Petty Reviews: SMT Nocturne

Never in my life have I simultaneously loved and hated a game so much. I’ve spent over 70 hours on Nocturne. I am SO CLOSE to the end of the game! I will beat Nocturne. I will write my full review. I can do this! I will beat Nocturne! 

Within this week or the next, I will dedicate the time to finish my playthrough. So why make a Petty Review? Two reasons. The first is I have way too many feelings right now. The second is while I may get to the end of Nocturne, the game has already beaten me. 

*Spoiler warning: I will be talking about one particular boss fight. No story spoilers*    

In Nocturne there are bosses called Fiends. You encounter them in various parts of the world as you continue the story. There a few that you automatically encounter. They are part of the story and unavoidable. However, after you defeat them the rest of the Fiend fights are optional. They only occur if you continue to progress in the optional dungeon the Labyrinth of Amala. 

For the second to last Fiend battle, you fight The Trumpeter. He has the magical ability of “Holy Melody”. Which is the most overpowered recovery spell I’ve ever seen in any video game. It’s the equivalent of that bratty kid who makes an “everything proof” shield when playing pretend. This ability allows The Trumpeter to regain all of his HP and MP in one move. ONE MOVE! Not even one full turn! After 3 or 4 rounds of combat, he will use it. There’s no escaping it. No matter how many prayers you send to RNGesus, it will happen. He will undo all your progress in one move and put you back at the start point, worse for wear. 

Up until that point the game rewarded strategies that favored endurance. As long as I could withstand attacks while doing some damage meant that you win. It didn’t matter how many turns it took. As long as I stayed alive I could win. 

Not this time. No. Staying alive wasn’t enough anymore. I had to change up the entirety of my core strategy for this fight. I knew what I had to do. I had to level up and optimize my team for damage output. 

So I did. I changed out my demon team and tried again. And failed again. My numbers weren’t big enough to win. It was at this point that I gave up. Instead of trying to “git gud” and use careful strategy, I abused Nocturne’s systems. I used one of the DLC dungeons added in to the PS4 version of Nocturne to level up fast. Within 10 minutes I went from level 66 to level 75. 

Normally, this wouldn’t feel like cheating. After all, what could be a more gamer move than cheesing the system to your advantage? However the dungeon I used wasn’t part of the original PS2 Nocturne. Doing this felt like admitting that the original game was too hard for me and I never would have beaten it without the assistance. It was demoralizing. The pride of being able to say “I’ve beaten SMT Nocturne, one of the hardest JRPGs ever.” was diminished in that moment. 

At higher levels I did more damage and was able to fuse high level demons. The third and last attempt at The Trumpeter lead to victory! It was a bittersweet victory. Since that moment I no longer cared about playing the game the “right way”. Now I look up the stats of bosses before facing them in order to pick out the best strategy ahead of time. I no longer care enough to try to face a boss blind, fail, adjust strategy, and retry. SMT Nocturne broke my patience. As much as I love this game, I just want to get to the end and be done with it. 

*This post is dedicated to all the people who put SMT Nocturne guides and walkthroughs on the Internet. I love all of you. I hope you get to eat all the pizzas, pet all the dogs, and experience every happiness this world has to offer. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you. I never would have gotten this far without you.*

*Image does not belong to me. It’s a screenshot from SMT III Nocturne HD Remaster.

Petty Reviews: Subnautica

The ocean is scary! Too scary! Humans can’t survive in that environment. We need all of our scuba gear and submarines to spend any length of time down there. Anything and everything can potentially hurt you or poison you. We haven’t even finished mapping it out and figuring out what’s down there. For all we know, Cthulhu might be napping in the dark deep down. Humans don’t belong in the ocean!  

And an alien ocean is even worse! In Subnautica you are the only survivor of a crashed spaceship stranded on an alien ocean planet. Everything is weird! Anything could hurt you! You’re a tiny fragile human in a very scary completely unknown world. The whole situation is terrifying. I hated it so much. 

I don’t know why I played Subnautica. It was one of the WORST decisions I’ve ever made. I have never, NEVER, been more scared while playing a video game. Ugh… I hate the ocean. 

