The Finishing Journal – Page 71

Life is Strange – (PC)
life is strange1Like when I finished the first episode of The Walking Dead:The Game, this is the last time I will talk about Life is Strange until the season is done. This is also not a review of the first episode. This is, however, a recommendation that you play the first episode of Life is Strange.

I wasn’t clear what I was getting into when I started Life is Strange. The first thing that is striking is how Dontnod has taken the the TellTale formula and improved on it. Mostly in the animation department. I enjoyed The Wolf Among Us, but lets be real, a lot of that character animation is jerky! Life is Strange doesn’t suffer from this. It’s also a really good looking game.

You play Max, a girl that suddenly finds she has the ability to rewind time. While the world reverses around her, she herself is not moved backwards. Most of the puzzles in the game are solved by repeating this ability to set up perfect outcomes for Max. Mess up a conversion? Try it again. Treated someone is a way that had a less than satisfactory out come? Again, rewind time. Like in TellTale games, your choices have future consequences, some you will see in the first episode, others seem to be big picture.

The first epoisode reveals something really big is coming, and some other mysterious plot points. What are they? That would just be completely spoilery of me. I think you should play Life if Strange episode 1.

Darkstalkers Chronicles – (Vita)
I like fighting games. I imagine that fact about me is obvious. One Capcom series I think doesn’t get the respect it deserves is the Darkstalkers series. My first exposure to it was in a crappy pizza joint in Seattle some two decades ago. It was amazing! The fist thing that drew me in was the art. This definitly was not Street Fighter 2. I loved the darker tone and the takes on classic Hollywood movie monsters. My dream arcade cabinet to own would be Darkstalkers 3. Did I like Darkstalkers Resurrection on PSN? Gameplay yes. The gross “smoothing” of the gorgeous pixel art? NO!

This brings me to Darkstalkers Chronicles: The Chaos Tower for the PSP. It has the correct art, plus a wealth of gameplay options. As long as I can set it to Darkstalkers 3 turbo mode I am happy. The no round system is the best, when a health bar drains, it just refills and the announcer yells “FIGHT”. The flow is amazing. Playing PSP games on the Vita is one of the portable’s best features. Darkstalkers is a fast game, and it brilliant pixel art looks fantastic on on OLED screen. I really love Darkstalkers! I wish they would do a proper 2D HD Darkstalkers 4.

OlliOlli – (Vita)
This reminds me of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 for the Gameboy Advance. I know the have different perspectives, but where they feel the same is the flow. OlliOlli flows like water. Fast, awesome, water. It’s easy enough to get through each map to unlock the next one. But that is not the fun of OlliOlli is completing the challenges presented to you before each run. They can get brutal and make the bones in your fingers make popping noises. I am most definitely having a good time.

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger – (PC)
Remember when we were talking about Darkstalkers Chronicles? Remember back then when I said I like fighting games? Well, it’s still true. I am still playing BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. I just pick it up, play a fight, then close the game. It’s good for that. And that art! It just looks so good!!

Well, I’m off to game,

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About Donald Conrad

Donald Conrad is an avid father and a dedicated gamer -- or maybe that's the other way around. He loves his games, and he loves his family, and he's pretty sure he loves sleep, even if he doesn't remember what it was like. Follow his life confusion on Twitter @ConManEd