120 Games, 1 Goal - Pile of Shame: 0


Ha, tell me about it. At this stage I’m like “3 months for these 4 games, 3 months for the Witcher 3” >.<

It’s already been great so far! 5 games I wouldn’t have played otherwise in the last 7 weeks, I’m actually surprised at how much doing this kind of thing has helped me stay focused. I can’t even count the number of times I’d sit down to play a game, not know what to play, then end up wasting an hour essentially staring at my shelf / PS4 home screen. Have not yet done that once!


I only made it through Witcher 3 because of Spring Break. I think that’s how I’m going to play big games going forward. Get a week off in the spring and 3 in the winter.


Shamelog #008 - Tales of Uncertainty

The Tales series has always intrigued me, but I hadn’t actually dived into it until this week. It’s the newest entry in the series made exclusively for PS4, it’s a got a female main protagonist and, from all reports, a more mature story & characters. I’ve only put in about 15 hours so far, but I have… thoughts.


  • The story of this world has it’s hooks in me. I’ve been after a good anime-ass JRPG since finishing Xenoblade Chronicles X over a year ago, and boy is this game delivering. Demonblight, moluks, playing as the “evil” characters - it’s probably not to hardcore anime fans, but this kind of world feels new to me.
  • Velvet is bad ass. The initial innocence of the main character despite the opening cutscene threw me, but the the next set of tragic events and her reaction to them more than make up for that. Velvet is fucking pissed, and it is 100% justified. I’m fully in on Velvet getting her revenge.
  • The side characters are already quite interesting. They are mysterious in their own ways, and it’s doing a good job of dolling out new tidbits from time to time and adding great characterization at nearly every turn. You really feel like a ragtag band of rogues.


  • You can’t take screenshots in this game. You can’t bloody take screenshots in this game. I’m so pissed about that, because it does look pretty awesome at times. This is the sole reason Persona 5 isn’t on my list. If I had’ve known this game was going to be the same, it wouldn’t have ended up on this list either.
  • The combat plays off as deep, but it’s weirdly button mashing action? I don’t know, I’m not getting it. Maybe it’ll take some more time to click.
  • You can’t take damn screenshots!

Thankfully, the pros are outwaying the cons for the moment, so I’m going to continue on. Anyone else have experience with Tales games?

Games left to play: 117
Currently playing: Tales of Berseria


Shamelog #009 - Tales of… Not Much

A real short update this week - been too busy to play too many games!

That being said, I did manage to get a couple of hours of Tales of Berseria in this week. The game continues along the same lines - super intriguing story, great characters, not super keen on the combat. When I’m away from the game it never crosses my mind - when I’m playing it, I’m eager to see what’s next.

I’ve got some complicated thoughts on Berseria thanks to the weirdly sexist (I think? But nobody seemed to notice/care? So am I wrong about that?) demo, which I plan to expand upon before the game is through, but I’m happy that the bad taste that demo left in my mouth is all but gone with these characters (so far.) The group that is your party share a fantastic dynamic, in a weird dysfunctional family kind of way. Again, more on that maybe next week.

Games left to play: 117
Currently playing: Tales of Berseria


Shamelog #010 - Adventures in Berseria

This week I found myself diving into Tales of Berseria a bit harder than previous weeks. Around 30 hours in, it’s slowly gotten it’s hooks embedded in me. The story has wound up enough to the point that I have to know what’s happening next. Oh yeah, and it is so anime.

I just hit a point where a specific big reveal happens, and it finally feels like I’ve hit the meat of the game - I know my path to the end, now I just have to go do it. On one hand I’m kind of annoyed that it took so long to get to this - on the other, it needed to be that long to explain the heady concepts around daemons, moluks, exorcists and everything else that’s happening in this game. It’s a fascinating a world all things considered though, and well worth the commitment to learning.

Berseria actually surprised me with how heavy it gets into so many mature aspects - politics in particular, but also dealing with death, navigating heavy emotions and being an outcast from society. You are no hero in this game - quite the opposite. The faction you are up against is a full on Theocracy, where the enemy are positioned as protectors of the innocent, leading with order and reason, while you are a vengeful daemon out to kill the man who murdered your brother, full of passion and freedom. I don’t know if it’s just the political climate we’re in currently, but I’m seeing way more parallels between this game and real life.

One particular facet of Tales of Berseria I’m in love with is the way it gives every character, good and bad, room to be 3 dimensional. You get the chance to see all characters motivations, and come to respect every side of a given issue. This game doesn’t seem to have any “bad guys” just yet - only people doing what they think is right.

There is, however, one sticky point I’m having trouble dealing with - the maybe sexism. That sounds like a loaded phrase, I know, but there’s bits of this game that just stick me the wrong way, yet others that are so opposite to that thought process that it feels like 2 seperate writers with 2 different ideas of what these characters are. I need to hash this out - next week I’ll spell it out, because I’d love to hear your thoughts.

