Should historical figures and events be used in video games?

So, for my last post, I covered a similar type of thing (but with mental health). This post, however, actually came into my mind months ago as I had a lecture about it. Since then, I have been on several rants (to the people in my class and my partner) about the topic, and I have finally come to a conclusion.

Before we jump in since they are so similar, my mental health post is linked here:

https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/05/10/should-mental-illness-be-used-in-video-games/

So, this might be a sensitive topic, and I want to stress that by no means do I mean to offend anyone. I am purely stating my view as a history student and a gamer. Some things I am going to write will, undoubtedly, upset some people. While I understand that, please read the whole post to fully understand it from my perspective, and do not be afraid to leave comments!

There are so many games based on historical events, and that include historical figures. Wolfenstein, Assassins Creed, Call of Duty WWII. The list goes on and on. But there are several questions that need to be asked. These are real-life people or events. They actually happened. People were affected by these events/ people. Most of the time, people died because of these events or people. So, is it really morally right to use them in video games due to the effect they had on people? Is it okay to portray them differently to provide entertainment to the audience? My answer, with some debate, is ultimately- yes. Here is why.

History is subjective. It is, despite what people think, not just facts. History is always written by the victor of a war. Winston Churchill famously said, “history will be kind to me, for I intend to write it”. In history, there is this thing called historiography. As a second-year history student, I am still a little unsure as to precisely what it means but here is the gist of it: when looking at history, you must always look at who wrote it, why they wrote it and when they wrote it. This is because perspectives change. For example, a lot of Germans in 1933 likely thought Adolf Hitler was alright. So if you take a source written in 1933 and compare it to a source – maybe even by the same person – in 1950, their perspectives would have likely changed significantly. History tends to be written as if it is fact, even though there is significant debate on the topic. Actually, there is even debate about if history is an art or science, but I won’t get into that right now.

Let’s discuss historical events first because that is probably the less controversial part of this post. So, I sat in my history class of 30+ students with my severe anxiety, basically screaming that it was a good thing that historical events are included in video games. I understand that they can be seen as insensitive. However, it is history. Kids are so much more likely to learn about history through a video game than reading a textbook in a classroom. I honestly feel, as someone who also wants to teach history to high school kids, that video games are the best way to teach kids about history. I will let you in on a little secret here: so, my uncle was in the cold war. He’s told me story after story (he goes on and on when he’s had a bit to drink and since I’m a history student, I’m stuck with it) about what it was like, the events of the cold war, all of that. But you know who knows more about the cold war than me? My partner, who did not enjoy GCSE history at all but severely enjoyed the Metal Gear Solid games. We talked about it quite a bit because it’s history, I am obviously going to be interested. However, he starts it off every time with an “I’m not sure if this is exactly how it happened because I learnt this from Metal Gear but…” and you know what? That, to me, shows interest. That is ultimately all it takes for someone to go off and do their own research. For example, this is not about history, but it applies, I live in the UK, so I don’t know much about the Mexican/American border. When I played Life Is Strange 2, there was a massive thing about it. I streamed the game on mine and my partner’s YouTube channel and felt like I was a little ignorant of the situation. Therefore, I went and researched it. I found out about the situation on my own merit because a game had made it interesting.

So, the counter-argument to this is that games are not accurate. Games have a purpose of entertaining the audience and therefore, often spread misinformation about historical events. So, to anyone who is interested in this post because of the history and not the gaming, let me make this very clear. Gamers know that the games they play are fiction. There are often disclaimers at the start of the game saying that the game is fiction. However, if a historical event is brought up, people are going to be more interested in playing through that event than reading about the event. Like I said before, history changes on the daily. There is rarely a right answer. So, that is why it is so difficult to portray historical events accurately. But that is okay. Gamers always know, as everyone should, that they need to take the information that they are given through media with a pinch of salt. But it is the immediate interest and the experience of playing through the historical event that is most important.

Now, moving onto something that I am sure people are going to be mad at me about: historical figures. I have gone back and forth with my opinion on this for a while but ultimately came to a decision. So, my partner’s brother recently got the Jack the Ripper DLC for Assassins Creed Syndicate. When he told me about this, I cringed. I originally thought that it was a bit insensitive. However, I thought long and hard about it, and then I thought about the lesson I mentioned earlier where I was screaming at my classmates. The thing is, society has a way of dehumanising historical figures such as Jack the Ripper, Marie Antoinette and Adolf Hitler. From my perspective, it is almost to distance themselves from people who did terrible things. However, it is my strong opinion that it is wrong to dehumanise people who did bad things. Instead of trying to distance ourselves from the mistakes from the past, we should admit that it could happen again and find a way to avoid it. Just people some people did terrible things does not mean that they were not human. It is important to remember that these people are human, just like you. The actions of these people could very well happen again if society keeps dehumanising them because it is a passive way of not admitting that these things could happen again. So, when you learn about the secret life of Black Beard in Assassins Creed, just keep in mind that for all we know, he could have acted the way he acts in the game. History documents what society wants it to.

In conclusion, I think we as a society could learn a significant amount if more historical events and figures were in video games. It will also encourage us to accept that these things happened and encourage us to find ways to avoid them happening in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Don’t forget to follow my blog to be notified whenever I post and check out my social media to know when a new post is about to come out!

Should mental illness be used in video games?

I am not going to pretend I have a degree in psychology in this post (although my partner is doing a degree in psychology, so I do like to think I know a decent amount of stuff); this is going to be a sincere post about a very serious topic. I have several mental illnesses, a lot of which are highly misrepresented in all kinds of media. Right now, there is a movement to normalise and decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness. So, the question I will be discussing today is if putting mental illness in media, such as video games where the player gets to control the character, is a good way to attempt to end the negative stigma surrounding mental illness.

