Gaming Quote Of The Week #4

“Stop right there, criminal scum!”- Town Guard, The Elder Scrolls iv: Oblivion

Sooooo, uh, I don’t know how to put this but this quote has made me laugh so much today. My partner came up with it randomly and it’s all we’ve been saying to each other for the whole day. I’ve not played Oblivion but I have now watched many, many videos on the town guards… now, I’m going to be an adventurer before I take an arrow to the knee.

Persona 5 for Dummies

So, obviously Persona 5 is my favourite game (we’re including Royal for the purposes of simplicity), so it goes without saying that I talk about it a lot. It has recently come to my attention that when I’m talking about Persona 5 and the metaverse and confidants… most people don’t know what I’m on about. I’m mainly doing this for friends/ family members who just want to understand what their gamer peeps are talking about but get overwhelmed when they try to look it up online. Also, with the reveal of P5S being mere days away at this point, I thought it might be useful to post this sooner rather than later. So, without further ado- here we go!

The difference between Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal: So the main difference between the two games is that Royal adds another semester, another palace, and two new characters. There is also another confidant to go through, in addition to the two new characters, which was a confidant that was automatic in the original game. Each person feels differently about the games, some feel like the additional content in Royal could have been added as a DLC (downloadable content, like an add on). However, I feel like Royal added so much that it justifies being its own game.

Who is ‘Joker’: Joker is the protagonist of the game. His actual name is up to the player, which is why he tends to be referred to as Joker or Protagonist. His name in the manga is Akira Kurusu and his name in the anime is Ren Amamiya. He’s the person that the character controls for the whole game and the person who’s story the player gets to see/ understand most of.

What is a ‘palace’: A palace when talking about Persona 5 is completely different to what you’re probably thinking. It is a manifestation of a person’s corrupted desires. What that means in practicality is the person believes that the place is something else, usually because that gives them additional power. In the game, I think the best example of this is the first palace. Kamoshida is a teacher who essentially thinks he is the king of a castle. The castle he believes he is the king of is, in reality, the school that most of the main characters go to. Because he believes this so deeply, the school becomes a castle in the metaverse. 

What is the metaverse: The metaverse is pretty complicated and probably the thing that makes the least amount of sense. It’s almost like an alternative reality in which people’s desires (or what they think of reality) are true. Kamoshida has his castle, Madarame has his museum etc.

What is a Persona: A persona is a manifestation of an aspect of a persona user’s personality. The aspect of the personality changes from game to game but in Persona 5, it is their rebellious spirit.

What is the navigation app: The navigation app is an app in Persona 5 that the Phantom Thieves use to traverse to the Metaverse.

Who is Igor: Ah, yet another one that is treading the line of spoiler territory. Igor has been in (as far as I can tell) every Persona game. He has a very important role as the keeper of the velvet room. The velvet room is a space between dream and reality. Igor is the Fool confidant, and he helps the Protagonist on his journey as he lets the Protagonist fuse Personas. Igor is often cryptic while talking to the Protagonist about his actions, usually foreshadowing future events of the game.  

What is Mementos: The best way I can explain this is the way it is explained in the game: Mementos is everyone’s palace. It is the palace of the general public, who’s distorted desires are not yet strong enough to form their own palace. The Phantom Thieves often go to Mementos to complete requests from the Phansite, submitted by the public.

What is a party: A party is the group in which you fight. You have (what I call) active members, which is Joker and the three other members who fight, and then you have backup party members who don’t fight (but they can fight. You can switch them out).

What is a confidant: a confidant (or a social link, if you’ve played the older games) is a relationship with a specific person that has several benefits. Persona 5 is a game where time is so important, and spending time with confidants is one of the most useful ways to advance time. When spending time with the confidant, you get to see a story that relates to that character, as well as gaining extra experience for Personas from that confidant’s arcana (based off of the tarot cards).

What is a confidant ability: Each confidant will give you new abilities when you spend time with them and the confidant ‘ranks up’. Each confidant ability is pretty unique to the confidant but they’re usually themed. The members of the Phantom Thieves are also confidants, and they have similar abilities that help in battle.

Here is the link to the first confidant analysis post that I did (there are three):

The party members-

Joker: Like I said before, Joker is the protagonist. He can use multiple Personas as he is the ‘wild card’. He’s the leader of the Phantom Thieves.

Morgana: Morgana’s code name is ‘Mona’. Morgana is… a cat. A talking cat. He crushes on Ann (to the point where it’s most of his personality), and he lives with Joker. His Persona is Zorro, and the attribute that Zorro uses is wind. Morgana is also often used as a healer, especially in the early stages of the game.

Ryuji: Ryuji’s code name is ‘Skull’. Ryuji is one of the first characters you meet and he is with you the first time you enter a palace. He is the third Persona user in the game (the first being Joker and the second being Morgana). Around school, it soon becomes evident that Ryuji has a bad reputation due to being violent with a teacher, and having his leg broken in that altercation. Ryuji used to be on the track team before this incident and loves running (he just hasn’t been able to because of the whole broken leg thing). He has a hatred for adults who use their power to abuse kids. Ryuji’s persona is Captain Kidd, who is based off of William Kidd. His persona uses electric and physical moves.

Ann: Ann’s code name is ‘Panther’. Ann is, like Ryuji, one of the first characters you meet in Persona 5. She is rumoured to have ‘something going on’ with one of the teachers, which ruins her reputation. Ann looks different from other girls, and has always stood out from the crowd. Ann and Ryuji knew each other in middle school, where Ann met Shiho, who is her best friend. Ann joins the team after something bad happens to Shiho, committing herself so that no one else has to suffer. Her persona is called Carmen, and Carmen uses fire.

Yusuke: Yusuke’s code name is ‘Fox’. Yusuke is an artist. When you first come across him, he appears to be stalking Ann. However, he was following her as she inspired him and he wanted her to model for his next painting. After a lot of back and forth, it is uncovered that Yusuke’s mentor had abused him and other students. Yusuke awakens to his persona, Goemon, and finally sticks up for himself and – more importantly to him – his artwork. Goemon uses ice and physical moves.

