Resident Evil Village: First Impressions

I was really excited to play a vampire game again! I’m new to the Resident Evil games as I have only played a bit of the 4th game. Luckily, there was a story summary of the previous game included in Village so I could get the background I needed to understand this game!

Story So Far

The story is about Ethan Winter’s journey to find his daughter after his wife is killed and his daughter, Rose, is taken from him. Something about Rose is special to the vampires that live in the village which I’m guessing it has to do with his wife getting infected by a fungus in the previous game.

Vampires and Werewolves!

It did take a bit too long for the first jumpscare to happen, but from then on it’s been a fun and scary ride. The first buildup took a while by following a long narrow road and I also kept missing junpscares because I would walk through them while they triggered. But, once the first monster came, it started getting really intense!

The werewolves ambushed me in the game even on easy and they would just come up behind you without warning! I jumped several times. The character design is really interesting ad they look both human and nonhuman at the same time. Seeing the giant werewolf was also scary, I thought they were bad enough, but then the big guy came.

The Vampires are also really fun! I love the little personalities to them. I’ve only met one sister, but I do love their dialogue such as them referring to Ethan as “man-thing”. Lady Dimitrescu is really pretty and I cannot wait for her boss fight. She’s definitely intimidating being over 9 feet tall!

I’ve only had one boss fight so far with the first sister. It was really cool how she slowly turned into a crystal. I’m eager to see what the other sisters boss fights will be like as well as Lady Dimitrescu’s!

Fun Horror Game!

I definitely recommend this game if you love anything horror especially if you like vampires and werewolves. If you’ve played previous games though, I’m not sure. It’s really fun, but it’s not really a zombie game (at least not so far). I can also say it runs really well on the PS4. I haven’t had issues and it looks great!

It’s scary but not too scary. It reminds me of a good horror film where’s tension and monsters, but it doesn’t go over the top and become too nightmarish.

Have you played Resident Evil Village? What were your thoughts?

What I’ve Been Up To

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

So tax season is finally over so I can finally get back to writing! Most times I was just too tired by the time I was done working on the weekend to do much so that’s why I hadn’t been writing for a while. I’ve really missed writing and the blogging community! So here goes my update!

Games I’m Currently Playing

Right now I am playing NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… (quite a long title). This was one of the games I was looking forward to playing this year and I love it! Just like NieR Automata, it is an emotional game with a lot of moments so far that have made me cry like the lighthouse story. This game is essentially about a brother attempting to find a cure for his younger sister’s disease with the help of a talking book, Grimoire Weiss.

I also played the Resident Evil Village demo last weekend and I am really looking forward to this one! I love vampires so having an entire horror game about vampires to play is just perfect! So far, I am loving the graphics and the mystery surrounding the vampires. It also was scary and I did manage to jump a few times especially when I was being chased by a horde of vampires.

New Games I’ve Gotten

A friend told me about a portable hard drive that I could get for my PlayStation so I’ve been able to finally get some more games on it and I also moved Cyberpunk 2077 to it so I can get all the DLC for it whenever they release.

My PS4 now has Spiderman which is really fun so far. I really enjoying being able to swing around New York and I love that it’s open world so I can explore the city! I also got Red Dead Redemption 2 which I am really looking forward to playing! It looks gorgeous and I am interested in playing a game as a cowboy. I just added Assassin’s Creed Unity as I’m a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed games and I’m looking forward to being a part of the French Revolution.

I was also able to get Blue Reflection, Spyro Reignted Trilogy, NieR Automata, Assassin Creed Syndicate, Yakuza 0, and Yakuza Kiwami back on my PlayStation 4 now that I have the room. I did not finish Spyro so I am really looking forward to being able to play it.

There were a ton of sales during tax season so I got a few games on my Steam. I just bought Dead Rising last weekend as it looked like a lot of fun. I’ve seen the Game Grumps play parts of it so I am looking forward to actually playing it. I also got Asssassin’s Creed II because I was interested in exploring Italy and Fallout: New Vegas because I have never played a Fallout game. Finally, I got Black Desert Remastered while it was free on Steam because I had it on mobile and wanted to get the PC port.

For my Switch, I got Persona 5: Strikers and Vampyr. I am a big fan of Persona 5 so I am really looking forward to playing it’s sequel. Vampyr’s story intriqued me and I went with the Switch version because I figured it would be fun to take it with me on the go. You play as a vampire doctor during the plague and you can decide whether to maintain your humanity or become a bloodthirsty vampire.

Finally, I got Pandora’s Tower for the Wii U. I’ve always wanted to play this game so I decided to try the Wii U version and so far it’s great! I haven’t had a problem using the GamePad for the motion controls.

Games I’ve Completed

I was really busy working so I couldn’t find a lot of time to play, but I did beat Cyberpunk 2077 and BloodRayne. Both are great games and I am looking forward to playing BloodRayne 2 and the eventual DLC for Cyberpunk 2077.