I am just one person. I will be focusing on my own mental illnesses because that is what I know. I never wanted this to be a place to talk about mental illness from a personal standpoint, so this is not that type of post. I am purely going to be talking about representation in media, if it is harmful or not, and what can be improved in future games. This is all obviously my opinion, but since I have these illnesses and communicate with others who have similar illnesses, I feel confident in my judgement. For reference, I have depressive and anxiety disorder, psychosis, and the one that we’re going to be talking about in a lot more detail, dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder.

So, first of all, let us talk about one amazing example that I have seen in video games that I’ve talked about before: Josh from Until Dawn. I cannot write this post without bringing him up because you can tell that the writers really did their research for that game. For those who have not played Until Dawn, or seen it on YouTube, or read my last blog post on it (I will link it at the end), there is a scene in Until Dawn where the player gets to witness Josh’s hallucinations. Although somewhat dramatised (although it is also realistic as Josh’s mental health is particularly bad in this scene), the scene gives the audience a great insight into what it is like to experience auditory and visual hallucinations. It is terrifying, and it throws it in the player’s face that Josh is not well. Josh is very clearly sick, and this scene makes it clearer than any other scene could have. It does not make him seem ‘crazy’ as it would have if the player were not able to see the hallucinations. It makes him seem scared because he is, and he has every right to be.

Now, let us discuss the negative side of putting mental illness in video games for a little bit. For this, I am going to be using the example of dissociative identity disorder. I will include a link to a great YouTube channel if you want to know more about the illness itself, but I’ll do a brief summary because it is important you understand. Dissociative identity disorder is a mental illness which is caused by childhood trauma. It creates other ‘personalities’, or ‘alters’ as the DID community refers to them, in order to cope with the trauma. Now, my personal experience of telling people that I have this is them saying “oh that’s cool” or “I could do with that”. This is harmful. To those with this illness, it is basically invalidating their mental illness. These people went through trauma in their childhood. They have repressed memories, confusion, and typically post-traumatic stress disorder along with this. Having an illness is never fun. Telling someone that their illness is “cool” or “would be handy” is not okay in the slightest. Dissociative identity disorder is so much more than just switching personalities. It’s not understanding, not knowing, being confused most of the time. There is so much more to it than an average game could show. The main issue with mental illness being in media like video games is that it is difficult to show the full picture.

That is what makes the scene from Until Dawn so good. It does show the full picture. So, the idea that I am putting forward is that mental illness should be in games if the full picture is shown, and only then.

There is also an issue with normalising mental illnesses to the point where it becomes what seems to be a joke, or even when the mental illness becomes an adjective. For example, someone saying “I’m so OCD” because they like their coloured pencils in a certain order, or “I’m so depressed” when they are feeling sad. Obviously, there is an issue of someone finding out about a mental illness and faking it to get some kind of attention (the recent issue with Trisha Paytas comes to mind immediately). However, it is important for me to state that you do not know what is going on in someone’s mind, and unless you are their doctor, you should have no opinion on their mental health.

I have gone back and forth, over and over again, on whether or not dissociative identity disorder should get more representation in media. This has been a long-debated issue. Mental illness of all kind is always a touchy subject. Everyone experiences it differently. For example, someone might experience depression differently compared to someone else. The issue with representation in media is that, as a writer/director/designer, you have two groups of people that you need to consider seriously: your current audience, and then the people with the mental illness. The media still has to be entertaining, so plenty of the people in charge of these decisions fail to consider the thoughts and feelings of the latter group.

A small example that I can think of on the spot is the split second that dissociative identity disorder is brought up in Persona 5. If you cannot remember it, I do not blame you. Why? Because it wasn’t. Now, please bear in mind that this is my favourite game. In this game, dissociative identity disorder is referred to as ‘multiple personality disorder’, which is an old term that has not been used for decades and can rather upset people with dissociative identity disorder. Not only that, but Persona 5 misinforms people about dissociative identity disorder. It states that alters cannot be different genders and ages, which is untrue. This is an example of including mental illness in video games is bad, because it uses old terms and misinforms the audience of the mental illness. This is worsened further because they had the chance to fix it during Persona 5 Royal, but the scene is not corrected.

You see, video games are unique to other types of media because it is interactive. You are able to play as the character. You can experience life as they see it. That is why I love it so much. They can be educational and fun at the same time. In my opinion, putting mental illness in video games can be a good thing. However, if you do as little as mention a mental illness in a video game, you should be doing your research on the subject. There are so many people on the planet who suffer daily with mental illness. Since it is so stigmatised, you need to be informative and accurate while informing your audience about the mental illness. If your main character has a mental illness, it becomes even more important to do serious research on the subject as so many people experience it and people are obviously going to play the game as the character and experience it through the game.

Leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments. If you have any questions, let me know.

Until Dawn Mental Health Post:

https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/03/22/what-until-dawn-teaches-about-mental-health-and-why-it-is-important/

Good YouTube channel to learn about Dissociative Identity Disorder:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6kFD5xIFvWyLlytv5pTR1w

The Significance of Mushroom In Life Is Strange 2

So, I want to make this very clear. If you have not seen or played Life Is Strange 2, you probably should not read this post. If you are currently playing it and haven’t reached Episode 2 yet- first of all, good choice in-game- go play that and then come back… after you’ve finished the game.

Are we good?

Okay, let’s go!

So, Mushroom. Poor, baby Mushroom. Daniel’s beloved pet quickly becomes a fan favourite in the game. We get her at the end of Episode 1, and by the start of Episode 2, we are in love already. Today, we are going to talk about the significance of Mushroom in relation to Daniel and the way he turns out, as well as how her fate foreshadows the ending.

Okay, seriously, if you do not know what happened to Mushroom by now, just look it up. I really do not want to be the one to tell you.

