Honest Game Trailers: Life is Strange

Life is Strange

From the developer of mediocre action games with incredibly ironic titles, comes the game that a devoted enough fan base can make us do a trailer about anything!

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This is one of those games that has me convinced the positive reception is only based off either someone involved being involved or people buying the whole game and after playing the first episode trying to justify their purchase to themselves. After playing the first episode there's really nothing to give it more then a 5/10 at best in terms of quality, and there's really nothing to justify the critical acclaim this games seems to have, and that's just limiting it to what people said when only the first episode was out. I don't know if it got better, but if there was ever a game that gave credence to the idea that some people will love anything in a specific niche no matter how bad it is, or that reviewers are paid off, the reaction to episode 1 was certainly that.

So I'm really the only one who genuinely enjoys Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Such a shame, it was unique with great graphics and an interesting plot.

Zontar:
This is one of those games that has me convinced the positive reception is only based off either someone involved being involved or people buying the whole game and after playing the first episode trying to justify their purchase to themselves. After playing the first episode there's really nothing to give it more then a 5/10 at best in terms of quality, and there's really nothing to justify the critical acclaim this games seems to have, and that's just limiting it to what people said when only the first episode was out. I don't know if it got better, but if there was ever a game that gave credence to the idea that some people will love anything in a specific niche no matter how bad it is, or that reviewers are paid off, the reaction to episode 1 was certainly that.

"People like something I don't, not that I even tried after only playing a small part of it, so every reviewer on the internet is being paid off to give the game I didn't play good reviews."

Really?

Xan Krieger:
So I'm really the only one who genuinely enjoys Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Such a shame, it was unique with great graphics and an interesting plot.

Nope, me too, though wasn't much of a fan of the follow up, but then, I never played the games which it was using characters from.

undeadsuitor:

Really?

No, actually, not really, because your comment shows you didn't even read what I said when responding to it.

I can understand someone liking a game I don't like. Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4, Titanfall and Undertale are perfect examples of that. While I don't like (and in the case of MGSV, outright dislike) these games, I can understand why others do like these games.

Life is Strange, on the other hand, is not one such game as I can't for the life of me understand what was in (at the very least the first episode) that got the reaction it did after playing it.

Zontar:

undeadsuitor:

Really?

No, actually, not really, because your comment shows you didn't even read what I said when responding to it.

I can understand someone liking a game I don't like. Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4, Titanfall and Undertale are perfect examples of that. While I don't like (and in the case of MGSV, outright dislike) these games, I can understand why others do like these games.

Life is Strange, on the other hand, is not one such game as I can't for the life of me understand what was in (at the very least the first episode) that got the reaction it did after playing it.

But you didn't play "Life is Strange". You played episode one of an entire story. And since it's a story-based game (unlike most games where the gameplay is the prime entertainment facet) you would have to know the story to judge whether or not it was 'good'. It's also a game heavily based on choice (much like the video laid out for you) and so you wouldn't really see the consequences of your actions if you only played the first chapter.

But, to basically sum up the games qualities for someone who never played it and has no intentions on enjoying it; A decent coming of age story wrapped up in a twin peaks mystery, played out with some interesting puzzles and mechanics. The art style is great and colorful, the sound design and music are amazing. The characters that get development are interesting, the characters that don't are at best entertaining. There's some tough moral choices that go beyond the typical black and white, that have interesting (and sometimes depressing) fallout later in the game. It's very much one of those games where the journey is better than the destination (as told by the trailer with the final choice)

It might not be to your taste, but that doesn't earn the accusation that reviewers had to be paid off to enjoy it.

undeadsuitor:

But you didn't play "Life is Strange". You played episode one of an entire story.

And so did the people singing its praises. That doesn't change the fact that for two full months it was the entire game, and that every episodic story driven game should be able to catch your attention (to say nothing of demonstrating halfway decent quality) in its opening.

It might not be to your taste, but that doesn't earn the accusation that reviewers had to be paid off to enjoy it.