Makoto: Makoto’s code name is ‘Queen’. Makoto is the student council president at the protagonist’s school, and she was tasked by the principal to investigate the Phantom Thieves after their first incident. She gets involved with the Phantom Thieves when members of the school start getting involved with (what seems to be) the Mafia. Her persona is called Johanna, and it is a motorcycle. Johanna uses nuclear moves, and Makoto can also be used as a healer.

Futaba: Futaba’s code name is ‘Oracle’. Futaba’s a different case, as the fourth palace is her own. After the death of her mother, she was taken in by several different relatives who abused her. She ended up in the care of Sojiro Sakura, her mother’s old friend. However, she quickly became a shut in. Futaba suffered a lot of trauma after the death of her mother, and couldn’t cope with the outside world. She awoke to her persona, Necronomicon, in her own palace. Futaba is also different from the rest of her party as she cannot fight in battle. She supports the party by providing extra health and stamina in times of need. She can also swap players out.

Haru: Haru’s code name is ‘Noir’. She is the daughter of a very successful businessman whose greed has clouded his moral compass. She is introduced through Morgana, and becomes part of the Phantom Thieves in an attempt to change her father. Her persona is called Milady, and Milady uses both gun and psychokinesis moves.

Akechi: Akechi’s code name is ‘Crow’. He’s a hard one to describe as he is involved in the biggest plot twist of the game. If your Persona 5 nerd wants to show you the big reveal scene (because it is pretty awesome how it all works out), then I don’t want to spoil it for you. So I can’t tell you his persona or anything like that, but I can tell you that he is a student at a different school, and that he is a detective!

For Royal only-

Akechi: Similar thing as above, even more so in Royal as Akechi is very much heavily linked… his first name is Goro if you wanted that added information. Oh, and in Royal, his confidant doesn’t automatically go up like in the original game. It’s fun to hang out with him. 10/10 recommend.

Yoshizawa: Yoshizawa’s code name is ‘Violet’ but, please, if your person hasn’t played all of Royal yet, don’t tell them. It’s not a huge spoiler or anything, but it’s nice to find these things out yourself. I actually spoiled her code name for myself and was devastated. Anyway, like Akechi, she is heavily linked in with the plot so I don’t want to reveal too much. She’s one of the biggest changes in the game, and she’s probably the one that fans like the best. But, I would heavily suggest asking the fan that you’re talking to about how far they are, and keeping an eye on how they refer to her (she’s the newest character so you should be able to pick it up).

I hope this is some use to someone. As Persona 5 is one of my special interests (that’s a new term I’ve learnt after recently being diagnosed with autism), I tend to talk about it a lot and I can see people not understanding, and I figured that some people would probably like to understand but don’t have time to play 100 hours of a video game.

Let me know if this is useful for you, or if any gamers think that I’ve missed something vital! Don’t forget to hit follow to get notified whenever I post, and hit the like button if you want me to do a little happy dance (:

What happened to Persona 5 Strikers?

I know I’m not meant to post today but this is huge for me so I just couldn’t wait. You guys know that Persona 5 is my life at this point!

So, the trailer for Persona 5 Strikers was leaked. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure where it was leaked but it had the release date (23rd February 2021) and it seemed so legit. And then people noticed that the preorder website wasn’t working, and then realised that Atlus took the trailer down… so I guess by that logic it was Atlus who put it up but I wanted to be clear that I wasn’t 100% sure on who actually leaked it so no one came for me in the comments.

So as of right now, there’s no official trailer or preorder place (hint: Instagram is great, Persona News has the trailer!!). There’s obviously a ton of theories as to why the trailer got taken down, the main one being that the game was supposed to be announced at the Game Awards (which are – I think – next week). Another theory is that they made a small mistake in the trailer, or they realised that they wouldn’t be able to put it out by that date.

Regardless, I’m classing this as a win. At least we know that we’re definitely getting the game! I, for one, am hyped. Let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comments, and I’ll be back on Sunday with my normal posts!

Quote of the Week #3

“A famous explorer once said that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.”- Lara Croft, Tomb Raider (2013)

I’m struggling with feeling guilty not posting twice a week properly, so here’s another quote of the week from a video game that’s close to my heart!

I’ve always loved this quote! Have you played the Tomb Raider Reboots? My partner actually nearly finished the first one yesterday but the game kept crashing!

Gaming quote of the week #2

“Unfortunately, killing is just one of those things that gets easier the more you do it.”- Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid, 1998

Soooo, little story to this quote! I’ve actually never played this game because I’m very bad at sneaking, but it’s one of my partner’s favourite series! So, I didn’t know this quote.

I’m writing a book. It’s not a huge deal, I’ve been on and off writing a book since I was 13. But I’ve been doing some planning (which is very unlike me), and I was planning one of the main character’s confessions. This, no word of a lie, was what he was going to say! So when I was looking for quotes (because I do try to add variety) to post and saw this, I decided it was fate!

P.S: I haven’t had the chance to look at names for my book yet so I’m using Persona 5 characters as stand in names… the person that was going to say this is “Akechi” right now.

How does Alice work?- Detroit: Become Human

Right off the bat, there will be spoilers for Detroit: Become Human, more specifically Kara’s story. If you haven’t played it, go ahead and do that first! It’s a very good game, and that’s saying something because I am picky about games.

Alice is a character in Detroit: Become Human that is a major part of Kara’s story. She is a little girl that Kara looks after. At the start of Kara’s story, you learn that Alice was the one to give Kara her name and that one of Kara’s jobs is to look after Alice. After finding out (and witnessing) Alice was being abused by her father, Kara and Alice leave the house (or die trying). From then on, Kara’s completely responsible for keeping Alice safe. It seems like her main wish is to give the little girl the life that she deserves.

This post will focus on Alice. More specifically, it will focus on whether or not Alice is deviant and if so, when does she become deviant. The idea came about after reading in the game that her model is programmed differently to other androids. So, let’s get into it!

So, in Detroit: Become Human, all three main characters (Kara, Markus and Connor) have the potential to become deviant. Throughout the game, the characters also meet other deviants who help them along the way. The thing that tends to give deviants away is the expression of free will or emotion.