As a side note, my girlfriend and I have gotten back into Pokemon Go again. It’s still a bad game mechanically, but it has just has such a great hook and some of the bad has been dealt with. The new updates with gyms and new pokemon have been great too.

Games left to play: 117
Current game: Tales of Berseria


Tales of has not been my thing since…Phantasia but I’m interested to look at Berseria. I’m also eyeing Legendia


I’ve always been even curious about the series, but I’ll be honest, it was the fact the protagonist was a lady that finally had me dive over the edge. That and the fact that the story was “more mature” than past entries - I don’t know what the previous one was like, but mature is a good description of this one.

One thing I’m still sort of struggling with is the combat. Have they always been kind of button mashy? I can see there’s just soooo much customization and depth there, but I’ve seen no need to go into it, or if it really affects the experience at all.


I feel like it’s one of those “the true depth comes out in hard mode” situations. I had lots of fun min-maxing the best combo chains to stun-lock enemies and turn into a whirlwind of death.


@eightbitsamurai That makes sense. The further I get in the more I slowly start to grasp at the underlying systems to this combat - I’ll get there! Maybe. By the time I’m done.


Shamelog #011 - Struggling with Sexism(?) in Berseria

As much as I’ve been enjoying my latest JRPG anime ass nonsense game, I’ve been struggling with something internally that I just need to talk about. As the title suggests, it feels like like even though the game is equal in male/female distribution in general, there’s something gross underneath. Or is there?

My problems started back in 2016 when I first played the demo. Having never played a Tales game, I was excited to jump in - until the very first conversation between the party characters played out. at this stage I knew nothing of the characters; who they were, how many were there, what their relationships were. The conversation that followed showed banter between the 6 main characters - Eizen the brooding male pirate, Laphicet the boy child of light, Rokurou the demon samurai man, Magilou the lady magician, Eleanor the pure and holy maiden, and female playable character Velvet - with the older boys explaining to the child how women deceive men with their wicked tricks of lies and tears. Yup.

Here’s a transcript of the convo, should you be interested:


Laphicet: Hmm…
Rokurou: What is it Laphicet?
Laphicet: I was told that women’s looks can be deceiving, but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to see…
Rokurou: That’s an age-old problem for men. You with me, Eizen?
Eizen: Aye. Women are fickle creatures at best. They lie as easily as they breathe, and men can never see through their deceptions.
Rokurou: I TOTALLY feel you.
Laphicet: …Sounds like you’ve both been through some hard times.
Rokurou: The wounds a women leave on a man’s heart take longer to heal than a cut delivered by a sword.
Laphicet: (shocked) It’s that bad?!
Eizen: Beware a maiden’s tears, boy, and guard yourself well. That’s my advice to you.
Laphicet: Beware tears… and guard myself.
Velvet: (interjecting) Don’t put any weird ideas into Laphicet’s head, you two.
Eizen: They’re just facts.
Velvet: If you fill his head with any more garbage, I’m eating both of you.
Rokurou: Yes, ma’am! Yikes!
Magilou: The swordsman and the pirate having troubles with women? Ha! Well, women are nothing if not difficult. I’ve the deepest sympathy for you both.
(the boys stare for a few seconds)
Rokurou: What do you think of the ladies’ reactions?
Laphicet: Well, Velvet won’t eat either of you, and Magilou didn’t seem sympathetic at all.
Rokurou: See? Appearances can be deceiving.
Eizen: And it seems you’ve absorbed the lesson well.
Laphicet: … Right!
Eleanor: I’m not like that though.
Laphicet: Huh?
Eleanor: Yes, some women use their tears to manipulate others. But not all do, and I for one despise such duplicity. The women who did that to Eizen and Rokurou are just the extreme.
Laphicet: Yeah, I can see how much you hate dishonesty Eleanor.
Eleanor: Huh? Um, yeah, that’s right.
(the boys stare for a second)
Eizen: Be a good example for the boy, then, so he doesn’t end up like Rokurou and me.
Eleanor: I intend to do just that, whether or not you ask it of me.
Laphicet: (Eleanor is a lot stronger than she appears.)

Taken out of context, I was immediately put off. This game went from high on my list to Forget It in an instant. It did end up creeping back on my list for 2 reasons: one, the game was real good, and two, not a single thing was mentioned regarding sexism in any reviews or coverage of the game, from demo to release.

I ended up second guessing myself - had I gotten it all wrong? What drew me in was the colourful cast of characters, and mostly because of Velvet - despite the still ridiculous outfit (which I still don’t understand even being more than halfway through the game) she is a boss ass character. I love playing her as the anti-hero; she is multifaceted and deliberate, she knows what she wants and she isn’t letting anyone stand in her way of that. Through playing this game, I’ve learned who these characters are and what their relationships are, and having finally witnessed the scene above in game, it comes with the converstaion of how men are broody and self-important, essentially flipping it to pick on guys as well. It makes sense in context, but does that forgive the language?

