Top 10 video games for history nerds (rewritten)

Hey, Gamers! This is the first in my Rewrite/Heavily Edited series, where I redo some older posts that I feel don’t quite have the level of quality that I want in my writing, and this first one is a rewrite. If you’ve been following me for a while, you might recognise some of the games on this list – or even this list in general. I originally posted this list during the pandemic, while I was studying history at university. It’s now no longer the pandemic, and I am no longer studying history. I do have a history degree now though, so that’s my qualification for being a ‘history nerd’. Regardless, I’ve been wanting to rewrite this post for a long time, and I figured that this is the best time to do it, so here we go!

In no particular order, we have:

10) The Uncharted series.
This one is on here for several reasons, with the main one being that Nathan Drake is a treasure hunter who often looks for historical artifacts. I have not played this series myself (I’m on team Tomb Raider), but Josh (my partner) has finished the first 3 so I’ve seen bits and pieces of it. Like Tomb Raider, the series uses historical legends, such as Shambhala or El Dorado, as well as using real people, like Francis Drake and Henry Avery, to make it feel like you’re following in the footsteps of historical figures to solve mysteries thought to be lost to time, as well as “picking up” a few priceless cultural treasures along the way. To be completely honest, I thought Nathan Drake was an archaeologist and was just about to write that before I checked with Josh, to which he said “no, he’s just a thief,” and my jaw dropped. Overall, this series is beloved by many and has very similar vibes to Tomb Raider, which I can comment on with some actual experience.

9) The Tomb Raider series.
Ah, my childhood. When I was a child, I was told that Lara Croft was my father’s girlfriend… and being an undiagnosed autistic child, I believed that. I remember the days where a boulder was chasing the pixelated woman on the screen while I watched intensely. The best days were when he would let me run around her mansion, climbing up the climbing wall and jumping into the pool. When my parents got me my first home console (the Xbox 360), they got me the 2013 Tomb Raider. Before this, I had no idea Tomb Raider was about searching for historical artifacts and mythical treasures. I just thought my dad liked being chased by boulders. But my dad and I worked together to complete the game, and I adored it. My love for history was there even back then, and I would have talks with my history teacher about Himiko and where I was in the game (because he liked Tomb Raider, too). A few years later, Josh got me Shadow of the Tomb Raider for either my birthday or Christmas… but I struggle to complete it without my dad (it’s a mental thing, I know). Since being with Josh, I’ve gained such a huge appreciation for Japan and Japanese culture so when it came to deciding what to do my dissertation on, I started looking into Japanese history. I was so shocked to learn that Himiko was an actual person in Japanese history.
I think gaming is a great medium for exposing people to history, and Tomb Raider does this thing that I think works really well; they find a real-life history, story, or artifact and makes it something completely different by adding mystical powers to it (Uncharted does this as well). I always like how it works out, and I love how gaming is a medium where you can interact with the world in situations like this. I think it always works out great because you feel the connection to our world while still having the difference of *gaming magic*.

8) Cyberpunk 2077.
This one might seem out of place, but the one thing that my history degree taught me above anything else is that history is what you make of it. Everything changes, nothing is set in stone. I think Cyberpunk 2077 embodies this idea. While on the surface, it seems like a really neat (and sometimes rather buggy) game about the future, I want to propose that it’s likely going to be interesting for history lovers, too.
You see, the reason most people I know like history is because it means you can make sense of what’s going on right now by looking at what went on in the past. It’s like a big puzzle. For example, looking at the abolishment of a monarchy – let’s say the French monarchy. You can look at all the issues surrounding that time period in terms of the way most people had to live, the economy, different policies that were made around the time and compare that to how the aristocracy were living, the media available to the general public at the time, different art (like satirical cartoons) that was published around the time and you can literally build yourself a road map for how and why the French monarchy is no longer a thing. That’s what so many people love about history. You can work out what happened, and why it happened, without being there.
And I think that that’s what history nerds would love about Cyberpunk. Sure, there’s details missing from the game but what’s so great about it is that there’s more than just Cyberpunk 2077. There are whole books about the history of this world that diverges from our own, and it’s so interesting to see the parallels. There are clear timelines, amazing characters with deep histories, and it’s not just Night City. It’s the whole world.
I think that’s what I find most intriguing about this game (even the series as a whole). Sure, Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in Night City but the changes throughout the world are what is shown. You can work out that what happens in the game wouldn’t just impact Night City. For example, setting of a nuclear bomb is probably going to have an impact on most of America. I think that it’s so interesting that the history of the world is involved in the game, and the game is involved in the history of the world. Very few games do that, especially open world games. I have found that open world games tend to say “this is the map, this is the only part of the world that’s relevant” but Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t do that and I think that’s what attracts me as a history nerd (and before I get any comments, I’m not saying that this is the only game that does it- but hey, feel free to drop suggestions in the comments because it interests me!).
My last little point about Cyberpunk 2077 is something that always needs to be brought up when talking about this game: it’s release. The only game launch I could possibly compare it to is No Man’s Sky… but I am starting to believe that Cyberpunk 2077 did the turnaround better. I might be a bit bias because I don’t enjoy No Man’s Sky, but the utter amount of issues Cyberpunk 2077 had at launch, compared to the game now is… so shocking. It’s so different to the point that I want to get my mother to play the game, just to show her what it was like at launch to see her reaction. The turnaround that CDPR managed to pull with that game is phenomenal and, in my opinion, historic in itself.

7) The Assassin’s Creed Series.
I think it’s safe to say that the Assassin’s Creed series is the one that most people think of if you’re thinking of a history game. While I myself have a lack of experience in these games, it’s not from lack of want or trying. So far, I’ve just been bad at the games. I think I’m going to try again very soon, because I’ve been practicing being sneaky in games so hopefully my stealth skill has levelled a bit.
For anyone who doesn’t know, this series has multiple games focussed on several different historical periods and locations. The series uses real historical figures in their games, which personally, I think is awesome. I think we, as a society, have worked really hard at either demonising or deifying historical figures to the point where we often forget that they are human. The Assassin’s Creed series does an amazing job at humanising these historic figures that we don’t get to see humanised much. This is something that I personally feel is very, very important because these figures were human, just like us, and history has taught us to either act like they’re the devil incarnate or they’re this untouchable deity that’s been placed on a pedestal. By humanising them, we can be critical and constructive of their role in history, which is always something we should work on.