That's what you're harping on? I didn't say that that was the case, I said if there was ever an argument to be made that that happened in the industry (outside of the times it was caught red handed) this game would be an example of why people feel that happens. Even if someone enjoyed the game I can't possibly understand how they hell it got the level of praise it got. My favourite game in the world is one that only has a 63% on metacritic, and while I love the game to death I wouldn't give it more then a 7.5 if I was being generous and more likely just slap a 7 on it and be done with it due to my understanding that while I love it enough to sink 500 hours into a single save file it's not actually that great of a game.

Life is Strange got a reaction that seems in line with Arkham Knight getting 9s and 10s despite not even being playable.

Harsh but a fair acknowledgment of its faults and inconsistencies. Even so, I still think it's great in spite of all that because it tried to do something a bit different from most other videogames, and I'd much rather game devs try new things,, even if they falter at time on the delivery, instead of just churning out sequels to established franchises. Hopefully Dontnod will be able to use what they've learned from Season 1 to improve on it in Season 2.

That ending was complete garbage. When a recurring theme is how actions have unintended and far-reaching consequences, the ending being a binary choice with one ending each is just a slap in the face.

Zontar:
This is one of those games that has me convinced the positive reception is only based off either someone involved being involved or people buying the whole game and after playing the first episode trying to justify their purchase to themselves. After playing the first episode there's really nothing to give it more then a 5/10 at best in terms of quality, and there's really nothing to justify the critical acclaim this games seems to have, and that's just limiting it to what people said when only the first episode was out. I don't know if it got better, but if there was ever a game that gave credence to the idea that some people will love anything in a specific niche no matter how bad it is, or that reviewers are paid off, the reaction to episode 1 was certainly that.

What positive reception? The reaction has been very mixed. If someone's being paid off, then they need to be fired : P

The game wasn't bad, but it wasn't life changing either. Your choices mattered more then in Telltale games, which is nice, but on the other hand the dialogue sucks, and it felt like they were making it up as they went along. The game doesn't feel like there's much of a central plot, which is a problem. I would put it a few steps above a David Cage game, in that it had some innovative ideas that were poorly executed.

Fox12:

Zontar:
This is one of those games that has me convinced the positive reception is only based off either someone involved being involved or people buying the whole game and after playing the first episode trying to justify their purchase to themselves. After playing the first episode there's really nothing to give it more then a 5/10 at best in terms of quality, and there's really nothing to justify the critical acclaim this games seems to have, and that's just limiting it to what people said when only the first episode was out. I don't know if it got better, but if there was ever a game that gave credence to the idea that some people will love anything in a specific niche no matter how bad it is, or that reviewers are paid off, the reaction to episode 1 was certainly that.

What positive reception? The reaction has been very mixed. If someone's being paid off, then they need to be fired : P

The game wasn't bad, but it wasn't life changing either. Your choices mattered more then in Telltale games, which is nice, but on the other hand the dialogue sucks, and it felt like they were making it up as they went along. The game doesn't feel like there's much of a central plot, which is a problem. I would put it a few steps above a David Cage game, in that it had some innovative ideas that were poorly executed.

I stopped after episode 1 because I absolutely couldn't -stand- the sheer amount of hipster BS being thrown at me through the visuals. The aesthetic was just so abrasive to me I couldn't stand it. Like, I had to stop for a second at the start with the unbearably pedantic photography teacher.

It surprises me that people can get past that but I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Xan Krieger:
So I'm really the only one who genuinely enjoys Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Such a shame, it was unique with great graphics and an interesting plot.

It's not about if it's a good movie or not, it's about whether it really is the best sci-fi movie ever. Unfortunately for the movie, Wall-e still exists, which though maybe not the best, is still better.

To be fair, I bet every actual high school in America has those tropes. What's that saying about life imitating art?

Kyle Winston:
That ending was complete garbage. When a recurring theme is how actions have unintended and far-reaching consequences, the ending being a binary choice with one ending each is just a slap in the face.

Why? Sometimes an ending is just another part of the story. It doesn't have to be a culmination of all things past or the thing that everything before it was building up to.