The first time I went swimming it was both pretty and panic-inducing. I had to figure out how to master the controls and what would hurt me. Then my faithful computer warned me about my remaining oxygen. Drowning was a whole new fear on top of the regular scary ocean fears! That was almost enough to make me quit right then. 

Still, I thought the game deserved a more thorough try. I got to the point where I was enjoying parts of the game. The environment biomes of Subnautica are well done and interesting to explore. Despite acting like a sniveling coward every time the sun went down, I was mostly okay. 

Until… the sand-sharks… stupid evil water gremlins.

This is a subnautica sand-shark. They’re all jerkwads.

I was an hour into the game. I was starting to get frustrated with how difficult it can be to figure out where to find the correct materials. When all of a sudden I saw a big chunk of wreckage from the Aurora (the spaceship). I started investigating to find supplies and blueprints. While scanning one of the fragments laying about, I heard a loud low pitched growling. Naturally I freaked out and got the heck out of there as fast as possible, all while screaming. It was not one of my finer moments. 

What made the whole thing worse was that I didn’t see anything! I only heard something mean and then nothing happened! Absolutely terrifying! Still I mustered up what little remained of my courage and decided to try again. Because I needed that fragment scanned, gosh darn it. 

I waited for a bit just in case but I didn’t see anything. So I went down again. Much more scared than the first time, but I was there. Then the same thing happened again! But this time I saw the sand-shark coming for me! After the second round of screaming and swimming away as fast as the sea-glide could go, I said “Screw this.” and turned the game off. 

I will not be playing Subnautica ever again. It’s too scary. The ocean is way too scary. I have learned if I was ever in the position of the protagonist in this game, I would die. I would die so fast. 

SMT Nocturne: First Impressions

Today is a good day! Not only is it a three-day weekend, SMT Nocturne Remastered released today! Ever since I’ve played Persona 5 I’ve been looking into other Atlus titles. Once I discovered that the Persona series is a spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei games, I wanted to play the original SMT games. Despite looking for years I’ve never come across a PS2 copy of SMT III Nocturne. Naturally, when the remaster was announced I was excited. This is the game that many JRPG fans have high opinions on. It is supposedly one of the hardest JRPGs ever made. I don’t know if playing the remake instead of the original is enough to graduate from casual Persona fan to hardcore SMT veteran. I’ll let the rabid fans on Reddit and YouTube figure that out. 

I didn’t know much about the game going into it. All I knew was that you watch the apocalypse happen and then you wander about trying to figure out what’s going on. I would mark this as a spoiler, but I don’t think it qualifies since the apocalypse happens so soon once the game starts.

The other thing I knew going into it is that the game isn’t joking with the “Hard” difficulty. I’m not messing with that until I see what “Normal” is like. I did download the free Merciful setting just in case. However, I’m not a wimp. I won’t use that until absolutely necessary to save my sanity. 

So far I’m about two hours into Nocturne. I’ve completed the first dungeon and have explored some of the beginning areas so far. The combat hasn’t been truly difficult yet. To be fair, I have played other Persona and other mainline SMT games. Because of this, I’m already familiar with the press turn system, skill terminology, and how to abuse enemy weaknesses. There are many random encounters so it becomes a challenge of managing your party’s HP and MP. The menu system while functional is dated. I’m almost embarrassed at how long it took me to figure out how to talk to demons. (Only in SMT does that sentence make sense without sounding like a cultist.)  Still, while at times the random encounters do feel tedious, the combat itself is pretty fun. The auto mode speeds up fights with easy low-level demons. 

The best thing about this game is the overall tone and atmosphere. Unlike many games, the protagonist (insert name here) isn’t treated like he is special or a chosen one. He’s just sort of… there. Stuck in the middle of the most bizarre and horrible circumstances immaginable trying to survive. As the game starts he is going about his everyday life when he and his friends are caught up in events that they knew nothing about. With this setup, the player naturally feels as lost as the main character. Because I too, did not know what was going on or why things were happening. 

