piping HOT coffee.
My dad also got me the DLC for my birthday. He was upset that it wasn’t a physical thing, but I try to make sure he knows that I’m enjoying it so he doesn’t think it’s a waste. But I’ve done… I think by the time December hit, I had done about 7 houses, and maybe the school. Oh my gosh, I really need to get better at writing this down. But, I am really enjoying it. Much, much, much more than I thought I would. I can spend hours just decorating and that’s not something I thought I would say. I’m usually the type to throw some paint on something and go “eh, good enough” but now I am paying so much attention to detail. Some of the ideas that they have left me going “uh, what?” but I just try my best and it always seems to work out.
Now, what I am about to say might shock you, so make sure you’re sitting down. Ready? Good.
I BEAT THE CLERIC BEAST.
Yep. I did it. I finally did it. For normal people, I know that this isn’t a huge deal but for someone who has several disabilities that cause coordination issues, it was a big deal. I literally gave up on Bloodborne because of the Cleric Beast. I decided to go back to it after Josh finished Demon Souls because I know we had followers who liked SoulsBorne games, so I thought I’d continue the Joest legacy with Jolyne. Not only did I defeat the Cleric Beast, but I also killed the werewolf without a weapon, which Josh said is a big deal for a beginner. I’ve moved on to Gaston (I know he’s called Gascoigne but I call him Gaston because he’s a beast and… Beauty and the Beast, duh), but I am yet to beat him. I’m not giving up though, not this time.
Speaking of not giving up, I haven’t fully given up on Deathloop. I returned to it off of stream and I’m letting myself get used to it. I am not used to shooters and I can’t expect myself to be great at this type of gameplay. But after going back to it, I realised that it’s not necessarily not for me; I think it’s going to be a great learning experience that I just wasn’t ready for on stream. That’s okay, though. I know I don’t need to stream every game I play; I’m just trying to get over the guilt I feel when I play.
Speaking of not streaming (yeah, weird way to start a new section, I know), let’s talk about The Witcher. This will include spoilers for the books in the next paragraph break if you want to skip that (because a few people have asked for reading updates for The Witcher as I’m dyslexic), but I wanted to talk about the game a bit first. I haven’t been playing it, but I’ve done a lot of thinking. I wasn’t streaming it because we stream off of the PS5. While we have a digital version of the Witcher (we got it on sale the week we got a PS5), the PS5 version doesn’t come out until I believe the later half of 2022. But I still have many trophies to get before I get the plat. There’s no reason I can’t be working on it now, and then just get the plat when the PS5 version comes out. I think I have like 30-40% to get, and I am going to have to do multiple playthroughs. I really do love this game, and it’s one of the only things I can talk about right now because I’m reading the books and I just want to play it regardless of the absentness of the PS5 version. So, I’m planning on installing it on the PS4.
Okay, book time! I am on Tower of Swallow… wait lemme check if I started that in December or November. Okay, started it on the 3rd December so, uh, I’m on Baptism of Fire for this post. And oh my gosh I love this series. Milva is one of my favourite characters ever written (granted, this is the only piece of adult fiction I have consumed in book form) and I love her so much. I think more than ever, I felt that Dandelion’s presence was desperately needed during this book. Whereas before, it was always like “ay, Dandelion’s here, let’s get the party started,” now it’s clearer than ever that Geralt needs Dandelion to hold the group together when he can’t. Seeing (or rather, reading) Geralt be emotionally vulnerable due to not knowing where Ciri is has had more of an emotional impact on me than expected. Also, as someone who gets severe pain in their knee… it’s nice. It’s nice to see someone else go through it and be as strong as I’m trying to. I’ve dealt with this for- wow, over 10 years now, and sometimes it’s better and then you get a random bad day and it drains you. It’s nice – nice is a bad word, but it’s the only one coming to my mind right now – to see Geralt go through that too. I hope his knee doesn’t get miraculously better. It’d be nice to have a disabled protagonist for once, y’know? My opinion on the Rats has changed throughout this book, and somewhat my opinion of Ciri too. I think the author did an amazing job at showing that Ciri’s abandonment and need to survive has led to her falling into the wrong crowd and it just shows how desperate she is for love and how low she must be feeling. I think my opinion of her hasn’t so much ‘changed’ as it has just realised that she’s growing up, and it’s not an ideal situation. I hated the Rats in the last book, but this one has definitely made them feel more human and likeable… while still making it obvious that they’re not good guys. It’s like that really famous quote, and I think it’s from Geralt, actually, where it’s like “if I have to choose between good evil and bad evil, I’d rather not choose at all”. (EDIT: I looked it up, thought I’d read it before, it was in the Last Wish). I love how it seems like every detail of this series ties in with the main themes. Also, I finally understand Ciri’s family tree. This excites me and I literally try to explain it to anyone who will listen… my poor parents probably wish swallows and wolves never existed at this point. I think my favourite part of this book was when Yen left the lodge and Sabrina was trying to say that she was going to betray them, and they all just went “nah mate, we all know why she’s gone and it’s to save her kid”, like, I wasn’t a fan of the Lodge scenes before but this particular scene (I think it’s an integrated scene with whatever Geralt was doing but I’m not sure) was great. I loved Assire (I think that’s what she’s called), and I love that she and Yen recognised each other from the Battle of Sodden Hill. I remember this being a huge thing in Sword of Destiny because, I mean, Geralt was talking to Death itself because of it and it reinstated the fact that he loves Yen, but I think it was this part that gave it the most significance, and I love how it’s the sorceresses that give it that significance because it was them fighting. I’ll talk about the ending next month because it would have been the start of December when I read it but I have a lot to say about that, too.
