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11/05/2018 14:30:13 •••

Autumn Paths (Ep 1-4)

Itís been raining and the air is still damp. Leaves have fallen and been flattened onto the pavement in reds, yellows and browns. Your feet slip slightly as you walk, partly because of the wet and partly because the leaves have decomposed a little.

Youíve got somewhere to be, but you donít care. Itís the first time out after the rain has stopped.

Life is Ö Full of Little Moments That Make People Happy. Chilling in a dorm room listening to music. Finding we can still connect with an old friend. Walking through the college grounds watching all the other people with all the other things going on in their lives. This is a game full of opportunities to just sit down and take it all in whilst listening to Maxís internal monologue on the world and it's the games triumph. We go through the hard times because of the good little moments in every day and this game gets that on a level even the developers probably don't understand.

Life is Awkward. Max is a teenager and her thoughts and actions are as full of delightfully cringey moments as most peopleís memories of when they were a teenager. The way everyone speaks is silly and stupid, not in a realistic way, but in the same way we probably sounded to our parents. Everyone is a bit gangly and uncomfortable in themselves and stumbling their way through getting to know themselves.

Life is A Path Of Turns Taken and Untaken. But those turns aren't always hidden. This isn't a game where you express yourself through our choices, it's a game where we follow Max through her choices. She knows what's right and what's wrong most of the time, but it's about putting yourself out there and doing it. Sometimes it's less about the outcome and more about knowing Max could have taken the wrong path but didn't. That she was there and making that choice was hard and changed her.

Life is Tough. Through the low-key happiness, the game isnít afraid to go to places no other game goes to. Pregnancy, suicidal thoughts, euthanasia, we see people in their darkest places and moments. But it all takes place against the background of a gentle world that we really care about. It resonates, it goes beyond hoping weíll get ending X because we remembered to water the plant. We care about what we do because it matters in the moment.

Life is Good. And Strange.

11/08/2015 00:00:00

This was the hardest review I've ever written. For a while Life is Strange took over my life and my thoughts but it's so hard to express why exactly.

11/09/2015 00:00:00

Alas, last episode was rushed (Im looking at you square enix) with two lame ending. Max grab the idiot ball and your choices doesn't matter after all. ... Wasted potential :(

I'm going back to Stein;Gate and shadow of destiny...

11/09/2015 00:00:00

I wouldn't even say the last episode was rushed, I actually think it's the smartest episode by far. And the lack of choice matters at the ending doesn't bother me either because this game has always felt like it was more about Max having to make the choices and experiencing them than the choices consequences.

I mean the choice people probably sweated over the most and talked about tons afterwards, was the choice at the beginning of episode 4 - which the game tells you will get written out of history immediately after you do it.

I don't even think the ending of Ep 5 is meant to be a choice. I'm sure the developers meant you to take the one option (and that's why that ending is so much longer and filled out), it's just presented as a choice to make you understand that Max could have done something different and she'll have to live with that.

The reason I excluded episode 5 from my review, and why I ultimately really dislike episode 5 is, it's just so bleak. Where the first 4 episodes are not particularly bright but utterly sincere and based on happiness and hope and growing, episode 5 is smart and mean and based on despair and cynicism.

If episode 5 had been an ending to a different game I could have liked it. It would have worked as the ending to Donnie Darko (And Li S was Donnie Darko The Game). But as it was Episode 5 in it's last few moments became about breaking everything I loved about the first 4 episodes.

I'm still glad I experienced the first 4 episodes, because they really were fantastic, and if they didn't exist I would have been glad I experienced episode 5. Sadly the two things can't coexist.

11/10/2015 00:00:00

Sorry for my english, I try my best as foreigner.

Lis wasn't "donnie darko" the game (And I love Donnie Darko), it was "Toki o kakeru shōjo" the game. (And I hate this film but ymmv )

We are in a mild case of reed richard is useless.

Because max could try to fight destiny and avoid easily both ending (In fact, its pretty easy with time travel superpower to avert a 'shoot the shaggy dog' story like this) The two ending are contrived for the sake of cheap drama ? it look like the lazy road to wrap the story. It remind me of this stupid fallout 3 ending..

Don't nod promised that our choices matter, its not and its a marketing lie.

So as Okabe or Homura would say: Screw destiny !! (Even if it's killing you in the process)

11/10/2015 00:00:00

Woah!

you forgot to leave a review. This is clearly a love letter to the game itself. I didn't realize Life is Strange was so all consuming for some people.

and to love the story so much they fail to mention the main characters is the master of time and space when recommending it.... I honestly had to click on the title and go to the page to make sure of you are reviewing.

I liked it all the way through and consider max now my favorite female protagonist and hope square spins a sequel or a new tale even.

I know I'm being a real C yoU Next Tuesday about it. But this ain't exactly an outsider friendly review. No offense meant.

11/10/2015 00:00:00

Don't worry, it's fair criticism. I knew I was doing it though, with 300 words you have to leave out something and every review is some mixture of consumerist, diary and critical.

In the end you have to choose what's most important and after a few weeks of thought I decided that what was most important to me wasn't the context or the mechanical implications, based on those the game would be forgettable. But the feelings it provokes are unique.

It's definitely a bit impenetrable but I hope it might intrigue an interested person enough that they'll try to find out what it's about - and the other review does a fine job of that.

But as I said - hardest review I've ever written

01/13/2016 00:00:00

[[spoiler: Yeah, Episodes 1-4 were gold, and had one of the best romances I've ever seen in a game.

Episode 5, on the other hand, was...so mean-spirited it was almost hilarious. The overall tone was so uncharacteristically cynical that I fully expected a piano to fall out of the sky and squash Chloe and Max's truck in the "Save Chloe" ending, just to make sure she died there, too.

And if their budget was running low enough that they couldn't do everything they wanted with the endings, why did they blow resources on the largely pointless-except-for-being-unintentionally-funny nightmare sequence?]]

01/26/2016 00:00:00

I liked that nightmare sequence, personally.

01/26/2016 00:00:00

The nightmare sequence was a huge exercise in frugality. It let them re-use loads of assets and time filler mechanics (the whole stealth sequence from the previous episode, made half an hour longer), and large black empty spaces require a lot less time and effort to detail. It went on a little too long and had bugger all to do with the rest of the game (the nightmares should have been an established feature from the first couple of episodes), but I can sympathise.

01/26/2016 00:00:00

Well, sure, but it still cost time, money, and effort, right? I still think that if possible, they should've used what they had to provide better closure to the narrative. Would the episode have been a bit shorter overall, compared to its predecessors, if the sequence hadn't been there? Maybe, but the episode's narrative is already 97% over when it takes place. Once you come out the other side, you go right into The Big Choice, which you might end up feeling distracted from anyway due to there being such a large, playable gap between the setup to the ending and the actual ending.

11/05/2018 00:00:00

I had no problem with the concept of the nightmare sequence itself, but I felt it was way too long. Pull out half of it, and it\'s perfectly good.

I felt that the whole tornado thing is contrived. But once I got through this and the other plot-holes, then I what really appreciated is how the characters experienced the story, and that one was really well-done and realistic, up to and including the final choice.


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