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Thread: Life is Strange

  1. #26
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    Heh, the more you know. It does sound hella awkward the way it's written and voiced, but maybe that is the new normal. None of us speak Caulfield any more, after all.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I finished Ep3 this morning and definitely liked it better, though I don't think I'll ever quite see why some people *love* Life is Strange. I see the potential and appreciate the earnestness (mostly), but the writing just keeps me from getting into it. There are moments that work well, but others... And it's not just the teenagers; I find characters like the Principal, the step-dad or Chloe's mother just as uneven and clunky in how they're written. I'm also getting tired of sequences where you have to rewind repeatedly if you don't guess correctly from the first.

    What I do like a lot, though, is that we don't often see characters like these in games, and I greatly like what they do with the engine in terms of creating spaces and moods using colours and lighting. I see the potential in the game; I just wish they'd got someone else to rewrite the dialogues who's better at it.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Further update from My Life As A Teenager With Special Powers: So far I'm enjoying episode 4 the best. For one thing, the writing and performances have improved (IMO), for another, a lot of the character and story setup is paying off. I get a sense of the story knowing where it is going. I still don't think it's as good as some reviewers make it out to be (I have no issues with them, or anyone, loving the game, but I do think they gave its weaknesses short shrift), but at this point I'm glad I'm playing it.

  4. #29
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Hat trick! Though this triple post is only to say I finished the game. I came to like it better than my first impression suggested, but I still don't quite understand the uncritical love it gets. Max especially didn't particularly work for me as a person, though she works better in relationship with others. All in all, I'd say that the game had many good to great scenes, but its whole is less than the sum of its parts for me. I'm glad I played it, I will remember some moments fondly, but it's not near the top of my list even of choose-your-own-characterisation adventure games.

    Now, if someone took what's best about this, what works best in Telltale's games and added some actually good facial animations...

  5. #30
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    ...we'd get Until Dawn? I kid, I kid, but I think why LIS strikes a chord in people is because it deals with the messy emotional minefield of being a teenager, which we've all been through at some point in our lives.* The relatability aspect is hard to overlook. I agree Max's character doesn't quite work, because she's written like a cipher: a casualty, I suppose, of player-led choice 'n conversation.


    *Excusing the ones still living it for various weird reasons besides actually being a teenager.

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I agree that that's what they aimed at with Max, but there was too much character there, or I just didn't like the way that character was written and performed, so she didn't work particularly well for me as a blank slate for the character to write on.

    Edit: My mother used to say that I was born an old man and am getting younger, which means I've still got my teenage years to look forward to. Perhaps that's why the game didn't click for me as much as it should have.

    By the way, Errant Signal recently did an episode on Life is Strange, much of which I agree with. In any case, though, I think his style of presenting an argument leaves space of different opinions.


  7. #32
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    So I looked it up on Steam, because I'd heard about it on the Crate and Crowbar, and surprise surprise all you ladyboys are all over this.

    I should have know.

    Sheesh.

    I haven't been on Steam in about 4 months so...

  8. #33
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    My penis can invert into a vagina if I concentrate hard enough. Don't know what happens to my balls, but I try not to think about these things too much.

    I'm a TTLG Trans-former.

  9. #34
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    I haven't been on Steam in about 4 months so...
    First episode came out in January 2015, btw.

  10. #35
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    First episode came out in January 2015, btw.
    What's that got to do with me going on Steam for the first time in 4 months, looking at this game because a. it's on offer and b. I heard about it on Crate and Crowbar and so was curious, and then seeing all you pantihose wearers have it?

  11. #36
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Because you made it sound like you didn't know about it because you hadn't been on Steam recently. That's all. In actuality, Steam has been advertising the shit out of this game since it came out 13 months ago.

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    I like the game mostly but I do have some issues with the story.

    Max is surrounded by good loving parents, a great supportive teacher, adorkable friends and there's always something like M.Ward playing. While there are some big ol' meanies around so far (end of first episode) they're laughable clichés out of a high school movie. The decisions she has to make are either gamey or so simplistic they're unreal: Do I help the poor mistreated girl or do I want to become a meanie myself?

    When the fat girl with the braces that you save from an incoming football says: We should hang out more! — Now THAT would have been an interesting decision. Do I really want to hang with her? And if I do, is it because I pity her, or because it's the safe choice since I'm still a repressed little girl myself? And will I get rid of her when I get cooler friends? Or will I stay and get caught up in a live that circles around cutting, anorexia and sexual daydreams?

