Gaming Progress: November

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!

If you don’t think of this image when you think of me, I’m not doing my job properly

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.
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.

This was the birthday cake my mum made me! 🙂

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).

I wanted a store bought cake because the other was too heavy to bring out when we went for food so uh, got a Pokemon cake the day after I started playing Pokemon

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.

Josh took this of me on my 22nd so I thought I’d include that too aha

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!

22 gaming memories/ moments for my 22nd birthday

Hey, Gamers! So, this post is going up just after my birthday! I like to do something special for my birthday posts. Last year I pretty much did a reflection post on my gaming journey, which is linked here:

Birthday Blog

For this year, I wanted to keep with the same reflective pattern with a twist. Maybe I’ll do this every year, but this birthday is special to me because of Taylor Swift (Red was the first album that came out after I became a fan, and 22 was on that album) and gaming is also super special to me so in this post, I will go through 22 gaming moments/ memories that stuck with me or impacted me emotionally. Let’s go!
Also, we all knew Persona 5 would pop up on here a lot, so don’t act surprised.

22: Getting my Xbox 360.

I believe I was 13 when this happened, and it was for Christmas. My Xbox 360 was the first console that was ‘mine’ and I wanted it because it had a tiger game with the connect and it was super cute. I had a rough relationship with my dad at this time, but we definitely used the Xbox to bond over Tomb Raider and making ourselves look foolish.

21: Finishing Life Is Strange.

I believe I have spoken about this briefly, but Life Is Strange was the first game I finished on the PlayStation (the clearly superior console). I remember feeling connected to the characters, feeling accomplished that I actually finished the game and being excited to play the prequel. Thinking back on it, it took me a ridiculously long time to finish a game I could probably now finish in a day, but I remember being so proud back then. I think I needed the confidence boost.

20: Not finishing Spider-Man.

This one is a kinda touchy subject for me. You see, I love Spider-Man. I’ve read comics, I adore him in the MCU… I really wanted to like the game, and it was so praised that for a long time I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I had a very limited repertoire of games when I tried to play Spider-Man, and hardly any of them contained combat. This meant that the combat was just a bit too difficult (for lack of a better word) for me to pick up easily. So, I decided that it wasn’t for me. And this was the first game that made me sit back and think “hey, not every game is going to be designed for me and that’s okay, I’m just not their target audience… but it’s so cool that other people get to enjoy it” and it really made me value streaming and let’s plays because I still got to experience the game that way.

19: Not being scared at Until Dawn

I am a scaredy cat. I get scared so easily it’s basically a meme at this point. But I tried Until Dawn because Josh said that the game play was similar to Life Is Strange. And I absolutely loved it. For a while, it was actually my favourite game. It was the first game I ever considered trying to Plat (and I am still yet to do this), and it was just a special thing for me because I knew I would normally be very scared at these types of games but I wasn’t. It made me think about broadening my horizons a lot… which wasn’t the best idea in terms of genre but I play a lot of different games now and I don’t know if I would have if it wasn’t for Until Dawn

18: Selecting ‘Normal’ on Persona 5.

Okay, okay, we all knew that Persona 5 was bound to make this list eventually and I am pretty proud of myself for not mentioning it already. This particular event is placed here because of the previous entry. Playing the Witcher 3 and getting somewhere in it definitely gave me the courage to select ‘normal’ when playing Persona 5, and I have not looked back since. This gave me such an increased sense of worth and it’s just a moment that will always be special to me. I wrote a post about why I never play games on easy anymore here if anyone wants to read it:

Why I never play a game on ‘easy’ anymore

17: Trying to learn how to drive using GTA V

I didn’t want to put this one, but Josh reminded me of this… awful time in my life and uh, I can’t leave it out now. Okay, so, I’m not bad at driving… I’m just not good either. I mean, I feel like it’s other people that aren’t good. But realistically speaking, my reflexes are too slow. I think it’s something to do with my several disabilities, but regardless I know that the most convenient thing for us as a couple would be if I could drive. So I took some lessons and uh, they didn’t go well. I get overwhelmed and I’m too slow. So Josh came up with the idea that we made peddles out of like, boxes and cardboard and stuff, and I would drive in GTA so that I knew when to put the clutch in, when to accelerate etc. Just so I had a bit more practice moving my feet. Only, the issue is that I’m worse at driving in video games than I am in real life. So the steering suddenly became a bigger problem for me than the controls. So, maybe do this if you are okay at driving in games, but uh, don’t do this if you’re anything like me. Josh still makes fun of me and this was like two years ago.