6) The Call of Duty Series.
The Call of Duty Series isn’t one that I thought of much until they brought out World War II. For anyone interested, WWII is one of my main interests in history (I think a lot of historians say that) because of… well, every aspect of it. The politics, the technological developments, the loss of life, the home front. But something that I think has come to the attention of a few historians recently is that series like Call of Duty are taking these historical events and priding themselves on historical re-enactment when they don’t really have the knowledge to back it up.
During my course, I did a module on public history and the way that history is portrayed to the public and it was actually one of my favourite modules. We talked a lot about gaming and other media (like film, TV, etc) and had many discussions on historical accuracy over entertainment. After doing research for an assignment, I discovered that in ‘historical’ games, there’s very little credit given to actual historians. That led me to the conclusion that they don’t actually care much about accuracy and making sure they got things as ‘right’ as possible (although as history is a very multi-disciplinary subject, there is no ‘right’ thing… it’s more based on what evidence you can find and what you can infer from that). I know it might be weird for me to call out this particular series, but this is literally the biggest one I looked into. I remember it sparking a lot of academic debate.
So, you might be interested in this series because it’s sparking a lot of academic debate. It’s always best to know what you’re talking about actively rather than through reading about it, at the end of the day. But also, it’s the type of game that can get away with it. Let’s talk about why, because a distinction needs to be made between games where accuracy isn’t really important and games where accuracy is important in the world the game is set in.
I’ll be talking later about the Red Dead Redemption series. That’s my main example of when accuracy and historian research would have been beneficial to the world that the games are set in. Right now, we’re talking about the Call of Duty series. Respectfully, these games are not primarily targeted towards history lovers (in my opinion). Yeah, they were first based during World War II but that doesn’t mean that it automatically attracts people who love history. Its primary audience are those who like FPS (first-person shooter) games. There are so many games like the Call of Duty series that have this audience that don’t particularly care if the dates match up or if this gun was actually used during that war. It’s much more about the experience than the facts.
The reason I think that this game series will still be interesting for history nerds is because of the immersion. I would scream it from the rooftops if I could: the level of immersion used in video games should be used to teach history. This is the hill I will die on. I believe it so strongly. It’s such a refreshing, adrenaline-pumping way to learn about what experiences were actually like for the people there. I know a lot of people think of World War II and think of the big political figures, of the big battles and the huge number of casualties but games like those in The Call of Duty series shrink these huge historical events down to the soldiers who were fighting, and I think that it’s such an interesting perspective that isn’t often explored in public history.

Let’s Go is the closest experience I have had so far

5) Pokémon Red and Blue.
This is going to be a much shorter entry because Pokémon isn’t about history, it is history. The Pokémon series is iconic in several ways, and the way it’s been ingrained into the global culture is unseen by anything else. The Pokémon series is so huge that even kids who don’t play video games like Pokémon. Red and Blue are obviously the first games for us in the West, which is why I suggested those particular titles. It’s what started the global craze over Pokémon, so you might as well go back and play some history!

4) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim is actually on this list for a similar reason to Pokémon, but also has the added benefit of being a fantasy game with a medieval setting.  Skyrim is filled with history, as well as being a huge part of gaming history. So many open worlds that people adore were inspired some way by SkyrimElden Ring, for example. Skyrim is one of only three games to win Game of the Year in four of the most prestigious award shows, those shows being The Game Awards, the Golden Joystick Awards, the DICE Awards and the Game Developers Choice Awards, and the other games to accomplish this being Elden Ring and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Skyrim has been released over and over again, and there’s clearly a reason that people keep buying it. While I’m not the biggest Skyrim fan (I’m trying my best, okay?), Josh is and he has spoken so much about how cool Skyrim’s history is (which is odd; he doesn’t like history like I do but when it’s fictional, he’s all over it).
The best thing about Skyrim is that it is the 5th Elder Scrolls game. History of this world has been built over 5 whole games, meaning that it’s rooted into the fundamentals of this world. World building is integral to most games – particularly open world games – and Skyrim is a great example of it. That being said, it’s impossible to ignore the presence of the other Elder Scrolls games in this world. It’s such a special thing, to be able to build history up over the course of several projects. It makes the world much more believable and much more interesting.

3) Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2.
I think one moment in my and Josh’s relationship that really stands out is when I told him the reality of how lame real-life cowboys were, and I did that because he was playing Red Dead Redemption 2. He despises me bringing it up, but it makes me giggle from time to time, so I have to.
There are several great things to do with history when it comes to these games. Personally, I believe that the immersion that these games bring is fantastic for history lovers to get sucked into. If you’re looking for an immersive historical experience, this is a great one.
I vouch for video games in educational settings so much (can you tell by this post?) and these games would be a great example if they got used. However, the lack of historical research in this game feels painful. It could have been such an amazing experience where people learn about history through the world. It’s not like history has a lack of interesting stories to tell. I wish that games based in historical times hired actual historians who specialised in the time period and place while developing the story and the world. From what I could tell, Rockstar didn’t do this and it’s not a common thing for game companies to do. It just feels like it makes so much more sense to me, for games about history to be… y’know, historically accurate to the best of its ability without ruining the story. I actually found the article that I used during my time at University to talk about Red Dead Redemption II (it will be linked at the end of this post), and it makes some great points about historical accuracy in video games.
Overall, the Red Dead Redemption games are great for immersion in a historical setting. It loses points due to its wasted potential to be historically accurate (for what feels like no reason).