As I mentioned before, Alice is a huge part of Kara’s story. How you play the game differs but in general, the aim is to get Kara and Alice past the Canadian border so that they have a chance to live freely. Kara becomes deviant while protecting Alice from Todd, her father. The majority of Kara’s story is about protecting Alice, doing stuff for Alice, making sure Alice is okay. Near the end of the game, when Kara and Alice (and Luther, if he is still alive and with them) get to Jericho and after Kara talks to Markus, she walks downstairs to find Alice… only, it’s not Alice. It’s an android who looks exactly like Alice. So, we discover that Alice has actually been an android this whole time. Of course, this does not stop Kara from loving her and it just means that she gets to be a little girl forever so no more worrying about the effect all the bad stuff will have on her when she becomes an adult.

But I couldn’t help but wonder if Alice was deviant. She expresses human emotion such as fear and love. She clearly has a strong moral compass, as shown when Kara has a chance to steal the clothes from the washing machine. She acts human throughout the game. She is so different from the other deviants that are seen throughout the game. She just wants to live life like a normal girl, which is something that is shown often with deviants throughout the game.

The main thing keeping me from saying outright that Alice is deviant is that she is a child, and children are meant to be loving and innocent. In my mind, there is a chance that Alice was actually programmed differently to adult androids like Kara, Markus and Connor. She was programmed to have emotion and to be loyal and child-like. She was programmed to have all the qualities that adults tend to want in children; otherwise, they wouldn’t sell. We know that YK-500 models (Alice’s model) were a commercial success when it launched in 2033, and it has been credited by sociologists for the decline of birth rates. In the same section, we can find out that these models are programmed to act child-like, with needs and can replicate illnesses that children commonly go through. So, does that mean that YK-500 models cannot become deviant? As technically they can already feel human emotion, replicate illness etc. They can basically do everything a human can because that is how they were programmed.

But in my opinion, whether or not Alice is deviant comes down to one thing: loyalty. Technically speaking, she is an android owned by Todd, there to replicate a child (to replace his daughter). Alice should therefore act as such, and be loyal to Todd. The main issue here is that, quite frankly, she is not. If Alice was loyal to Todd, she would not have left. Even when her life is in danger (which it is, as shown in the ending where Todd kills her if they do not get away), she would stay there. That is what she was programmed to do. Or, was it? Because she is programmed to replicate emotions, such as fear. But would a non-deviant android fear for her life? Or the life of another android, as shown with Kara? No. In my opinion, at least, an android would not care about their own life or the life of another android unless it was deviant, as shown with Connor when he has the choice of whether or not to shoot Chloe. Therefore, I believe that there is enough evidence present to state that Alice is deviant. The main question is, when did she become deviant and, more importantly, why?

It is important to mention that there could be many points throughout the game where Alice could deviate, primarily in Stormy Night, as her life is in danger. But before looking at that, we need to look at what we know about androids and deviants. We learn quite a lot about this subject throughout the game, especially through Connor’s storyline. Connor’s storyline is the first few times we actually get to see deviants, and it is established early on that androids often become deviants due to emotional shock. This is seen with Carlos Ortiz’s android, who went deviant after two years of abuse, as he felt like Carlos was going to kill him. It is established that the android’s owner didn’t even give him a name as he felt like his android was not alive, which indicates that the android also went through a lot of emotional abuse, as well as physical (such as the cigarette burns). Now, the main thing that I want to point out with Carlos Ortiz’s android is that he stayed in the house because he didn’t have anywhere else to go. He tells Connor that it was the first time that he didn’t have anyone to tell him what to do. This is what, in my opinion, links to Alice the most.

I believe that Alice went deviant when Todd broke Kara, either the time that puts her in the store at the start of the game or the time before that. My theory is that they tried to leave like they successfully did in Stormy Night but Todd broke Kara out of anger, which eventually calmed him down. He then took Kara to the shop to get fixed. In the meantime, Alice did not have anywhere to go. She acted normally, which was not a huge deal because of how she was programmed while waiting for Kara to get back. Upon realising that Kara’s memory had to be reset, she was upset, likely thinking that Kara would not be able to leave with her, therefore she would not be able to leave. Kara is much more to Alice than a mother figure. Kara was her way out of the abusive household she was bought into. All Alice wanted was a normal life, and if she was able to get out of Todd’s house, that may be possible. Alice put a lot of trust and faith into Kara, therefore seeing her get destroyed (likely knowing that Todd could easily do the same thing to her, or that he could have already done it and she wouldn’t know as she would have had to have her memory wiped too) would have likely have been enough of an emotional shock to make her deviate. Whether that be because of the heartbreak of losing Kara or fear for her life.

And that, gamers, is my theory as to whether or not Alice is deviant in Detroit: Become Human. Leave your thoughts in the comments (I love this game so it’s fine if it’s not just about this!), and don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more gaming content! If you want, drop some suggestions in the comments. See you next time!

Birthday Blog

Hey, Gamers! So… Today is my birthday! I turn 21, and I always think of birthdays as a reflective time because I never thought I’d make it this far, so I figured that I would take this time to reflect with you guys about gaming. My gaming journey is kind of a personal one, and I will include my hopes for the future and where I want to be this time next year. So, without further ado, let’s get on with the birthday blog! Feel free to grab some cake, make yourself comfy and enjoy the ride.

So, I remember going up with a games console. I think I remember having both Xbox and PlayStation. I remember Crash Bandicoot being one of the only games I was allowed to play… I wasn’t very good. When I was about 6 or 7, my family got the Nintendo Wii. My favourite game was one that my parents got me the day we got the Wii: Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz. I adored it. I remember that my mother had the Sonic game, the one with the rings… I did not like that game.

I feel like it’s important to point out that I have autism (didn’t know until this year) so I get frustrated very easily. This is the biggest reason I am picky with games. I’m fine if a game is hard. I just also have to be enjoying it. I think this was very evident with Sonic. I wanted to be able to play it, but it got to the point where I just did not enjoy it anymore and it started to confuse me.

Moving on, I got the DS lite for… I think it was my 7th birthday. I remember my favourite game being one that I could play squash with. I cannot for the life of me remember the name. Thinking back, I was never really a huge DS player, despite all the time I spent begging my parents for one. I didn’t play pokemon until I was 10, I didn’t like Professor Laten games. I think I liked the idea of having a DS more than I enjoyed playing the DS.

So, this part is… I feel like it is cheating but it is still important to include. So my father played two games almost constantly on any console he could get a hold of: Resident Evil, and Tomb Raider. I have so many memories of watching my dad and my uncle play together. My own experience of it was never as thrilling as theirs, as I was like 7. I remember looking after Ashley in Resident Evil. My experience of Tomb Raider was also very limited… I remember climbing up a climbing wall and jumping in a pool. That’s it.

