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    dhawthorn's Life is Strange (PS4)

    [September 28, 2017 02:34:55 AM]
    Played through episode 3 today. The plot was straight out of an episode of The CW's Flash. Max discovers that she can change time, decides to go back in time to save someone she loves, then realizes that changing the past has significant consequences for the future. (Imagine that.) I can't wait for episode 4 where she goes back and makes sure the future happens how it's supposed to except some things will be slightly different, and everyone refers to the alternate timeline as "Maxpoint."

    Going through the stats after the chapter, I found it interesting that the "take/leave" the money choice had a 50/50 (as of my playthough) split between all players. But only 8% of people chose to kill the dog. Like, everyone agrees killing pets is bad, but stealing money from the handicapped? "Well, who REALLY needs it more?" Bucha self-proclaimed Robin Hoods over here.

    Not sure what else to say about this episode. Like I said the whole thing felt reminiscent of an episode of The Flash, except for that Groundhog Day part in the diner. (which was aptly referenced) There's a ton of movie and song references throughout the game, most of which aren't subtle. Like in the previous diner scene when Chloe says she's "hungry like the wolf." Duran Duran called, they want their overplayed song back. Subtlety is definitely not this game's strong point, but I guess it's hard to be subtle when your character's faces barely move. I definitely do want to finish this game, but the emotional impact of this episode was lost on me, partially due to me saying "Watch, now she's in a wheelchair" as Max approached Chloe's house at the end, and then just not being able to take it seriously when she actually was.
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    [September 27, 2017 01:52:16 AM]
    Finished another episode today. I felt like there were many more tense moments in this episode: Max's nose bleeds from using her power too much, shooting a car in a junkyard, pulling out a gun on the dealer guy in the RV, Chloe almost getting run over by a train, and Nathan sat on Max's desk! Oh, and Kate tried to kill herself and Max literally had to stop time to save her. So that was interesting. I'm glad I snooped around in her room enough and talked to her enough to be able to save her.

    I felt like this episode tried to break a few of the stereotypes it set up in the first episode. It seemed like the diner scene mostly existed to try to paint the security guard as more of a 'well-meaning, yet misunderstood' person instead of just the asshole he was portrayed as originally. Of course he quickly reprises his original role after the first interaction with him near the end of the chapter. Then we find out that Kate, for all her christian values, still had a darker side. Though what happened to her was clearly not her fault, she turned down a grave path. And at one point a jock character actually spoke to Max like a person instead of just 'some hipster geek.'

    Despite that, the game introduced several other characters based heavily on stereotypes, or well-established imagery: the crazy bus hobo, the distruntled, smelly fishermen, the homeless lady who's been around for as long as anyone can remember and knows everything about everyone, the rough and tough debt collector, and two truckers in a diner who just want a bite to eat before heading out on the road again. Stereotypes are helpful, but I'm beginning to wonder if this game is taking things a little far. Sure cliques in high school still exist, but I feel like even in 2013 when the game is set, people are more open to the idea of talking to people from other social circles instead of this 1980's coming-of-age movie vibe of "rich kids can't talk to nerds!" It feels a bit forced at times.
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    [September 26, 2017 01:03:47 AM]
    Started playing Life is Strange. I knew to expect an episodic story, and that one of the girls in it had blue hair, but that was about it. Somehow I've managed to avoid or forget any spoilers, so that's nice.

    The serene-ness of the main menu background and music were quickly offset by a startling loud boom accompanied by controller shaking - a truly visceral start to the story from a player perspective. Here I was thinking it would start me off in a room somewhere explaining backstory, but no. BOOM. Lost in the forest in a thunderstorm. Emperor's New Groove style.

    After rubbing my face against everything in the main hallway, (because that's how I play these games: screw pacing, I have to touch all the stuff first) I encountered the first instance of the game's mechanic - rewinding time. Something that I somehow had no idea the game had. A super interesting mechanic, but terrible (or good?) for my habits of wanting to see all the possiblities of my choices. It definitely lengthened my playtime, since I was basically playing the game twice. Sometimes three or four times if I accidentally hit the rewind button.

    I found it interesting how they don't shy away from issues pertaining to girls, particularly of this age group: sexual pressure, puberty, popularity contests, that sort of thing. Max makes a comment when you examine a tampon machine (is that what they're actually referred to? I wouldn't know) in the girls bathroom that she is "good to flow," something that would normally be glossed over or never be mentioned in most other games. At another point Max has an inner monologue with the voice of Gollum from Lord of The Rings about protecting her "precious" flash drive. I felt it added a layer of realism to the characters that would have been missed otherwise. The writing is a bit cheesy at times ("But there's something else I have to tell you... Something...hardcore.") and a bit heavy handed on the swearing, but probably accurate for the age group.

    There's definitely something fishy going on under the petty arguing at Blackwell, and I look forward to finding out more and exploring what else the characters have to offer.
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    dhawthorn's Life is Strange (PS4)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 25 September, 2017

    dhawthorn's opinion and rating for this game

    Interesting, yet pacing-breaking mechanic

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dhawthorn's page

    See info on Life is Strange

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