Blood Brain Barrier:
To be fair, I bet every actual high school in America has those tropes. What's that saying about life imitating art?

Kyle Winston:
That ending was complete garbage. When a recurring theme is how actions have unintended and far-reaching consequences, the ending being a binary choice with one ending each is just a slap in the face.

Why? Sometimes an ending is just another part of the story. It doesn't have to be a culmination of all things past or the thing that everything before it was building up to.

My reasoning is that a theme in Life is Strange is about action, consequence, or lack thereof due to time manipulation. Everything that had been done over those five chapters... Ultimately had no impact on the ending. When so many choices had consequences, the ending just seemed egregious.

Kyle Winston:

Blood Brain Barrier:
To be fair, I bet every actual high school in America has those tropes. What's that saying about life imitating art?

Kyle Winston:
That ending was complete garbage. When a recurring theme is how actions have unintended and far-reaching consequences, the ending being a binary choice with one ending each is just a slap in the face.

Why? Sometimes an ending is just another part of the story. It doesn't have to be a culmination of all things past or the thing that everything before it was building up to.

My reasoning is that a theme in Life is Strange is about action, consequence, or lack thereof due to time manipulation. Everything that had been done over those five chapters... Ultimately had no impact on the ending. When so many choices had consequences, the ending just seemed egregious.

But those choices had an impact nonetheless. Why must they have an impact on the ending?

Zontar:

undeadsuitor:

But you didn't play "Life is Strange". You played episode one of an entire story.

And so did the people singing its praises. That doesn't change the fact that for two full months it was the entire game, and that every episodic story driven game should be able to catch your attention (to say nothing of demonstrating halfway decent quality) in its opening.

So? If someone says they find the game to be great, based on the available content at that time, how does that invalidate their opinion?

Zontar:

That's what you're harping on? I didn't say that that was the case, I said if there was ever an argument to be made that that happened in the industry (outside of the times it was caught red handed) this game would be an example of why people feel that happens. Even if someone enjoyed the game I can't possibly understand how they hell it got the level of praise it got.

Because people found the game far more personally engaging and emotionally moving than you did obviously. I can't possibly understand how you think the fact that you don't get why the game was good to some people, implies that it's somehow not good. You didn't like it, fine, lots of people (myself included) loved it a great deal. Is it a perfect game? No, not at all. Is it a game that I enjoyed playing, and had real emotional reactions to? Yes it is, in fact that's why I love the game. It made me actually give a shit about what was happening to the characters. I was emotionally invested in their problems, and wanted to try and help them. Very few games actually make me get emotionally invested, and, very few games are able to capture (at least some) aspects of what it was like to be a teenager. My teenage years are decades ago, but I recognize people from LiS from my highschool days. Chloe is in fact, a disturbingly accurate hybrid of 2 girls that were very close to me, in tone and mannerism. I knew guys like the jocks and girls like the rich bitches. Some of the dialogue was dated to a more modern era of teens, but in a lot of ways, it was universal in how youth is. One scene in particular, where if Max goes outside and sits on the swing in Chloe's backyard, you hear her and Chloe as little kids, talking about the crazy things they're going to do when they grow up. Space pirates, and queens of the solar system, and other goofy, and far fetched things. I have had those exact kinds of conversations with my closest friends when I was young. Bottom line, the game wasn't perfect, but as you so clearly stated, that doesn't mean it's not good, or can't be someone's favorite game. If your issue is the games rating, well that's the only way people can express their love of something in a metric way. So yeah, the scores might be inflated, based on simple fan enjoyment of the game, but that's what you get with metric systems. It's still a good game for many people, not you obviously, and that's fine.

Zontar:
My favourite game in the world is one that only has a 63% on metacritic, and while I love the game to death I wouldn't give it more then a 7.5 if I was being generous and more likely just slap a 7 on it and be done with it due to my understanding that while I love it enough to sink 500 hours into a single save file it's not actually that great of a game.

Life is Strange got a reaction that seems in line with Arkham Knight getting 9s and 10s despite not even being playable.

