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    jp's The Walking Dead: Season 2 (VITA)

    [May 28, 2015 03:13:53 PM]
    It feels really odd to write this now since I finished playing this game a while back. I avoided writing about it here because I was using the game in class and didn't want to bias/affect student gamelogs on this game. Now that the term is done I guess I can write down some of the salient things from my experience playing WD season 2.

    All things being said, I don't this season was up to the quality of the first one. I've been thinking a lot about why that is and I think the main issue is that Clementine is now the protagonist.

    For me, the game is ultimately about making choices on how you want the character you control to deal with the situations he (she in this case) is placed in. As my students noted, most of the choices you make aren't meaningful in the sense that they significantly alter the events of the game. Rather, they are meaningful because they alter the way you perceive and understand the character. To simplify, if you act like a jerk - your character is now the jerk who acts poorly in a world where things go horribly wrong. If you act like a nice compassionate person, your character is now the good person who continues to act like that despite all the terrible things that happen. It's a zombie game, most people will die - what can you say about how you dealt with that? For me, that's what's interesting about this game (not the idea that you can alter events, sometimes, like in real like, you just can't).

    I guess I'm reminded of Kant's argument for why you should never lie - at the end of the day you're only responsible for your actions in the present. You can't predict the future. So, if you don't lie and then terrible things happen, you will still be able to sleep well at night because you did the right thing.

    Walking Dead season 2 is kind of like that. You get to decide how you want Clementine to be - in what ways has her suffering affected her? Is she now more callous and cold? Were Lee's efforts worth it in that she's still, at heart, a good and compassionate person? Or is the now "a survivor" who is willing to do whatever it takes to stay alive? That's the REAL meaning in the choices you make in the game, not where X or Y survives...

    Anyways, when I played as Lee it was easier for me to contextualize (and justify) the choices I was making. He had a clear goal: protect Clementine. How you went about it was your choice. In season 2, you don't really have that. You are Clementine, so why choose to do something or not? It felt a little more abstract (I choose to define Clementine as a person who is X) rather than choosing to meet goal Y but doing this in a way that a person who is X would. It's also harder because Clementine is a little girl...

    Also, in terms of the general storyline, season 1 had a clear goal as well: we're all trying to get to where Clementine's parents are. This time around it felt more like people wandering around deciding to go places for no real compelling reason.

    Good things about season 2? Fewer (as in, zero) puzzles. They didn't really add much to the game in season 1. So this time the emphasis really is on the story and characters.

    Bad things? Loading times on the VITA were pretty bad in my opinion and I also had issues with framerate and stuff getting sluggish. It also took me a while to figure out the interface. They implemented touchscreen and regular controls, but you're supposed to use one OR the other, not both. It switches between them quickly (seamlessly), but there's enough of a delay that I got really confused at times (I did the correct thing, but not using the currently set interface mode).
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    jp's The Walking Dead: Season 2 (VITA)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 28 May, 2015

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 28 May, 2015

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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