So, let’s just go way back to Episode 1 and talk about those events for a little bit. So, Sean and Daniel leave their hometown after the death of their beloved father. However, Daniel does not know that his dad is dead until the end of the episode. No one is exactly sure about what happened at this point, but as time progresses, it is clear that Daniel has some kind of mystical, kinaesthetic power. Now, we are going to pinpoint one bit of Episode 1 so that we are all on the same page: the gas station.

Daniel falls in love with Mushroom the second he sees her. To be honest, so did I. This scene sets up an evident dynamic, where Sean acts as the adult and Daniel is the child. This dynamic is vital to keep in mind. These boys have just lost their father, and Sean (almost automatically) steps up to look after Daniel. His prime goal is keeping Daniel safe. Their primary purpose of getting to Mexico is nothing is Daniel’s safety becomes jeopardised. We see this in Episode 2, when Sean gives in and goes to their grandparent’s house because Daniel is sick.  

So, a big theme of Life Is Strange 2 is parenting. Mushroom is important here because she teaches Daniel responsibility. Mushroom is Daniel’s puppy, and therefore his responsibility. So, it is interesting that when Sean let’s Mushroom outside to do her business, she dies. Daniel does not blame Sean; he does not even ask about it. He just grieves. This is such a mature outcome. Most people are quick to blame when pets die, so when Daniel does not blame Sean, it shows a level of maturity that is very rarely seen from the young boy. Teaching Daniel to be responsible through the care of Mushroom is one thing, but teaching him to be mature throughout the grieving process is another.

The main action that has an effect on Daniel through the death of Mushroom is whether or not you let him kill the cat. I did. I was hurt, just as Daniel was. Emotions become overbearing, especially in moments like these when everything just moves so fast. Letting Daniel use his powers to express his heartbreak also means that Mushroom gets to a proper burial. This seems almost symbolic. They’re not just burying Mushroom; they’re burying their old life. Daniel now knows the truth about their father, and this burial is likely the closest thing to closure that he will get from that.

But what does all of this mean?

It means that whenever Daniel is happy, it gets taken away.

It means that Daniel can’t have everything he needs to make him happy.

It means that Daniel is responsible enough by himself, but when Sean is involved, that’s another story.

And this is reflected throughout the several endings. If Sean goes to the police to hand himself in, Daniel is pretty happy… but something that all the conclusions are missing is Daniel being 100% happy. None, and I mean none, of the endings, show Daniel being completely happy. Whether it’s because Sean isn’t there, or because life in Mexico is not what they dreamt of.

Similarly, having a puppy is not what Daniel imagined. Mushroom is in this game for such a short amount of time. She is there to have an emotional effect on the player. She is there to break our hearts, just like her death broke Daniel’s. She is there to foreshadow the fact that no matter what happens, that little boy will never be able to be completely happy because of these powers that he just so happens to have.

Daniel did not choose to have these powers. He chose Mushroom. Daniel did not choose for his father to die. He chose to stay with his brother. Daniel did not choose to end up in a cult. He chose a place to belong. Daniel did not choose to live a life on the run. He chose Mushroom. He chose Mushroom, an innocent little puppy, when he was on the run. He did not even know why he was on the run.

Daniel will always choose happiness, like everyone else. However, that happiness will never fully work out for him. And that, ladies and gentleman, is the significance of Mushroom in Life Is Strange 2.

Persona 5 Royal- Week 5 Play Update

This week was a short one because my procrastination has really come back to bite me in the butt. However, it has also been one hell of a Persona 5 Royal week. So, for reference, before I wrote last week’s post, Sojiro took Joker and Futaba out for sushi. This week, the school festival just happened. I have officially hit the 100 hours mark, and my social stats are 5 for knowledge, charm and proficiency; and then 4 for kindness and guts. So this might be all jumbled up timeline wise but trust me, there is a very good reason for that.

Hawaiianized is now an official word in my own personal dictionary and I think it should be part of yours too!

This week I finally went to the Maid Café. I actually went a few times because it is honestly so comical that I get a stitch from laughing so hard. I have spent 22000 yen there (gaining 22 stamps), and I will definitely go again. 10/10 recommend, even if the maids are sometimes clumsy. It is a great way to get charm up, and also you get a little bit of kindness/guts depending on how you treat the maid that is serving you.

I went here way too much this week

Moving on to Goro Akechi, I am at the point of the story where I miss hanging out with him because I know he is going to go bad again soon and that breaks my heart. I cannot believe that I actually like him now. It is difficult for me to contemplate his redemption to be honest. Please do not misunderstand this; I like Akechi as a character. I like his arc, it is very interesting and I have always said that he is a very well written villain. Only, I know he is not going to stay as a villain and that confuses me. I truly hope that his redemption arc is good and not just fan service. That would be an injustice to his character, and we all know how much Akechi hates injustice.

Friends who go to the bathhouse together do not shoot each other… right, Akechi?

Maruki reached rank 9 this week and I, unfortunately, cannot continue (I assume I am blocked by some date but spoiler territory so I am not going to look it up for a change). The last few ranks of his confidant were not the best, and to be honest, I was pretty disappointed. After Hawaii, he seemed like he grew significantly more serious. He is no longer his goofy self, which is something I originally loved about him. I guess as he gets closer to finishing his research, his eyes metaphorically narrow and it becomes one of the only things he is able to focus on, and therefore other aspects of his personality are shoved deep down. I hope that this changes, maybe in the third semester. What I have really enjoyed, however, is seeing him interact more with the Phantom Thieves- in particular, Futaba. That was a really sweet moment in which I was rooting for both of them as they both clearly have a passion for the subject but are not the best socially.