2) Kingdom Come: Deliverance
I am intimidated by how this game immerses the player in the world of this game. This game is great because you get to experience a completely different life, not because that life is good. It’s based in the early 15th Century in the Kingdom of Bohemia. It’s an open world RPG that uses first person perspective to immerse the player in the historic environment.
At the start, there’s no traditional tutorial. Why? Life doesn’t have a tutorial. The character you’re playing as doesn’t know anything, so you don’t either. You play as a peasant, so you cannot read any of the in-game books until someone teaches you how to read, the combat system has nuances that you’ll only be made aware of after a skilled swordsman teaches you how to fight It gives you such a unique experience of a historical setting and story. It includes real life history and is actually based on a true story (according to the official website of the game). Many of the characters in Kingdom Come: Deliverance existed in real life, so it’s extra cool.
What’s extra interesting about the history of Kingdom Come: Deliverance is that the main character, Henry of Skalitz, starts off as the son of a blacksmith. Why is this so interesting? Documents back in 15th Century Bohemia barely mentioned lower class citizens.  It brings to light something I absolutely adore about history – you can never be certain what happened because we only have records of people who could document it. So much of the population of history failed to document their lives, and all we have is the thoughts of the people who deemed them unworthy. I just think that’s so interesting. Also, the game has a difficulty mode above the standard mode that, upon starting a new file, has like a 90% chance of giving you an instant game over, along with an explanation for why Henry didn’t survive long enough to reach the start of the game, which is hilarious.

1)  The Witcher Series.
Okay, I lied. This list is partly in order, because this one is my favourite. While I have not completed all of The Witcher games (yet), I fully intend to. I have all three games, I have read all the books and I just love these characters so much that their significant changes in the Netflix show both angers and saddens me. Actually, at the time of writing this, I’ve just started Thronebreaker, too! I’m trying my best to be unbiased here, but I know I’m not the only one who thinks what I think: The Witcher series is the best in terms of historical atmosphere. If you’re interested in the Dark Ages in Europe, this is the series for you. Honestly, my historical interest is not in that time period, but The Witcher 3 and what I’ve played of the first game really gave me a boost in my interest. The Celts are what got me into history, and since I was a teenager I’ve been more into modern history (18th-20th Century, although there are historians who argue fairly that modern history starts in the 15th Century, my interest really starts in the 18th), so playing The Witcher 3 and then reading the books and beginning to play the rest of the series helped me appreciate an era of time that I never expected to gain an appreciation for.
On my course, we did a lot about local history and what that means; I think The Witcher 3 is great at demonstrating what we informally called ‘the little people’. That means people in history that simply just lived their lives. Some of them were boring, some of them were a little interesting, some of them were entertaining… but none of them did anything. They weren’t politicians, kings, famous writers or anything like that. You can look into the lives of these ‘little people’ and realise that they’re just living their lives, just as most of us are today. I think you get a really good grasp of that with The Witcher 3, especially through the contracts and side content. I spend a lot of time thinking about who the ‘big people’ in The Witcher 3 would be. For example, everyone would know Geralt because of Dandelion’s ballads (and the fact that even before that, Geralt did a lot of work to make a name for himself in his own right, so a lot of people knew who he was) and by extension I think the majority of people would know about Yennefer (but maybe not all, because she hasn’t worked to make a name for herself in the same way Geralt had, so for Yen I’m just referring to Dandelion’s ballads). But what about Ciri? Lambert? I think we know from The Lady of the Lake (the last chronological book of the Witcher series) that Triss was well known because of a famous painting that was made of her (yes, I’m trying to be as vague as I can because I strongly encourage anyone who wants to read the Witcher books to do it, so I am avoiding spoiling what Triss did and when). That being said, would people know who she was while she was still alive, or was it a thing where you honour someone by sharing their story?
I hope my point is getting across here. The Witcher series (specifically The Witcher 3) is amazing for characters, atmosphere, and little details if you like history. Even people you help out have their own histories and I think that’s so great. Without spoiling too much of this fairly old game, there’s someone you can help that when you do help her, she only has 7 years to live. You can then see her around the world, making the most of those 7 years. If you pass time by 7 in-game years… you can find her dead. That is so cool to me.
I just love this so much and I think a lot of other people who are interested in history in the same way I am would also love this game series (and just the series in general) a lot. That’s why I had to make it my number one spot on this list, because I could talk about the historical aspects of this series for hours.


History is a wide subject. It’s multi-disciplinary and wonderful in all its different aspects. While writing this list, I was reminded about so many of the different types of history and the different conversations we can have about it. I will always be here to vouch for historic video games, and I will always request that they be as historically accurate as they can be (as long as it doesn’t interrupt the story). History just makes everything so much cooler to me. Even if it’s just a historical setting, it still makes the whole game so much more interesting (and it’s especially great for world building!). I adore the addition of historical figures, and I would love to see more of them integrated into the plot of wonderful video games (especially if the plot involves a historic event).
I adore history, and I adore that we will forever be making history.

That’s it for this post, Gamers. I hope you liked it. I wanted to give a quick shout out to Josh for editing this post, and for helping me by talking me through the games he has played, that I haven’t. He’s a good egg, guys. See you next post!

Quick sidenote: I know there’s a bunch of games that could have made this list. Metal Gear Solid 3 (Cold War plotline), Animal Crossing: New Horizons (pandemic sales, creating community)- there’s so many. These are merely the ones I thought of. Feel free to let me know in the comments what you can think of, but please be respectful of my choices.

Quick edit because I forgot to add the link:


Quote of the Week

Week: 10th – 16th April 2023

Game: Yakuza 5

Character:  Taiga Saejima

Quote: “Forget bein’ a hero. Gotta run before this teddy-bear-from-hell turns me into stuffing!”

Reason: This week has been emotionally difficult, so when picking a Quote of the Week, I’ve had to turn to the ones that made things just a little easier to deal with. As always, Saejima was there with a handful of quotes this week that made me giggle. For those who don’t know, I’m Welsh and mythology and storytelling is pretty big in Wales (for at least the part I am from). Bugs was a character used to scare children, and since playing Persona 5 I have come to love it rather than fear it. All I could think of when Saejima said this was Yama-oroshi chasing Saejima but with Bugs’ head badly photoshopped into him. So yeah, this made me laugh during an emotionally challenging week. I think this is the second Saejima quote, and something tells me there’s going to be a lot more.