Game’s I’m Looking Forward To

I am looking forward to Resident Evil Village after playing the demo. I am also really looking forward to Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD this month as I am a fan of Persona but haven’t played an SMT game. The plot sounds very interesting because it appears to be about you finding someone to rule the world after it gets destroyed and there are multiple endings. Finally, I can’t wait to play Skyward Sword as I have always wanted to play that game as well and I am looking forward to the Switch port.

What have you all been up to recently? Let me know!

The State of Cyberpunk 2077 on PS4

Photo by Naveen Annam on Pexels.com

I was very excited to play this game at launch. Unfortunately, when I woke up that morning I saw news that the game wasn’t running well. I waited for my physical copy to arrive and then had to wait for it to download 102 GB because the console versions are larger. The original state was very bad and even though with the current patch it does work, I would advise waiting for further patches.

Launch State

The original state of this game was bad for the little bit I played it. The graphics and lighting were poor. Textures had no detail and graphics were in general very blurry. There were loading issues with textures so things would appear pixelated. It was struggling with any action in the game.

It was bad enough that I was thinking about refunding. Then the next day a patch came out that fixed things enough that I liked the game.

Current Graphics

Graphics are still low quality, but they do have more detail. I noticed that people’s faces had more detail and the lightning had been improved. Graphics can still be poor quality like signs sometimes have blurry textures so its hard to read. A homeless guy’s sign didn’t render properly so I was struggling to read the words. Textures still pop in so if you look in the distance in the city you can see how poorly detailed things are.

If you are planning on still playing, here are some tips that I found online or just by me tweaking settings. Turn off all graphic effects except Lens Flare and then turn on HDR if you have a compatible TV. Set the maximum brightness to 2000, paper white to 600, and tone mapping to 1.50. I would not set the paper white higher as it gets so bright it causes a double vision effect making it hard to concentrate and read. If you don’t have HDR, turn Chromatic Aberration on. Now turn your sharpness on your TV to a medium setting, I had it at 13 and then the game does look much better!

Controls

The controls needs a bit of work, but it could also be due to frame drops during intense combat. Driving was also hard at first because I could easily oversteer the vehicle when making turns.

The recommended control scheme I found by searching online was to turn dead zones down to their lowest amounts and turn all bonuses in the advanced options to 0. This allowed the controls to be tighter when driving and made combat smoother.

Bugs and Crashes

So far I have only encountered 2 crashes on my console. Both happened on the same day when I was able to play the game on the weekend. The first happened after I took a break from the game to think about a decision, I came back and chose my option and then the game crashed a few minutes later. The second I don’t know what happened; it was weird. All of a sudden, I started feeling like something was visually off with the game and then I noticed that things were blurring when I moved the camera and the game was really stuttering and I could tell the frame rate was dropping. Then, it just crashed. Both times when it crashed it completely reset my settings so I had to redo my settings so I made notes on what I had the game set to.

As for bugs, I’ve got plenty. I’ve had T-posing NPCs. I’ve had cars and people randomly spawn in. When a cyberpsycho died in the game his mouth was still moving. One time when my car spawned in when I called it, it landed on top of another car and got stuck. I found out that if a car flips over, it will do nothing, then the person in the car will stand on top of the car and then both will explode into fire.

I also have an odd bug that also happened twice where my controller disconnected. I’ve no idea how the game disconnected my controller as there’s no issue with the controller. I’ve played Valhalla for hours or used my controller to play Steam games with no issues so it’s not my controller.

AI Behavior

I’m coming from Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto games so I was shocked at how bad the AI behavior is. So, there was a scene where I had to capture someone in a diner. First, for some reason the cops were called and they spawned in immediately outside. So, I can’t tell whose a gang member and whose a cop. So, I took out the Tyger Claws gang and hid. Eventually the police gave up, but the Tyger Claws were still attacking. When I got outside of the area, everyone was crouching and hiding even though the action was over and they were far away.

Police do just literally spawn in and them doing that can slow the game down for a bit. They don’t arrive at a scene. They are also very hostile and will attack if you get too near to them. I was walking down to a fast travel location because I didn’t know what it was at the time. All of a sudden a cop said “drop your weapon” even though I had nothing out and started shooting. I just walked past him to explore and he took it as a threat.

As for people, they are not very interactive. Some have interesting dialogue that they will say to each other, but they mostly just tell you in various ways to go away. At least there’s one hairless cat you can pet in the game that’s friendly. There’s also street vendors, but you can’t buy food from them.

Positive Aspects of The Game

If you’re wondering why would anyone buy this then I do want to mention why I’ve decided to not try to refund it. The story is really fun and I’m interested in it; plus Jackie. I love Jackie, as soon as I met him I just had to keep playing the game! He’s a fun character that’s very comforting because he treats you like family.