    These are the tough questions of adolescence and everyone who saw Breakfast Club knows it. But LIS doesn't even try to be authentic. It's all wonderfully dreamy.
    And that certainly doesn't make her a Caulfield.
    Last edited by Kolya; 9th Feb 2016 at 19:17.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Well I'm somewhere in the 4th episode now and the game had a point where it dealt with some real issues but um, that was just a phase. Now we're back in Cool Kids mode. Also rattling old pickups are apparently a lot safer than a brand new car. All in all it feels more like a movie with some choose-your-own-adventure bits. And I may have to go back and do all the wrong things, just to see if it changes anything.
    Oh yeah, I saw fat girl again. Apparently she's supposed to be comical relief.

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Just finished the game. Therefore spoilers.
    I didn't much like the final nightmare Max goes through, I couldn't see the sense in having everybody act out against her after I tried my best throughout the game to be good and nice to everyone.
    Then came the final question: Sacrifice Chloe | Sacrifice Arcadia Bay. And I saved Chloe without a thought. I mean I went through all this to save her from the start...how could there be a question?
    Then a short ending animation, game over. Then I learned that apparently I'm a minority. Most people saved Arcadia Bay. I couldn't believe it. Furthermore I learned on reddit that that ending is far more elaborate and basically what the developers more or less expected would be the player's choice. Because saving many lives is better than one person you care about? Do people seriously rationalise like that? Oh well. It's a game.
    The only part that really got me was when I had to end Cloe's life. The rest was more about seeing how it goes on. Probably because I'm not a teenager any more. And that decision at her bed was closer to my life than the rest. If the game had ended there, frankly it would have been fine with me.

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    For me the ending statistics showed an even split between the endings (like 55/45%). I also didn't get the impression that the other ending was somehow the intended one (even though it is much more elaborate, but I haven't dug into the forums much, just skimmed through them after finishing), but the devs said they ran low on money towards the end of the development and that's part of the reason why it's like that. It would be pertty lame if they actually intended one ending as some kind of "true" ending, and the other as "false".

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    In any case, I think it's very cool, that games like this with a nuanced story and emotional gripping content finally manage to crawl out of a genre that far too long got away with: Save the princess! Or just: Kill everyone!
    I would like to see more like this. Possibly with grown ups even. And better face animations.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    The issue I had with the last episode is that all the choices you made in the previous episodes didnt matter, it was a black or white choice no matter what, felt really cheap after all the build up. So they ran out of money boohoo that is the lamest excuse ever.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Here's something I posted on a different forum, partly with respect to Max' rewind powers, partly to the final big decision:

    spoiler:
    I don't think Life is Strange needed to explain the rewind power, but ideally it should've had a coherent idea of its purpose and weaknesses, more so than it seems the game has. That thing that happens when Kate's on the roof? While it works for the scene, it still feels (especially as nothing like it ever happens again) like what they felt the game needed at that moment. Same with the sudden power to rewind to the exact moment a photo was taken. There would've been ways to make the power feel more coherent, I'm sure, but instead what we got felt relatively random.

    I also think that the game unfortunately sends some mixed messages in its last hour or so. When we hear the thoughts of everyone who'll be hurt by the tornado and have our conversation with not-Max, I very much felt that there was something spiteful and perhaps even malevolent trying to guilt-trip us into letting Chloe die. None of those arguments rang true, because of the way they were presented. If they were supposed to represent Max' guilt, they came across as pretty mean, which is a side of Max we don't see otherwise, so at least to me it felt external to her. At that point I was fully willing to go back and let Chloe die. Yet Chloe's own later plea for Max to let her die came across as well-reasoned and earnest, and IMO in terms of themes and character arcs, it would have been important for Chloe's points not to be undermined by what Max experiences in her nightmare. Perhaps the nightmare should've presented the same points more earnestly, as Max's real fears and feelings of guilt (and Max is nothing if not earnest, so the diner part of the dream with its sarcasm and cynicism definitely didn't feel like her own inner thoughts to me).


    For the record, I decided to
    spoiler:
    let Chloe die. Perhaps if I'd felt that Max was less of a cypher, it'd been different, but my impression was that this was Chloe's decision, and it was a decision I wanted to respect. It doesn't help that the writing and plotting concerning that decision are muddled and tied in with Max' vague powers that answer to plot rather than any internal logic.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Quote Originally Posted by PigLick View Post
    The issue I had with the last episode is that all the choices you made in the previous episodes didnt matter, it was a black or white choice no matter what, felt really cheap after all the build up. So they ran out of money boohoo that is the lamest excuse ever.
    Do you mean because it all came down to one question in the end? Or the whole episode or the ending incl. nightmare?
    It had to end somehow and I felt it was appropriate that you had power over the how. One game solved it better though by having halve a dozen endings that really took your decisions into account: Blade Runner. Of course that was likely much cheaper to produce then.