Except is is playable, and it is a complete game now. Though since it was episodic by design, I don't really consider that a problem against the game. Sure, we might debate the quality of the story now that it's complete, and I personally wasn't overly thrilled with the ending, but I also saw it coming. Hell, even the developer of the game said that the ending might not be great, citing how time travel stories tend to have messy endings, you know, due to all that time travel paradoxing and plot holes because of it. But that's just a problem with time travel stories. They are inherently messy, and never make sense if you sit down and pull at all the plot threads. Only if they are a closed time loop do they even remotely make sense, but this wasn't a closed loop story. So yeah, it's not a great ending. That doesn't remove the fact that I felt genuine anxiety and fear at the end of episode 2, based on how the climax builds up. How, even though I was pretty confident I could resolve that event in a good way, I was still worried. Which is a rare event in games, to make me actually feel emotions for the pixelated people. So yeah, it's a good game, you didn't like it, but that doesn't mean it's not a good game. Because like you said, a game doesn't have to be perfect, to be beloved by players, given you like a game that's only a 7.5 at best.

Zontar:
This is one of those games that has me convinced the positive reception is only based off either someone involved being involved or people buying the whole game and after playing the first episode trying to justify their purchase to themselves. After playing the first episode there's really nothing to give it more then a 5/10 at best in terms of quality, and there's really nothing to justify the critical acclaim this games seems to have, and that's just limiting it to what people said when only the first episode was out. I don't know if it got better, but if there was ever a game that gave credence to the idea that some people will love anything in a specific niche no matter how bad it is, or that reviewers are paid off, the reaction to episode 1 was certainly that.

I had your opinion as well, until I went ahead and played the second episode. The game really only gets better from there. The first episode is kind of short and only mildly interesting (using time travel to avoid commiting social faux pas? Probably what a teenager would really do) but for some reason a lot of people loved it. What I don't understand is why the first place your mind goes is that 'someone must have been paid off' when it comes to reviews. It's entirely possible that lots of people really DID like Episode 1 and you and I were just looking for something more. I mean, I really didn't care for This War of Mine, but I don't go accusing reviewers of being paid off for praising it.

OT: This was pretty fun, it was interesting to see a few things that I hadn't noticed before in the game, or hadn't chosen to interact with. Like Warren hanging outside of Max's window... really weird. Personally, I'm surprised they didn't point out the part where Max heads to California and completely forgets about the Tornado Disaster that she was reminded of every episode. And the fact that all your choices are rendered entirely meaningless at the end.

It's definitely a niche game. If you pick it up thinking it'll be the Walking Dead, you'll be disappointed, but the good news is your choices will matter about as much.

Sheo_Dagana:

I had your opinion as well, until I went ahead and played the second episode. The game really only gets better from there. The first episode is kind of short and only mildly interesting (using time travel to avoid commiting social faux pas? Probably what a teenager would really do) but for some reason a lot of people loved it. What I don't understand is why the first place your mind goes is that 'someone must have been paid off' when it comes to reviews. It's entirely possible that lots of people really DID like Episode 1 and you and I were just looking for something more.

I liked the game enough after episode 1 that I bought it as a gift for 2 of my friends, including the full pass, because I was confident they would enjoy it. And I was right. So yeah, plenty of people enjoyed the game based on episode 1 alone. I personally felt it peaked with episode 2, because I didn't have as big of an emotional reaction with the following chapters as much. But they were still very fun.

the other issue with scores is how are the metrics determined? If you are asking me to give it a 1-10 rating, based on how much fun I had, and how much I enjoyed the gaming experience, I'd give it a solid 9 without hesitation. If you are asking me to rate it based on things like game mechanics and graphics, and other factors that I frankly don't really care about, then sure I'd give it a lower score. But I don't rate games on mechanics, unless the mechanics are just completely fucking broken, and detract from my enjoyment of the game. Otherwise, my ratings for games is based on enjoyment and story, and how much I had fun playing through it. So, yeah, depends on the rating system employed.