Characters you encounter while exploring are very interesting. Along with the remaining humans, you can talk to the souls of deceased humans and demons that are loitering about. The usefulness of their information varies, but they all have different personalities that make interacting with them entertaining. This also lends itself to the subtle story telling. These characters are now a part of this new world with no explanation. It immediately drives the point home that humanity was almost entirely wiped out with only a handful of survivors left. Now this world belongs to these demons. 

The cinematic of the end of the world was honestly unnerving. There wasn’t much sound or dramatic music. Only a few characters knew what was going to happen or had a suspicion that something was going to happen. The rest of the world had no idea and life was going on as normal. Everything ended without ceremony. This added to the surrealness of the cutscene of the apocalypse. It creates a strange mixture of both cosmic horror and the supernatural. Along with a somberness of the destruction of the old world. However, there is a sense of hope and determination of surviving against the odds and the possibility to create a new version of the world.  

As of right now, I’m really loving Nocturne. I can see why it’s so well loved in its niche. I’m looking forward to what the rest of the game has in store for me. 

*Image does not belong to me. It belongs to Atlus and was posted on Siliconera

Petty Review: Fallout 4

I’m a pretty chill person. Normally… You want to know the fastest way to make me lose my sanity? Insects and spiders. I swear seeing either one in MY HOME is enough to turn me into a frantic murder machine. I’m willing to use whatever it takes to destroy these tiny, villainous abominations who have the AUDACITY to trespass into my territory. I don’t know exactly what it is about them, but I hate them. Yes, I know they play an important part in the environment, but they can do that somewhere else. Far, FAR away. 

There is one game I will not play. I don’t care how many people like it. I won’t do it. I refuse. Fallout 4 and the rest of the Fallout series are games I will not play. Not because I have any particular issues with the gameplay or the narrative. No, it’s those giant irradiated monstrosities of insects! Those things are absolutely terrifying! 

I was just minding my own business, getting the laundry done, when I happened to see my husband playing Fallout 4 on the PS4. Seeing those things… I immediately reacted in horror. I said a lot of things, none of which I’m willing to write about online. There was no higher thought process occurring. It was a purely visceral reaction of horror, disgust, and “what are THOSE??!”. The answer to that question turned out to be giant mutated mosquitos and bees. Knowing what they were did not make it any better. In fact, that made it worse. The idea of bugs becoming THAT is absolutely terrifying. 

Naturally, my husband being the loving and supportive man he is, thought the whole thing was hilarious. 

After seeing those mini Lovecraftian terrors, I had no desire to ever play the game. Before I had heard good things about Fallout 4 and it was on my “to play” list. But once I saw the giant bugs, my entire reaction to the game was “Nope”. 

*Image doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the developers of Fallout 4.

Pokémon Snap Chat

After the long, long, loooong, wait the shiny new Pokémon Snap was released last week! I wanted to talk about what I like about my first impressions of the upgraded Switch version. To be truly accurate, I played the old Nintendo 64 game right before the new one. I meant to write and post this last week… But I got too wrapped up playing Pokémon Snap to notice that I wasted all my writing time with video games. Sorry about that! Sometimes I’m a responsible adult, other times, not so much. Guess that itself speaks to how much fun it was if I completely lost track of time. 

There’s something fun in the simple goal of taking pictures of wild pokémon. Unlike most video games I play, it’s a very chill experience. Seeing the environments and how the pokémon act is cool. It makes you feel like a kid at the zoo, but with the fun of pokémon. This is true with both the N64 and the Switch versions of Pokémon Snap. Yet the new game has many drastic improvements. 

The most obvious upgrade is the graphics. Everything looks smoother with much more detail in the environment. The pokémon are surprisingly just as recognizable in both versions of Pokémon Snap. They are designed to be that way I suppose. However, they look much better and show more emotion on the Switch Pokémon Snap. As the original Pokémon Snap was for the N64, naturally the graphics are better than those from the age of 3D polygons. 

There are less obvious improvements to the gameplay that aren’t apparent to those who haven’t had the chance to play the first game. In the Switch version, you can change the speed of the camera and the reticle. This doesn’t sound like an important change but believe me, it is. In the N64 game, you moved so slow! It was easy to miss something and hard to aim the camera where you wanted in time. Lucky for us, the developers added the ability to choose the speed that feels the most comfortable. 

