Monday, September 21, 2015

Life is Strange!

Life is Strange

Last Wednesday I fell in love with the game series, Life is Strange. It's EVERYTHING you guys, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it! Sigh. So today I wanted to write a short review of the game, for those of you that haven't played it yet but were maybe-kinda-sorta interested :)

Life is Strange is one of those interactive decision based story game things. So it's like Telltale's The Wolf Among Us, Tales From the Borderlands, Game of Thrones, etc. Or like Heavy Rain, except it's in episodes rather than one big game. I'm sure there's a name for these type of games, but I don't know what it is. You play as Max Caulfield, uber hipster and budding photographer, who attends an uber hipster boarding school filled with even more uber hipsters. Seriously, SO MANY HIPSTERS. The story and writing are great though, so I let it slide. While in class, Max learns that she has the ability to rewind time!

It starts a little slow at first, but creepy things are definitely going on at Blackwell Academy, and while you're no detective, it's up to you to figure things out. Your buddy Kate is having some personal troubles that are much more CSI: Miami than you realized. A school security guard, David, is harassing students and trying to install security cameras all over the school (including your dorm room, gross). A girl from your school, Rachel Amber, has mysteriously vanished. Then there's this guy Nathan, who's TOTALLY up to some bullshit but you're not exactly sure what yet. On top of having to deal with all these wackadoo characters, our girl Max is having visions of a massive hurricane headed straight for their small town, Arcadia Bay. Maybe they're just dreams - but the bizarre weather they're having is hinting otherwise (while the weather reports are sensing no sign of a hurricane, of course).

This game is entirely decision and consequence based! Every decision you make - what you decide to say to people, how you decide to carry out an objective, if you remember to WATER YOUR PLANT - has an impact on how the story goes. Sometimes you have to make really BIG decisions, and I get all stressed out @_@ It's even harder when you get attached to the characters, which in my case managed to happen even though I don't like half of them. Luckily, if you realize you made a stupid decision you can just rewind time and say/do the other option instead! Your power can only rewind to certain checkpoints, so it's still important to choose wisely. For the most part I'm TRYING not to flip flop around with my decisions too much, unless I know I really screwed things up. This is because I'm AWFUL at making decisions, not just in games, but in real life. So if I overthink my actions in Life is Strange I would probably rewind and start over again, and again, and AGAIN (even if there's only like, two options), and no one got time for that. Besides, I can always start a new game afterwards and go with the opposite decision then.

Life is Strange plant

I'd recommend this game to anyone that loves a gripping, thrilling mystery. The best way I can think to describe it is like one of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, but if it were a movie instead of a book. Like I said before, things start off a little slow, but once they ramp up it's like WOAH WOAH I WASN'T READY FOR THAT CAN WE JUST CHILL FOR A SEC?! And the game will be like, NO! NOW HURRY AND MAKE THIS TERRIBLE DECISION THAT WILL LITERALLY AFFECT YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. So yeah, it's totally fun. Another great thing about this genre of game is that it's literally impossible to be "bad" at it. I know a lot of people that are like, "I love the stories in games, but I don't play them myself because I'm terrible at video games!" And I FEEL YOU, friend. There are a LOT of games I completely suck at, but this isn't one of them, and it won't be for you, either! Even if it feels like you made a bad decision or something bad happens, you're not playing it wrong or "bad." That's just the direction the story ended up going.  NO ONE CAN BE BAD AT THIS GAME.

Life is Strange is a five part series, and currently four of them are out and ready to play. The general consensus is that each episode is roughly 2 - 2.5 hours depending on the pace that you play. For me they usually last closer to 3 hours, but I like to snoop around a lot and I also manage to get lost everywhere I go. There's so much more I want to tell you about Life is Strange, but since it's being released in episodes it's easy to spoil the story, so I guess I'll have to cut this review short. Bottom line: If you like a good story, intriguing characters, dark mysteries and watering plants - this is the game for you! :)

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