So in (I think) 2013, my mum got me an Xbox 360. I think the first game I ever completed was Fable 3. I can’t remember much of it if I’m being perfectly honest. I just really liked it. Then I also had Tomb Raider, the reboot version. It took about three years, and me and my dad playing it together, but I completed that too. This was also around the time when I realised that Minecraft made me sick, as I used to play it with my sister.

I first heard of Skyrim in… I’m gonna say 2015, but I really had no clue what it was. I first played Skyrim a few days before my fiancé and I got together in 2017… and I broke the game with mods. Okay, I know I shouldn’t play with mods but I was terrified of spiders. My partner had a PS4 and it took me a good few months after moving in with him before I actually played a game properly. That game, of course, was Life Is Strange.

Life Is Strange, I feel, ignited something in me. I am critical enough now to be able to say that it’s not the best game in any capacity, and if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I prefer the second game. However, I really wouldn’t be where I am today without Life Is Strange. It has simple gameplay and a compelling story, which is exactly what I needed to get myself into gaming. It took me a few months to finish it (even though it is only five episodes and like… fifteen hours long… wow I’ve grown since then). I felt like it was the first game that I fully completed by myself. It was such an achievement, I decided to buy the prequel for myself as a reward. That took me significantly less time, and I actually streamed most of the playthrough so you can see it if you want! I’ll link the channel at the bottom of the post! When we moved to university, Life Is Strange 2 came out. My partner bought the first episode for me. I streamed it too, so that’ll be on the channel! There was such a difference between the first and second game, and I enjoyed the second game so much more. At this point, I think I started to become more confidant in playing games.

Here is the link to my Life Is Strange 2 game review:

From there, I moved on to a similar style game that I didn’t think I’d like: Until Dawn. To be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t expect to like this game. I just wanted something simple to play in order to destress, and I had played the first episode of Life Is Strange 2 several times at that point. However, I was surprised. Like, really surprised. I liked it a lot. I played that a few times before moving on to bigger and better things.

The Witcher 3.

Now, I really don’t want to go into detail about each and every game I’ve ever tried because I have tried a fair few, most of which I can’t remember. But the Witcher 3 was the first time I actually thought of myself as a gamer. I adored this game in the same way I adored the books I would clutch to as a child. Suddenly it was all I was thinking about. I actually remember pulling my first accidental all-nighter because of the Witcher 3. I got diagnosed with dyslexia in December that year, and I fell out of love with reading. My partner actually bought me the Witcher books and I am (very, very slowly) getting through them.

Now… it’s time. It is the time that you’ve all been waiting for.

Persona 5.

Okay. I’m going to be brutally honest with you. For a good month, I hated this game. I don’t know if you’re in a relationship or anything, but surely you know the frustration when someone will not get off a game. The anger when you come home and they’re still sat playing the same game. The shock when you walk up the stairs and just hear them scream “FUCK” and as you walk through the door, you realise that they’re still on the same boss fight they were on when you left 4 hours ago.

Yeah, I was mad at the game for my fiance’s shitty behaviour. Sue me.

It took a whole lot of convincing. Do you know what part pulled me in? The opening. Of course, it was the opening. The opening is fucking awesome. I don’t like swearing in my blogs but this game is my life. I cannot express how much this game has actually changed my life.

This is going to make me sound really entitled but I guess I am going to say it anyway: There are some things in life that you just feel was made for you. Like you were always meant to involve the thing in your life. That is exactly how I feel about Persona 5.

Since playing Persona 5, I’ve been so much more open about trying new games. I am still picky, but I try so much more now. Granted, it is still the only game I play consistently, but I love it so much. Each element, to me, is amazing.

The natural next step would be to talk about Persona 5 Royal, but that was such a big moment for me so I’ll leave it until last. Next up is a game that I actually played on my little (long) break- Detroit: Become Human.

Detroit was a game that really resonated with me. My first experience was at New Year, last year I think. My fiance’s youngest brother let me play it because he thought I would like it. I did. However, I actually did not play it properly until August/ September this year. It actually really helped me through my emotions when I got diagnosed with autism in September. I’ve always known that video games helped with mental illness and wellbeing – it has been helping me since I played Life Is Strange – but that felt… different, somehow. I think it was the right game to play at that time. I often play repeats of it (because I’m trying to get that shiny, shiny platinum) on our Twitch channel (2nerds_1game) and it gives me the same overwhelming sense of belonging that came the first time I played it.

Okay, on with the main event: Persona 5 Royal.

Persona 5 Royal was the first new game I’ve ever got really excited about for myself. I’ve been excited for a lot for my partner and my friends, but this is the first game that I bought that was completely mine, and I was excited. When Josh originally suggested getting it way back when I started playing the original, I was hesitant. I think if you read my Royal updates, I mentioned a few times that it gave me a lot of anxiety when thinking about the things that they changed. When something is familiar to me, I don’t like it being changed. It makes me uncomfortable, and I think that’s a normal reaction. I remember the night before Royal came out, I literally sat on my bed having a panic attack because my brain decided to remind me that two (three if you count baby Jose) new characters could very easily throw the whole game off. I was terrified, excited, but mainly anxious.

For those who don’t know, I had the privilege to pre-order the Phantom Thieves edition. I made sacrifices like not getting coffee whenever I went on to campus. I knew that this game was going to be special, so I wanted the special edition. So many people thought that I was crazy for spending £80 on a game… even though just a game on the PS5 is roughly £80. I expected it to be more expensive, and I think a lot of people who told me I was crazy did not know the value of the game and the collectable contents (both the financial value and sentimental value).

That leads me onto a point that just buying and being excited over Persona 5 Royal taught me: it’s okay to be different. Some people may call you childish or immature just because you don’t have the same interests as them. That is not a reflection on who you are. On the contrary- it’s a reflection on them. I don’t have a lot of friends, and the small number of interests I have, I tend to obsess over. Trying to make friends and talking a lot about your interests don’t tend to work unless that person has the same interest. That’s okay though because the few friends that do stick around are worth it.