The levels themselves don’t remain static. By repeating the stages of each location you can increase the level of that area. When this happens more pokémon show up and the pokémon that are already there behave differently. It keeps things interesting and creates a reason to keep playing. This isn’t the case for the N64 Pokémon Snap. The levels remained the same. Eventually, as you learn the levels and get the needed tools you can trigger events. Despite this, the levels and the pokémon never changed. 

There are things that the new Pokémon Snap could have done better. Most of my issues with the Switch Pokémon Snap are nitpicky annoyances (I’ll save those for a review). Except for the lack of voice acting. That was honestly a big disappointment. I’m not asking for an Emmy-level performance, however, both Game Freak and Nintendo have the money to add voice acting for the entire game. The fact that they didn’t was just lazy.  

All in all, Pokémon Snap was a really fun and relaxing game. It was fun to see the pokémon run around and made me feel like a kid for a few hours. Throwing fruit at pokémon and snapping pictures of their shocked and angry faces was a blast! It’s the best way to play the game trust me. 

*Image does not belong to me, it belongs to Pokémon Snap.

The Turing Test of Time: Nier Automata

On the day this is posted I will get my preorder of Nier Replicant, the prequel to Nier Automata. So I figured this would be the perfect time to write a review for one of the best video games I ever played. 


Nier Automata (PS4): ★★★★★★★★★☆

I love this game! This is in my top ten video games of all time. I recommend this game to everyone. As long as they are old enough to play that is. This game has some real dark moments that would emotionally scar children. I’m emotionally scarred, and I’m a jaded twenty-something!

The main characters are well written and experience significant character development as the game progresses. There are multiple events when the game subverts expectations or has events beyond what the player could have imagined. While playing the game secrets are uncovered by the characters and through them, the player discovers multiple concerning truths about the world. The combat is fast and engaging with multiple ways to change your playstyle. The scenery in the world is varied and atmospheric. The music is beautiful. Nier Automata is a masterpiece!

You would like this game if

  • You like hack and slash combat
  • Enjoy story-rich games
  • Want to have an existential crisis
  • Appreciate character development 
  • Enjoy moments of cute quirkiness and weird “What the Heck?!!?” scenes
  • Need a good cry


Quick Note: Nier Automata is a part of a series of video games connected by lore. Luckily you don’t need to have played the other games to understand the story. After beating the game I looked up the extended lore. If you’re interested you should check out this video explanation. I’m intentionally not going to mention years and specifics about the timeline. Two reasons for this: One spoilers, Two it’s complicated and I don’t want to screw it up. 

In the distant past, an alien race invaded the earth with their robotic minions, called Machines. To defend themselves from the Machines humanity used androids as their soldiers. While the androids were fighting the Machine armada, all of the surviving humans fled to a colony on the moon. Now the androids and the Machines have been engaged in a constant battle for the dominion of the planet on behalf of their respective creators. 

Nier Automata takes place in the distant future of the earth. The battle between the androids and the Machines has lasted for thousands of years. Now there is an organization with a station orbiting the earth called YoRHa. This is a group of elite military androids. The story follows the YoRHa androids 9S and 2B as they are sent to earth to combat the machines and scout for military intelligence. While completing their missions for YoRHa and the android resistance on earth, 2B and 9S learn more about the Machines and the long-hidden truths of the war. 


This is important. You reading this with full attention? Good. This game has five endings. The first time you play the game and reach the first ending, you might think that’s all there is. Wrong! To get the full story and experience you will have multiple playthroughs. If I explain more it will spoil the experience. So just trust me on this, whenever you think the game is over it’s not over. You can also get multiple joke endings by being stupid or ignoring what the game wants you to do. 