16: Finding Ciri

Now, the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a game that holds a very special place in my heart for reasons that will be discussed later on in this post. I played it on easy, and it was my first ‘big’ game… so my first non-Life Is Strange game. I was instantly engrossed in this magical world and if you follow me regularly, you’ll know that The Witcher series is what helped me regain my love for reading after being diagnosed with dyslexia. But I don’t think I can possibly put into words the emotions I felt when Geralt finally found Ciri. It was just this wave of so many different emotions: happiness, relief, sadness (because I thought the game was over). I don’t think I’ll ever forget this moment, and I hope it’s as magical in the books (please no spoilers, I’m on The Tower of the Swallow).

15: Getting my first victory in Civ VI

So, here’s the thing- I love history. I adore history. I am studying history at university and am hoping to become a master of history (by taking a masters course… on history). When I first heard of this game, I was so excited. I didn’t expect to be so, very bad at it. I don’t know what I’ve been doing wrong. Like, I’m stuck. But I’ve had 2 victories in my 80+ hours. Both have been culture victories (which apparently is the hardest to understand, but it’s the only one that makes sense to me) and one was with China. My first one was with China. I was so set on winning this game. I remember the game before it had literally broke. I play this on my switch and it was late game so I just assumed the AI was taking its time but after about 20 minutes, I realised that the game was broken. I was devastated, but I went into the next game with a hunger for vengeance. I did so much each turn that I felt that there was no way I could lose. Australia nearly crept up on me, though, and that only made more determined (I believe my exact words were “you cheeky f*ck”). I was so proud of myself when I finally achieved a victory that I stopped playing for a while, just in case I ruined my streak (of one victory) with a defeat… that’s what actually happened when I went back to the game a few weeks later.

14: Recognising characters in the Witcher books from the games

So, this is much more of a general thing but it’s something I still get to do and something that still makes me extremely happy. As mentioned before, I’m dyslexic and the Witcher books are the first books I’ve been interested in reading since developing a phobia of reading. It took me 3 whole years to finish the first one. I decided that I was going to start reading every night because I wasn’t sleeping great, I was staying up super late playing Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley (one more day, let me just finish this… that kinda thing that was just never ending) and I was sick a lot with headaches. I used to love reading as a kid, and when Josh and I talk about having kids, I’d like to be able to read to them. I struggle sometimes with stuttering, especially when I have to read aloud which makes reading harder because of my dyslexia and it’s just a whole mess. But I asked Josh if he would mind if I started to practice reading aloud to him because it’s never too early to practice that type of thing. He said that I could, and thus began me reading the first Witcher book… and then the second, and then by the time I got to the third, I was just reading in my head because I was too excited to be able to read slow enough to speak. But the point of this isn’t about my reading in general, it’s a very specific thing that just needed all this context. Meeting or hearing about characters that I already know about is thrilling for me. It makes me so happy.

13: Finishing Persona 5

I think we all knew that this would be on this list somewhere. Persona 5 has been my whole life for a good three years now. It actually took me a pretty long time to finish the game. I started in my first year of university and finished in my second. My second playthrough took me significantly less time. But I wanted to talk about the moment when the credits rolled, and I stared at the screen having completed what I regarded as the best game ever made. I remember shaking my head in disbelief that this game that I had absolutely hated before playing was now my favourite thing. I don’t think I was okay for a while. I was… lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Actually, I knew I had to go back to playing The Witcher 3… I did that for about an hour before starting my second playthrough of Persona 5. I felt such a strong pull to the game and the characters, and I had never felt that before. I felt so lost when I was not playing it, and the ending was so impactful. I longed for more while still being content with the way it ended, which is an unusual feeling for me as I’m one of those people who either avoids things ending because they love it or just needs a conclusion. It felt… peaceful. I felt content and lost at the same time, which is why I just had to play it again. I remember when I was playing The Witcher 3, all I could think of was Joker and the gang. It was a beautiful ending to an equally beautiful game, and all of my emotions matched that.