New Pokémon Snap is a love letter to Pokémon

Hey, Gamers! So, in my absence, I got New Pokémon Snap and I wanted to talk about it because I adored the game. I recently published a post on what Pokémon means to me as an autistic person who obsesses frequently, so you can read that (linked at the end of this post) for more context. I’m here today to specifically talk about how New Pokémon Snap brings together so many different generations of Pokémon in this love letter of a game and it’s wonderful. Let’s get into it!

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Generation 9. A new generation of Pokémon was always going to come out after New Pokémon Snap. I think with New Pokémon Snap, in comparison to the original Pokémon Snap, there is a small chance of a Gen 9 update or DLC but I find that unlikely. Gen 9 isn’t so significant that the lack of it makes New Pokémon Snap redundant. I started playing it before Gen 9 came, but I finished it after it came out. I loved it regardless of that, and I think it’s still a huge feat to accomplish what it does, even without Generation 9 being there.

New Pokémon Snap places Pokémon from different generations together on different routes and different habitats. For example, I believe you can find Charmander, Chimchar, Torchic and Tepig on the same island; similarly, you can find Feraligatr and Marshstomp on the same route. Grookey and Pichu seem to be the best of friends and Piplup runs around mischievously with another Piplup.

I don’t play Pokémon for the battling. To be honest, battling is probably my least favourite part of Pokémon (I still like it and mainly find it enjoyable, but there’s other things in the games that I place value on). I play Pokémon for the Pokémon. I want to catch them all. I want to raise my own Pokémon from eggs. I want to get their happiness up to the highest level. I want to make each Pokémon I catch love me. I know that’s not a common feeling in the Pokémon community, but I love the different ways Pokémon can evolve and grow. I love the different natures, I love the different abilities, the fact that Pokémon are just- so cool and different.

New Pokémon Snap brings all these differences out without the need to catch all the Pokémon. Regular readers will know how much I love Squirtle more than any other Pokémon; now I can take photos of a group of them. Not only that, one of them jumps off a rock and smiles when it sees me and another one rides on Lapras because it’s just a baby and you can’t expect it to swim all that way. The personality of the Pokémon really come through in New Pokémon Snap and it’s the best thing.

I know that this game might not be the best thing for all Pokémon fans. Something I’ve come to absolutely cherish about Pokémon is that each person values all the different aspects of it differently. This was cemented in me the other day when we were talking to one of our friends about the newer Pokémon games (this friend doesn’t have a switch yet but is hoping to get one soon) and he said, “I don’t play Pokémon for the story, I play it for the Pokémon”. I’ve always known that people place different value on different things when it comes to Pokémon games, but hearing someone in real life say that made me feel all warm inside.

I’m not here to talk about who this game is great for, or who it isn’t. I’m here to talk about what it does well and that is connecting you to the Pokémon. As you progress through each course, the Pokémon act differently around you. As they get more familiar with you, you get to see so many different behaviours. Grookey, Pichu and Scorbunny get so excited to see you when you reach the maximum level of the first course. Pokémon you haven’t seen before are more likely to show themselves because they’ve been watching you the whole time. Each time feels like a deeply personal experience where it’s just you and these Pokémon. They are so, unbelievably precious and this game has only made me love Pokémon more.

That being said, don’t ask me how to get four-star photos because I’ve been playing this game for months and I have, like, 3.

But that’s it for this post, Gamers! Have you played this game? Tell me all about it in the comments. If you liked this post, give it a like and hit the follow button for more gaming content from me! See you next post!

Quote of the Week

Week: 3rd– 9th April 2023

Game: The Walking Dead (Season 1) (This post contains major spoilers for a choice towards the end of the game, so even though I know this game is old, I wanted to put a quick spoiler warning).

Character: Lee Everett

Quote: “Still feels pretty recently chopped. So, no, Kenny. It feels ‘bout as good as you’d expect”

Reason: It was between this line and the consequence thing telling me “This is going to hurt”. I’ve played… uh, the entirety of Season 1 of The Walking Dead this week and I decided to chop Lee’s arm off. Apparently this made no difference, but it came with some great dialogue choices. This game is honestly so emotional (I told Josh I want my soul back because the ending broke me), and it’s little things like this line that really make the game so great. It’s a wonderful balance, and I felt like it was so… human. Characters making self-deprecating jokes when they’re in an apocalypse is something that I find so amusing for some reason, and this game does it at the right moments. I also wanted to share that at the start of playing this game, I was so happy because I was getting a trophy every few minutes. I told Josh it was like a little shot of dopamine… and then Shawn died and I got a trophy, and I realised that the dopamine was all fake and my life is over and my heart can’t take this game.
But I played it in like three days and can’t wait to get the rest of them, despite having no interest in The Walking Dead TV show.

‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ is a masterpiece

Hey, Gamers! So, even when I wasn’t posting, I was still gaming. Josh (my partner) and I were sleeping on the floor in a crowded room and my mental health was awful so there were plenty of times where I woke up to Josh just playing the PS5. Sometimes he’d ask me to move because I slept in front of the TV, but most of the time he just left me to sleep. A unique situation, though, was when he woke me to tell me that he just got a platinum trophy in the game that he had only started playing that morning. I had woken up a few times (briefly) to him swinging on a swing or swiping fish, so I was a little confused (especially since he hadn’t even told me that he downloaded a new game). After I woke up properly, he encouraged me to give it a go. He told me that I could get another platinum trophy before his brother got home from school and that excited me, so I did.
I haven’t stopped thinking of it since.

I’ve been writing for a very long time. Actually, I’ve been working on one particular idea for ten years now. I’ve been reading every night for over a year. I’ve experienced a lot of literature, a lot of stories. None, absolutely none, can come close to the story told in What Remains of Edith Finch.

What Remains of Edith Finch is one of those games that’s famous for being great and a game everyone should play. I feel like it gets lumped in with Journey, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and Gone Home. As a fairly new gamer, I’ve heard about this game so much but because it’s lumped in with Gone Home (which is a game I tried once before I was a proper gamer) and Journey (a game known for its beauty more than its story), I thought I wouldn’t like it. It was a game that I just put on the ’yeah, I’ll play it eventually but not anytime soon because I have better games to play’ shelf of my brain. That shelf was wrong.