Okay, now I’m going to tell you about the game that Joshua’s been hogging the Switch with. If you read my last post, I did a sneaky thing where I told you guys that I was planning on getting Joshua Pokemon Brilliant Diamond for Christmas and to check this month’s post to see if I got him to hold off getting it. Yeah, I didn’t. I think I lasted a day. He wanted to get Pokemon Sword too, but that would have been £100 for both of them and I would’ve got him Sword the year it came out but he didn’t want it. So, he got Brilliant Diamond on 22nd November and finished it early hours on my birthday, which was the 26th. He evolved Gligar into Gliscor that evening, too. And while I have never been a huge fan of Pokemon, I started my journey on the 25th November. We are streaming that, so it’s going significantly slower, but my interest hasn’t dropped yet. Josh is trying to “catch em all” and I try to be supportive as he interrupts my reading to show me yet another evolving Pokemon (I sound mad, but it’s cute that he gets so excited and I love that he wants to share that with me and watch me judge on whether the Pokemon’s cuteness has increased or decreased).
Kind of on the same note (because last month this game was the reason I brought Pokemon up at all), Josh has got the plat in Bugsnax! He went from thinking the game was “alright” to almost non-stop talking about how it’s messed up and he’s never been so deceived by a game before. I don’t know much about the ending, but I know that it’s really messed up. I believe it’s something to do with the bugsnax being evil, and everything being a lie. I’m really not the best person to be writing this part, so just know that everything Josh has done will always be written about by me, from my perspective through what I’ve seen and things he has told me.
Something that genuinely caused an argument between us this month was Skyrim. For those who don’t know, it was Skyrim’s 10th anniversary and to celebrate, they obviously released basically the same game with some extra mods. I thought he was joking about getting it, to be honest. Only, the day before he was saying he was excited about it and I was like “you’re not spending like £50 on a game that you already own like three or four times”. I lost the argument. We’ve bought Persona 5 twice, and I want it again for the steel book version… and I want to buy Strikers for the switch. So, I guess I was being a bit of a hypocrite there. But he got it and he’s played it and enjoyed it. Usually with Skyrim, Josh installs it and plays it for about 5 minutes, says he’s going to stream it, does 3 streams and never touches it again. So with that in mind, you can see why I’d be mad, right? But this time he’s actually played it more than I’ve ever seen him play it. Like, he spends most of his time playing the PS5 since we only got it last month, and that’s mainly what he’s been playing. So, I’m not really too mad. If he’s playing it, I can’t really complain.
Speaking of things he said he would stream, does like 1 stream and then that’s it- Hitman! I am so bad at Hitman, I think it just cries whenever I try to play it. But Josh is great at it! He got Hitman 3 when it was on sale “because I can stream it” but he did one stream and just played through it off-stream after a while. But yeah, he’s finished Hitman 2 and 3 (he played the first a while ago). I think he’s enjoying the elusive targets (if that’s what they’re called), which is good because that’s the main reason he wanted to get it now rather than wait.
Another game he has really wanted but did wait for is Dragon Quest XI. I got it for him for our anniversary on the 15th. He has played more than it than I have played SMT V but not as much as he’s played Pokemon. I think he’s enjoying it. He really did not give me his thoughts or feelings about anything when he sent me his list this month, but I haven’t heard him complain. He’s tried explaining the plot and his party to me but when he said “the little girl is the big girl’s older twin sister” I just nodded politely and moved on because nothing was making sense.
Josh and I do this thing every year called “second Christmas” because I have a really bad time mentally in January and that’s just something he’s decided would be a tradition. We get gifts, I make a nice meal and we just chill that day. But last year (or rather, this year… last second Christmas), he got me Jedi: Fallen Order… and I am yet to play it. But it’s on this report because Joshua has now played it (with my permission- he wouldn’t go on my game before me unless he got permission and he wouldn’t have even asked if I had expressed an interest in playing it). It was fun… for a while. He said he liked being able to use a lightsabre but that’s the best thing about it, and when you’re using it all the time, it becomes a bit meh after a while.
And I think that’s it for now, Gamers! October feels like it was months ago, and Christmas is just around the corner! How was your Novembers? Do you have any exciting plans for December? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch to catch Josh and me streaming. See you next post!