Taisho Alice Picked Up For English Localization by E2 Gaming Who Expressed Interest In bringing Other Otome Games Overseas As Well

Taisho Alice has just been picked up for a North American Release by E2 Gaming. I found this news on Tumblr and verified it on E2 Gaming’s Facebook Page, where they’ve also announced a new image song for the English release.

Taisho Alice could best be described as a fairytale crossover. The different routes relate to common fairytales such as Snow White, Cinderella, Princess Kaguya, the Wizard of Oz, and of course, Alice in Wonderland.

It is an Otome Game – this is a type of game (generally a visual novel) (a game in which you read, and are prompted at times to make a decision which effects which parts of the story and which endings you will see) in which the main protagonist is a female – There are often (but not always) dating sim elements and a strong focus on romance and relationships – and lots of “eye candy” if you’re into bishounen (beautiful (often anime) men).

It is developed by a company called Primula and this is their debut work. It just released a little over a year ago in Japan – so it is good to see we are already getting news of an official US release. Also looks like it is a PC Game – and no word yet on if there’s plans to port it to consoles as well.

It looks like it was an episodic type of release in Japan – but no news has been revealed about how it will be distributed in North America. It is listed as having a medium to long playtime (which I estimate to be 20-40 hours).

The main story revolves around you (as “Arisu”) going through your mirror just as Alice in Wonderland did. When you get there, genderswapped versions of famous characters come to greet you – including meeting your own double who seemingly has lost his memories. The setting of the game is supposedly a “blend of Japanese and Western”.

I’m really liking the artwork in this game – and even though the concept of fairytales has been done to death in similar games – this one still sounds interesting and has likable characters.

Not much news is available yet – but you can learn more about the game by visiting the following pages:

NOTE SOME OF THESE SOURCES MAY HAVE SPOILERS!!!!

Taisho Alice Introduction

http://otome-jikan.net/2014/10/17/taisho-alice-introduction/embed/#?secret=gHU5bAcUoU

http://otome-games.wikia.com/wiki/Taisho_Alice

Otome Game Review: Taishou Alice Episode I

http://lamentfulsky.blogspot.com/2015/03/taisho-alice-episode-i-review.html

https://www.facebook.com/e2gaming/

www.e2gaming.com

 

Taisho Alice Picked Up For English Localization by E2 Gaming Who Expressed Interest In bringing Other Otome Games Overseas As Well was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

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God Wars, New JRPG Strategy RPG Game, Heads West for PS4 and PS Vita in 2016

Kotaku covered a news scoop regarding Kodokawa’s latest upcoming JRPG, God Wars: Toki wo Koete (translation: God Wars: Beyond Time). You play as a girl, which makes this game highly relevant to my audience here at Geeky Sweetie. She’s a priestess named Kaguya, who has been chosen as a sacrifice to the gods, by her own Mother (the Queen).

People who are quick to criticize weak willed characters, especially females in gaming, will appreciate this lead role, who manages to escape her ill fate, and has a spunky and opinionated personality, enough so that she rebels against her mother, and her kingdom.

She does not just accept authority, from her mother, the queen, or even the teachings of the gods. Instead she sets out on a Journey to find her own answers and make her own decisions.

Japanese history, folklore, and mythology are at the heart of the story. Sawaki Takeyasu (famous for his creature work in Devil May Cry and Okami) will be in charge of monster design once again for God Wars Beyond Time.

Gameplay consists of turn based and grid based mechanics similar to those in other JRPG strategy games such as Shining Force, Final Fantasy Tactics, or Tactics Ogre. Check out the official trailer below.

According to Gematsu, God Wars will feature over 30 job classes, 200 weapons, and 600 skills. Gematsu also provided some more storyline details, stating that the game is intended to blend Japanese fairytales with historical events to reimagine the coming of age of some of Japan’s greatest historical figures.

Gematsu also notes that the characters are designed by Mino Taro (famous for character design in Love Plus) and a narration by Japanese actor Shiro Sano.

『GOD WARS ~時をこえて~』 Debut Trailer

誰も知らない もう1つの日本神話 PS4/PS Vita用ソフト『GOD WARS ~時をこえて~』 古代日本の若きリーダーたちの葛藤と成長を描く、タクティクスRPG 「日本最古の歴史書である古事記」と、「古来、人々が親しんできたお伽話」を融合させた世界を冒険するタクティクスRPGです。 それぞれの運命を背負いながら森羅万象と果敢に戦い、その人生を煌めかせた英雄たちの群像劇が今、幕を開けます。 A myth of Gods that no one knows. Ps4/Ps Vita title “God Wars”. A tactical RPG that depicts the conflict and surge of young heroes in ancient Japan. An adventure that merges the world of Kojiki, Japan”s oldest history book, and the fairy-tales of Japanese folklore.