Precious moment

So, Kasumi. Wow. I did not expect this. So, for background, when the Hawaii trip happened, we ran into Kasumi (obviously) and she showed us a sort of lucky charm that she got for an upcoming meet. She got third place (which is amazing, go Kasumi!) but it was not good enough for the school. They are threatening to take away her honour student status, which means that she won’t be able to focus as much on gymnastics. She dropped her charm when she ran into Joker, clearly upset, so after school, Joker went to meet her at the stadium to take her charm back to her and comfort her the best he could. However, the nav activated. How? Kasumi. She awakened to her persona (which uses bless, which I called months ago) but does not join the Phantom Thieves. Now, from the opening and previous conversations, I assumed she had something against the Phantom Thieves. However, that is not really the case. She just wants to focus on gymnastics, which I completely understand. I mean, being a Phantom Thief is very time-consuming. But I digress; the nav activates and it is a completely new palace. I think it might be the vice principal’s, since there were voices saying how Kasumi needs to do better. It looked so clean, I cannot explain it in anyway other than like a freshly built building. I am excited to see how this progresses.

This face always just reminds me of Makoto but this is her direct follow up to telling Joker that she would not join the Phantom Thieves. She’s too precious.
Kasumi being 100% relatable

Moving on to the last thing- Okumura’s palace and boss fight. I actually thought that the small improvements made in the palace were very well done. They clearly knew that this was (in general) people’s least favourite palace, and I think that they worked hard to make it better whilst still keeping the iconic parts there. For example, I felt like everything was significantly easier to work through. The airlock puzzle that literally made me cry the first time I tried it barely phased me now (although I am unsure if it is because it was easier or if it is because I became less anxious and better at the game, but I highly doubt the last one). The part where you have to talk to the higher-ups is so much better, because you get told by the lower robots what the higher-ups are weak to. I really enjoyed the improvements, and it was nice to see that they took the things that the fans did not like into consideration.

Nice to see that people directly tell Haru that she is directly responsible for her father’s death

Do you know what I do not like? Staying up until 7 am because I keep either dying in a boss fight or running out of time. I really do not like that. The Okumura boss fight got me hard. I typically do not ask my partner for help in video games (unless it is something to do with spelling or math because I suck at those), but honestly, I woke him up because I was in tears. This boss fight frustrated the hell out of me. But that is not me saying that it is bad, because it is not. I liked the addition of robot Haru, because previously I thought that Okumura did not even regard Haru well enough to have a cognitive version of her.

Now, I am going to go into detail (kind of) about how I handled the boss fight. The first time, I just ran out of time at the ones that are weak to wind (second to last group). I used Morgana, I tried everything but they always ran. But then I remembered, my Arsene is pretty damn good and he has an Almighty move that will attack them all. So I made Morgana attack with wind, baton pass to me and then Arsene used Megidolaon. So for around 3 turns, I did that tactic. However, it still was not working. There was always one with a little bit of health left. And then I had a revelation.
I worked out that if Morgana only hit one of them down, baton passed to Makoto, used an item to knock another down, baton passed to Haru to use another item to finish them off essentially, and then baton pass to Joker (who’s attack was also still up from Ryuji) then use Megidolaon. In his first turn, Joker also used Megidolaon. And that is how I finally did it! It was tough, real tough, and there were many, many tears shred. But I did it. And now I am ready for Akechi to break my heart all over again. Fun.

I will likely have Sae’s palace finished by the time I write the post next week, but that being said, I do have several assignments due in so I guess you’ll just have to come back next week to find out! See you then!

Lastly, here are your weekly funny screenshots:

Ha. Yeah.
I will forever include this moment
Morgana was clearly confused
Futaba got owned
It is nice to see Joker getting the same treatment as everyone else with glasses
Maruki being Maruki

Does picking a console have an effect on how you play the game?

So, this post is a little different to my usual content again (being adventurous this week!). Today, I felt the need to discuss the difference a console makes to your overall gaming experience. I do not intend to state that one console is better than another. If you have read my ‘About Me’ page, you know that I when I was younger, I had an Xbox and now I play PlayStation. However, I am going to be adding Nintendo Switch into the mix this week, because mine got fixed.

So, first is a little storytime that I feel like I need to include for all of this to make sense. Skyrim came out a long time ago. Way back when I was in high school. I remember not hearing much about it, though, until I got to college (A levels, so 16-18 for all my international readers). My ex-boyfriend and my ex-best friend played it a lot. They would talk about it for hours, and to be honest, I never really paid attention because the conversation was never really directed at me. I heard a few bits and bobs. For example, I knew not to kill the chicken. I told my ex that I wanted to play it and he laughed. When I became friends with my current partner, he let me play it straight away because it was his favourite game. It’s the game he always seems to go back to. Over the course of a few months, I tried playing Skyrim a lot. I also broke the game a ridiculous amount without actually ever knowing what exactly I did wrong.

I just did not get it. It was just a lot of wandering around, a lot of being confused. It was not for me. I tried it on my current partner’s PS4. I then asked my dad to get it for me on my Xbox 360 to see if that would be any better. The furthest I got was reaching the Greybeard place.

But we have a Nintendo Switch. And Skyrim was his favourite game, so we have Skyrim on the Switch. Now, this Switch had been broken since January last year. We recently sent it off to get fixed, and now it is back! Hurray! But while my partner was excited he would finally be able to finish Let’s Go Pikachu, I was not really excited to play any of our games on the Switch. I, as I am sure we are all aware by this point, which much rather just play Persona 5 Royal on the PlayStation and let him have fun playing Pokemon. But he was playing on the PlayStation, and despite not being excited to play any particular game, I was excited to have the Switch back in working condition. So I tried to play Skyrim again because since the last time I tried to play it, I have played about ¾ of the Witcher 3 so I thought it might be better now.

And boy was I right.

I believe wholeheartedly that if I had tried to play Skyrim on the PlayStation again, I still would not have enjoyed it. But this led me to think – what else have I been missing out on because I tried it on the wrong console?

