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Note: non-spoilery discussion of Life is Strange (episode 1)

Feminina:

Played some inFamous: First Light last night. It’s OK. I’m not going to run out and get the full game, though. I finished episode one of Life is Strange, and pre-ordered the rest. It was pretty cool. Different.

Butch:

Really? Life is strange got a thumbs up, huh? Good enough to preorder?

It does seem the general consensus on Infamous is “ok.” Didn’t Mr. O’ play the whole game? Doesn’t Mr. O’ play everything?

Feminina:

I think he downloaded inFamous for free, but lost it during the Great Sony Hack and never bothered to reacquire it. So not a ringing endorsement. He thought the bit he played was fine, but not awesome. So there you have it.

Yeah, Life is Strange was cool. You’re really just following a story, picking up clues to something that’s not even clear yet, and there’s really nothing like combat or skill tests or anything, it’s just about what path you decide to follow. Not a ‘normal’ game, but interesting.

Butch:

Whoa…. you lost games in the hack? How’d that happen? I didn’t lose anything.

I’m ok with not a normal game. We’ve said before, “game” is starting to become an inaccurate term a lot of the time. The story was well done enough to be compelling? Did the fact it was a game and not, say, a TV show matter?

Feminina:

I don’t know the details. We didn’t lose anything we cared about, but he said after the hack it was gone and he didn’t bother to replace it.

Life is Strange is definitely a game rather than a TV show, because you get to make so many choices that will have repercussions later on. It takes advantage of the fact that we’re used to ‘re-doing’ things in games when we die and have to try again, and of the fact that there’s always that temptation to do something, see what happens, and then do the other thing and see what happens (what if I sided with the templars? What if I supported someone else for Divine?).

That always feels kind of like cheating, at least if you’re just reloading an earlier save to ‘un-do’ something that doesn’t turn out the way you wanted, but here you’re SUPPOSED to be doing it, and it’s a critical part of the game. You want to rewind? Do it! If you don’t do it, you’re going to miss out on important information. But it will actually come out differently the second time around, because your character remembers what happened the first time, and you can use that information.

So…interesting. There’s really nothing supernatural about it so far except for the main character’s ability to rewind time, and possibly see the future in scary prophetic visions, so it feels a lot like a small town mystery or something. With an element of weird.

I’m into it. I’d be playing it right now if I had more episodes! Soon, though.

Butch:

That alone is a pretty high recommendation. I’ll check it out. If you’re souring on infamous, I remind you of Grim Fandango, and Transistor currently being free.

Hmm. She remembers the stuff she didn’t do. Cool.

Here’s an old bit from the net we can chew on: Game came out a month-ish ago getting very good reviews called Grow Home. This intrigues me not because it sounds like it’s something we’d dig (action platformer) but because of who made it: Ubisoft. Ubi is a company that keeps making the same damn thing over and over (AC, Watch dogs, which was AC with phones, Far Cry which was AC with elephants and boobs), and yet quietly puts out innovative little gems without much fanfare (this, last year’s Valiant Hearts, the hand drawn WWI story, etc.) This, I’ve decided, pisses me off. If you can innovate, why DON’T you innovate?

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