jp's The Wolf Among Us (VITA)
| [November 16, 2015 02:14:27 PM]
| Finished! And then I went back and replayed some sections where significant "forking" occurred.
As I expected, having to replay some sequences allowed too much information from behind the curtain to bleed through - most of the choices/options in the game don't really matter in terms of the outcomes/events in the game. I was surprised by how much additional content there was behind some of the branches (e.g. visiting the butcher shop or the pawn show are completely different experiences).
I'm increasingly starting to welcome and understand what Telltale does in its games (Walking Dead Season 1 and 2 and now this game) and I feel that in many ways they are often harshly criticized when choices/options DON'T result in meaningfully different outcomes/events. The argument is that your choices didn't matter in a game and thus, the value of the experience is lessened.
However, I'm starting to see (and enjoy) the choices/options in a lot of these games as choices the player makes about CHARACTER rather than about PLOT. And this can lead to a fundamentally different play experience. When I played Wolf Among Us I was trying to create a certain character for Bigby that made sense in my mind and felt interesting to play. So, the moments that felt a bit off for me where the ones where the outcomes didn't reflect the character I felt I was developing through my choices. Of course this relies on both my willingness to meet the designers/writers "half way" - after all we are both contributing to the character that is being developed.
In a sense, Telltale's games are really like role-playing games in that, although I'm given a character to start with and there are certain constraints I need to stick to - I really am figuring out who this character is and what I want him/her to be by acting in the world - in this case via the dialog choices I make and how I respond (or fail to respond) to the action cues.
Curiously, I feel like this game does a better job since, AFAIK, there is no "fail" condition. You just act things out better (or worse) and then the game moves on.
In a nutshell, I really enjoyed this game - perhaps more than the rest AND I think Telltale is really moving things forward in an interesting way. Now I just wish they'd get more credit and respect for it.
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| [November 10, 2015 06:08:30 PM]
| I started playing this in short (20 minute) bursts last week and I wasn't terribly impressed. To be fair, the game doesn't seem to accommodate short playing very well (the PSVita does - so I can just switch off and it resumes just fine), but in slightly longer sessions I've found that I'm quite enjoying the game. Yes, it's quite heavily driven by narrative with very few actions/interactions and choices. However, I don't see that as a negative really. It's just a different style of game. In fact I was thinking of Phoenix Wright. Phoenix Wright has lots of reading, and this game has lots of watching/listening. In that sense they're quite similar though you can control the pacing yourself in the former, while the latter allows for better authorial control of the dramatic moments and sequences in the game.
So far (middle of episode 4 of 5), here's what I've enjoyed or found interesting:
a. The art direction is really intriguing (and attractive). You can tell how much it borrows from the Walking Dead games BUT with it's own take on it such that it feels very much like it's own style. I think it works better than if they had explicitly tried to mimic the style of the printed comics.
b. I've read a fair amount of the comics and the game is set somewhere in the middle of things in terms of the continuity I'm familiar with. This means that I interpret a lot of what I see in the game as "foreshadowing" what I know happens later (officially) AND when things go against that foreshadowing, it's also interesting because it makes the future in the comics richer and more interesting (to me, at least). For example, Bigby and Snow's relation in the game has a lot of stuff "between the lines" that comes only from my knowledge of the comics and this makes the game so much more interesting for me to play.
c. Load times are awful and almost spoil the experience. It's a real shame. Not sure who to "blame" but I had hoped they'd fix those issues? (I'm assuming Wolf on Vita came out after Walking Dead Season 2, which I played earlier)
d. Wow, the story really is adult in both themes and content. I think this is a good thing as it really plays well to the original comics (perhaps better?) The game is definitely closer to something like True Detective with complicated characters and stuff happening behind the scenes. The episodes have gotten more interesting which is good. I didn't think the same was the case for the Walking Dead where the episodes felt more separate...
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jp's The Wolf Among Us (VITA)
Current Status: Finished playing
GameLog started on: Sunday 1 November, 2015
GameLog closed on: Monday 16 November, 2015
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