12: Detroit: Become Human being so sensory involved as I was in the process of getting diagnosed as Autistic.

I’ve said this a lot but Detroit: Become Human was, for me, the best example of right game, right time. I played this after the pandemic started, I believe, which was when I slowly stopped masking (which is a term used by the autistic community to mean acting like neurotypicals). This eventually led to me having some sensory issues, especially with sounds, and us working out that I was probably Autistic. I was playing this game throughout the whole process and I adored it. I’ve used this phrase a few times, but it made my autism happy (which means it satisfied my sensory needs). The only part I struggled with was the chapter when Markus is in the junk place. The sound on that caused me to have a sensory overload, which I was finally able to identify because of the situation and therefore when I was able to look back on major events in my past, I was able to identify sensory overloads instead of just labelling it as a panic attack.

11: Finishing the final chapter of Yakuza 0 without dying.

Okay, in hindsight this isn’t a great achievement… but it was probably the biggest moment I’ve had in gaming that made me feel like a boss. I felt so powerful, it was like I could conquer anything. I don’t think I’ve been able to match this feeling since then.

10: Getting my social stats up to Rank 5 before Josh did it

I really try not to be competitive with Josh when it comes to gaming because he has way more experience than I do, but wow did this feel good. Josh started playing Persona 5 before me; he was actually on New Game + when I started playing. But if you know me now, you know that Persona 5 is my favourite thing and my social stats was something I heavily focussed on during my first playthrough (probably because of my lack of real life social stats). I was so proud of myself for getting the full star before Josh did. It made me feel like maybe one day, I could be as good as he is.

9: The ending of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

I really wanted to play Brothers for the longest time because the concept fascinated me. I was put off by the lack of dialogue, though, so I waited a few years. I finally got it on the Switch when it was on sale. I finished it in two nights (I used to play the Switch before bed; I read now), and I sobbed. Actual tears. I believe Josh was playing a yakuza game at the time, and he put his headphones on because I got mad at him because the people speaking in the game was distracting me from the music of Brothers. He literally heard me through his headphones. It hit me like a brick. I don’t know how I went so long without getting the ending spoiled for me when I was so interested in the game, but Josh knew that it was coming and he was prepared for my tears. I had a headache the next day from crying so much. I wrote a post about this game because it changed my perspective on non-dialogue games, so it’s here if you want to read it:

I will never rely on dialogue again…- Brothers: A tale of two sons

8: Pulling an all-nighter to play The Witcher 3

As I said previously, The Witcher 3 was the first ‘big’ game that I played. For a while, it was pretty overwhelming. Soon after, though, I was fully emersed. It was definitely the game that made me realise how immersive gaming can be, how vast and magical it can be. I pulled my first all-nighter playing video games for The Witcher 3. I remember Josh being asleep and I just couldn’t fall asleep so I thought ‘you know what? Josh plays games when he can’t get to sleep and I can’t stop thinking of this game so I’m going to do that too’. I think part of me was hoping that if I played it a little more, my brain would be able to stop thinking about it and shut off. 6 hours went by, Josh woke up and he seemed to be in awe that I had just stayed up playing The Witcher 3 for most of the time he was asleep. I remember that it wasn’t exactly 6 hours, it was like 5:52 and he was like ‘if you keep playing until 6 hours, you’ll officially be a real gamer’ so I did… my mum surprised us with a visit that day, which was stressful because I had no sleep.