    I agree with everything you say Thirith, the random power fail with Kate on the roof and how weird those accusations felt in the end. I still have a hard time understanding how anyone could let Chloe die, but I'm watching my wife play the game now and I'm beginning to realize that one can get into very different relationships with her.

    LIS still has me thinking about it, questioning myself what I will take from it. Mostly I cherished that feeling of being young, with an unbroken heart and a wide open world before you. That's not of much use to me though. Because I've been through all that at least twice. And I have all I ever wished for in those times. An adorable wife who's my lover and best friend, the job I always wanted, an awesome apartment where a cute cat strolls around.
    I still miss the drama though, the elated highs and desperate lows. And most of all: The time to experience all that, that sweet boredom of a sunny afternoon with nothing to do but fantastic plans.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Well I thought the last episode was the weakest of the lot, but yeh particularly the finale, you know as a kid you used to write stories and then end it with "And then I woke up, it was all a dream!". To me it felt a bit like that.

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    That only happens if you chose to save Arcadia Bay. It's up to you to decide whether it ends that way. And it's an informed decision.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    You know you can play both endings?

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Of course. But I'm not the one complaining it was all a dream. I'm happy with what I did and got. So I should be asking you this. Here you go.


  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Sorry, I'm not done here yet.

    In many ways Life is Strange is the game I always wanted to play and have been waiting many years for. It's subjective, emotional, it's about morals, it creates a personal relationship with the characters. It's also visually appealing. And the soundtrack is well chosen.
    But it ends up asking you whether you actually believe that the universe wants to see an 18 year old girl dead and is willing to kill everyone plus birds and whales if you don't oblige. For what? How is Chloe different?
    Multiple critics have mentioned that the ending plays into the Bury Your Gays trope. But that's not the end of it. You can play the game without ever having more than a friendship with her and it doesn't change the ending one bit. So how else is she different?
    She's a troublemaker for sure and every figure of authority hastens to tell you so. From the cop in the diner to her stepfather/security officer, her mother, the teachers. She's not a rebel to you though.
    She has debts with the local drug dealer, she smokes pot and tries to extort money from the rich kid. She's quick tempered and rash. She plays with guns and likes aggressive music and her room is fucked up.
    Your spirit animal is a doe, while hers is a dead bull. You are incredibly sensitive and perfect, not least because you can rewind time. She makes wrong decisions all the time like never informing the cops.

    You know when I was young, Chloe was normal. We listened to Nirvana and NOFX. We took drugs and had fucked up rooms. We were rash and scared and we wanted to be hippies but we couldn't afford it.
    So yeah, I take this kinda personal. If any game is to be taken personal, it's this.
    Those who survived of us have seen the dark sides of life and are now more gentle, more responsible persons for it. Should we have died early? Is it even reasonable to pose this question? Or is it a reactionary stance that favours those who never had to fight for their place in life?

    It's not even that there was an obviously deemed correct ending, by the amount of work the devs put in it as well as the public perception of it (See the final RPS verdict).
    There's just no logic to why that final decision even had to come up; how Chloe's life was cursed from the start. And given the choice to just walk away with her while "the universe" is happy to kill a town full of other people instead, it raises the question if this "universe" isn't just a thinly veiled device offering you the option to kill off a character who you thought "had it coming" by her own actions all the time, while allowing you to hide your resentment behind mathematics, because you saved so many more people.

    I don't just doubt the decisions made by players in this game, I think that putting you in this place, to make this decision showed the real intention and attitude of the developers. And most people went with it. Because that's how we roll today. And the kids ain't alright.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    That's almost Tony Tarantulan logic there, Kolya, as far as I'm concerned. Those last two sentences are beautiful in their "Kids today" grumpiness. Practically everyone whose thoughts and comments I read on the game came to like, even love Chloe, yet many chose the ending where she dies. "She had it coming"? nope. Nope, nope, nope. That sounds more like you trying to justify and moralise your own decision. If you're certain to begin with that the people who chose differently from you are all crypto-reactionaries with a moralistic streak, well, then what's there to discuss even? Like everyone's favourite eight-legged freak you've just passed verdict on those who choose differently, pigeonholing them before there's even any need for discussion.

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