Life is Strange

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Ardent Fox
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Life is Strange

Postby Ardent Fox » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:02 pm

No, this isn't some existential revelation tied to gaming, it's actually a game that was published by SquareEnix last month. Yeah, Square published a small game by an unknown developer called Dontnod. When I saw this game on Steam, I rubbed my chin curiously. "Surely," I thought, "This game sounds interesting, but episodic games rarely hold my attention unless I have all of the episodes out." But, alas, we needed a game to stream that night and it was the only thing new that looked interesting.

Now, one episode in, I'm patiently waiting for Tuesday when the game releases and we can stream it. On a work day, of all things! How could such things happen, you might ask! It must be a really good game! Well, yes and no. As a game it's about as functional as any standard point and click fare, but with a little twist of time travel which makes situations and conversations interesting. Gameplay wise, it's all right.

Story wise however? Well, as far as the first episode is concerned it's like Twin Peaks combined with some sort of teenage hipster drama (I don't watch television these days, I assume that's a thing). It's got a lot of intrigue and choices that will reportedly effect things to happen in the future. Of course with this just being the first episode, we can't know for sure what the results of our actions will be. However, the gravity of these choices make me wonder just what will happen later. There's enough substance in this game it feels that I'm excited for episode two.

In short, I'd suggest these games purely off of episode one. The time rewind mechanic is interesting enough, and the fact you can do it during conversations to unlock more conversation options is neat. If you're not sure, then you can always tune in Tuesday when we stream the second episode. We'll probably do a recap or the game will have one to help you catch up. The game itself is five dollars or twenty if you just want to grab them all. I have yet to, simply because I'm curious how two is going to turn out and we'll go from there.

Also, link to the stream if you're interested: twitch.tv/applebandito

Life is Strange Episode Two comes out March 24th.

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Leo » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:40 pm

I'm against DLC outside of certain situations and I can't stand episodic content. I couldn't even enjoy FF4: The After Years because of how it was divided. =(

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Ardent Fox » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:24 pm

Leo wrote:I'm against DLC outside of certain situations and I can't stand episodic content. I couldn't even enjoy FF4: The After Years because of how it was divided. =(


I can understand that, but this is actually quality. The fact that episode one made me want the next is an alien feeling. Dontnod feels like the kind of developer that actually cares about the content they're producing rather than the bucks that flow in for them to afford their gilded thrones. They also seem to be shipping on time so far. They promised the next episode in a month and have delivered.

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Leo » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:42 pm

I miss buying 100% of a game at once. I miss unlocking new costumes and things of that sort via codes or situations in the game (beating the game within a time limit, hidden room, etc..). When I found out that Resident Evil: Revelations was taking RE back to its survival horror roots, I was pumped until I found out how it's divided.

What you're talking about definitely sounds intriguing but I can't help but think I'd end wishing they had just waited a released it as a game that flows rather than chopping it up. I'm gonna try to remember to tune in to the stream.

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Ardent Fox » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:20 pm

Leo wrote:I miss buying 100% of a game at once. I miss unlocking new costumes and things of that sort via codes or situations in the game (beating the game within a time limit, hidden room, etc..). When I found out that Resident Evil: Revelations was taking RE back to its survival horror roots, I was pumped until I found out how it's divided.

What you're talking about definitely sounds intriguing but I can't help but think I'd end wishing they had just waited a released it as a game that flows rather than chopping it up. I'm gonna try to remember to tune in to the stream.


Be my guest. We'll probably be starting sometime around 8 EST.

I can see where you're coming from. On disk content you unlock was always the best. I've been wanting to play RE:R2, but I'm also waiting for it to all come out so I can see it in it's full glory. At least there's that.

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Leo » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:41 pm

Speaking of unlocking the content yourself, are codes even a thing anymore? Do any new games have them? It's been ages since I've pressed a series of buttons at a start screen or anywhere else to hear a confirming sound effect as I get something new.

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Kizyr
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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Kizyr » Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:52 pm

I'm about to sit down and start up Episode 2 in a few. I got hooked on this when watching Jenner play, and I ended up getting the game for myself too -- all 5 chapters at $30, which is *definitely* worth it, even though I need to wait for the remaining chapters to come out.