Nier Automata is an action RPG. Combat is divided into two sections, hack n’ slash and bullet hell shooter. The shooting sections occur throughout the game whenever the characters enter their flight units. Those are always pretty simple, dodge bullets and shoot the enemies that are shooting at you. When you are wandering the world you encounter Machine enemies that you dice to bits with whatever weapons you have equipped. Some weapons are slow and hit hard and others do less damage with fast strikes. Dodging is important in this game. If you perfectly dodge attacks time will temporarily slow down and you get a chance to deal extra damage. You also have a friendly, floating pod companion. All hail the pod! Because these guys can shoot endless bullets at all enemies and have a big laser for whenever you want to blast someone real good. While you can change the pods charged attack nothing feels as effective as a giant laser. 

Out of all of the different characters you play as in Nier Automata, only 9S can hack enemies. If you hack them successfully it will either deal a great deal of damage or destroy them instantly. It’s overpowered. Sadly the hacking mini-game isn’t nearly as much fun as hitting everything with swords. The hacking segments are geometry bullet hells. Just keep moving and shooting and you’ll win. 

Character’s stats and abilities can be enhanced and changed by adding computer chips. They are androids after all. As you play the game you will find chips in the environment, earn them by completing quests and using materials to build and upgrade them. These chips can do everything from increasing movement speed, increasing attack/defense, and enable auto-heal. Read the default chips carefully before you remove anything. Remove the wrong one, and it’s instant death. 

Worst Parts

  • There are a lot of side quests, some of them are good/important story-wise yet they can be easily missed. They should have been part of the main story or should have had an indicator or something. 
  • At certain points during the game, it was hard to find things. Not a big deal but the trial and error were tedious at points. 
  • I won’t put spoilers here but I cried at the ending and one point early on the third playthrough. When I say crying I don’t mean a few stray tears. No, I mean grab the tissue box and pause the game. Because I couldn’t see the game through my tears! It was so sad!! Which is great, but also curse you developers for making me feel!
  • The 9S hacking mechanic. It wasn’t bad, and I enjoyed it sometimes. The shooting mini-game just isn’t as much fun as cutting everything down with swords. 

Best Parts

  • All the joke endings in the game. They were so much fun to accidentally get by being stupid. Later I ended up getting all of these joke endings by following a guide. 
  • Pet the pod! You can pet your pod whenever you want by clicking the touchpad of your controller. I love that you can do that. Your combat buddy deserves all the love and affection. 
  • There’s a character named Jackass. Looks like I never outgrew childish middle-school humor.
  • 9S!! My precious boy deserves to be protected and happy! 
  • After beating the game you can jump to different parts of the story to replay what you want and do side quests you might have missed. This was super helpful in getting all of the joke endings to the game that I missed. 
  • Combat. It was fast, responsive, and all-around a good time.
  • Befriending wildlife. I don’t know why they added it in the game. But who cares? I can ride a moose!
  • Music, the music in this game is so amazing! It sets the mood of climactic battles and important story moments. 
  • There are a lot of quirky moments in the game. At times it was funny. Other times it added to the characters and the environment. 

*Image does not belong to me. It belongs to the developers of Nier Automata

Persona 5/5R and Persona 5S Gameplay Comparison

Recently I just beat Persona 5 Strikers. I’m not done with the post-game stuff yet, but I’ve finished the main story. After experiencing the combat of both Persona 5/5R and Persona 5S I wanted to discuss my thoughts. Both combat systems are fun to play but they are a very different experience. I’m not going to go into detail about the nitty, gritty details of game mechanics. If you want that my suggestion would be YouTube gameplay videos. Instead, I’ll be discussing my thoughts about the games combat and dungeon exploration in general. 

One of my favorite parts of Strikers is that all of the Phantom Thieves are now playable characters in combat and dungeon exploration. (Except Futaba) Each character has their own unique playstyle and mechanics. Which I thought was a nice touch. It adds variety that is greatly appreciated. I was so happy to finally be able to play as Yusuke! Love him. 

If you accidentally die as Joker you just switch to a different character instead of getting an immediate “Game Over”. That makes things so much easier. It was always frustrating that when Joker died in Persona 5/5R everyone else immediately lost no matter what condition they were in. Gameplay-wise it makes sense, but logically it never did. I was very happy that this wasn’t the case in Strikers. 