Moving onto the game itself- it was my first platinum. I adored playing it. Actually, I’ve been planning on spending today streaming Persona 5 Royal on Twitch because I really, really love this game (didn’t get to though, because it was so busy!). I did gaming updates each week for Royal, at the rate of (roughly) one palace a week. Here is the first one if you want to start reading them:

I feel like I have learnt a lot over the 21 years of my life. What excites me, however, is that there is so much more to learn. I dislike uncertainty, but the fact that there will always be something to learn comforts me. In terms of gaming, I know that I have a lot to learn. I’m still a baby in the gaming world. But I learn a new thing each and every day… and that’s kind of what this blog is about.

I started this blog because I am passionate that gaming is important. It’s one of the most interactive mediums out there. I dislike how it is generally perceived badly and I wanted to show that it can teach us amazing things. I have tried my best to do this, and I will continue to do my best in the future.

I want to broaden my horizons gaming wise. I know that it is something that I need to work on, and I know that most of my followers probably don’t only want Persona 5 content. I plan to do that. I also wish to better my writing and be more organised when it comes to posting, which is actually something I have been working on for a while.

I’m excited to get the PS5, hopefully in January, and I’m excited for the sequel to Persona 5 to come to the West (even without Sumi). I have so many things to be grateful for, so many things to smile about, and so many things to be excited about. I am lucky to be alive. I know that more than anyone. If I hadn’t made it this far, I wouldn’t be able to have experienced the amazing medium of gaming to the extent that I have. For that, I am forever thankful.

Have a great day, gamers. Happy Gaming 😊

Also, shout out to Josh for getting me back into gaming. You’re a bro.      

Link to mine and Josh’s old YouTube, where I streamed quite a few games I’ve mentioned:

And our Twitch account (where I’m currently doing a run of Persona 5 Royal, starting from scratch, is 2nerds_1game (also, I’m trying to get the platinum in Detroit, but Royal and University is taking up quite a bit of my spare time as of right now)

Mystic Messenger is… good?

Quick note to say that I wrote this towards the end of the first lockdown in England, so a few things may be off. The main thing I did add an editors note for but yeah. Enjoy!:

Hello, Gamers! How are you doing? I am back and ready for action again after my very long, well-needed break. So, what have I been up to? Playing Persona? Playing a different game for once? Ha. Nah. Sorry to disappoint. Okay, that’s not completely true. I’ve recently got into Fifa (don’t ask, I know, it’s not like me to like games like that but now my Uncle is taking me to a football match if our team gets into the premier league so there’s that!). But, apart from that, I’ve honestly been trying to recover from University and also I really needed to clean my house. I’ve been trying to focus on my mental health and I’ve started therapy too! So, what has actually kept me so busy? Mystic Messenger.

Okay, before you stop reading, just hear me out, okay? Mystic Messenger is so much more than what I ever thought it was. Mystic Messenger is unlike any game that I’ve ever played. Yes, it is a mobile game. But it has the detailed plot of an actual game. The thing with Mystic Messenger is that it is only a mobile game because it has to be a mobile game. The plot and the depth to the characters are actually enough to make it a videogame-like the ones on consoles; however the format of the game and the layout make it so that it just makes more sense for it to be on the phone. Why would you want a game the is based on phone calls, emails and texts on a console? The short answer is you wouldn’t, because it just wouldn’t make sense. The layout of Mystic Messenger makes it unique-it’s something that isn’t in normal videogames. But you don’t get games like Mystic Masters on phones usually. Mystic Messenger is so detailed just constantly leaves you wanting more. It’s not just the traditional mobile game that you can do whatever you want with and just leave it, you play when the game wants you to try, you play when the game intends for you to play.

Now that I’ve got my little ‘Mystic Messenger is unique and shouldn’t be mocked for being a mobile game’ rant out of the way, I can move on and explain how it’s helped me through lockdown and with my mental illnesses in general. Disclaimer: everyone is different. Just because it helped me so much does not mean that it will help you as much. Actually, it might hinder you for reasons I will be mentioning later. But my advice would be to read my post, decide for yourself, maybe even download it and give it a little go.

Slight spoilers ahead.

So, I first downloaded Mystic Messenger the night before my 17th Birthday (I remember because I had a sleepover with my old best friend) and it actually took a really, really long time to install. It still does, but I promise it’s worth the wait. The first time I played it, I basically went into it completely blind. I knew very little about the characters and the plot. I eventually got Yoosung’s route… only to be told by my friend that I would get the bad ending. That was because, in my efforts to make Yoosung like me, I compared myself to Rika. Boom. So, before I even got the ending, I stopped playing. It made me frustrated that I wasn’t answering the emails correctly and my phone wasn’t getting all the notifications (it was broken but also the game was new so I believe it was a combination of both my phone and the game not being right), I was frustrated. I deleted it after I got into a bad relationship because he didn’t want me playing games like that. But then after my A-Levels were all done, and when I was with my current partner, I decided to give it another go… it didn’t work out again. So, why did I even bother trying again now that I am 20 years old, am engaged, have a blog and trying to start a crochet business, and have a house to clean? Lockdown.

Now, we’ve all made some stupid decisions trying lockdown. Some people cut their hair, some people dye their hair, some people spend a lot of time on Tik Tok, some people play Persona 5 Royal until they suddenly don’t want to even look at the Playstation for weeks on end because the ending was off and you spent not only £80 on a game that you admittedly loved but also over 200 hours because it was great but the ending did not give justice to your favourite character… some people download Mystic Messenger.

I wasn’t allowed to touch my hair.

But I wanted to give it one last go. It’s for 11 days. How hard can it be? I had just finished my second year of university, I didn’t want to look at the Playstation, never mind play it. I had nothing better to do. So I downloaded it… but then I remembered. I remembered all the frustrations that came with answering emails wrong and missing chatrooms. I couldn’t put myself through that after I finished Persona 5 Royal. I didn’t hate myself that much, to willingly put myself through all of that pain. So I looked up guides and strategies and suddenly I’ve got all the good endings to all routes apart from Ray’s and V’s because I don’t have enough hourglasses yet.