Side quests can be fun. There are unique quests or some fun ones that repeat like researching cyberpsychosis by knocking out cyberpsychos. There’s weird NPCs like I found Jesse Cox in the game! He was flaming crotch man because I had to take him to a ripperdoc to an implant gone wrong. That was really funny!

The world is really pretty and with work I feel like it could be an immersive game! If stuff like AI was worked on and interactive elements like being able to eat food on street corners or go to the barber like in Witcher 3 would also be really nice RPG elements.

The cyberpunk aspect is really cool! I love the style and the emphasis on corrupt corporations. I am interested in how the cyberpunk theme and style will be developed throughout the game.

Verdict

This game has potential to be a really good game on consoles and in general with some patches. For now, if you are a console player and own this game, consider playing something else for the time being like I’m going to focus on Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. If you are looking forward to buying this, wait until at least February because the latest news from CD Projekt Red is that there will be major patches in January and February. It sucks that the game I was looking forward to the most this year did release in this state. I’m hoping that this game can be really nice looking and play wonderfully after a few patches. Right now it can be played even though it can crash or have frame drops during battles, but I would rather wait until it is better looking and completely stable before playing.

What are your thoughts on Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles?

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: A Gem That Still Needs Some Polish

Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

I was really excited to play this game when I got back from vacation! At first it took time to get used to mainly due to bugs and I spent too much time focusing on completing Norway before continuing plot. But, now that patches are coming out and I’m in England I’m really enjoying the game! Also my PS4 (not a pro model) sounds like it’s a jet plane trying to keep up with this new game!

Plot

Elivor seeks revenge for her father’s death by taking out her father’s killer, Kjotve. Once she does that with the help of Harald, he declares that he wants to be the king of Norway and unite the different  clans under him.     

Elivor and her brother are against being ruled under a King so they move to England to start their own clan and seek out alliances so that their clan can grow stronger. They are also working with The Hidden Ones to take out The Order of The Ancients as Kjotve was one of them.

Combat and Stealth

The stealth aspect of Assassin’s Creed games are here, but they need to first be taught by The Hidden Ones before Elivor can do them.

Combat is about trying different styles. You can try different weapons combos or use one two-handed weapon like a spear. Right now I am using an axe and a shield. You can upgrade weapons and put runes in them like fire damage runes or weight reducing runes.

Special abilities come from leveling up on the Skill tree as well as finding books in the game to unlock Abilities. I love this feature because it encourages you to explore!

Settlement

The Settlement serves as a base you can upgrade by getting supplies by doing quests or raiding villages.

You have a main hall where you rest, receive letters, or forge alliances.

There’s customization with tattoos, mounts and mount training, boat customization, and also little things around the settlement like customizing trees.

You can also upgrade weapons, hire a Jomsviking to help you, open a trading shop, do fishing (which I haven’t unlocked yet), and set up posts to exchange hunting trophies or artifacts for rewards.

Activities

Raiding is how you get supplies for your settlement. You use your horn to summon your crew and raid towns for riches. Its really fun and I enjoy the music that plays! Hunting is back and do far I’ve fought a giant Elk! I love the challenging bosses. Roman artifacts can now be found in the form of masks hidden in the area. Cursed areas are also new where you look for a cursed skull. I also stumbled across cursed bosses I believe? This woman appeared and she seemed to have cursed a land but she was way higher leveled that I was so I can’t talk about that much yet. Hunting down The Order of The Ancients is back and instead of mercenaries wondering around; there are  Zealots. I love that this back because I really enjoyed it last time!

Fishing is new, but unfortunately I need to build that settlement so I can’t comment on it. There’s a fun platforming activity where you platform across glitched platforms as Layla to fix the simulation and gather data. There are also world puzzles such as putting an image together or walking through doors in the right order.

My favorite little part is petting dogs and cats! The dogs put their paws on you and the cats are huge! I know there are quests where I can get a dog and one where I can get a cat and I’m really excited!

Side Quests

For my playthrough, I have the game tell me where everything is so I can see all of the side content instead of walking around looking for things. I really love these and I just wanted to share my favorites:

  • Axehead who was wondering why he had a splitting headache who then told me a sweet story while I took the axe out of his head
  • A man who kept telling me to burn down his house so he could prove his faith when he was really trying to hide that he was a murderer
  • A wife and child who needed their house cleaned because the husband insisted on not bathing and I had to trick him into taking a bath.
  • Finding treasure by letting cats out of a house so they would chase the rats away

Bugs

This game is a bit buggy, but luckily it has gotten better and should get even more better with each patch. When I first played the game, it had just started experiencing save corruptions and The Seer quest was broken. Luckily my game wasn’t impacted and by the time I explored all of the first area, the quest proceeded smoothly. There were issues I was having with wealth that were frustrating. So when you killed the mini boss of a big wealth section you’re supposed to get wealth from them. I got a messed up looking mannequin and had to reload and do it again so the game would accept it. This has also been fixed!