So far, Persona 5S is the only Dynasty Warriors-type game I’ve played. This gameplay is characterized by hack and slash combat and facing huge mobs of enemies. It worked surprisingly well with a Persona setting. Now with real-time combat having skill is important. In Persona 5S learning attack patterns and dodging attacks becomes vital to defeat stronger enemies. It was a nice change having to get good at the game in that way. I do like the occasional challenge. In Persona 5/5R skill isn’t an issue in combat. Instead, the turn-based combat system prioritizes strategy and SP management. With the fast pace and jazzy music, it’s the best turn-based combat I’ve experienced in a video game. It’s a different experience from real-time combat. When done well I like it just as much. It’s a mental and a resource/time-managing challenge. 

Bosses are still pretty OP. In Persona 5/5R they have a massive amount of hit points. This is still true in Strikers. Bosses have huge health bars and a set of shields that the player destroys by exploiting weaknesses or getting critical hits. All in all, the boss fights from Persona 5S are equal to the ones from Persona 5/5R. They were challenging with epic music and story importance. They were just as much fun as the original. It was nice to be able to face off against bosses multiple times in Strikers. Due to the plot, you couldn’t do that in the original Persona 5/5R.

One thing that Persona 5S lacked was the time crunch of Persona 5/5R. You had to consider what you wanted to do with the time you have. Balancing the Palace exploration, Mementos exploration, confidants, and improving your stats. The entire game had a sense of purpose. There was always the pressure to “take your time” and do the most with what you currently had available. This is not the case in Persona 5S. You have all the time in the world to grind in the Metaverse and prance around in the real world. It made sense for how the game was structured. However, it was a real loss of that urgency of time being a limited resource. The pressure was non-existent because you always had time to spare.   

The dungeons themselves are easier to explore in Persona 5S. Not necessarily because of the enemies. The difficulty level you encounter in combat is comparable to Persona 5/5R. The Jails have less puzzle-solving than the Palaces. Puzzles can be frustrating at times but in all, they added to the challenge of exploration. Not only did you have to worry about enemies, but you also had to solve the puzzles built into the environment to progress. Strikers missed that opportunity. It reflects the shift of focus in Persona 5S, by making combat the star of dungeon crawling instead of the overall experience. However, I was impressed how it incorporated Futaba into the game with her hacking segments in the Jail. I thought it was a good way to get a non-combatant character involved directly. 

By necessity, Persona 5S changed how Joker acquires Personas. Instead of negotiating with shadows, now after every battle, there is a chance for a mask to appear which is collected and turned into a persona for Joker. It helps keep up the pace while dungeon crawling, but honestly, the original did it way better. The shadow negotiation in Persona 5/5R is quirky and interesting, sometimes frustrating. Yet it added character to the game and added depth to the enemies. I was honestly disappointed Persona 5S got rid of it. 

Honestly, the fact that Strikers is so different from the original games is a good thing. It was fun to play something that was simultaneously very different and familiar. The developers made a good decision about changing up the gameplay for the sequel to the story. If I were to only consider combat alone, I think I had more fun with Strikers’ real-time combat system. It’s a personal preference. Because I do think the original had a great turn-based system. I had fun with that too. They’re just so different it’s hard to compare. In the end, I think that Persona 5 Strikers lived up to all the hype and is just as good as Persona 5/5R. 

*Image does not belong to me. It is from the Persona 5S game and belongs to Atlus.

Petty Reviews: Code Vein

Code Vein is one of the many Dark Souls-esque video games. These video games are designed to be extraordinarily difficult and unforgiving. Death is severely punished. Every time you die you respawn at your last checkpoint and lose all of your currency and progress. Part of the fun of gaming is overcoming high difficulty challenges and enemies. Dark Souls-type games take this to the extreme and are dedicated to the “git gud” mentality. I have not played Dark Souls or Bloodborne because I am not a masochist. 

Initially, I picked up Code Vein because it looked like an interesting anime game. When I realized that it is a Dark Souls clone I was a little bit scared. I almost put it back on the shelf. However, I decided to be brave and give it a try. It wasn’t that expensive. Plus, maybe I would enjoy getting bullied by a video game. 