 My favourite route was Jaehee’s. I know, unpopular opinion. At first, I was upset that you couldn’t romance Jaehee. But as time progressed, it became more and more apparent that Jaehee didn’t need a romantic partner. She needed a friend. And damn how I wished she was real so that I could be that friend. Jaehee’s route was the calmest, the nicest. It felt right. The other routes tend to rush some kind of relationship, which is why – as Jaehee was the last route I did – it felt like a nice change, not having that rush of someone suddenly being in love with MC. I enjoyed the pacing of Jaehee’s route much more than the other routes and it was just so much better. Like, Jaehee is clearly God tier level. I honestly feel like her route is kind of underappreciated because she’s not one of the guys and you can’t romance her, but honestly, it is so good. I changed my opinion on Zen throughout her route. I started off liking him because… it’s Zen. Even though all he talks about is him, he’s pretty cool. He’s protective and he almost instantly trusts MC. However, in Jaehee’s route, I found myself getting very frustrated with him until the last day or so. It’s like he never thought of Jaehee as a person before her route, and even though she states openly that she is a fan of his… he is still shocked and cannot seem to comprehend it. It’s like he just doesn’t pay attention. Not only that but when Jaehee comes over to look after him, he is so unappreciative. It was clear that he did not want her there. He made it so clear and I honestly felt so sorry for her. I love Jumin (as I will be mentioning later) and I went into Jaehee’s route expecting to come out disliking him or at least not liking him as much as I do. However, that didn’t happen. The only character that I got annoyed at in Jaehee’s route was Zen because he had no respect for her. I know it changes as the route progresses and I do like to think that after the route ends, they become closer and he continues to respect her and acknowledge her existence but it just really annoyed me throughout most of the route. Jumin, I felt, was really not much different. A little more… unprofessionally, maybe, but not much. I do want to point out as well, something happened on the tenth night- I got a phone call from Seven. It was a weird one. I think it was Jaehee’s route that the characters seemed a little more… self-aware. It was just weird. It made me laugh but then I was like “wait do they know I’m just going to reset it and they won’t be happy forever?” and that made me very sad. But the phone call with Seven was like… I mean, I had to pause it to show Josh because I was so shocked, and he hates this game and even he seemed impressed. I’ll include some pictures so that you know what I mean.

My favourite romance route was Jumin because I recognise the pain he’s in, and how he is struggling with his emotions. I know a bunch of people say that he’s abusive, but he’s not. Point blank, as someone who has been abused several times and who’s done so much work on recognising abusive behaviours, this isn’t it. Jumin’s behaviour is undoubtedly that of someone who needs help. MC, of course, is that immediate help and there is the potential of the situation becoming abusive if Jumin does not get some kind of therapy but his behaviour at the start is just someone trying to come to terms with the confusion of his emotions. Honestly, I don’t think any of the relationships in this game are completely healthy. Jumin clearly needs therapy and MC can help him through that. Jumin, I think, is the most consistent in each route. I really like how he actually lets Jaehee have some time off. I like to think that he does that like once a year from now. Jumin is first and foremost a businessman, but because of that, the rest of the RFA has seemed to forget that he is a human. I think as time went on during MC’s stay in the apartment, he was more and more reasonable. He just needs help. I cannot repeat that enough. I have a lot of passionate feelings about Jumin Han, mainly because my partner struggles to show emotion in the same way so I kind of relate the two but yeah. And don’t get me started on Jumin’s cat!

Now, I have done all the routes but I’m not going to go into detail with all of them. I love this game. I cannot stress how great it is for someone who just likes story more than anything else. I’m so excited to get enough hourglasses to do another story. ((UPDATE: Hi, editing Eleanor here! Just wanted to let you know that I have now played another ending, but I’ve only managed to do Ray’s route! It triggered me quite a bit and then uni got crazy again so I haven’t had the chance to do V’s route yet… hopefully will get back into it over the winter break and be able to update you guys!)) What is really interesting, however, is seeing the difference between all the endings! How certain things can trigger certain endings. It reminds me of the Life Is Strange series.

Have you played Mystic Messenger? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! I’m planning on doing a Dear Diary for Mystic Messenger after I’ve written up all of my Joker Persona 5 Royal Dear Diary post… that might take a while, though.

Until next time, happy gaming! 😊

Gaming quote of the week

Ryuji Sakamoto from Persona 5 Royal has a lot of what I like to refer to as “Classic Ryuji lines”, such as this one. The fact that he sends this as you’re playing a video game is hilarious to me. It’s right up there with lines like “ain’t that bad?!”. You’ve got to love the amount of comical lines that Ryuji comes out with.

Persona 5 Royal- Final Update

So I’ve been gone for a while (sorry about that!) but I’m back! I wrote this a few months ago, and considering it was part of a series, I thought it could be the first post back! Anyway, here is me from months ago telling you about Persona 5 Royal:

First of all, I know this is really late. It hasn’t been uploaded when it was meant to be and I feel like I owe you guys an explanation. There are several reasons, the first one being that I was finishing the last few assignments of my second year at university and really needed to put all my energy into them. Secondly, I have been really sick recently. Like, nauseated everyday kind of sick. I have not been vomiting as much as I have been feeling like I was going to. Gross, I know, but because of this, I needed a bit of rest time. I think I’ve been so sick because I’ve run my body down again because mental illness sucks but things still need to get done. Thirdly, and I think this is the most important, I don’t do well with conclusions. Everything needs to be concluded but if I was able to put it off for a year, chances are I will. Processing conclusions takes a lot of energy for me. I think it’s important to remind everyone at this point (if you haven’t skipped this little bit) that this is my favourite game. It’s the thing that I think about 99.9% of the day. It’s how I make sense of the world. I don’t do well with the idea of it ending.

Okay, moving on to the good stuff. The final push. Spoilers ahead because it is the end of the third semester so if you haven’t played that far yet, please just be aware that this post will spoil it for you!

First thing I will say is that I did mess up a little bit. I got Sumire to rank 10, even romanced her… but finished the route to the treasure before I was able to do the Showtime attack thing. So yeah. Serves me right for doing the palace in one day (kinda) I guess. So I was a little disappointed by that and I will not just look it up on YouTube because it gives me something to change when I do New Game Plus.