As a game, I get where I was coming from. The gameplay isn’t riveting. But this game isn’t a game, it’s a story that uses gameplay in the most immersive way possible to tell the story – stories – in such a way that when it’s done, all you can think is ‘wow, I can’t believe I got to experience that’.

I’ve been a hype man for video games for a while. During my history degree, I was in the minority when I vouched for video games being a good way to share history. I have always said that video games are the best way to teach history because of its capability of immersing the player in the world of the game. What remains of Edith Finch should be shown to anyone who has ever disagreed with me because it’s impossible to deny the way that this game immerses you into the world, the stories it tells, the wonders of the writing, the perceptions of the characters.

What Remains of Edith Finch tells the story of the Finch family as a teenager named Edith, the last surviving member of the Finch family walks around her old family home. It tells the story of each family member in different ways, immersing the player in the lives of each character. The story is largely – sadly – about death and with a significant portion of the characters being children, the story is… emotional. It’s more than emotional. You follow these characters in their last moments- sometimes even their last few months. The entirety of the game has this edge to it because it’s about death… but it’s more of a double-edged sword because… it’s about death. You know exactly how each story is going to end, eventually. The journey to get there is what makes each story so special.

This game is a beautiful exhibition of death being a journey. Ignoring the fact that there seems to be a supernatural curse on this family, this game is a very real reminder that sometimes, children do die, that people die in unexpected ways. Most people don’t expect to die; the majority of people don’t expect their child to die, and this family has experienced it over and over again. Here’s the thing- this game is sad, but it’s also beautiful. It’s full of childish experiences, experiences most people wouldn’t get to experience. These stories of death are told in such wonderous, magical ways that this game about death makes you forget, sometimes, that this game is about death.

The way that this game tells these stories has captivated my mind for the past few months. I long to experience something similar to it, but I don’t think I ever will.  The storytelling in this game is so unique, but so well done that I don’t think there’s ever going to be anything to match this. As a writer, it’s kept me in awe because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to replicate how wonderfully perfect the storytelling of this game is. I have never experienced it before playing this game, and I will never experience it elsewhere.

But ultimately, this game is about a family where kids die. The harsh reality of that hits you when you spend so long thinking about how great the storytelling was. That makes me think about it more, though, and I think it is reflective of the impact that childhood deaths have on families. I mean, obviously nothing could ever be like the grief you feel when you lose a child, but I think the game aims to make you think about it more after you play because parents and family members would be thinking about a child’s death over and over again for years to come. I think the game did a very good job at having a somewhat imitated (to a very obviously lesser extent) impact on the player.

This game just works wonderfully in every way possible. I needed to talk about it, because I have spent so long thinking about this game, and it’s been nice to get my thoughts in a somewhat articulate form. If you haven’t played this game, please do. It’s taken up way too much of my thoughts for me not to recommend it, and I don’t think I’ve been specific enough to actually spoil anything here.

That’s it for this post, Gamers. If you liked it, give it a ‘like’ and follow my blog for more gaming content. I’ll leave some links to other posts that you might like below, so check them out if you want to. Let me know your thoughts about this game in the comments (because I clearly need to talk to someone about this). See you next post, Gamers!

Progress Report- March 2023

Hey, Gamers! March was an odd month for us. I finally started posting again, and things have settled down a little bit, but I’ve been super busy decorating and because things aren’t right, I struggled to keep track. I’ve already rectified this for April, but for this post we are going from memory. Let’s get into it!

Spoiler warnings for: Yakuza 5, Mafia, The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine, Uncharted 4

My special game this month was Minecraft Dungeons. I did not get on with it at all. It didn’t make me feel sick the same way Minecraft does, but I just could not get on with the controls. I think part of this is because of my short attention span and poor mental health right now. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to ask my friends to help me, I didn’t even feel comfortable asking Josh to help me work out the controls because I was just feeling awful. I might come back to it one day, but not anytime soon.

If you’ve seen my Quote of the Week series, you’ll know that I’ve gone back to our island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It was pretty emotional going back because these little villagers don’t know the hell we went through but they want to know that I’m being careful and looking after myself. Also, my favourite villager was in the shop so I couldn’t find him for a while and for some reason I got worried that he moved even though his house was still there and I know that villagers cannot move without our input. I’ve been slowly working on Harvey’s island. We don’t have Online right now, so I can’t go to other people’s island for inspiration so our island is staying how it is for now. Josh actually found my New Leaf, but uh… I’m worried about going on there in case Marshall is gone so I think I might just reset it after I’m done with all the decorating.

The main game I played this month was Yakuza 5. I got onto Saejima’s part, and I’ve just been told about praying at the Jizo shines. The hunting mini game has made me feel like all my progress in FPS games has been for nothing, but I know (for once) that it is the game and not just me because this game isn’t an FPS. I think Yakuza is going to continue to take up most of my playing time until I’m done, and I’m okay with that. I don’t think it happened this month, but when Morinaga was revealed to be the big bad guy of Kiryu’s part, I honestly thought it was Joji and I was so shocked. Josh was there watching my reaction as my jaw dropped, so when I realised it wasn’t Joji, I felt like I had to continue being incredibly shocked. After, I explained to him my actual thought progress during the whole thing and he found it funny. We are not talking about Majima. Majima, as regular readers will know, is my favourite character in the entire series and I refuse to believe he’s dead. That is all I am going to say. Tune in next month to witness the full scale of my denial.

I honestly have not played Pokémon Violet enough to comment on it. I’m at the stage where I need to evolve like 6ish Pokémon for the Pokédex, and then find all the stakes. I know I have post game to do too, but I want to do that with my team after I complete the Dex. What I did play quite frequently, though, is New Pokémon Snap. I didn’t have much left to go, but I finished the last level and worked on my Photodex a little more. When you finish the game, you unlock two new courses (well, two new routes from two of the old courses). I tried them, and I like them a lot. I love this game so much, and it’s really deepened my love of Pokémon.