In more recent times I feel like I’ve become much more sensitive to all sorts of isms, particularly thanks to my own self identified shortcomings from the past, but had I become oversensitive to it all? Even the mere suggestion of that makes me feel gross to be perfectly honest - it’s the default argument for anyone who doesn’t want to own up to their own bullshit. I get eye rolls from co-workers all the time when I point out how something they’ve said is blatantly racist. I feel like I’m trying to be better, yet drowning in uncertainty over what’s wrong and what’s ok.

Existential crisis aside, and this is probably more the point - I’m really enjoying this game. I love the characters and story. It says some super progressive things about politics and society, but then things like this trip me up.

What do you think? Am I being ridiculous and should just chill the fuck out, or is my queasiness warranted?

Games left to play: 117
Currently playing: Tales of Berseria


Nah, you’re not wrong to feel queasy with those aspects. The Tales series (at least, what I’ve played of it) has tended to fall back on gender essentialism and other forms of sexism despite having some cool female characters, and Berseria is, ironically, the worst in this regard.


I had the exact same reaction to that conversation. The only thing saving that whole sequence when I played the demo was the pretty great presentation.

I’ll likely pick up and really enjoy Berseria at somepoint, but that was one hell of a “yikes” moment to open a demo with.


I loved Berseria to death and yeah, that skit was real bad. It felt like they had to meet their requisite quota of Bad Anime Tropes for it to be a real Tales game, so they went and added that.


It’s really such a shame. For as much as the combat isn’t gelling with me, The thing that’s pulling me through really are the characters - the 6 party members and their dynamic sits at Bioware levels to me.

@CaptainMorton I am happy to say it has been overall worth it despite that bad moment, and queasiness over this aside it is still pretty cool.

@dordreff damn I know, it’s just so disappointing too, as a good chunk of the skits that play out are actually genuinely funny! I just wish they had’ve been just a bit more clever at reworking some of this dumb shit.


Shamelog #012 - Exciting News!

As it stands now, I’m down 41 hours into Tales of Berseria. I’m keen to continue on with the adventure and see it to the end. I thought I would have by now, yet here we are. To be fair, there is a good reason for it…

My partner Loren and I are building a house!

The opportunity kind of just came up, and given that we haven’t been in this position before, we thought we’d make the most of it. Building a house unsurprisingly takes a lot of time and work, so we’ve been fairly busy with that over the past month or so. We weren’t going to be making any announcements until the contracts are properly through, but the builders ended up posting pictures of us on their social media pages in the last week (we did give them permission, just didn’t think it through) so whataya gonna do? *shrug emoji*

Anyway, that’s the go! Still am managing to get in some gaming before bed some nights, and one particular thought occurred to me this week - Tales of Berseria has a ton of voice acting. Like, more than most RPG’s. It’s great, the party characters really shine thanks in part to their acting.

Anyway the next little while might be a little light on words, but I’ll still be popping in each Sunday to update. Exciting times!

Games left to play: 117
Current game: Tales of Berseria


Yay for building a house! Those games aren’t going anywhere. You’ll probably enjoy them more in your new home.


Thanks dude! Yeah that’s the hope, I’ll actually have a space for my gaming stuff as opposed to the lounge room and the closet in the spare room, so that’s exciting haha. We might have terrible internet and be backward a few decades in a few areas haha, but at least opportunities like this pop up sometimes!


The upside might be that bad Internet means you’ll focus more on your backlog!


Shamelog #013 - Bittersweet Berseria

Well folks, here we are. 69 hours down, Tales of Berseria officially complete. Nice.

I always get this weird feeling at the end of a JRPG. Thanks to the long playtime and the extended characterisation that comes with it, saying the final goodbyes as the story comes to an end is often bittersweet. Great characters breed great attachment - and Berseria, I’m happy to say, has a superb cast of misfits.

Through this heartbreaking story, from beginning to end, it’s been the party of 6 that have driven me forward. I’m comfortable in saying that Magilou, Rokurou and Eizen stand as equals with Bioware characters for me. They may be a bit anime trope-y, but they were bloody fantastic companions. It definitely helps that the voice acting was excellent.

A major plus for me was the writing. I’m happy to report that the aforementioned skit containing the sexist remarks was a once off, with the rest of the dialogue being quite great, and in same cases, much more progressive. The humour got me plenty as well, with one item description giving my inner astronomer a good chuckle: “Pluto Satchel - A bag unfairly cast out of bag society, causing it to be slowly forgotten.”

To wrap things up, Tales of Berseria is a great game. I imagine anyone who’s played a game in the series before would find the systems greatly improved, while I found it to be just the right jumping on point for curious folk. It did take me the whole game, but I finally come to grips with the combat by the final fight - enough so that I ended up diverting from the main track just before the end to continue fighting, getting loot, and experiencing side quests. I’m happy with my time spent with Berseria - this may even be a game I come back to in the future for NG+.

Games left to play: 116
Current game: ?


Yay yay yay glad you liked it, and yeah, Magilou is one of my favorite JRPG characters in ages, with Eizen taking a close second. The ending was more affecting than I expected, and I felt quite a sense of melancholy watching the credits, with that piano playing in the background.