For a while, I did have fun playing Code Vein. Making my perfect waifu was a good time. It made me relive my childhood of playing dress-up games. The combat was hard in a good way. It heightened tension while playing new levels. Returning to previous areas after leveling up was so satisfying. To be able to easily one-shot kill an enemy that had killed me multiple times before was a beautiful experience. 

Boss fights were brutally challenging. I had to look up walkthroughs and strategy guides more than once. One boss, Invading Executioner, was so hard! It made me so angry. I had to beat this boss. It was the only outlet for my unyielding rage. I don’t know how many attempts it took, but I finally won! Times, like this I played Code Vein out of spite. I didn’t want this game to beat me. 

Later on in my playthrough… Sigh, the game beat me. At least for now. I fully intend on returning to Code Vein and finishing it. Someday, I will return; and, I will win. 

The fifth area in the game (not counting home base) is called the Cathedral of The Sacred Blood. The area is very pretty. The whole level is designed like a massive white Gothic cathedral. When I saw it the first time I spent a few moments just panning the camera around, appreciating the view. The problem is that the map is hard to navigate because all the paths look the same with hardly any markers to differentiate them. I had already gotten lost more than once and had looked up a YouTube walkthrough. So I was already getting frustrated. 

Then came the mini-boss that broke me, Argent Wolf Berserker. Even now just remembering that rotten, clanking, empty-headed suit of armor makes me annoyed. I hate that guy! That stupid Berserker is the worst!

*5 minutes of petulant sulking later* Alright, now that I’ve calmed down let’s talk about why this boss fight broke me. Because while the Berserker is a hard fight there is more than one reason that made it exceedingly difficult. 

The other boss fights I had beaten were located very close to a respawn point. As soon as I died I would pop back up close by and try again. Maybe there would be one or two little dudes that I would have to kill or avoid along the way. For the most part, it was a short walk back to try yet again to defeat the boss. That’s not the case with the Berserker boss. He is located about a three-minute distance away from the respawn. If that was the only problem it wouldn’t be a big deal. However, there are enemies you can’t avoid, and if you run they will chase you. They aren’t just little dudes that die in two or three hits either. It takes effort to beat these annoying skinny knights. They are fast, have decent health, and it’s almost impossible to escape without taking damage. Heck, sometimes I died to those guys before reaching the boss!

Once reaching the boss you are stuck with whatever health and health items you currently have. It’s impossible to start the fight at 100% tip-top condition. Then you have the difficulty of the stage and the Berserker himself. The stage you have to fight on is way too small. You don’t get much space to dodge and run. The other boss fights take place in big arenas. This one doesn’t give you that. This makes avoiding hits and getting enough time to use a healing item very challenging. The Berserker has a big range. He’s slow but he hits hard. It doesn’t take much to kill you. Your NPC companion who tags along to help you fight the bad guys collapses at the slightest nudge from this jerk-wad. 

Naturally, after dying over and over again I did the smart thing and looked up a walkthrough. Two YouTube videos showed the best character mod and techniques to kill the Berserker. Playing a tank character mod was the best choice. Then use a giant two-handed sword to block attacks instead of dodging. All while trying to get behind this lumbering nitwit and stab him in back. The problem is that I hadn’t played that character mod the entire game. Normally I played character builds that let me be fast with quick attacks and long-range magic attacks. I had gotten fairly good at playing this style of character. Now I had to change my entire playstyle for this one guy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t good at it. It’s not my playstyle preference in Code Vein and I didn’t have much practice with this mod. 

All these things combined made me so frustrated that I decided to put the controller down and take a break. I had only meant to take a day or two away from Code Vein before trying again. Then I started playing other games and got distracted from it. Now it’s delegated to my game purgatory list. The list of games that I’ve started but then stopped for whatever reason. I tell myself “I’ll come back and finish this game. I will return. Eventually. I do want to finish it.” Someday I will return to playing Code Vein. Next time I will beat it.

*Image is a screenshot of Code Vein and was originally posted on an IGN walkthrough. Does not belong to me.