I did see a low poly boat with a mannequin figure and also a child did appear to be growing while he walked during a quest because he was all of a sudden my height, but he shrunk down again!

First Time Advice

So I explored all of Norway before playing through the story and going to England. I do not recommend doing this! First, you cannot do the Leap of Faith until you unlock it. You also need to visit the first settlement in Norway to unlock steal assassinations which make entering wealth areas so much easier! Also Norway was mostly snowy mountains so I did find the first area boring after a while while England has a lot of different colors and environments. It would be better to go back and forth between the two areas instead of only focusing on one area at a time.

Be a Viking!

I am really enjoying this game now that I am in England! I am looking forward to upgrading my settlement and doing all of the activities and side quests! I am also interested in seeing how this story develops and it is currently focused on building a new life. I wonder if some great conflict will arise; something that will drive the plot forward.

What do you think about playing a Viking?

Witcher 3 and Worldbuilding

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of my favorite worlds to explore in gaming. As I am replaying the game, I am appreciating all the little things they do to keep me imersed.

Landscapes and City Life

The world is beautiful. Just look at any screenshot of this game and you feel like you’re in another world. The trees are beautiful and lush. The weather system is realistic like the when it rains or a storm is coming. The day and night cycle causes different things to occur like maybe the villagers are asleep at night. There are items you can collect while exploring such as different flowered trees being a symbol that you can collect herbs to use for potions.

The cities are also fun to see during different hours of the day. In the daytime you can see vendors and people shopping. You can also hear live bands. At night you can see guards patrolling the area or in Novigrad you can run into bandits. If you go into a tavern you can usually see someone there at any time of the day. All these little things make you feel like you’re in a real city.

Encouraging Exploration

One of the first things I do when I open up a new area is look at all the new sign boards in the area. Seeing them on the large map and going to them unlocks new fast travel areas and reading the signboards unlocks quests and question marks. Question marks are fun to explore because maybe you find hidden treasure, maybe you help the villagers gain back a piece of land that has been overrun by monsters, maybe you stumble across a monster’s nest. Another fun part is when you come across something that is way too challenging. A skull will appear next to the area you explored to let you know you can go back there later once you’ve leveled up some.

Characters

Each minor or major character in this game has a unique story that makes them feel real. For example, I am currently on the quest “Broken Flowers” and every single woman that I have met has something unique about them. The first woman I talked to turned out to be twins that were playing a prank by pretending to be each other. I also learned that one sister wrote a letter to Dandelion so that the other sister who had a crush on him could meet her. Later on, that same character led me to a “Fencing Lessons” side quest where I got to learn more about her personality.

Speaking of Dandelion, I do love how this game builds on fantasy stereotypes. We have the bard whose quest to find him has me running all over town talking to the many women he flirted with. But, based on what the woman have revealed, it’s possible that he was trying to talk to them to uncover clues about something he wanted to know about.

Story Quests

Whenever a quest line ends, you get a painting that shows the ending of that quest. My favorite was just a small side quest. I had to find Corinne because she could learn about Ciri through dreams and learned that she was investigating a haunted house. I found out that she was trapped in a nightmare by a godling named Sarah. Sarah just wanted to play and didn’t understand that nightmares were bad because she loved having them. She was also the reason the house was haunted because she loved pulling pranks. I could force her to leave or let her stay. I decided to let her stay and later on found out that she became friends with Corinne and they moved in together so Sarah could have a friend. I loved the painting because there was a little picture of Geralt tucking Sarah in like she was a little kid.

Favorite Worlds To Explore

I’d like for you to think of your favorite worlds to explore. Maybe there’s a game that you’re playing right now that also gives you the feeling like you’re in another world! I am enjoying replaying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and I am looking forward to writing more about it as I progress more in the story.

Let me know your favorite gaming worlds in the comments!

Adventures in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

adventure beautiful boardwalk bridge
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Replaying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been really fun! It’s all I have been playing lately so I wanted to highlight some memorable things that have happened while I was playing.

Exploration

I entered the Novigrad and Velen areas and the first thing I like to do is collect quests and explore the area as reading notice boards brings up question marks for treasure or monsters. So I started visiting the notice boards and exploring all the question marks that came up.

I forgot that once you exit the tutorial area, exploring can be dangerous because you can easily run into very powerful monsters. That’s how I have a fast travel location that spawns me into a group of powerful ghouls which I have to run away from. I have also had to come back to some question marks later because of golems (which I somehow forgot were a thing) and wyverns (basically dragons that can’t fly).

Another funny and scary thing that happened while I was exploring was a leschen appeared. They scare me, I don’t like how powerful they are plus the creepy long black robe and antler skull head. Of course he had to appear while I was adjusting to wearing glasses while gaming since they’re meant to give my left eye a boost and protect me from blue light and glare. So a nice stroll through the forest admiring how detailed things were from further away turned into a chase, but I somehow got away from it!