Anyway, I got hooked because the narrative focus of the game is fantastic. It plays like a story, the interactivity is just at the right level, and nearly all the characters are fascinating to me (Maxine and Chloe are amazing, and most of the background characters are interesting enough to want to know more about, though I still really don't care about Nathan...). The visuals, motion-capture, and voice work, is all similarly great, and the way they use those elements to enhance the storytelling really gets you enveloped (the only weak spot is that the timing with the audio and mouth movements is a little uncanny valley-esque... it's like we're not *quite* there yet; but the gestures and movement make up for it).

Leo wrote:I miss buying 100% of a game at once. ... What you're talking about definitely sounds intriguing but I can't help but think I'd end wishing they had just waited a released it as a game that flows rather than chopping it up. I'm gonna try to remember to tune in to the stream.

This actually got me to overcome my issue with buying download-only games. The difference here is that there isn't any DLC, it's just split up into 5 parts -- and, it's priced that way, so you can buy the entire thing for $30 (or less if it goes on sale) after the last chapter is released, or just buy one chapter for $5 and buy the rest if you like that.

The reason why I'm jumping into it now (whereas I'd normally wait for the entire thing to be released) is that I'm really enjoying seeing information about upcoming chapters and waiting for the next one to come out. It's like being involved in following a book series while it's still being written (like, say, Harry Potter) instead of coming in years after the fact (like, say, Chronicles of Narnia). While it's fine either way, there's an additional element of excitement associated with the former.

Anyway, I really recommend this game to anyone who enjoys the narrative potential of games. The more games we can have like this, that focus on telling a story through the medium of games, the better. KF
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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Alunissage » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:58 pm

I'll have to remember to check it out.

I liked getting Tales of Monkey Island in installments well enough. Possibly it just helped spouse and I to schedule it, since we were both interested, and we didn't have to feel like one of us was holding the other back from playing it.

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Leo » Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:12 pm

Alunissage wrote:I'll have to remember to check it out.

I liked getting Tales of Monkey Island in installments well enough. Possibly it just helped spouse and I to schedule it, since we were both interested, and we didn't have to feel like one of us was holding the other back from playing it.


That's the best argument for episodic content I've ever seen. When both people in a relationship...well anyone living in the same house actually, are gamers each wants to play it and experience it spoiler-free, it can be a hassle. It was rough for me and my then-girlfriend when Tales Of Symphonia came out. One of us would have to leave the room or put on headphones and get on the PC whenever the other would play.

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Ardent Fox » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:45 pm

My roommate and I had the same issue with Bioshock Infinite. We both really wanted to see it and I had started a playthrough. I couldn't finish it until he had a day off. It was pretty awful. Sitting for days on end, knowing I had it in the disk tray. Surely if I booted it up, I'd be okay. I don't know how I got through those days.

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Kizyr » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:23 am

Ok, so I played Episode 2 (twice through) last weekend...

First, my completely spoiler-free thoughts: That episode was... really intense. The story has definitely picked up, the effects of your earlier choices are even greater, and we're finding out so much more about all the characters. Also, graphics-wise they appear to have fixed most of the issues that were making the gestures and facial expressions seem off. Oh, and even though I'm not big on acoustic folk, the music this episode has also gotten even better. In all, I'm really encouraged that Dontnod is ramping up their efforts to make an incredible experience of a game with the remaining chapters.

Second, I want to elaborate on my reactions to Episode 2, but there may be implied spoilers here. I won't give any plot-specific spoilers in the following paragraph, but to be on the safe side I'm going to put it in light-blue text (highlight to read):
{I cried at the ending. Like, grabbing a blanket and tissues kind of crying. I haven't done that in response to a game in a long time, and I don't think ever to that level. But it's not just that... I'm getting frustrated with Chloe, ambivalent towards Warren, I don't know what to think anymore regarding David Madsen, and, well, I'd just say they're doing an amazing job at least of getting me to feel for the characters.}
Non-plot-specific could-be-spoilers have ended.

Third, to elaborate further, the following paragraph does have plot-specific spoilers (highlight to read):
{So while I cried, I actually did manage to save Kate -- on my first try, too. But, I kind of cheated -- Jenner spent years doing suicide counseling, and we've talked about it before, so I had a far better idea of how to talk with Kate at the end. Aside from that, well, the new light they shed on Chloe/Joyce/David is getting fascinating, and I just need to find out more the next chapter -- I'm glad you get to see another angle on David, too, so he doesn't just seem like a two-dimensional wanna-be cop anymore... I still don't like him, but I don't think he's a horrible monster anymore. ...Nathan on the other hand just has be waffling between scared and angry. You can definitely see the effect that some of the game designers have had with personal death threats creeping in here, and it's... scary, to say the least.}
Plot-specific spoilers have ended.

