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    jp's Oxenfree (PS4)

    [January 15, 2019 09:52:44 PM]
    Finished this over the weekend. The experience was weird and interesting in unexpected ways.

    First, it's been a while since it came out and I have vague memories of it being an indie darling and that it had a cool dialogue system. Other than that, I vaguely "remembered" that it involved animals in a village. Or something like that. Oh, and that the tone was sort of like a teen movie. Ha!

    There's an early scene in a cave that really knocked my socks off - because I realized that, well, I did not remember what the game was about at all. So, the "true" tone - it's a creepy mystery that's not Scooby Doo at all - was genuinely a surprise, and a fun one at that. I was mostly going - what the heck is going on! - which was fantastic. Especially as you try to make sense of eveything with scant clues...really scant. Weirdly, the clue part only opens up (becomes a possibility) once you're really close to the end - and then, you have to actively reject finishing the game to go hunt up all the collectibles, that give you clues and info as to what is really happening. I was a good little foot soldier here, and collected everything, but I'll admit that there's a significant chunk of time in which I felt totally confused but also felt like the game assumed I wasn't. Like it had told me some important info that I didn't understand.

    The conversation system is nifty in a UI sense, you basically have three options open represented as speech bubbles above the character's head and you then press the corresponding button on the controller to choose that one. I felt a bit rushed at times, the options disappear quite soon, and there isn't really much time to think about a lot of the things you may or may not want your character to say. This was a bit unsettling, but I thought it was neat that when you say something, you can interrupt whoever is talking at the time. It made the game feel more "real" in terms of the chit-chat, more like actual friends talk and less like a movie/game. However, it sometimes made it hard to follow stuff, especially when someone is talking and your options are disappearing. Do I finish hearing whatever is being said, or get a word in before the choice disappears and maybe miss out? So, interesting - but I felt like it needed a bit of tweaking for my personal tastes.

    The game was made by a really small team - so the usual stuff you'd like/want isn't there - the other characters really act like dumb puppets and seem to have no real contextual awareness - I'd pop open the radio to scan frequencies, and they'd continue acting the same as before.

    Apparently to get all the trophies you need to play it three times - play nice, mean, and quiet. I think it's REALLY interesting that the game still works even if you never speak a word (by choice, the character sometimes just says stuff). It seems like the designers admitting that - whatever, the dialogue doesn't really matter, sort of like they gave up and just let you listen to the story play out in the voices of other characters. On the other hand, I presume it works! And, this means that the game is fundamentally not broken since you always have the option to remain silent. This feels like a really strange conundrum to me, but I mostly lean towards "not liking" the trophy because it sorts of draws attention to the game's narrative choices not really mattering for much.
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    jp's Oxenfree (PS4)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 11 January, 2019

    GameLog closed on: Tuesday 15 January, 2019

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on Oxenfree

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Oxenfree (Other) by 641345340 (rating: 5)
    2 : Oxenfree (PS4) by chionyeabor17 (rating: 5)
    3 : Oxenfree (PC) by dhawthorn (rating: 4)
    4 : Oxenfree (PC) by dkirschner (rating: 5)
    5 : Oxenfree (PC) by GingerbreadFetus (rating: 5)
    6 : Oxenfree (XBONE) by KingBadfish (rating: 5)
    7 : Oxenfree (PC) by lintree (rating: 5)
    8 : Oxenfree (PC) by Michael Brownstein (rating: 5)
    9 : Oxenfree (iPd) by Nick Fuller (rating: 5)
    10 : Oxenfree (PC) by sdayer (rating: 5)
    11 : Oxenfree (PS4) by Sparce (rating: 5)
    12 : Oxenfree (PC) by u0892608 (rating: 5)
    13 : Oxenfree (PC) by u1154142 (rating: 5)
    14 : Oxenfree (iPd) by West (rating: 5)


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