The only other glasses related incident happened during a quest that luckily didn’t involve combat at the time. I like drinking tea at night and knew that it can fog up my glasses, but I also liked how clear I can see the TV with them on so I figured while exploring a side quest I could keep them on unless combat happened. So while this woman was telling me please do not explore this side quest further as no one needs to know what happened to her sister, my glasses started fogging up but I could still see her and see that she was hiding something.

Contracts

Patrol Gone Missing

This one I came across accidentally. I was exploring and a wyvern appeared. I panicked because they’re typically too high level for me so instead of planning like I have been trying to do before fights; I just kept hitting it with my sword. I somehow survived and then the contract was complete.

Jenny O’ The Woods

This one was really sad, but there are sad contracts in this game. Usually if you come across a wraith contract, you know something traumatic happened to her. In this case she loved someone and wanted to leave her abusive relationship. The guy found out and killed them both. She appears at night in a black dress and was hard at first due to a small error. I didn’t wait until night to prepare with bombs, potions, and oils. I meditated during the day to wait until night came to make her appear after drinking the potions and preparing the oils so they wore off and she killed me quickly. When I prepared at night and then summoned her, the fight was easy!

The Merry Widow

This one was a creepy one. It involved a grave hag and she kept talking about her wanting her bones back. She was in the old graveyard luring kids out and killing them. She also had a tongue vine move that could really hurt so I had to make sure I dodged so I would not take damage.

Side Quests

Thou Shalt Not Pass

I love the reference to The Lord of the Rings films! Basically I needed a pass to enter Radovid’s areas. I could have gotten one for finding out who was killing the troops. It turned out to be elves and I like elves so I decided to leave them alone. Because I did not tell the guard who was killing the troops I had to get them from a shady merchant. Somehow the guards fell for it and let me in even thought the writing was atrocious and there was no stamp.

Wild at Heart

This was the most recent sidequest I did. This man lost his wife in the woods. The village including him thought she was killed by wolves. While exploring her sister came by and told me not to explore further because there was no use finding out how the sister died. I could have stopped but I wanted to see what had happened. It turns out she technically killed her sister. She was in love with her sister’s husband who was a werewolf and did not know the sister knew he was a werewolf. She brought her sister to see her werewolf husband to scare her off from marrying him which led to him accidentally killing her. He then wants to kill the sister for forcing him to kill someone. I let him do it because I was mad that she killed her sister out of jealousy and then the werewolf asked me to kill him so he wouldn’t kill anymore and Geralt automatically did that.

Meeting Characters From Previous Games

Letho

I met Letho after a widow asked me to save her old home from monsters. The home was abandoned and full of traps where I met Letho. He was on the run after the man who hired him to slay the king in the last game decided to kill him to hide what he did. I chose to follow Letho where he confronted the people who were after him and Geralt offers him a place at Kaer Morhen.

Lambert

I found Lambert, who I know now from both the books and the games, while I was hunting a werewolf. Lambert killed the werewolf and then he is after all the men who killed his best friend Aiden (who now reminds of Beyond: Two Souls because I just completed the game). I helped him find leads, but I need to go to the next area to finish the quest. I want to finish the main quests in the area I am currently in before continuing.

Continuing Story

I have finally see what The Wild Hunt can do again. I was meant to meet a contact that was following Ciri. The Wild Hunt came and killed him and now the area is permanently covered in frost. I am on my way see the witch who saw Ciri last.

What games have you all been playing recently? Any stories from the games you have been playing?

 

5 Most Inspirational Characters in Persona 5

paper with a quote
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Playing through Persona 5: Royal has been fun and has also given me a writing idea! The characters in this game have phenomenal character development and I wanted to create a list of the characters that I found the most inspiring in Persona 5I’m currently at Kaneshiro’s palace in Persona 5: Royal so most of these memories will be from Persona 5.

5. Makoto

Makoto feels useless as the student body president. Everyone relies upon her to change things, but the principal only wants to use her to find information on the Phantom Thieves. She also laments not trying to do anything about Kamoshida’s abuse despite the whole school knowing. On top of that her sister loses her temper and calls her “useless” making her REALLY feel useless.

She is desperate to prove she can help the student body so she forces the Phantom Thieves to help. Seeing the twisted desires of the mafia boss, Kaneshiro, she becomes enraged that adults keep using her and stands up for herself. She becomes this badass character willing to stick up for others and fight against corruption in the palaces. She’s very intelligent as she is somehow able to understand the mechanics of a palace like cognitive distortion. Even though it was reckless of her to confront a mafia boss upfront, she did it to help the Phantom Thieves and also because she really wants to help the student body. She really is a strong leader which is why she does make a good student body president. She really listens to the students and wants to help them despite the adults not making it easy on her to help the students. I admire how strong of a person she is and that she is willing to go to extreme lengths to protect the students at her school.

