I'm using my post-release break to play a few games.
Life is Strange is an episodic adventure game about a photography-obsessed girl name Max who has returned to her home town on a scholarship - and discovers she has time-rewinding powers. Into Max's life we introduce a rich boy with a gun, an old friend with problems, a security control freak, a new friend with white-knight tendencies, and a disappeared girl. And many varieties of bullying. And a coming mega-tornado.
The production values are very high, and it's a nice, playable game, with puzzles that revolve mainly about choices leading to social consequences. And I enjoyed playing the first episode of this game, and liked Max, and I'm probably not going to pick up the rest of the episodes.
Two issues - there's so much powerlessness going on here, so many different vortices of bullying, that I just feel no anticipation for the play experience, even if the likely end result is vindication or escape.
And - particularly in a game where the main character runs around taking photos of everything - I kept having to keep myself from shrieking "Take some video! Gather evidence! Video the creepy home surveillance system. Video the rich boy with a gun! Video the bullying security guard!"
The mega-tornado also feels weirdly unnecessary given all the other stuff going on.
Anyway - I do recommend this game to anyone with higher tolerance for this kind of story. It's very atmospheric and interesting. Just a not-for-me game.
Mildly spoilerish bit..
Willing to bet that the all-around-wonderful photography teacher is a creepy murderer and video-taper of girls.
08 March 2015
Life is Strange (game) - minor spoilers
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After reading this, I did download and play it! I do like it quite a bit. It does leave you feeling kind of on edge - from all the bullying and powerlessness, as you mentioned. And it freaked me out when each time you made a choice it tried to convince you that maybe you should have made a different one. But even knowing the outcome, why WOULDN'T I report the gun to the principal?! etc etcReplyDelete
Reading about some of the other choices at the end, I see I missed out on a few opportunities (signing someone's petition, letting someone else draw your portrait). I feel like such a snoop in the game. Normally if there is a hotspot in an adventure game, you click on it. I guess because this game has consequences based on your actions, I felt slimy poking around people's rooms, especially right in front of their faces - but then again, I guess you can do whatever you like, then rewind time to avoid the consequences.
Overall, I did enjoy the game, and will definitely play the next episodes, especially since I find my kind of games so seldomly. Before this and Dreamfall: Chapters, I think the last true PC adventure game I played was Jane Jensen's Gray Matter, which I think was about 4 years ago. And Life is Strange is definitely a lot better than a lot of other stuff that comes out these days, with such little demand for this type of game. So I don't disagree with your points, but look forward to continuing with the next episode. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
Yes, I too found a clash between my usual 'search every hotspot' attitude and the simple decency of not picking up someone's pregnancy test. I chose to behave as a real person would, and not snoop unnecessarily.Delete
In that one character's room I stuck to my guns about not snooping, since she was one of the few who was actually nice to Max. So I never even saw the pregnancy test. Later, reading through Max's journal, I saw she had drawn a positive pregnancy test, and was totally confused as to why - until reading the stats about choices at the end of the game.ReplyDelete
I have to say, I enjoy the line, "the simple decency of not picking up someone's pregnancy test." Not to mention considerations of sanitation!
I'm looking forward to this quite a bit, though I'm waiting for the full game to be released (I hate episodic games...its bad enough with Dreamfall Chapters and before that Fables). Hm I wonder if because I play so many otome and social link games like Persona if I'll have as many moral issues.ReplyDelete
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Yeah, this whole episodic release thing is very annoying. Though does make it cheaper to 'sample' a game.Delete
That's true...and I like that a lot of creators are using it as a way to improve on the game the further along it goes (I was never a fan of patches or "game updates"), but when you're fully ready to commit like 6-8 hours to a game, having only about 4 hours of gameplay--not including if sidequests, or different choices can be made--blows. i've now replayed Dreamfall:Chapters Part 1 like 8 times and it still is nowhere near the cumulative length I wish I could put into the game (or that I put into the first Dreamfall game).Delete
Wow - that's a lot of replay! You'll be looking for the upcoming next release a lot, I guess.Delete
Hopefully, more of this type of game will come along - they really are one of the kind I find most interesting. I don't play as many otome games as you, I suspect. The ones that are close to straight visual novels I tend to find boring, but I like the ones where you have to improve your skills, and Long Live the Queen was definitely cool.