7: Playing Persona 5 Strikers on stream

Persona 5 Strikers was the first ‘new’ game I ever streamed on Twitch. It was a pretty big deal to me. I knew I would make my autistic happy noises and that I would probably slap my face in excitement, but I still wanted to stream it. I wanted to share my excitement and joy with the world, and I am still so happy that I felt confidant enough as a gamer to do this. Before this, I always wanted to play through the games first so that I knew I wouldn’t struggle with the controls. I was particularly worried about the controls of Strikers, because a reason I loved vanilla and royal so much is because I didn’t feel rushed. But I did it. And I am so thankful that I have those videos as memories because it is pure happiness, and I can share that with people.

6: Starting my Persona 5 Royal: AI Takeover

For those who don’t know, I stream over on Twitch. It’s linked on my homepage. But a while ago, I started a run of Persona 5 Royal because it’s my favourite game. I wanted to make it special, though, and I was thinking about Persona 5 Strikers and Persona 3 because I had just finished my Strikers run and was planning on playing 3 on stream (but cannot because of the PS3 block thing). And then it hit me- imagine only having control over Joker! So you can’t control any of your party, just like in Persona 3. This is my first ‘challenge’ run and for a while, the only challenge was SP preservation. And then boss fights happened and it became painful. It’s so frustrating when you can’t do what you want to do with your whole party. But that’s the fun of it! I’m just about to do Kaneshiro’s boss fight, and I’m determined that we can get through this! I am a little worried about the last few fights because so far, my strategy has been to go in overlevelled. But the fact that I was confidant enough to even try some kind of challenge in this game speaks volumes to me. It made me willing to try different approaches, which is something I’ve never done. I always usually stick with the same Personas, and I can’t do that now. I need to have one of each element because there’s no saying that someone (Morgana) wont use their element (wind. Morgana wont use wind. Ever). It’s really helped me open up my mind, and I love that my favourite game can still help me grow as a gamer.

5: Playing Life Is Strange: True Colors as an over empathetic autistic person

I have spent my whole life feeling things I didn’t understand. Getting my autism diagnosis kind of explained why that was. I did a bunch of research before that, and found out that Autism looks different in girls. For example, a lot of autistic girls are over empaths. I am one of those. So when I was playing Life Is Strange: True Colors, I related to Alex so much. Not understanding why people are feeling the way they’re feeling, but still feeling what they’re feeling is something that has always been a struggle for me. But this game handles it beautifully, and it was just- wonderful. This game had me sobbing, and for once I understood why because Alex had to go through the motions of working it out herself. She had to piece the puzzle together so she clearly knew what was going on, and that’s always been something I’ve struggled with and I hardly ever see it laid out so clearly. This game is overall a beautiful experience, but I feel like I was in a special position where I really related to Alex on a different level.

4: Mushroom’s death in Life Is Strange 2

This impacted me more than any other death in a video game. For those who don’t know me personally, when I was 17, my dad got me a puppy. Her name was Thalia and I loved her more than I loved anything or anyone. She was mischievous, wonderful and loving. She was spoiled with love… and treats. She was the runt so she was so tiny. After about 5 months, she got real sick real quick. After the vets performed an unnecessary operation on her, we took her elsewhere to find the actual problem. They said she needed another operation, and that she probably wouldn’t survive it. She was in pain. So we decided to put her down. It was the worst experience of my life, and I miss her each and every day (and that’s not an exaggeration). For the longest time, I didn’t want another dog. I’ve actually got a tattoo for her as a reminder of how loved she made me feel. Knowing all of that, you’d probably understand the impact that Mushroom’s death had on me. I was actually streaming the game (on YouTube) when it happened, so there’s a video of it but it’s genuinely so sad that I just can’t watch it. I love this game, so, so much but I can’t put myself through that again knowing that it was unavoidable. I remember Josh spending so long trying to work out if there was something I could’ve done to save Mushroom because I was so, so upset.

3: Jed being the bad guy in Life Is Strange: True Colors

I like to think that I’ve played a lot of games (although the repetition of this list may argue against that…), so I’ve experienced many plot twists. Did not expect this one though. I think, for the first time ever, it genuinely shocked me. It felt like a huge slap in the face, to be honest. I sat there trying to comprehend what the hell had happened for… a good while. Probably way too long. I- I’m still not over this, clearly. It was just “oh yay Jed wants to see m- WHAT”. Such a shock. If you haven’t played this game already and you’re just reading this for the sake of it, just know that this was so big. It would be like if Sojiro turned out to be an undercover cop or something. Yeah, that big. They even kinda look alike so it fits perfectly. I’m really not over this and it’s been nearly a full month.