"From the developer of mediocre action games with incredibly ironic titles, comes the game that a devoted enough fan base can make us do a trailer about anything!"
Talk about being careful what you wish for. Nag them to do a game you like long enough, and they'll crap all over it and spoil the ending(s).
I should see if Yahtzee already did it.

Zontar:

undeadsuitor:

But you didn't play "Life is Strange". You played episode one of an entire story.

And so did the people singing its praises. That doesn't change the fact that for two full months it was the entire game, and that every episodic story driven game should be able to catch your attention (to say nothing of demonstrating halfway decent quality) in its opening.

It might not be to your taste, but that doesn't earn the accusation that reviewers had to be paid off to enjoy it.

That's what you're harping on? I didn't say that that was the case, I said if there was ever an argument to be made that that happened in the industry (outside of the times it was caught red handed) this game would be an example of why people feel that happens. Even if someone enjoyed the game I can't possibly understand how they hell it got the level of praise it got. My favourite game in the world is one that only has a 63% on metacritic, and while I love the game to death I wouldn't give it more then a 7.5 if I was being generous and more likely just slap a 7 on it and be done with it due to my understanding that while I love it enough to sink 500 hours into a single save file it's not actually that great of a game.

Life is Strange got a reaction that seems in line with Arkham Knight getting 9s and 10s despite not even being playable.

Except the console versions of Arkahm Knight were playable and were fantastic. The PC version sucked but that shouldn't impact the console version review score. The PC version I would give a 0 but the PS4 version of Arkahm Kngiht I would give a 9.

Blood Brain Barrier:

Kyle Winston:

Blood Brain Barrier:
To be fair, I bet every actual high school in America has those tropes. What's that saying about life imitating art?

Why? Sometimes an ending is just another part of the story. It doesn't have to be a culmination of all things past or the thing that everything before it was building up to.

My reasoning is that a theme in Life is Strange is about action, consequence, or lack thereof due to time manipulation. Everything that had been done over those five chapters... Ultimately had no impact on the ending. When so many choices had consequences, the ending just seemed egregious.

But those choices had an impact nonetheless. Why must they have an impact on the ending?

They do not "have" to have an impact. My position is that because they do not, both of the endings are bad in a story-telling sense. One ending nullifies five episodes of choices and the other does not even show any consequences from five episodes of choices, except the final, binary one.

Kyle Winston:

Blood Brain Barrier:

Kyle Winston:

My reasoning is that a theme in Life is Strange is about action, consequence, or lack thereof due to time manipulation. Everything that had been done over those five chapters... Ultimately had no impact on the ending. When so many choices had consequences, the ending just seemed egregious.

But those choices had an impact nonetheless. Why must they have an impact on the ending?

They do not "have" to have an impact. My position is that because they do not, both of the endings are bad in a story-telling sense. One ending nullifies five episodes of choices and the other does not even show any consequences from five episodes of choices, except the final, binary one.

But they do have an impact.

Take the plant. If you don't water it, it dies. If you water it too much, it also dies. If you water it the right amount, it lives.

Why must your choice whether or not to care for the plant be included in the ending? The choice is there there, and it has consequences in the story. What happens after the plant lives or dies is inconsequential.

Blood Brain Barrier:

Kyle Winston:

Blood Brain Barrier:

But those choices had an impact nonetheless. Why must they have an impact on the ending?

They do not "have" to have an impact. My position is that because they do not, both of the endings are bad in a story-telling sense. One ending nullifies five episodes of choices and the other does not even show any consequences from five episodes of choices, except the final, binary one.

But they do have an impact.

Take the plant. If you don't water it, it dies. If you water it too much, it also dies. If you water it the right amount, it lives.

Why must your choice whether or not to care for the plant be included in the ending? The choice is there there, and it has consequences in the story. What happens after the plant lives or dies is inconsequential.

I do not expect every single choice to have its own scene in the ending, but at least something from the more important choices, like the outcome of Kate's attempted suicide, whether or not David shot Mark, or if Frank is still alive. If every different combination of choices were played out over numerous playthroughs, the two endings would be exactly the same.

 

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