I honestly think that Maruki’s palace was my favourite. It was intriguing, the pacing was good in my opinion, and I liked the different sections. The story throughout the palace itself rivals that of Futaba’s, which was my favourite palace in the original because of the story aspect of it. The story was one that I related to massively. I understand how hard it can be both going through trauma and watching a loved one change through trauma. I know that both of these things are hard. For some people, watching a loved one deal with a traumatic memory or event can be traumatising in itself. This caused a lot of discussing at my house. If you could take away someone else’s pain, would you? Please let me know your response to this as I am genuinely interested in hearing people’s thoughts about this subject. My first response was “of course” because I always want people to be happy. But I know that sometimes people need to grow to be happy. A lot of people are not happy with the person they are, and they, therefore, need to grow and change to improve. Thinking back to what Sumire said that day at the café with Akechi… people need to go through the bad stuff to grow. Here’s a little backstory: my mother was religious when she was a child. Her father passed away when she was 12, and after then, she stopped being religious. I’m not going to force religious perspectives or anyone or do the opposite because you do you at the end of the day, but when I was growing up, I was a little bit religious in terms of believing in a God. My mother used to question this and say “if there is a God, why is there so much pain in the world?”. I’m 20 now, and now I know a possible answer to that question. Again, not pushing anything onto anyone. My point is, this game made me realise why people have to go through pain. There is so much pain in this world, and in the game. Maruki acted like a God-like figure and tried to take that pain away, which hindered people from growing.

Basically, the third semester made the game more about what is right or wrong rather what is good or bad, if that makes sense. The player spends most of the game knowing that they are doing good, but it is questioned several times throughout the game (typically just before each new palace) whether or not what they are doing is morally right. The third semester shows a wider scale of what the Phantom Thieves are doing (in terms of changing people’s lives and their cognition) but it is happening to everyone without prior knowledge. You can see from the start that Maruki’s reality is not morally right, even if you can understand why he has done it. However, it then raises the question of ‘since everyone is already happy, do the Phantom Thieves have a right to take that from them?’. I think more than anything, Royal has proven to be much more thought-provoking than the original game.

In terms of characters, I really liked that you got to see into the Phantom Thieves bedrooms. I just thought that it was really, really cool… you know… apart from Haru (even though I basically wrote 10000 words on how she was the best confidant but you know what Futaba deserved some love this time okay? Okay. Good). I think my favourite persona evolution apology thing was Futaba’s because she was a lot more open about her feelings concerning her mother than the confidant was and I think that is a big deal. In terms of personas themselves, Sumire’s is my favourite evolution because it looks like it resembles purity because it’s white, and I think it might reflect how she now has a purer heart kind of thing, after accepting herself for who she really is. Akechi’s evolved persona is also pretty cool. I really wish I got to use it for longer than 1 day.

I heavily focused on Sumire’s confidant as I wanted to romance her (we even went on a cute date to Destinyland) to get the platinum (and also my partner was about to romance Makoto in his game and I needed to get the trophy before him). I really liked the way her confidant played out, how it was pretty heavily focussed on finding herself but also tied in quite strongly with gymnastics. I feel like with Sumire, gymnastics is such a large part of her life and because it obviously has ties to Kasumi, it would have likely been painful for her to continue without Kasumi. I loved that the game made a point early on to mention that Kasumi was well known for her boldness but Sumire’s coach wanted her to remember who she was. Like, that was pretty early on in the game. And I felt like when Joker first met her coach, Sumire wasn’t quite sure where the line was between herself and Kasumi and that was shown pretty well. You see, people often strive to be the best versions of themselves. When you idolise someone as much as Sumire idolised Kasumi, the best version of yourself has a lot of qualities belonging to the person you idolise. My interpretation of this was that Sumire thought that Kasumi was so much better than her for so long, and they were likely thought of to be similar as they were twins, Sumire thought that the things that made Kasumi ‘better’ than she was the traits she needed to gain to become better and to be the best version of herself. However, in reality, all she needed was to believe in herself and her abilities. She would then be able to gain the confidence needed to be on Kasumi’s level and maybe even surpass it.

Maruki broke my heart. It is almost funny how many times I almost gave in to him. I understood where he was coming from and I wanted everyone to be happy. I loved how he came out of the palace just to get the calling card. Like, basically no one else would have done that. The entire time, throughout the whole palace, he was completely reasonable. He didn’t attack, he didn’t send shadows after us, he didn’t trap us. He wanted us all to come to an agreement but he was not willing to give up other people’s happiness. I am a bit curious about his ex after everything happens because things go back to normal but what would that mean for her? Would she stay the same because her cognition/ reality change thing happened before Maruki had full control of his power… or would she get thrown in the deep end after all these years?
On another note, the coloured arches sucked. So, so bad. Like… okay, I don’t know how to explain it. I really, really enjoyed every single aspect of Maruki’s palace. Like, hands down- it was very well designed, paced and thought out (but we’ve kinda been through that already) but I wanted that third will seed and I wanted it bad so I spent what felt like hours trying to work it out. As you guys know, I often get very frustrated and emotional at times like these. It was so much better and easier after I put the controller down for a few seconds and made myself a cuppa. I needed that time away from it. But the thing is, I still liked it because it suited the palace so well in my opinion. Like, by this point most of the palace was easy to get through. There are not many guards and I assume everyone is level 99 by this point, so the guards that you do encounter are not that bad. But this was so similar to the airlock… the bane of my existence. But I enjoyed the difference like it was not simple because the situation, the entire situation, was not simple.
I loved Maruki’s boss fight. I loved that even when we were fighting, he was trying to reason with us. I really, really loved that. I think when I found out that it was Maruki, I was so scared that he was going to turn into this awful, manipulative, evil guy. But he didn’t. His character was consistent, and I appreciate that as someone who liked his character in general. It reminds me of that scene in Wreck-It Ralph where one of the bad guys is like all “I am bad guy… but I am not bad guy”. It really goes to show that things just aren’t always as simple as it seems. Good and bad, right and wrong… they’re all subjective, at the end of the day.

But on a more serious note, punching Maruki was the funniest thing I’ve ever done in a game. I don’t know why I found it so funny – maybe lack of sleep – but I found it hilarious.