Now, this is not me saying “you need to get every single console that comes out in order to enjoy every game ever” because that would be ridiculous. I know how expensive consoles are (I am already saving up for the PS5, and I know I probably won’t be able to afford it for a long time after it comes out). Not just that, but I also know how expensive games are. Sales are the way to go in that regard, but even then, it can still be pricey. The worst thing is paying £50 for a game you have already got on another console, and that you did not exactly enjoy.

What I am saying is that if you find yourself not enjoying a game that the majority of people do enjoy, maybe ask yourself why. Is there anything about another console that would make that experience better for you? For example, I have bad eyesight anyway, and since Skyrim is kind of grey, I do not tend to pick up on things as easy on the TV (especially with the glare of the light). The Switch made this less of a problem as I can have the screen significantly closer to my face so that I can pick up on a lot more. I can see the full screen at once instead of my eyes having to flicker all over the place.

Different consoles have different pros and cons. You know in your heart what console is best for you. What I am putting forward today is that that console may not be best for you for every game. I was set on Xbox until I was with my partner. Now I am PlayStation all the way. But that does not exactly mean that other consoles do not benefit me.

Keeping an open mind when playing a new game is essential. However, when it is a big game, you have certain expectations. If those expectations are not met, you feel dissatisfied and frustrated. My advice is to try it on a new console. Sell it to a secondhand shop to get some money back, then just try it on another console. Your experience, like mine, might be completely different.

Tomb Raider is a 2 Player Game?

I know that this is a hop, skip and a jump from the content I usually produce, but my partner downloaded Uncharted the other day so that he can play that instead of overtaking me in Persona 5 Royal. I watched him play it for half an hour in a sleepy daze. I didn’t even have my glasses on originally, but I still recognised certain mechanics. My heart started pounding as fond memories flooded my brain. I was about to ask him why he installed Tomb Raider because he’s never shown any interest in it.

You see, I grew up with this game. I cannot remember the exacts, but I remember my dad calling me downstairs after he came home from work and let me climb up the climbing wall and jump into the swimming pool. I was not a huge gamer as a kid, but I could have done that for hours. My dad had a friend (I called him my Uncle so I’ll refer to him like that) who would come over every other night or so and they would play Tomb Raider (or Resident Evil). Thinking about it, my parents did not have the best marriage, but they always worked so well together when Tomb Raider was on.

So when my partner got me Shadow of the Tomb Raider for Christmas 2018, I was confused about why I was not enjoying it. When I was 13, I always played it. But now, as I was watching my partner play his game, I realised why I did not enjoy Shadow of the Tomb Raider. It was because I was playing it by myself.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Oh, it was too hard for you. Yeah, I thought that also. But the fun bit for me is helping each other. Pointing out clues, working out why you can’t land on that rock, trying to work out the puzzle. And when there is so much going on in a game like there is in the Tomb Raider games, you need that other person helping you.

I am not a very social person. I like working things out on my own. I get a feeling of satisfaction when I complete a puzzle or find a clue. But when you play Tomb Raider as a 2 player game, you get more than that satisfaction. You gain skill that can be applied to real life. Your communication improves, your patience improves (and trust me, when you play with my dad, you need patience), and more evidently, your teamwork skills improve. Your relationship with the person you’re playing with improves significantly. I had a lot of issues with my dad growing up, but Tomb Raider was always our thing. I felt comfort whenever we played it, like all those issues melted away. And I honestly cannot think of another type of game that provides so much action that you need two players to play it successfully.

I remember when I was a kid, it was never just my dad playing Tomb Raider. It was always my dad and my uncle. I would usually chime in with some unhelpful advice because I was like, 6 and understood nothing. My sisters and mother would even try to help out on things like puzzles. And there are so many ways you can play this as a team. As I got older, my father and I had a ‘three deaths or one-hour rule’ in which we would swap the controller over every three deaths or each hour, if both of us wanted to play. Another way is someone looking out for the sneaky shiny clues or a way out of a tricky situation. My advice would be at least to try to swap over so that both brains are being used, as sometimes you need a fresh outlook, especially when things are particularly tricky.

I know this is a long shot but try it. Even if you like playing Tomb Raider by yourself. Try it and then get back to me. This game can cause more bonding than family party games. Heck, you could probably play it as a family party game! (Actually, they are pretty long games so I would not recommend actually doing this). But it is also a great thing to try when you’re in lockdown, and your family is driving you up the wall.

Persona 5 Royal- Week 4 Play Update

What a week! We have quite a bit to talk about, so let’s get straight into it! For reference, before writing last week’s post, Makoto had just met Sojiro. This week, Joker had gone out to Sushi with Futaba and Sojiro. Again, I did the palace in one day. I thought I would mention as well, for this playthrough, I am actually taking notes for a future blog post, so rather than doing what needed to be done, I did what would be most interesting to read.

So, last week I completely forgot to talk about a new aspect of the game that I enjoy so much- Showtime Attacks! I have unlocked three so far- Ann’s and Morgana’s (which is funny and sweet), Makoto’s and Ryuji’s (which is my favourite by far), and Ryuji’s and Yusuke’s (which disappointed me because I really wanted Art Runner but at the same time, it is so damn ridiculous I can’t help but laugh each time). These attacks are great and even work on Bosses (my Kaneshiro fight ended with a Makoto/Ryuji showtime attack, it was pretty satisfying). It does not cost SP or HP, and it is so entertaining. I am excited to see the rest. I hope that Ann and Ryuji have one (although I doubt it).

Fusion alarms have been both the bane of my existence and the best thing ever to happen. So, I managed to fuse two of the DLC personas by accident, which is always great because they are powerful and have fantastic moves. However, my persona line up is a little all over the place right now. That stresses me out. I like having designated Personas, and despite what I just said, the fusion alarm actually helped me with this. So, for those who do not know me, I am scared of bugs, or anything that resembles a bug. This includes moths. You can imagine how freaked out I got when I tried to make Matador and got Mothman during a fusion alarm. But it is one heck of a Mothman.

