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Video Game Review: Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Episode 3

December 27, 2017 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Chloe and Rachel’s prequel story concludes with Hell is Empty.

Please note that since each episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm features the same graphics engine and control setup, those elements will not be repeated in our reviews for the final two episodes. To read our thoughts on that, refer to our review of Episode 1: Awake.

The final episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a strange dichotomy of an experience. On one hand, Hell is Empty does complete many of the arcs set forth by this prequel mini-series, and fills in many blanks when it comes to Rachel.

This episode, which feels shorter in length and faster in pace than the previous episodes, portrays Rachel’s final moments — and Chloe’s narrative which parallels it — as the life of a smart but troubled teen girl. The problem with this is that as the proverbial Laura Palmer of the series, there’s a gap between who you see in Before the Storm and her destiny in the original series.

This creates a bit of a disconnect, and it seems strange that the smart person seen here would make the catastrophic series of choices that lead to her murder in the original game. If you didn’t know about Life is Strange’s plot and were told those were the choices she made that led to her death, it wouldn’t feel totally in step.

It’s not like Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks (which is one of the clear inspirations of the series), whose final week was captured in the prequel film Fire Walk with Me and clearly demonstrates someone spiraling out of control. Rachel never descends into that level of chaos, which makes it somewhat difficult to connect the dots between Before the Storm and the main series.

Also, one subplot that’s noticeably dropped from the first episode is that of burgeoning supernatural powers similar to Max’s in the original series. If you were hoping for a payoff on that, sorry, it’s not resolved.

That being said, what is presented is done well and answers many narrative questions about the characters and completes the story presented in the prequel. And, to the delight of many, the tabletop adventure between Chloe and Mikey returns – we’re betting many Life is Strange fans would play a standalone version of that.

This creates a strange (no pun intended) experience — as a story, it works, but as a prequel, some things aren’t totally aligned. It’s still a must play for Life is Strange fans but don’t expect something that completely clicks with the start of Max’s story.

OVERALL (3.75/5)

The story concludes but Before the Storm doesn’t quite line up with the Rachel we hear about in Life is Strange. Your enjoyment of the finale will most likely be based on how much that bothers you.

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Video Game Review: Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two, Episode 5

December 22, 2017 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Armed with the keyword needed to eliminate Romeo’s powers, Jesse and crew return to Beacontown to rescue the city and shut down the Admin once and for all. It starts fairly slow, as you’ll need to avoid being spotted — Romeo is impersonating you after all — and make your way up to the massive structure in the sky that likely houses the terminal where the code can be entered.
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Video Game Review: Time Recoil

December 19, 2017 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Failures will pile up as the difficulty increases, but we rarely felt like the game had used any cheap tricks — with the exception of when alarms sound and enemies shoot at you just as they appear on screen — and levels are short enough that you’re rarely losing more than a minute of progress. In fact, much of the time it’s considerably less than that.
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Video Game Review: Steamworld Dig 2

December 13, 2017 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
In Steamworld Dig 2 you play as Dorothy, who is searching for Rusty, the original protagonist that disappeared at the end of the first game. Your search will take you to a town that has suddenly been afflicted with earthquakes. You decide to investigate as part of your ongoing search for Rusty and determining their cause becomes the main thrust of the story.
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Video Game Review: Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 3

December 4, 2017 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
Fractured Mask picks up immediately where the previous one left off, which means that Harley Quinn is leading the gang, John Doe is still an endearing not-quite-Joker, Catwoman has returned to give Bruce all sorts of feels. Oh, and there’s a frozen carcass of the Riddler.
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