4. Futaba

Futaba has agoraphobia. Her mom died in a car accident and she firmly believed she caused her mother to die. Turns out her mother was forced to die because she knew too much about the mental shutdowns. The adults who caused the mother to have a mental shutdown so she would die told Futaba it was all her fault her mother died. Futaba was then passed around to awful relatives until she ended up in Sojiro Sakura’s care who wanted her to be happy and tried to care for her.

Futaba does have a lot of courage. She asked the Phantom Thieve’s to change her heart which is a big risk considering no one knows how the Phantom Thieves change hearts. She also let them into her room and see her after they explained that she needed to help them open up her Palace more (If a person believes they are safe, the palace will only let a person enter so far until that person believes that their defenses are down).

She also is courageous because after her Palace is defeated, she tries really hard to go out in public. The protagonist and his friends help her come out of her shell, but she still has to take steps to go out and be around people and try to attend high school. I admire her for working so hard to overcome her agoraphobia and learn to trust people.

3. Ryuiji

Ryuiji has had a rough life. His father was abusive and his mother is struggling to make money since the father left. Ryuiji got a temper from seeing the way his mother was treated which Kamoshida targeted so Ryuiji would lash out at him so Kamoshida could disband the track team and blame it all on Ryuiji.

Despite appearing tough, Ryuiji is a really sweet kid. He meets the protagonist and after having to escape their first palace without even knowing each other or what a palace even was, he decides that this guy is going to be his best friend. Ryuiji really listens to the protagonist and wants to be a good friend. My favorite scene is when they get ramen together at the beginning of the game and Ryuiji wants to make sure the protagonist has enough food and listens to him talk about why he is on probation. I love that Ryuiji just genuinely wants his friends to be happy and tries to look out for them.

2. Ann

After her friend is physically and sexually assaulted by Kamoshida and then hospitalized, Ann vows to first seek revenge. She spares Kamoshida even though he is an absolutely awful human being. She decides to fight against corrupt adults and she also feels inspired to grow a stronger heart. Even though it takes her a while to learn how inner strength cannot be grown through little things such as not getting upset over criticism or not eating sweets. I enjoyed maxing her bond in Persona 5 because I enjoyed seeing her grow as a person and how she was just so caring towards others.

1. Protagonist

The protagonist has to move to Tokyo after he is put on probation. He attempted to stop a drunk man from sexually assaulting a young woman. Because this man was a very important political figure, he was able to get away with everything and the protagonist got a sentence for assaulting him. Despite having people look down on him and judge him, he still manages to be compassionate towards others. He helps people and makes friends just because he cares about others. He is a strong leader of the Phantom Thieves and he works hard to make sure that corrupt adults change. I admire his courage and his willingness to change the future and create a better world.

Let me know what characters from Persona 5 or other games you thought were inspiring?

Why I Love The Witcher Series: Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

white wolf on floor
Photo by Luna Lovegood on Pexels.com

I have been a fan of The Witcher since I decided to pick up The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt  when I saw that I could get the complete edition for $20. I did not know too much about the game beforehand. All I knew about the game came from watching Conan reacting to The Witcher 3 and he was mainly focused on the unicorn scene. After playing it for myself, I saw a beautiful world filled with lore, complex characters, and a thrilling story.  After buying The Witcher Enhanced Edition  on Steam, starting the novels, and knowing that The Witcher Netflix series is coming out this month, I have decided to write a series of posts about The Witcher starting with the first game I played.

Characters

Geralt

This game is full of amazing characters! I love Geralt. At first, his voice seemed dry, but I began to love his humor and wit. I also love how much he cared for Ciri.

Ciri

Ciri is also a fun character. She has a strong personality that starts with her as a child. I enjoyed playing as her as well because her combat was really fast.

Triss and Yen

Triss and Yen are also amazing. I am really impressed by how women are represented in The Witcher 3. Triss and Yen are both strong sorceresses. Triss has more of a fiery personality and she is in all three of the games. Yen is introduced in this game, but I love how mature she was. She is a motherly figure to Ciri and she was very independent. Even though she is helping Geralt find Ciri, she is following her own path. She is also extremely intelligent.

Dandelion and Zoltan

Dandelion and Zoltan are Geralt’s main companions. Dandelion also writes in the journal entries of the game. I noticed immediately how much he flattered himself. He definitely fits the bard stereotype with his ego (especially when it comes to his ego about his writing and poetry), but he also truly cares about his friends. Zoltan is a dwarf who is strong, bold, and caring. He is not afraid to speak his mind and he has fought and survived many battles.  He really looks after Geralt even it just means having Geralt sit down and have a drink with him.

Story

The main plot is mostly about finding Ciri and stopping The Wild Hunt. But, there are also multiple plots that overlap such as the Bloody Baron’s story and King Radovid’s hatred of non-humans. These plots also come with multiple endings and finally the final ending. So you can play through the game multiple times to find different ending to both main and side quests.