I now have a persona that I make sure is equipped at the start of the battle. This deals with dealing Joker’s HP and SP, and I actually managed to do Futaba’s palace when Joker had most of his SP left at the end. Another fun little thing that I did in a fusion alarm is turn my level 12 Arsene into a level 27 Arsene with Megidolaon. Yeah, that severe all-mighty move. I am pretty chuffed with it, to be honest.

I plan on using skill cards to make Arsene better, but I am still unsure about which direction I want to go with him. I definitely do not want to go down the insta-kill route, because I want to keep Alice for that when I get further in the game. I think I might just try to get a strong physical and curse move right now. Hopefully, I will do that by next week.

Moving on to confidants, I managed to max out Kasumi. Kind of, at least. She only has 5 ranks, and her ‘max’ thing is different from normal (unless they’ve changed it, but I doubt it).

I hung out with Kasumi quite a bit this week, choosing her over the Phantom Thieves because I really want that third semester. I have decided to romance her (I made a deal with my partner because he loved Makoto and was having trouble picking between them as he wanted to see what Kasumi’s romance route was like). I said last week that I think she will awaken to her persona off-screen, but now I am not so sure. I think she might find the metaverse herself, but will need Joker to be there before she awakens to her persona. I am so excited to advance her story. I assume that the other ranks are locked behind the third semester.

But the third-semester idea has lead me to question a lot- like, how will it happen? Do the Phantom Thieves not defeat Yaldabaoth? Do they not go to the depths of Mementos? There are so many questions rolling around in my head that I want answering, but I refuse to look at spoilers. I am so excited to find out what happens.

The jazz club is a great addition to the game, although I do prefer darts over everything else as it is more interactive. I like how you can make your teammate’s personas stronger. It makes me feel like I have more control over the whole team as a whole. I think billiards would have been so much better if it was more interactive, and I think it could have been done easily too. However, I still appreciate it the way it is.

In terms of stats, I am a little behind (same with confidants) because as I said in the beginning, I am trying to make my playthrough entertaining for a future post. I have everything but kindness at 4, which is frustrating because Futaba and Sojiro are some of my favourite confidant storylines. I keep on meaning to go do the next step of the Big Bang Burger Challenge, but something else always seems to pop up. I have over 60% of the trophies now. I am feeling pretty confidant that I will get the third semester, even if I had to sacrifice my Hawaii date for it.

That’s all for this week, folks! I did want to include that in a few weeks, my partner and I are going to be streaming Persona 5 Royal on either Twitch or YouTube. We can’t stream all of it unfortunately as we can only use the Playstation Share thing, but anything is better than nothing. I am hoping to have Okumura’s palace over by next week, but at the same time, I have university work to do. See you next week!

Weekly screenshot of the twins:

The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia (2018)- Game Review

The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights Of Britannia is a PS4 exclusive action game which walks the player through the events of The Seven Deadly Sins manga and anime. It came out in January 2017 in Japan, and February 2018 in the European Union and North America. This game is a fighting type and can be played in two modes: adventure – which tells the story – or duel – which is where you can play against an AI or a friend.  

Sound:

The music of this game is good. It is very reminiscent of the series and fits in well with the overall theme. The characters are voiced by their Japanese voice actors from the anime, which adds familiarity. The sound effects when fighting is also fitting for the game. There is nothing that really stands out as being fantastic in terms of sound and nothing that stands out as being awful either.

Rate: 6/10

Graphics:

One of the only issues I have with this game is the glitches. During fights, enemies often glitch into houses or behind the barrier so you cannot hit them. This is typically not a big deal, but a lot of the fights are timed, which makes the few seconds an enemy glitches for vital to the overall battle, and you may have to start the fight again.

Apart from that little issue, the game looks good. It is not a game you go into thinking it will look amazing like Red Dead Redemption 2, and you should not. It is a game that you go in expecting a similar story to the anime, and that is what you get. There are locations that are familiar, nothing looks bad.

Rate: 5/10

Gameplay:

The gameplay element of this game is exactly what you would expect it to be. It is an anime-style fighting game. You can use combos to gain the upper hand and a super special move when your character gets hit enough times.

There are certain characters (Merlin and King) who are at a disadvantage because all of their moves are magic, yet they have the same about of magic as other characters such as Ban and Meliodas. This makes them harder to play as because you cannot just button mash. It means that the player has to think more strategically while playing as these characters.

There is one character in particular which is overpowered: Hawk. Yes, the pig. It sounds ridiculous, but Hawk’s special move, in particular, is completely overpowered (and incredibly fun to use). Going into this game, you would not expect Hawk to be overpowered because, well, he is a pig. But with some bizarre side quests, the player soon finds out that the pig is not to be messed with, especially when it comes to scraps!

There is an element of the game in which you can upgrade characters. You gain items as rewards through side quests, and use them – with the crystals obtained through battle and on the map – to improve your characters (even Hawk’s mom!). This is a nice element, especially for the co-op mode, as it gives you a chance to gain an advantage over your opponent.

Rate: 7/10

Replay Value:

This game has a ranking system. S is the best, and the worst is C. This encourages players to replay battles to get a better score. Replaying the battles is a fun way to improve your skills and to gain gossip points. However, as for playing the whole game again, it is a very long game. It may be best just to stick with replaying the battles.

Rate: 9/10

Story:

The story follows the anime quite firmly, although some things are omitted, and some things are added. The fighting festival, for example, would have been so fun to do. However, this was not included properly, so you cannot actually fight.

There are so many side quests, many of them including Hawk and Elizabeth. The pacing of the story is weak, as there are so many side quests. However, as for the actual story itself, it is good. The side quests are fun and mostly optional.

