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Video Game Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, Episode 5

November 10, 2017 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Guardians return and they’re still pissed at each other.

Please note that since each episode of Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series features the same graphics engine and control setup, those elements will not be repeated in our reviews for the final four episodes. To read our thoughts on that, refer to our review of Episode 1: Tangled Up In Blue.

The Guardians of the Galaxy (the hero team, not the franchise) were left in a state of disrepair at the end of TellTale’s previous episode. How fractured and angry depended on choices you made, and that cliffhanger felt like one of the few true bits of consequence in a series which, while enjoyable and often endearing, often felt like it exchanged big picture tension for character focus.

The final episode, Don’t Stop Believin’, streamlines some of the series’ problems for a tighter narrative. That means the explore-and-solve segments that bogged down previous episodes have been cut for a focus on story and character.

(Tangent: It’s not that puzzles are inherently boring or bad but TellTale seems to include them more as a nod to their company’s roots than anything else, as the solutions are often so obvious that they lack the satisfaction of something found in, say, Thimbleweed Park.)

On the flip side, there’s still not much going on in terms of exploring the overarching plot or villain, so all of that feels like cursory issues to create internal team strife and character moments. In fact, a significant part of the game focuses on looking back instead of forward; though this effectively dives into backstories even further, it doesn’t do much to establish why you should care about defeating Hala beyond surface plot points.

In the end, you’ll get more of what worked in the series, including some genuinely touching moments and excellent voice acting, less of what bogged things down, and all of it without any significant course correction.

So while Don’t Stop Believin’ ends with some level of character satisfaction, this lack of bigger-picture stakes tones down the feeling of taking an epic journey with the characters, and instead makes it seem more like a side quest in the franchise.

Whether this was because TellTale felt like they were competing with the films or they simply wanted to use the conversation engine to focus on characters, the completed series winds up being an enjoyable romp rather than something of emotional consequence.

OVERALL (4/5)

Fun, fast, and witty, the final episode of Guardians of the Galaxy never overcame the series’ biggest narrative flaws, but it still makes for several enjoyable hours with the worst heroes in outer space.

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Video Game Review: Assassin’s Creed: Origins

November 2, 2017 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
Simply put, Origins is a gorgeous game. It pushes the limits of this generation’s graphical fidelity despite the considerably vast landscape of Ancient Egypt. Lighting, water, character models, and more are all exquisite, and the draw distances are strikingly impressive, especially when flying around using Bayek’s eagle. Similarly, the animation has improved to smoother levels.
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Video Game Review: Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Episode 2

October 25, 2017 | by Mike Chen | Comments (0)
With major set pieces involving a school play, an intense family argument, and an awkward dinner, the pieces are starting to fall into place between the Chloe of the original game and the one starring in the prequel series.
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Video Game Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, Episode 4

October 13, 2017 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
Guardians of the Galaxy’s penultimate episode Who Needs You highlights the best and worst of TellTale’s instincts, and the result creates a somewhat disjointed episode. On one hand, there is a much greater emphasis on character development rather than plot movement.
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Video Game Review: Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 2

October 6, 2017 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
The first episode of Telltale’s second Batman season ended with the surprise death of the Riddler after establishing him as a major threat. In the newest episode, The Pact, Telltale continues to twist established Batman lore and tropes, perhaps more so than anything since the revelation of the Wayne family in the first season.
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