There are also a ton of side quests in this game. I don’t even think I finished all of them in my first playthrough. There are story side quests, treasure side quests where you find gear or gear sets, and contracts where you kill monsters.

The nice part is that despite having two previous games, the game does its best to explain what it can to you. There are backstories in journal entries. You can choose your own story that happened in The Witcher 2 even if you’ve never played it. Characters like Triss that appeared in all the games are fully developed in this game. I understand more about the characters and the lore now that I am playing the previous games and reading the books, but this game still did a great job at making this a good game for first players.

Humor

This game is really funny. Geralt’s dry humor really makes me laugh. The first time he really made me laugh was when he met a scholar at the first inn who listed his various titles and Geralt said he was a “Witcher. With tenure”. I also love the scene where he gets drunk at Kaer Morhen.

I also love the scenes with the trolls especially the troll named Trololo. The name was funny enough  but he also sings and just randomly says “Trollololo”. There was also a funny scene where Philippa is an owl and Zoltan thinks she’s a real owl so he gives her a perch to sit on and wants the owl to  learn to speak and play gwent.

Massive World to Explore

There are five main locations in this game: White Orchard, Vizima, Novigard, Skellige,  and Kaer Morhen. They all have different environment, different people, and different cultures. Even within the maps themselves there are differences such as the poorer towns outside of a castle.

The worlds have maps full of questions marks where you can explore and find treasures, caves, or monster dens. The monsters in the worlds are full of variety. There are journal entries for each monster so you can learn about them and how to fight them. Some of these monsters were genuinely terrifying like the Leshy.

Combat

The combat mainly consists of using swords, but there is also a crossbow for flying monsters and underwater monsters. I loved the swords because they are so fluid. I also love the movements with the pirouettes. It makes the swordplay almost look like a deadly dance.

I also love the use of signs like Igni for fire and Quen for shield. They can be used in combat or dialogue.

Finally alchemy is a major component in battle. Making potions can strengthen weapons, heal Geralt, or be used against monsters.

Expansions

The main game also comes with two massive expansions that are almost like two separate games.

Heart of Stone

Heart of Stone centers around vampires. You have to fight against Olgried Von Everec who cannot die. It also features a literal toad prince boss which was funny due to the concept, but awful to fight.

Blood and Wine

This gives an official ending to The Witcher games. Geralt is set to find out who the monster is that is killing guards by the ruler of Toussaint.  Geralt inherits a vineyard for his help and this world is a whole new map. I love owning a vineyard while also exploring this high fantasy world.

First Witcher Game

I really loved this game and consider it one of my favorite games of all time. It also got me to play the other games on Steam and get the novels so I could get more background on Geralt and the other character.

Was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt your first Witcher game? Have you played the other games or read the novels? Are you looking forward to the Netflix show?

 

 

 

Trico and Patience

woman meditating on rock
Photo by Felipe Borges on Pexels.com

I have been trying meditation for my anxiety. I have been using the  Calm app to teach me meditation.  It took time for meditation to start working. Meditation requires patience which can be difficult for someone like me who tends to not take time to sit still and relax. In a way, meditation is like The Last Guardian because the more patience you have with Trico in the game, the easier the game gets just as meditation gets easier with patience.

Meditation Struggles

The struggles began when I started my first meditation. I picked up a class targeted for anxiety instead of a beginner’s course so it did feel frustrating. I tried to do what they said and close my eyes and relax. But the meditation was almost 13 minutes. For someone that’s only done meditation a couple of times, that is a long time to sit there.

So what happened? Well first I decided to do it outside when it was hot so I got overheated. Then I just started feeling restless just sitting there doing nothing. I just did not want to sit still.

Trico Struggles

The beginning stages of handling Trico can also be frustrating. First, you have to get Trico to trust you and he just gets angry. You have to help him out of his chains and feed him so he knows you are not a threat. He learns to follow you, but he is still unsure of you. I gained his trust faster by petting him a lot which seems to make him like you more. I also purposefully looked out for treats because he liked them so much.

Trico also was afraid of water at first. He’s this big animal but water terrifies him. I had to coax him down with food and suddenly the water was not so bad anymore because it had tasty treats!

Meditation Training

So I switched to the 7 Days of Calm beginner session which helped me. I slowly understood how to meditate and how to stay patient. The narrator is aware that restlessness is common so they encourage through the restlessness.

The app is also encouraging because it lets you like your favorite sessions. It also has day streaks of how long you have been meditating and every sessions ends with a beautiful quote. Then there are also daily sessions which are really enjoyable and want you to come back every day.

Trico Training

Once you get far enough in the game, you can teach Trico commands. These can be used to help you get up to platforms that you cannot reach or jump across large chasms.