They give more insight into the characters that people love. Another way that this is done is by the characters interacting while travelling from place to place. This happens quickly, so you have to be a quick reader! However, this game is primarily for people who already love this story.

Rate: 8/10

Opinion:

I love The Seven Deadly Sins anime. As I have Dyslexia, I watch the dub, which made this game a little harder for me to play as I am slow at reading, and the only voice acting is in Japanese. This game is the type to play when you want to take your aggression out on something. The team fights are my favourite, and I always pick Ban and Hawk because they are my favourite team.

In conclusion, this is a fun game to play when you are not in the mood to play a serious game. The story and surroundings are familiar to anyone who has watched the anime, which adds to the whole, not taking it seriously vibe. I would recommend this game to anyone who already likes The Seven Deadly Sins and is waiting for the next season on Netflix!

TLDR; This game is great for fans of The Seven Deadly Sins!

Overall Rate: 7/10

In The Eyes Of A Girlfriend- Fallout 4

First of all, I would like to apologise for this post being up a few hours late. I was a little late deciding what was going to be posted today, and then I made the decision to post something I had yet to write. But we are here now, so let’s go!

Fallout 4 is a game that I have tried to play several times (three or four), but I never get very far. I have stated multiple times before, shooting games like this just are not my cup of tea, and ultimately Fallout 4 was a big deciding factor of that. A year or so ago, my partner explained the plot, and I found it interesting, so I tried and failed to play it. So now, he is going to show me what went wrong for me and how to do it right. Only there will probably be a lot more murder.

So, the first thing he does when he puts the game in complains about the fact that up the top of the screen, they put about Fallout 76. He had a few choice words about that game and made it clear that he is not going to buy it. Now I am considering getting it for him as a joke.

He wanted me to make it clear to you guys that he always makes the bad guys. He says it is more fun as you get to behave in a way that you are not allowed to in real life, which is his biggest reason for gaming. It is why he sometimes plays games like GTA V and other ‘bad guy’ games. It allows people who are good citizens to take their anger and aggression out on fictional characters instead of real life.

He spends a while creating his character. I do not blame him, I have played Sims 4 before so I know how long it can take to make a character. His moustache is… um… very, uh, impractical. He calls it a thing of wonder. According to him, it is like the moustaches from black and white films that have moustache-twirling villains.

So now he walks around his house, and Codsworth ambushes him with ‘good morning’ and the typical Codsworth greetings. Oh okay, apparently they lost a dog? Shaun starts crying and instead of checking on his son, Josh decides to peak out of the window and freaks out because he sees the Vault-Tec guy. He runs to the bathroom but eventually opens the door. He is very mean to the man, but Nora puts her put down.

For the first time in forever, he puts Charisma all the way up to 10; Perception, Agility and Luck are 4; Intelligence is 3; Strength is 2; and lastly, Endurance is 1. He is not happy about this but wants me to make it clear that this is an experimental build.  He calls his character Hamilton, which I could not argue with and rather appreciated. And Codsworth says it!!!! That is pretty cool.

He finally goes to see Sean and give him attention, but Codsworth yells about coming to see something. I’ve played all of this already so I don’t understand why he’s taking so long since I’ve seen him go through this in no time.

So he heads to the Vault as he hints that either Bethesda has lazy writing or the Vault-Tec guy set off the bombs. Once he gets to the Vault, he calls the doctor an idiot, demands his ‘thing’ because “haha I’ve played this game before” and then gets upset because he has to wait for a guy. Then he gets frozen, unfrozen, witnesses the death of his wife and kidnapping of his son, and then refrozen, and then unfrozen again. He then opens Nora’s pod, steals his wedding ring, and then decides between “fisticuffs or batoncuffs” and chooses to take the baton. He then changes the difficulty to hard, and I have to resist rolling my eyes because he is clearly just trying to flex at this point.

And then he plays a game for a while. After he dies in fake Donkey Kong, he uses the overseers terminal to open a door, and there is a lot of roaches there. He heads up to the surface finally and then complains that he did not choose Valt Tec, he was forced. He goes to see Codsworth, and he states that Mr Hamilton needs a distraction. As a result, Mr Hamilton freaks out, and then we find out it has been 210 years. Poor Codsworth. He’s so precious. I do love him. But yeah, Josh was rude to him. Very rude. And I am very disappointed.

DOGDOGDOGDOGDOGDOGDOG

Dogmeat is the most precious angel dog in the entire gaming history, apart from Mushroom of course. He’s so precious, oh my gosh.

Josh explains that the Vault-Tec vault suit thing has no resistance, but as you are leaving town, you can pick up a Drifter Outfit, which gives him 5 damage resistance. And then we get to the point where I always die and give up. He starts shooting people and using VATS, and I get very easily confused. He goes back to his jumpsuit and attaches a raider leg that he got from shooting people, so that way, he can pick up more armour from raider’s that he shoots. SOMEONE SHOT DOGMEAT, and then Dogmeat kills them, so it is all good.

He gets asked to help by Preston Garvey so “naturally I am not going to help”. He puts the raider chest piece on and explains that he plans on eventually just letting his character walk around in a suit that gives his character +2 Charisma. He threatens Trash Can Carla, who gives him 50 bottle caps. He goes looking for other opportunities to be evil, so I give up because this is not fun to me at all. Okay, sometimes it is funny. He just extorted a drug dealer, and he tried again, but he literally took all of his money the first time. He explains to me that the drug dealer was threatening someone who’s son bought drugs, but the lady was upset because her son got addicted to drugs. So he basically got money off the both of them, without shooting anyone, and then he levelled up which is always a good thing. He then gets really sad because idiot savant is luck 5, and he has luck 4.

