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    Nov 8th, 2018 at 21:48:28     -    1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC)

    My final play session went for about an hour and twenty minutes. I was able to finish the game and find most of the story pieces spread throughout the areas. In the end, I chose to save Ali over Hossein, simply for the reason that up to that point I had been trying to move Ali toward a better less violent path. Unfortunately, he still dies in the end, but in my mind as more of a sympathetic character than he may have otherwise been. I was genuinely surprised by the reveal of Hossein as a conspirator against Reza, and even though abrupt, I felt the ending was still satisfying enough and certainly left it open for a sequel. Many people in America, myself included, didnít really learn much about these events in high school and it seems the game did a good job at displaying the various forces involved in the revolution. It is good to see games used as a medium for historical fiction and documentary style pieces, as the interactive aspects of games seem to lend themselves well to the genre. Even though it seems from my quick google searches that only the choice of who to save affects the ending, the developers still made the choices feel meaningful, and I feel like they still are. Even if the game doesnít directly change with many choices, the character of Reza certainly does. As a game that is based on relationships that a character has to his country and those around him, the character that develops in Reza, whether he be a pacifist, a violent rebel, or a religious zealot, very much changes the experience of the player. The game may not give you a bunch of endings based on what you choose to do, but if you were to view each playthrough as its own movie you wouldnít say they told the same story. As a final note, I will say that the animations and art in general needed work in some places, but the voice actors performances did a good job overcoming the issues with awkward movement.

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    Nov 8th, 2018 at 00:43:06     -    1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC)

    My second play session lasted forty minutes. At this point I am getting further into the story, and I have chosen to try and keep Reza from truly picking sides until he absolutely has to. So far when forced to choose between only two options, I tend toward siding with Babak as I didnít want to actively have Reza act violently or as an activist. I would like to see how far I can take him as a naÔve journalist. The game certainly seems to be playing with a theme of ambiguous morals. Within the opposition to the Iranian government there are different schools of thought, and each is only presented through the biased view of Rezaís acquaintances, at least up to this point. I would assume many people in Iran at the time were in similar situations and had to form opinions with limited and conflicting information. As someone who is slow to make decisions in real life, I have trouble quickly deciding in the game when placed under a time limit. This makes me second guess many of my choices, but I understand why the time limits are in place as a means to put pressure on the player. The torture scene in particular with Rezaís brother left me wondering if I should have made different decisions. Iím interested to see how the game wraps up, and would be interested in trying another run sticking strongly to one ideology.

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    Nov 7th, 2018 at 00:15:07     -    1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC)

    I chose to try out 1979 Revolution after checking the steam page on the game and seeing that it concerns the Iranian revolution of 1979. Being that it covers an important historical event of which I have little knowledge, I figured that the game would be fresh and interesting to me. The game is basically an interactive movie, but I haven't played many games of this type so it hasn't been boring to me yet. I played for around 30 mins, so I didn't get too far into the game. It is a little jarring jumping right into the action, but I found that I was quickly interested in the narrative of the game. I found it a little difficult at first to make decisions as I didn't know much about the protagonist, but I feel like the game is letting me shape how the narrative will develop. I am hoping the game has slight variations in the story when the player makes different decisions, and the comments the game gives of how certain characters will remember things makes be think this will be the case. I may be able to do multiple runs through the game if this is the case. The feature of additional info available for players to read is really nice, as is helps explain a bit more of what is going on in the overall history of the events. Being a fan of history, I found myself quite interested in this feature. Making near recreations of actual photos was also something that I thought was pretty neat, as the game is staging itself within a fictionalized version of a real space. Overall I'm interested to see where the game will go moving forward.

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    Sep 27th, 2018 at 20:58:28     -    Four Last Things (PC)

    In my last play session, I was able to complete Four Last Things and I will say that the game was entertaining throughout. My last 30 mins of playtime went mostly to attempting to find extra secrets before I completed my last sin, which I was confident I knew how to complete. Upon finishing the final sin of lust, I headed back to the church to finish off the game. I wasnít completely sure how the game would end, but the ending really didnít come as a surprise considering the general message I was getting from the game. Clearly the author wanted to comment on the oddities surrounding the procedures of the church, particularly the church of the past. The fact that the absolving of oneís sins can only be completed within the district the sin was committed, unless the sinner sins again in their new district shows how seemingly arbitrary the idea of absolution can be. The fear of death and damnation the protagonist feels after his dream of the original sin doesnít trigger him to suddenly find faith, but rather he goes through the procedure necessary for him to avoid a terrible fate. The seven sins are absolute rules of the church, but are actually commonly broken as shown by the line outside the church in the game and the existence of a fast pass to confession for those who commit all seven sins. The ending of the game is a unique one that fuses a bleak message with humor, as was effectively done throughout the rest of the game as well. Despite its short length I enjoyed the game overall and think it was a very unique experience.

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