But, Trico is a wild animal so he may not want to do what you say. However, I found that through attention, such as pets and treats, he would respond to me faster and would help me faster. I would say he might be close to training a real animal.

Meditation Now

I have been doing meditation every day. If I do not do it first thing in the morning, I do it at night before bed. I am on the 21 Days of Calm which is the intermediate course and then from there I will focus on the anxiety courses. It does help me relax and I am trying to take what I learn from the meditation sessions and incorporate them into my life.

A common theme throughout meditation is patience and non-judgement. I have learned to be patient with my anxiety and I have learned to not judge my brain when it gets anxious. Instead I am more compassionate which helps my brain relax faster.

Trico at The End of the Game

Trico was well-trained by the end of the game. My patience and understanding of Trico led me to have a close bond with Trico. Trico would quickly respond to my commands and teamwork led me to complete the game and Trico’s story. I did not struggle with Trico not listening to me because I gave him attention throughout the game even when I did not have to.

Calm Future

I am hoping that through meditation and therapy I will be able to take better care of my anxiety. I want to be more patient with my anxiety and meditation is helping. I would recommend the Calm app and might make a future post about it!

What video game taught you the importance of patience?

Music in Games: Persona 5

black vinyl record playing on turntable
Photo by Elviss Railijs Bitāns on Pexels.com

I loved the songs in Persona 5! I love their lyrics and how upbeat and inspiring they can be. I wanted to talk about music in games since I love music. I have been playing piano since I was around 5 and electric guitar for about a year. I also took singing lessons for a year and did choir for a couple of years in college! I want to start with Persona 5 because I love the lyrics in these songs and the music is one of my favorite parts of the game.

“Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There”

The first song you hear every time you boot up the game! I learned the lyrics pretty quickly and started singing it every time the game booted. I love how it inspires you to “wake up, get up, get out there” with the refrain and lively jazz-like music. The lyrics talk about how you can change the world which is basically what you do in Persona 5! You change the world into a better place by taking down villains.

“Last Surprise”

You think you would get tired of this song considering it’s the battle theme that repeats every time you encounter an enemy, but you never do. I love the refrain: “You’ll never see it coming/ You’ll see that my mind is too fast for eyes/ You’re done in/ By the time it’s hit you, your last surprise”.

It’s a fun song that makes battles fun since you have to strategize your next move in the turn-based combat and it feels even more rewarding when the song is cheering you on while you battle!

“Life Will Change”

I love this song since it serves as a reminder that things will always get better. It is a theme of the game and the instrumental version plays after you reveal the treasure and go to fight the boss. I love the line “Can’t hold on or life won’t change” meaning to me that you have to be willing to make change to change your life. The song title is also definitive that no matter how bad things get, which bad things happen in this game from abusive teachers to corrupt politicians, life will always get better.

“Beneath the Mask”

This song is a somber song in the game. But, the music is also peaceful and the guitar and piano kinda sound like rain. The lyrics talk about having to put on a mask and be a “shapeshifter” to fit into society. This is the main character’s fate. He has to wear a mask in society not only to hide his true identity as the Phantom Thief, but also to fit into a world that treats him like a criminal due to false charges being put on him.

“The Whims of Fate”

This song is specific to the Casino Palace in Persona 5. The song is appropriate because it talks about chances at a casino and how you have to rely on fate. It’s a catchy song to play in a casino palace. But, it is also appropriate when it talks about fate. Niijima, the palace boss, tries to twist fate in her favor by cheating, but you continually figure out what she is doing to put fate back in your favor. This palace and boss is basically a battle between the fates of the Phantom Thieves and the fate of the palace boss.

“Rivers in the Desert”

This song plays during the last few major boss fights. The lyrics discuss holding onto hope with “Rivers in a dry land/ the last ace in a lost hand”. The song shows that there is always hope just like our protagonists know that there is always hope no matter what happens while they fight really tough bosses.

“Hoski To Bokura To (With the Stars and Us)”

This song is about bonds and how even far apart these bonds will still remain close. So this song was extremely personal to me. I got the game in April and finished it in May just in time for my college graduation. I had made some amazing friends and my closes friend would be in another state for law school. I cried when I looked up what the lyrics were in English and I was already crying because I finished the game!

The song is called “With the Stars and Us” because even though the friends of Persona 5 will be apart, they can still meet up and think of each other as they look at the stars. I’d like to think they are still close like I am with my best friend!

Jazzy Finale

I just had to call the ending this since all of the music in the game takes on a jazz-like theme! Overall, all the songs are amazing. I was happy when I watched the anime and they made even more original songs. Now, Persona Q2 is out with even more fun music! But, Persona 5 has really great music that just makes you feel good. It is uplifting with a positive message that life will be good and change for the better. I still love listening to these songs and this post gave me just the perfect excuse to listen again!

What did you think of the songs in Persona 5? What is your favorite song?