He ends up in Lexington but does not want to be there because of feral ghouls. The ghouls kind of reminds me of the monsters from Until Dawn. He finds a random event where feral ghouls are named because they are his old neighbours that did not get into the Vault, so they turned into feral ghouls.

The thing about Fallout 4 is he makes it look so easy, and the plot is intriguing, but in my opinion, the gameplay is not the best for me. I think that there is not enough plot to match the level of gameplay. And it starts off so slow, and that is probably why I never got too far with it.

Moving on, I shall see you guys on Sunday with another post… maybe about Yu-Gi-Oh, maybe about Seven Deadly Sins. But you know what it won’t be about? Persona 5! Shocking, right? See you then!

Persona 5 Royal- Week 3 Play Update

 This week was a slow one gameplay-wise because I had an assignment due in today. So, for reference, Makoto had just awakened to her Persona when I wrote last week’s update. For this week’s update, Makoto has met Sojiro, and that’s pretty much as far as I’ve got. So, I’ve beaten Kaneshiro. There are a few things I wish to discuss, but this week’s post will be significantly shorter than the last. That being said, in a few weeks, I am hoping to make some good progress because University is nearly over with for the year. WARNING: I am going to be talking about what I think is going to lead to major Kasumi spoilers, so proceed with care.

Ryuji wants you to be careful, because spoilers are ahead!

First thing I wish to discuss is the batting cages. I think I’ve mentioned them briefly before, but now that I actually had some time after finishing Kaneshiro’s palace in one day (my biggest gaming flex right now), I figured, you know what? Let’s go batting. And batting I did. 6 home runs and 40 hits. Yeah, I was there for a while. While this feature is not the most rewarding thing on the planet, obviously giving you proficiency and a free batting ticket if you get 3 home runs, it is good practice. I think I will soon have the chance to come here with the team, so I’m getting my training in now while I can.

Moving on to the Thieves Den again, it is fun. I said that before but the point still stands, so I am repeating it. However, what is not fun (*gasp* am I really about to say something slightly negative about Persona 5 Royal?) is spending half an hour trying to get the combination of people that you want, getting it and then accidentally skipping over it out of frustration. It should not be this hard to pick people to play against in Tycoon. I love the game, but this part is frustrating.

Playing Tycoon is fun!

Next, Futaba. I do not believe I have ever stressed enough about how much I love Futaba because I genuinely – painfully – relate to her. I will, one day, do a whole post on her, but that won’t be for a while because I think people are hoping I stop talking about Persona after posting pretty much only Persona content for like three weeks straight. But I digress, Futaba has been introduced slowly into my game, but she does have a few more clips before she is officially introduced. Just last night, I was playing it, and both I and my partner noticed that there are more scenes of her in her room. It is not particularly useful, but rather quite enjoyable. I think it does make more sense, and it gives more of an insight into how she works out everything.

Speaking of there being more of a character, I am pretty sure that Makoto is more violent in this game than the original. Or am I just missing it? Regardless, it is still hilarious.

Makoto being scary outside the palace
Makoto being both suggestive and scary at the same time
Makoto being scary inside a palace with her motorcycle Persona
Makoto being scary at school

Okay so let us just have a chat about Maruki, because I am mad. He does not want to hang out with me anymore, but he thinks it is okay to just call me in for a chat. Basically, I got Maruki up to rank 5 and can no longer go any further with him until completing Futaba’s palace, which is interesting but frustrating.

Moving on to Kasumi, and we certainly have what I class as major developments. We hung out with her, alongside best boy 4, Goro Akechi, and found out that she actually does not like the Phantom Thieves. She believes that by stealing someone’s heart, we are not allowing them to grow. This led to me thinking a lot, because I really believe that people are never the same, people change, but whether or not they change in a positive or negative way is up to them. I should by all means, agree with Kasumi in this instance. However, I know from playing the game that a person who is bad is bad for a reason, and it is very difficult to change that. I do not believe that by changing their hearts, we are no longer letting them grow. I believe it is like pressing a reset button, to allow them to choose their path again. For example, how was Kaneshiro going to grow out of being the person he was? He needed that reset button, because there was almost no more room for him to grow. Second development was after the summer festival. We find out that she did not win her meet, and that she had a sister who died whom she used to do gymnastics with. Aside from rushing to text my partner to tell him he must not come upstairs because spoilers, I really thought hard about this. So, for the past few weeks, since I got Royal since I saw the super cool new opening, I have been trying to work out what Kasumi’s palace is going to be, and when it is. If you already know, please do not tell me! This is just a fun little game for me, and obviously, spoilers are bad. So, here is what I have so far:

  1. She awakens to her Persona before Sae’s palace
  2. She is a gymnast
  3. Her sister died in an accident and was also a gymnast
  4. She does not believe the Phantom Thieves are in the right by stealing people’s hearts
  5. She is not a member of the Phantom Thieves in Sae’s palace

So, my original thoughts were that her palace was between the second and third, pushing Makoto’s back into the summer. However, now I believe that her palace is in the new semester and that she actually awakens to her Persona before the palace she is attached to. This could come about in one of two ways in my opinion. In essence, she could awaken in someone else’s palace, my thoughts are Futaba’s or at the start of Sae’s, or alternatively, she could awaken to her Persona off-screen, like Akechi. Since the two are connected in the story, this one seems more likely. However, another scenario may be just Igor trying to mess around with Joker, if that makes sense.

And I think that is all for this week! Come back next week to see how far I get when I have an exam coming up, and an assignment due in, and work experience. Hint: It’s going to go one of two ways- I either avoid my responsibilities to play this game, or I actually get a right work-play balance going on. I think it will be the first one. See you then!

As usual, here are some funny screenshots from my week! Enjoy!

This made me laugh for half an hour. Yes, that is Akechi wearing Joker’s glasses.
Ryuji pointing out how scary Makoto is
Yusuke being slightly demanding
And lastly, the twins.