I’ve played very little of Fortnite. I think the closest I’ve come to a victory is second (which isn’t awful, but it’s not a victory). I’m using the Geralt skin, because it’s Geralt of course I’m going to use that. I’m still fairly new to Fortnite and I’m still working out what chapters and seasons and all of that means in terms of gameplay.

Okay, onto Josh now! Big news- he got a platinum trophy this month. It was for Mafia: Definitive Edition. He started it, finished it, and got the Platinum Trophy all in March, and in only a week. He gets so determined when he randomly decides to Plat a game he’s never played before. He was very upset about Sam’s betrayal, but he also expected it so I’m not quite sure why he’s upset about it.

He’s also been playing a lot of The Witcher 3. He’s finished the base game and the Hearts of Stone DLC in March. He also started playing Blood and Wine in March as well. It was really nice because he called me in to watch when Regis was being introduced. For new readers, I read the Witcher books last year. Regis is a wonderful character, and I was so glad to see him… not being a pile of dust. Milva was my favourite character, but uh, she’s very dead so it would have been weird to have her there. Plus, I always felt it was weird that Regis was killed during the final battle. I always thought he was more powerful than that. Although he started Blood and Wine, he’s since moved onto another game (but more on that next month).

He’s started playing Uncharted 4 again. He got to Chapter 8 (he thinks). He says that he’s going to Madagascar, but he hasn’t been to Madagascar yet (because he stopped playing). He also played Code Vein for like two minutes before deciding he doesn’t like it. He’ll probably give it another try in a couple of months or something. He loves souls-like games, so he probably will like it if he gives it a chance.

That’s it for this Progress Report, Gamers. It’s not been the best month, but I am hoping that things calm down over the next few months and I am able to keep track of all the games I play. Right now, I think my gaming priority is the Yakuza series because it’s taken up so much of my time over literal years so once I tick them all off, I can move on to other things. See you next post, Gamers!

Quote of the Week

Week: 27th March- 2nd April 2023

Game: Yakuza 5

Character: Taiga Saejima

Quote: “(Blizzard’s still ragin’ like an angry wife with a fryin’ pan)”.

Reason: I have unfortunately not been able to play as many games as I would have liked this week. I find that the end of the month is deadline heavy, and I put a lot of pressure on myself which tends to mean I spend a lot of time on my laptop and not a lot of time on a console. The biggest reason I changed the way these Quote of the Week posts work is because I wanted to make sure I gave myself time to do the things I enjoy each week. This week, I spent that time in Yakuza 5. I’ve been on Saejima’s part for… a while (we all know how slow I’ve been playing these games) and I’ve just unlocked the hunting aspect which is fun. But this one line made me laugh. I don’t tend to play Yakuza unless Josh is around as he loves watching me play it, but this week I decided to play it when I was letting him have a lie in (because I felt like Saejima’s story was slow) and I swear as soon as he wakes up, we get this line. We both got a laugh out of it, and I reminded him that I am yet to be his wife (because he clearly needs a reminder). It made me laugh after a very stressful week, and I’m thankful for that. It reminded me to be grateful for the little moments in life that bring you joy and laughter.

What Pokémon means to me as an autistic person who obsesses frequently

Hey, Gamers! This is a very personal post, so if you are new here, I’ll leave some links to some other posts you might be more interested in; but if you’re not new here, this is another pretty deep post about a game for children. I was diagnosed as autistic in 2020, but if there was anything that could’ve clued my parents in, it would have been my obsessive nature. I have been ‘obsessed’ with many things in my life, and since my diagnosis I’ve been able to identify them as special interests. My most recent special interest is Pokémon, and it’s actually changed the way that I think and feel about my special interests, and it’s helped me understand myself a little more, so I wanted to talk about that.

Before I get into this properly, I need to explain some things. I was a weird teenager who was very insecure about… everything. My mother was very sick, and my father didn’t live with us. I lived on the internet. I have always had trouble making friends. The Taylor Swift lyric that I relate to the most is “no one wanted to play with me as a little kid, so I’ve been scheming like a criminal ever since, to make them love me and make it seem effortless” from Mastermind. I say this because I am aware that a few things that I bring up here are questionable, and I want to make a point to say that I am aware of that, and I am actively trying to be better as an adult.

But we need to talk about this thing that Josh and I call ‘the ick’. It’s a feeling I get where I feel physically sick. My heart rate speeds up, and it’s almost like a panic attack. The main problem for me is that it makes me feel like I need to vomit. I can hear my heartbeat in my ears, my vision sometimes goes blurry too. Sometimes it’s not too intense, but other times it was. I used to get this every single time someone brought up one of my special interests in real life.

I was always that weird kid that loved things too much, and I think that it was mainly because of the ick. I would get so insecure that I would purposely overwhelm people with my love for this thing… just so they would drop the subject. I was worried they’d know more than me, and that would mean that they would love it more than me. But how could anyone love this thing more than me? It was like a bad adrenaline rush. After talking to Josh about this (we talk about this a lot), we’ve decided that it was mainly because if someone else liked something, I thought I wasn’t allowed to like it as much as I did. Like, it became their thing. And because I make these things that I like my entire personality, it felt invalidating to me as a person. It was like they were saying that who I am is wrong because they like this thing so I couldn’t.

I recognise how wrong that is. I recognise now, as an adult, how unhealthy this was for me. I spent so much of my early adulthood wondering why I was always “too much” for people, and I think that part of it is just the fact that I’m autistic but another part of it is probably that I’ve done this my whole life. The only vague analogy that I can think of is that I was Gollum, and my special interests were the ring (although there were multiple special interests, and there was only one ring… so even this analogy sucks).

I got into Pokémon because the day before my 22nd birthday, I watched an episode of the anime (Indigo League, I’m not a part skipper). I then got a Pokémon cake for my birthday as a joke, and continued to watch the anime because Josh got me a “scratch off the anime you’ve watched” poster. I got to the episode with the Squirtle Squad and my life changed. I spiralled. I now wake up each morning, paint my skin blue and put my homemade clay shell on. I am now a Squirtle.
Obviously I’m joking, but I do love Squirtle a lot. It is my favourite Pokémon and it helped me decide my starter for each new game I play (because I’m never going to pick something that could bully Squirtle, but I’m also not going to pick something Squirtle could beat easily… so water type it is!). It was late November 2021 when I watched my first Pokémon anime episode. Then for Christmas, Josh got me Let’s Go Eevee (because Eevee was my favourite Pokémon before I got into Pokémon), I completed it within three days and found my first shiny (thought my game was broken). January came, we got a Switch lite and Shining Pearl. I finished that, played Sword and… you guys get the picture.