2: Pre-ordering the Phantom Thieves Edition of Persona 5 Royal

I know you know by now that Persona 5 Royal is my favourite game. But before it came out, just regular ol’ Persona 5 was my favourite thing in the universe. I was waiting and waiting for the release date for Royal, just like many others, and I had knots in my stomach. I was so anxious. And then the collectors edition was only £80?! I was so happy. This was the first game that I ever pre-ordered, and it meant so much to me. Josh actually made a little tressure hunt for me and put a box together, it was super cute. My point is, this game coming out meant the world to me. It showed up a whole day late, but when it got here… oh boy I felt sick. I remember having a panic attack the night before because what if it wasn’t good? What if they changed so much that I hated it because I don’t generally like change? Of course, in hindsight, looking back on it, a lot of my fears were due to being autistic and that’s super interesting for me to think about. I remember just staring at this game in my hands, wondering if it was going to be okay. I had looked forward to this moment for so long, I had a meltdown at the thought of not being able to get the Phantom Thieves edition, my fiancé had put in so much effort to make this day special for me… what if it wasn’t everything I had hoped? And then I played it. It was the second best experience of my life so far (the first being getting engaged, because that was super cute).

1: Learning to love Zenkichi

This is embarrassing. Gosh, this is so embarrassing. There’s videos of the streams that I did of Persona 5 Strikers. I am too embarrassed to watch them for this reason. When I tell you that I thought I broke my hand because I punched my desk out of anger over the Phantom Thieves trusting this man… guys, it was bad. I legitimately lost my voice by screaming about how much I hated this man. I- I don’t even have a good reason. Just because he was a cop and that the group had previous bad experiences with the police. I just didn’t trust him, and that turned into anger. I’ve expressed how much the group means to me, and the fact that they were falling for his trap because it was obvious he was a bad guy… oh guys it’s so embarrassing. I can’t remember when I started to like him, but it was before he joined the group. I think it may have been when we met Akane because that girl is awesome so clearly her father can’t be as awful as I thought. When the game ended, he was one of my favourite characters. I didn’t like using him, but I adored his story. I actually knew of his Persona before because I’m a big musical theatre fan and Les Mis was my favourite for a long time, and then I read bits and pieces of it for my uni course. It was cool that I was able to point out little details and similarities between the characters. I think my relationship with Zenkichi went down the exact same path as my relationship with Persona 5: I hated it at first, but after spending more time on it and actually giving it a decent chance, I came to appreciate it for what it is and love it.

Persona 5 Royal_20200511231355

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! I apologise for my lack of posting, I was set that this would be the next post to go up and it took way longer than I thought it would. The next post should be the November Gaming Progress post, so that’ll be up soon. Are there any moments I’ve mentioned previously that you’re shocked that they’re not on this list? What would your list look like? Let me know in the comments section! If you liked this post, give it a ‘like’, follow this blog for more gaming content like this and check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch, where Josh and I try to stream daily. See you next post, Gamers!

The unfortunate letdown that was the Atlus Store launch

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

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

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

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

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

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

This launch was more disappointing than Joshua’s Arsene

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, why is that a good thing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My first Animal Crossing Halloween

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gaming Progress: October

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then… BAM.

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

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

So, let’s talk about these options!

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

Font Style

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

Longer Choice Timer

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

Skip Gameplay Prompt

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

Jog controls and power controls

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

Color Filters

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

Brightness and volume warning.

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

How effective are the accessibility options?

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

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

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

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

Huge News! We got a PS5!

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

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

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

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

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

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

And they had two left.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 3- Know where to look.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My fiancé wearing a shirt I got him from RedBubble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Important notes to take away:

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

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

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

Are video games beneficial for your child?

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

Gaming Progress: September

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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