While playing, I have been a lot of people say that the ending was ‘meh’ but to be honest, I don’t particularly trust other people’s opinions on Persona games because there have been several times where my own opinion has been invalidated by others and I’m not really down for that considering how much I love Persona 5 (and Royal). However… I sort of agree. I do prefer the original ending. However, this ending is still good. I like how we get to see how Maruki is doing now. I like the shot of metaverse Joker on the train. I like the concept of the gang chasing away the cops but I also don’t like the idea of them not being there to see Joker off. Also, the lack of Sumire is sad. Especially for players, like me, who romanced her. I think it would have at least been nice to have her with the Phantom Thieves, where she belongs. But it was good. It was satisfying. I just really hope we get scramble in the west to get a continuation (although Sumire sadly will not be in it).

I really, really like how they’ve added in what everyone is going to do in the future. It shows how much everyone has grown. It’s definitely something that was previously up to speculation and to be honest, I really like the fact that it’s kind of in concrete now. It gives us a better insight into the characters.

The last thing I want to mention about the story is the whole glove thing with Akechi. I was talking to my partner about this earlier because it has been bugging me for days. After all, I really thought it would be leading to something more. I’m now thinking that it might be a set up for some kind of fighting game, like the Persona 4 one. I think that it would be really cool, especially if your Persona 5 Royal save could like, load your personas or something. I guess I’m just hoping to get something more out of Persona 5, but the whole Akechi thing really bugged me. There was meant to be more.

Oh, and shout out to Morgana for turning into a helicopter at the last second despite needing one at Kaneshiro’s palace. Go, Mona!

Moving on a little to the whole reward system… I got my first platinum! So that’s that I guess. I really want it in the original Persona 5 too so I’m going to go back to that after new game plus.

But there’s a lot of things to talk about in the Thieves Den that kind of says a lot about how I played this playthrough. Please bear in mind that I was trying to play it in a way that if I wrote something (a diary, per se 😉 ) then the readers wouldn’t get bored. I wanted the actions to be Joker’s actions, not my own. I hope that makes sense.

So, starting off with the awards! First of all, I’d like to just point out that these awards are like, 3D. Each award that you earn has its own image on the wall- they’re not the same. I like this because it’s not just ‘here you did something cool’. It’s ‘you did something cool and this is what it was, now you can display it!’ which I just really appreciate. It’s small details like this that makes this my favourite game.

So, I got 57% of the awards throughout my first playthrough. I don’t think that it’s that bad. There are a few I actively went for, like the home run one. Most of the ones I didn’t get are just because of the way I played the game, so next time I will just adjust the way I play a little bit to get the rest of the awards. However, some awards are not so simple to get.

I was so close to getting this trophy but I didn’t get all the confidants up to Rank 10 so I expected this. I’ll attempt it next time… but it’s hard. Obviously, it’s hard. But again, it’s all about learning and adjusting. I think the best thing about awards like this being in the Thieves Den and not on the trophy list is that you don’t feel pressured. You can still have fun and not stress about not getting all the confidants to Rank 10, even if you are a platinum hunter.

‘Golden Fingers’ is an award that I am not sure I’ll ever get. There. I said it. Those games are hard and quite frankly, my poor thumbs can’t handle it. Oh my goodness, that one game… and I know if you’ve read all of my updates, you know what game I’m talking about because I have complained about it multiple times because it is just too damn hard for me. What’s worse is that I keep forgetting what it is called and click on it thinking it’s another game…I’ll keep trying, though!

The romantic relationships one is not one that I would typically go for. However, I think on my next playthrough I am going to romance all of the characters because I always feel bad for turning them down. I don’t know (nor do I want to know) how Sumire would have reacted if I turned her down.

‘The Shadow Diplomat’ is one that I need to change the way I play the game. I am the type of player who would rather just spend hours fusing personas instead of going through with a negation. I mean, I can’t negotiate with my partner about what to have for dinner… what makes you think I would be able to negotiate with a shadow to make it join my team? I was closer than I thought though. I think (because I neglected the Thieves Den for a little bit) if I had seen how close I was, I would have gone to the top of Mementos and negotiated with some earlier shadows as those were really the ones I were missing out on.

Now, the ‘Rehabilitation’ awards. I wonder if one will be fighting the twins in New Game + like in the original game. However, I have a feeling that it might be fighting the Persona 3 and 4 protagonists. It’s just a thought I had because there’s two of them, and obviously two protagonists. That would kinda suck because that’s a DLC, but at the same time, it’s not like it’s a trophy so it’s not a huge deal.

I think, without a doubt, my biggest achievement was defeating the Reaper. But not only did I do it once- I did it 5 times! You can probably tell by now, I’m a pretty anxious gamer. I’m not very forceful, and if there’s a threat, I avoid it at all costs. I have always run away from the Reaper in my previous playthroughs. It always just seemed too hard. I doubted my abilities. And you know what? After the first time I managed to do it, it suddenly wasn’t so scary anymore.

I really, really love being able to see all the different Rank 10 confidants. It gives the player just a little bit more out of working hard, y’know? Granted, I didn’t have many… it was still really nice to see them interact. For example, there was a really cute bit of dialogue between Sojiro and Futaba over at Leblanc. There was also a pretty interesting conversation between Sojiro and Takemi about mental health. Akechi and Sae made an appearance over by the pool table, and Akechi challenged her to a game of pool in exchange for good sushi (he specifically states ‘not conveyer belt’).

Overall, I have adored this game beyond belief. You guys know that Persona 5 means a lot to me. I’ve mentioned previously that I use it as a way of understanding the world (or anything, really). I don’t think I ever really had the chance to express the amount of anxiety I had just before Royal came out. I lost sleep over it. I don’t do well with change, and I was scared that all my favourite things about the game would change. But the changes were so… complementary. They really complement the game in what I feel is the best way. I could not have asked for a better version. Everything amazed and excited me. The new stuff was, for the most part, beautifully executed. Persona 5 has made such a large impact on my life and I wish that I was able to share that with the world. Persona 5 Royal has only made things better. I cannot wait until I can start New Game +, but I am well aware that all I post is Persona 5 and people probably want different games so I am trying some new games out first. But seriously, if you had any doubts about Royal… take it from someone who also had doubts- it is worth it. It’s worth the money, the emotional energy and the time.

And with that, that is the end of my Persona 5 Royal updates. I’m sorry that it has taken so long to put this one on my blog! Hopefully with the upload of this, my posts will be back up regularly! Make sure to check out my instagram (@eleanor.rees.writing) for any updates (or if you just want to chat!). As an apology, take a look at these funny/wholesome/awesome pictures from my time playing Persona 5 Royal!