Anyway, that's all... unless I'm forgetting something...
...
......
.............OH NO I FORGOT TO WATER THE PLANT. THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES. KF
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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Ardent Fox » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:55 pm

After our stream of Episode 2 went off well, I have a few notes here and there to share. I'll offer my spoiler free thoughts on this topic.

Holy crap.

Now to my spoilerific thoughts that will look like a CIA letter.

 No, seriously, holy crap. The characters themselves getting so much time and giving you a better understanding of them? This is a landmark as far as episodic gaming in my opinion. It speaks to the human condition despite having a girl with super powers in it. There's so much to be curious of and a lot to be enthralled by. There is so much going on between Jefferson, David and Nathan.

You feel very vulnerable in some parts which is right amazing. There were times myself and my copilot John laughed and pointed, but overall we immediately set to putting on the detective hat once the stream was done. We started theorizing the characters intentions like Jefferson and David. Starting wondering if Kate's attempted suicide was an outcry or so much more. Began to wonder about Rachael's disappearance and those files at the very end with a list of girl's names.

Also, I'm going to make sure that gun is loaded next time I see Frank.


That's about it. It's highly recommended though. I mean, highly. I get the feeling the next episodes are going to be well worth the price. I complained at first about the PC version only being able to purchase episode one individually and the rest in a pack, but if Episode 2 is any indication, these doubts have been quelled.

Also, Chloe needs to get her own damn bottles next time. Warren also needs to get a clue that he is a friend.

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Jenner » Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:40 pm

CAUTION: Because of the nature of this game and its commitment to showcasing young adult lives and the issues and threats present in it playing this game, and by connection, discussion about this game (especially the themes and the events that take place) IS POTENTIALLY TRIGGERING. Please be cautious reading this thread and look after yourself.

If you find yourself in distress upon reading this thread or playing this game please reach out to friends, family, and professionals.
For people in the US and Canada here is the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255 and a link to its website.
Because some members of our community are international I have also included a link to a listing of all major suicide crisis hotlines.

I also offer my ear and my support should you need it, you can reach me here, or on Skype and Steam.


That being said, I encourage everyone to purchase and play this game as I wish to encourage game makers and producers to create more games of its ilk.

It is a good game.
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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Ardent Fox » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:25 pm

I really do hope that Dontnod continue to come out with other quality titles. If they're anything like this game, then I will continue to support them. My only concern is they don't blow it at the end.

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Kizyr » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:12 am

Ardent Fox wrote:I really do hope that Dontnod continue to come out with other quality titles. If they're anything like this game, then I will continue to support them. My only concern is they don't blow it at the end.

Their next project is called Remember Me (http://www.dont-nod.com/category/projec ... mberme-en/). It's a cyberpunk adventure set in Paris in 2084, it follows a former bounty hunter trying to regain her memory, and has themes of the fluidity of memory and one's identity.

I'm pretty sure they're tapping into my mind and working on exactly the sorts of games that would get me excited. There is no part of that description I don't already love. KF
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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Ardent Fox » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:48 am

Kizyr wrote:
Ardent Fox wrote:I really do hope that Dontnod continue to come out with other quality titles. If they're anything like this game, then I will continue to support them. My only concern is they don't blow it at the end.

Their next project is called Remember Me (http://www.dont-nod.com/category/projec ... mberme-en/). It's a cyberpunk adventure set in Paris in 2084, it follows a former bounty hunter trying to regain her memory, and has themes of the fluidity of memory and one's identity.
... ... :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

I'm pretty sure they're tapping into my mind and working on exactly the sorts of games that would get me excited. There is no part of that description I don't already love. KF


...You do realize Remember Me came out in 2013 and was awful, right?

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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Sonic# » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:58 am

^ They are working on a sequel. Maybe that's what Kiz meant?
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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Kizyr » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:33 am

Nope, I didn't realize it'd already come out and was awful. KF
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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Ardent Fox » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:12 am

Sonic# wrote:^ They are working on a sequel. Maybe that's what Kiz meant?


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Kizyr wrote:Nope, I didn't realize it'd already come out and was awful. KF


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Re: Life is Strange

Postby Kizyr » Wed May 20, 2015 12:37 pm

Episode 3 just got released yesterday. I'm going to be playing it this weekend -- can't wait, but I'll need to grab an extra box of tissues just in case. KF
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