I think the thing that was most different about Pokémon was that… I never intended on liking it. It was already Josh’s thing in my eyes. But instead of getting possessive or upset or ‘the ick’, I love talking to other people about Pokémon. I love being able to ask Josh questions, for him to know something that I don’t and not feel insecure in my passion for this thing. For the first time in my life, I’m not only okay with not knowing everything about this series, but I enjoy being told about it. I love hearing different people’s experiences, what different people’s favourite Pokémon are, what gym leader people struggled with the most. For the first time in my life, I’m basking in the glory of being new to a fandom.

It feels… peaceful.

I think that since being diagnosed as autistic, I’ve been thinking back a lot about my childhood and teen years. In my early adulthood, I really struggled to make friends- which was a pattern that emerged from my childhood. Now, I can reflect and recognise that a lot of it was self-sabotage. Now that I have Pokémon, my life has changed. I can look back on other special interests of mine and know that ‘the ick’ isn’t something to be feared but something to be fought.

I can watch videos of people talking and playing Pokémon. I have made friends with people because I can talk about Pokémon so openly. I even started to talk to one of those friends about Persona 5. I still get ‘the ick’ about that… but for the first time, I’m fighting it. I have experienced peace because of Pokémon, and I am going to fight for the rest of my life so that I get peace with everything I like.

When I say that Pokémon has changed my life, I mean it. It’s finally brought me peace, and that’s all I ever wanted. I just didn’t know how to get it.

So, that is it for this post, Gamers! I’ll drop some links to some other posts if you’re interested in reading more of my content. If you are interested, maybe hit that follow button to receive updates whenever I post here. Remember to like this post if you liked it and leave a comment if you feel like it. See you next post, Gamers!

Gaming Quote of the Week

Week: 20th-26th March 2023

Game: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Character: Teddy

Quote: “I was testing a new workout routine, but it’s been tough to stay motivated without you around”

Reason: So, during my absence here, I was going through some pretty intense stuff. There was one game I didn’t want to play while I was going through that, and that game was Animal Crossing. I just felt like it was… too pure for what I was going through. I know it sounds weird, but I didn’t want my villagers to know about what I was going through. I didn’t want to put that pressure on them. I went on the game a few times during the 6 months, but it was early on. I imagine it was when I thought that the experience wouldn’t last 6 whole months. I finally got around to switching the islands (Josh uses the big switch more now, whereas I use the little one more, so I wanted our island on the little one, but it was obviously on the big one. This meant that Josh had to give up his island, but he had only had it for like a week before forgetting it, so I don’t feel too bad. Going on it now, after everything… it made me so emotional. To see that all the villagers were still there, and they were worried about me, and nothing has changed was… wonderful. Teddy has always been a favourite of mine, but this quote just hit different. It made me realise that if I hadn’t decided not to play the game for so long… my mental health might have coped a bit better. It could have helped with all those times where I felt hopeless, like I couldn’t go on. And Teddy loves his workouts, so this was super cute.

2023 Gaming Goals

Hey, Gamers! This is the first fresh post that I’m writing, so I’m excited. I know it’s February (at the time of writing) and most people get this out in January, but I thought I might as well share the goals that Josh and I have.
If you’re new here, hi! My name is Eleanor, and my blog is a safe place for gamers of all kinds. I’ve been writing here (on and off) since early March 2020. I also stream on Twitch with my partner, Josh. Our channel is called 2nerds_1game. I recommend the posts linked at the end of this post for any newbies who want to get more acquainted with my blog!
Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Yakuza 5

My goals:
I have been trying to reflect on my 2022 goals. In all honesty, I did not achieve many at all; that was mainly because we moved and the situation was difficult. So, here are my 2023 goals:

  1. Play 1 new game a month.
    This was one from my last goal list and the main one I know I could’ve achieved if the situation was different. In January, I played Thronebreaker, and for my February game of the month, I am playing The Last of Us, the PS4 remaster to be precise.
  2. Finish at least 3 pre-Switch Pokémon games.
    I love Pokémon, but I’m a fairly new player. As some of you might know, I got into Pokémon after watching some of the anime and Josh got me Let’s Go Eevee for Christmas. Since then, I’ve played Sword, Shining Pearl, Legends Arceus and Violet. I have started Emerald about 3 times, Platinum 2 times and I am – I think – over halfway with White. This year, I’m making it my mission to actually finish at least 3 pre-Switch games.
  3. Finish Skyrim.
    I have had an exceedingly difficult relationship with Skyrim. I’ve tried it on different consoles, on different difficulties, with and without mods. It’s one of Josh’s all-time favourite games. I am trying to like this game. I am trying to get something out of it. But oh my gosh it’s so hard for me. It’s just so… unappealing. But I know how game changing this game has been. I know that it set the stage, in a sense, for open-world RPGs. I know it is meant to be such a great game. So, I want to play it. But I want to actually finish it this time. So, this year, I will finish Skyrim.
  4. Get 100+ hours in a game that is not Persona 5 related.
    Every game that I have 100+ hours in is Persona 5 related. I want to expand my horizons more. I know I play games, but I think I rush them. So, I want to get over 100 hours in a game that isn’t Persona 5 related.
  5. Get 3 Platinum trophies.
    I’ve gotten like, one a year since my first one, so I want to try for more.
  6. Get 3 victories in Fortnite (for a total of 5).
    I don’t know if this is the first post I’m publishing since my hiatus, but this is my first time writing about me playing Fortnite on my blog. Truth is, since I gave this game a real chance, I’ve loved it. But I got my 2 victories within 24 hours of starting, and within 24 hours of each other. So, I want to get at least 3 in 2023.
  7. Make our island pretty in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
    This is another one that is pretty much copied and pasted from last year’s goals. During my rough patch, it was incredibly difficult to go on Animal Crossing. Why? Because for some reason, it reminded me of better times. But this year, I’m going to completely change our whole island and make it pretty.
  8. Play and finish at least one game that comes out in 2023.
    This goal is dependent on our financial position throughout the year, but I always take so long to finish a game. I almost never finish a game the same year it comes out. But this year, I’m going to try to make a point and complete a game that comes out this year.
  9. Complete the Pokédex in Pokémon Violet.
    I never intended on completing the Pokédex in this game when I started playing it. However, after finishing the post game… I love it so much. After seeing Josh do it, I feel like it’s achievable now. I’m not too far off, I think I’m around the 300-mark, so that’s cool.
  10. Finish the Yakuza series.
    This is another one that was on last year’s goal list, but at least it’s one I’ve made progress on. I’m currently on Yakuza 5. So I’m going to do Yakuza 6, and then I think I’ll do Judgment, Yakuza: Like a Dragon and then Lost Judgment. Obviously, we have more Yakuza/Like A Dragon gamescoming soon too, so I’m hyped for that. I just want to be able to play new games when they come out instead of feeling like I have other games to finish first.
  11. Finish Bloodborne.
    If there’s one that I don’t achieve, it will be this one. This one is on this list because I need revenge. Bloodborne is Josh’s favourite FromSoftware game. It took me over a year to beat the freaking Cleric Beast. I’m so mad just thinking about it. Beating Father Gascoigne took less time, and if I have edited the footage before this post comes up, I’ll include a link to the clip. But oh my gosh I need to beat this game purely because it angers me. Something in the pit of my stomach stirs whenever I think of this game and I just need it to end already.
  12. Play the first 2 Witcher games.
    I love this series. I have played The Witcher 3, I have read the books (it’s what got me back into reading, and I’ve been reading every night for over a year now because of the Witcher books), and I own both the original Witcher game on PC (the enhanced edition) and The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360 (I know, I know, I’m a PlayStation girlie, but I wasn’t always and it’s not on PlayStation), although I’m hoping it will run on my bad laptop because I think the gameplay would suit laptop more than console (from what I’ve played of the original game, at least). I didn’t play it on my break and therefore want to start again, and I want to write all the controls down this time because my memory is awful.
  13. Finish The Witcher 3 DLCs.
    I’ve spoken a little about how TW3 was the first big RPG I ever truly tackled, and how I opted to play it on easy. Then, I played Persona 5 and Josh gave me several hundred pep talks about my self-worth and confidence, so when I went back to finish The Witcher 3, it felt weird. It was the last game I played on easy; it felt like I was cheating. But I finished the game, went to do the DLCs… and the guards destroyed me. So I… I went back to Persona 5 immediately. But with the PS5 upgrade, I’m playing it on the Blood and Broken Bones difficulty (no, I’m not okay) and it’s basically what I’ve been waiting for. I’m so, so hyped for Blood and Wine because Regis was one of my favourite characters in the books and I’m hoping there’ll be references to the likes of Milva (my favourite character in any piece of literature, ever) and Cahir (who is not a Nilfgaardian).
  14. Reach 100000 all-time views on this blog.
    This one is self-explanatory. I’d like to get to the point where I’m posting consistently, and my posts are being viewed consistently. I’m just over halfway there, so I’m being a bit ambitious with this one, but I also know it’s not really in my control (apart from writing quality posts, posting consistently and promoting myself where I can).
  15. Reach Twitch affiliate.
    Again, this one is self-explanatory. As I am writing this, we have not started streaming but we’re in the “preparing to stream” stage of moving. Decorating, ordering lights, making sure things are in a good place to stream. I was actually going to record a few videos, just to finish up the two series that I started before we moved (for those who can’t remember or weren’t here, it was my first Pokémon Nuzlocke and my Persona 5 Royal AI Take Over). I wanted to finish them as videos because we have spent so long talking about streaming (because we couldn’t stream) that it became apparent that to have a nice, clean schedule, and to do what I want to do… I need to not stream these. But I want to at least finish them in some way, so video form it is! I’m hoping that by the end of the year, we reach affiliate. We were so close when we had to stop. We were streaming consistently and we were feeling so good about it. I want that again, but with the added bonus of being able to tell people I make money from “playing my games” (which is what my family calls streaming).
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Next, we have Josh’s goals. I wanted to include him because I talk about him in my gaming progress report, and this is the first time he’s set gaming goals. So, here we go:

  1. Earn 5+ Platinum trophies.
  2. Get the platinum in at least one RGG Studios game.
  3. Finish Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
  4. Earn a platinum trophy on a PS3 game (PS4/5 remasters do not count).
  5. Get 30% completion on PSNProfiles.
  6. Finish Dragon Quest XI.
  7. Finish Ni no Kuni II.
  8. Finish the Dishonored series.
  9. Try at least 10 games I’ve not experienced.
  10. Finish either Hollow Knight or Cuphead.
  11. Finish the Desolation of Mordor DLC for Shadow of War.
  12. Give Death Stranding another go.
  13. Finish Persona 5 Royal and Persona 5 Strikers.
  14. Finish the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
  15. Play more multiplayer games, both with people I know and with strangers.
  16. Reach Affiliate on Twitch.
  17. Get the platinum in Demon’s Souls Remake.

I asked him for explanations, to which he replied, “nah it’s fine”, so… that’s all you’re getting. Obviously since we share a Twitch channel, we both want to become affiliate, and we have clearly influenced each other’s lists because we live together and do a lot together. Most of our conversations are about gaming, because that’s what we like.

But that’s it for this post, Gamers! I will be doing a review at the 6 month point and then again in December. If you want to know what we get up to, I will be posting monthly progress reports on this blog so hit the follow button. Feel free to share your gaming goals in the comments. While you’re at it, if you use Twitch, why don’t you go follow us @2nerds_1game so you know when we’re streaming? I think you should do that. See you next post, Gamers!

Posts to get to know my blog better:

Last year’s goals: