Life is Strange - your thoughts

hanselthecaretaker

My flask is half full
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I tried the demo/episode one on Steam about a year and a half ago and thought it could've been a decent story. Didn't really want to pay for any more of it though so I eventually forgot about it.

Fast forward to now and I noticed the first season is "free" on PSN Plus, so I downloaded it.

Without spoiling anything, did you enjoy it? Compared to episode one did the rest of it feel surprisingly good, the same or worse? Seeings as the mechanics are pretty simple it seems the only thing that could really differentiate itself past episode one is the story, so we'll see.

I'll use this thread to chronicle my impressions on it as I play, probably starting tonight.
 

bluegate

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I'm still at the stage where I downloaded it to my PS4 but haven't started it yet.

I did play the demo a long while ago and thought that it was pretty interesting for what it was trying to do. I'll go out and play the first five episodes sometime soon and join the conversation here, or not, I'm a forgetful person.
 

Catfood220

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I loved it. I played the demo and thought it looked really interesting so I bought the season pass. After episode 2 the waits between episodes became painful and after the ending of episode 4 it was excruciating.

I didn't pick up on the early hints that the teacher was the bad guy. I thought the attention he was paying to Max was a bit creepy, but I didn't think it was him. Then at the end of season 4, HOLY CRAP!!! Episode 5 was a long time coming after that

Yeah, the dialog will hella grate on your nerves in places, the graphics are not the best and the lip syncing s pretty bad. But the use of music was nice and the colours and graphical style actually make Arcadia Bay feel like a place where magical powers could exist. The story is great, with some real gut punch moments if you allow yourself to become engrossed in the story. However, at the end of the day, your decisions you make throughout the game don't add up to much.

I actually bought the physical version too, I didn't mind paying for this game twice. I'm glad there is going to be a sequel, but I think the Before the Storm is unnecessary, but will check it out regardless. But considering the fact that they are giving this game out for free on PS+, its well worth playing.
 

Jerast

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I thought it might be cool so I gave it a go, unfortunately I found it very boring and the cringe. The voice acting is really really really good, but it definitely sounds like the dialogue for teenage girls was written by 40 year old men.

Anyway, even if I thought it was bad, it's still a lot better than a heap of games that try to go for the same sort of game-play so there's that, and the main gameplay gimmick you get makes repeat conversations pretty funny.
 

DoPo

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I still have to finish it. I'm about midway through the second episode and have been for about a year now. Overall, I did find the game cool, but I was a bit disappointed because some of the choices seemed really forced. It was like the devs took "your decisions have consequences" and tried to really shoehorn that into the game at times. For example, early in the second episode Max is with in a diner her friend Chloe and gets a phone call - you can answer the call, which leads to Chloe getting a into an argument with her mom and then being angry at max about it, or you can miss the call and get out before Chloe starts yelling at her mom. I don't yet know what the consequence of a missed call is, but seriously - you only have these two choices? You can't go "Chloe, let's go out" and then pick up the phone outside? That's what I mean by "forced".

I really should finish the game at some point. I do like it, overall and I want to see where things go. I just keep getting distracted by other things.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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It's one of those stories that really indulges in a particular tone, that being 'precocious, quirky hipster' in this regard. And if you have a weakness for that it will no doubt suck you in.

Overall I liked it okay, but a lot of it was unintentional. There is cringe in this game that if manifested could end world hunger, and as soon as I flipped a switch in my brain I could actually find enjoyment in how ridiculous it was. Even fucking Warren was great, as whenever he showed up I could start shit-talking him, it was great.


He's such an easy target, I love it!
 

Zydrate

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Chloe has some inklings of abusive behavior towards what is supposedly her best childhood friend. She gained some damage in the few years Max was gone but I try to headcanon some of the more problematic elements away.

The ending choice is the game's biggest flaw, turning all your decisions into "Press A or B", which most branching storyline games tend to continually fuck up. Like many games in this genre, your choices don't matter too much, but they will manipulate how characters treat you, cooperate with you, and some won't be around the entire time depending on what you do. So there's that.

The biggest draw for me was the music, it expertly crafted the mood and tone scene by scene.
 

WindKnight

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I loved it. the ending broke my heart in just the best way, and left me blubbing

Zydrate said:
Chloe has some inklings of abusive behavior towards what is supposedly her best childhood friend. She gained some damage in the few years Max was gone but I try to headcanon some of the more problematic elements away.
yeah, Chloes been through a lot, but still...

Looking up how to get her to change her photo BG to the selfie of max and cloe involves doing some stuff I considered just too crappy to do.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Johnny Novgorod said:
How "Telltale" is this game?
If you mean gameplay wise, it's actually decent. You can walk around the environment freely, you have full camera control, and it doesn't feel like you're maneuvering a wooden block around. It does quite a good job of gaming through the story. It also doesn't have an engine that regularly shits itself.
 

happyninja42

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hanselthecaretaker said:
I tried the demo/episode one on Steam about a year and a half ago and thought it could've been a decent story. Didn't really want to pay for any more of it though so I eventually forgot about it.

Fast forward to now and I noticed the first season is "free" on PSN Plus, so I downloaded it.

Without spoiling anything, did you enjoy it? Compared to episode one did the rest of it feel surprisingly good, the same or worse? Seeings as the mechanics are pretty simple it seems the only thing that could really differentiate itself past episode one is the story, so we'll see.

I'll use this thread to chronicle my impressions on it as I play, probably starting tonight.
I loved the game. It's become one of my favorite games of all time, but I have a specific criteria for that. It's games that make me have genuine emotional reactions to what is going on. Few games genuinely make me give a shit about their pixelated characters. But LiS did it for me, most prominently with Episode 2. No spoiling, but that one really hit me hard in the gut by the time of the climax. I was genuinely feeling anxious about the outcome. So that's something that struck home for me.

Overall, I enjoyed the game a lot. I thought they did some interesting things with the mechanics, and with the story. Again, without spoiling, the game takes a heavy tonal shift after Episode 1, and it's a vastly different mood after that, or at least it was for me.

The ending though....eh, it wasn't great. Most people will say it sucked, and "ruined the game". I don't agree with the "ruined" bit, but I do agree that the ending was less than spectacular. But, I also try and give writers something of a pass on that, if they are writing a time travel story. I personally feel that time travel stories are literary cancer, in that they are inherently so messy, and create so many plot holes and paradoxes, that there's basically no way to have it conclude without at least 12 alternate options of "but if they just did X, everything would've been fine". If the ability to actually change events is possible (meaning it's not a closed loop story like 12 Monkeys), then it's just never going to end well. Everyone and their grandmother will say "yeah but if X, then Y", and undermine the conclusion.

So yeah, the ending isn't great. It's not terrible by my tastes, but it's not great. I've compared it to a gymnastic performance. The entire routine is good and exciting, with lots of leaps and twists, and feats of agility....they just don't stick the landing.

Now, if you are the kind of person who says "that entire gymnastic peformance SUCKED because she didn't stick the landing!" then you probably won't like the game. If you can say "eh, it was a really good set until the landing, so overall, a good performance", then you will probably like it.

Of course, YMMV
 

GrumbleGrump

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There's a rather nasty custom in chilean prisons. Since, naturally, you can't consume alcohol inside the facility, prisoners take a rather nasty alternative. They ferment garbage they find, whatever it is, and drink the resulting liquid, which is dubbed "P?jaro Verde" or "Green Bird". It is known to blind its consumers, as it contains a non negligible amount of methanol, Ethanols nastier cousin.
Life is Strange is the gaming equivalent of P?jaro Verde. It's not just garbage, it's distilled, concentrated garbage. It fails on every level except in music choice (which just does the job, the music itself is rather generic and anemic).
 

Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
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Casual Shinji said:
Johnny Novgorod said:
How "Telltale" is this game?
If you mean gameplay wise, it's actually decent. You can walk around the environment freely, you have full camera control, and it doesn't feel like you're maneuvering a wooden block around. It does quite a good job of gaming through the story. It also doesn't have an engine that regularly shits itself.
I don't know why I thought it was a Telltale game. The look of the adventure game I guess. Sounds actually decent though if you're telling me it's not just a series of stringed 2+2 rooms.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Johnny Novgorod said:
I don't know why I thought it was a Telltale game. The look of the adventure game I guess. Sounds actually decent though if you're telling me it's not just a series of stringed 2+2 rooms.
There's still invisible walls and the always hilarious 'I don't need to go here', but unlike every Telltale game it doesn't feel like you're walking around this dioramic slice of the environment, but an area that has a real sense of place -- A school feels like a school, a house feels like a house, a diner feels like a diner etc.
 

sXeth

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The coming of age story is pretty generic, the murder mystery is predictable. And the sci-fi time travel thing just ends up being contradictory nonsense.

Saving Chloes dad doesn't trigger the storm, seemingly. It paralyzes/kills Chloe, which hypothetically is a balance out (maybe the Dad being older required less in exchange.

But for the completely illogical part, if you let Chloe die to cancel out the storm. Max still changes the timeline. Chloe dies,
but because she exposes Jefferson, Nathan, possibly Kate and Victoria, and the Security guy I forget the name of all live as a result. Along with any other potential future victims. So she replaces one extra person in the timeline (which apparently triggers ridiculous counter-effects with 1-4 people, most of relatively the same age (and theoretical effect on timeflow).

Donnie Darko (where the general influence lies), had the same kind of not-really-explained concept where someone gets an apocalyptic vision and time travel powers, only to end up actually creating the paradox with their powers. But in that case, Donnie goes back to fix the timeline so the world doesn't end, and dies in the process. The loop is avoided or closed, where LiS leaves Max alive and she still alters the timeline after.
 
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Honestly my biggest problem is, as many people seem to agree, the ending
You choose to save Chloe? Then everything you've done in Arcadia Bay, all the things you've done to change people's lives for better or worse? Boom, gone. Wiped out. None of it mattered because now everyone's dead.
You choose to save Arcadia Bay? Then everything you've done is still wiped out because you've done changed time and none of it ever happened and possibly can't happen.

Even with the rewind thing allowing you to sample your options your decisions do affect the overall world, so an ending that not only ignores what you went with but then completely negates it as well? The game is basically presenting you with "Go fuck yourself...or go fuck yourself?"
 

GrumbleGrump

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Seth Carter said:
The coming of age story is pretty generic, the murder mystery is predictable. And the sci-fi time travel thing just ends up being contradictory nonsense.

Saving Chloes dad doesn't trigger the storm, seemingly. It paralyzes/kills Chloe, which hypothetically is a balance out (maybe the Dad being older required less in exchange.

But for the completely illogical part, if you let Chloe die to cancel out the storm. Max still changes the timeline. Chloe dies,
but because she exposes Jefferson, Nathan, possibly Kate and Victoria, and the Security guy I forget the name of all live as a result. Along with any other potential future victims. So she replaces one extra person in the timeline (which apparently triggers ridiculous counter-effects with 1-4 people, most of relatively the same age (and theoretical effect on timeflow).

Donnie Darko (where the general influence lies), had the same kind of not-really-explained concept where someone gets an apocalyptic vision and time travel powers, only to end up actually creating the paradox with their powers. But in that case, Donnie goes back to fix the timeline so the world doesn't end, and dies in the process. The loop is avoided or closed, where LiS leaves Max alive and she still alters the timeline after.
I don't understand how this visual novel got so many awards. It genuinely baffles me.