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God Wars, New JRPG Strategy RPG Game, Heads West for PS4 and PS Vita in 2016 was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Amnesia Memories Review

Title: Amnesia Memories

Genre: Otome Game / Visual Novel / Dating Sim

Release Date: August 2015

Publisher: Idea Factory

Platform: PS Vita / PS TV and PC and IOS / Android

Get it for PS Vita on Amazon Here: http://www.amazon.com/Amnesia-Memories-Vita-Digital-Code/dp/B0149HRMX2

Get it for PC on Steam Here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/359390/

Get it on IOS Here: WARNING THE IMAGES THEY HAVE CHOSEN FOR THIS PAGE HAVE MASSIVE SPOILERS:

Free Trial Version herehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amnesia-memories/id1019449265?mt=8

Paid Version here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amnesia-memories-premium-edition/id1020543963?mt=8

Get it on Android Here: WARNING THE IMAGES THEY HAVE CHOSEN FOR THIS PAGE HAVE MASSIVE SPOILERS:

Free Trial Version here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gloczus.amnesiasmp&hl=en

Paid Version here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gloczus.amnesiasmp_premium2&hl=en

Walkthru (No Spoilers)https://welcometowonderland.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/amnesia-memories-toma-walkthrough/

Geeky Factor

Sweetie Factorsweetiesweetiesweetiesweetie

Overall: 72/90 80% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”

Concept: 10/10 Amnesia Memories is an Otome Game which is a visual novel in which you play a female protagonist with male love interests. The game is presented on the premise of parallel universes and allows the users to choose which world they’d like to play in. This determines which guy they will be targeting. Each guy has at least 3 different endings: Good, Normal, or Bad. You’ll know you get the good ending for a particular guy if you see the credits roll afterwards. (You can also check your progress by looking at the album and viewing the endings you’ve unlocked.) Like most games in this genre, if you play through all of the routes, an additional final route will unlock which helps tie all the other routes together and bring closure to the game.

Gameplay: 7/10 Like most visual novels, there is no combat or action to speak of, just lots of reading and at certain points making decisions which drive the story down one of many different endings. There are minigames; however, instead of inserting them into the actual gameplay, (like say the way Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side does), the games are just tacked into the options/menu screen like an after thought, and they are not terribly interesting either. The number of choices you make in this game is quite high compared to other visual novels, however; I’ve noticed that as far as the storyline goes, the majority of these decisions are only giving you the ILLUSION of choice, and not actually changing anything — except — they often DO change your stats which ultimately does change the story.

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These stats include your affection, trust, and suspicion (and in some routes, doubt also becomes a stat, but in other routes, that stat is not used, which is odd, because it should have been used for example, in heart world in my opinion; there were plenty of reasons to doubt the guy there as well.) I’m not totally sure how these stats are used to determine the ending; but the main premise is that you are supposed to hide your amnesia (although in heart world it’s discovered immediately within like the first ten minutes of that route and I haven’t seen any way to change that). In addition to hiding your amnesia you’re supposed to get closer to the guy to try and learn more about yourself and cure your amnesia.

To do this, you need to build both affection and trust with your partner. The stats do not have to be maxed out completely though to get the good ending and actually it can be quite hard to get the good ending in some worlds. I had a heck of a time in heart world. I replayed it 7 or 8 times, and realized it came down to just one answer that had revealed a key cutscene that I had missed. Once I finally got the good ending and saw the credits roll, I realized that I had not reached the “good” ending for clover world which I had thought I had, because unlike in heart world, I had gotten all of my memories back, and the ending I felt was really good and I had even gotten a trophy – so as I said, unless you see the credits each time, you need to go back because you did not get the good ending :).

Luckily, when you go back, you can quickly skip read text and previously used choices will be highlighted in a different color to help you keep track of your decisions. Save often too! Pay attention to how each response you make changes your parameters. I have about 10 save files and I cycle through them every 3-4 in-game days, this way I don’t have to start all over each time I reach a normal or bad ending.

Edit: I’m having a really hard time with this game. Clover was easy as cake but both Heart and Diamond have taken me at least 5-6 playthrus. I finally pulled up a spoiler free walkthru for diamond (which has links to the other routes as well) and am trying to beat diamond still as of this writing. I’ve included a link which will take you to the author’s website above so you can use the walkthru as well. I had my affection completely maxed with Toma and my doubt was low (under half), but I still kept getting normal or bad end. I guess if you answer one single question incorrectly you can lock yourself out of ever being able to get the good ending no matter how high your parameters are. Which once again calls into question why these parameters are even necessary and what they are accomplishing exactly? In Diamond the choice that locks me out of good end happens on August 6th – the game goes on until the end of the month. Meaning a lot of wasted time if you just want the good ending. And it’s not a readily apparent choice, since you have to lie here to be put on the good end route. I would think lying would increase your doubt and lower your trust. These parameters confuse me so much!

Story: 7/10 The story of course is the main point of these types of games. The story is good, but predictable. I knew right away in heart world who pushed me, and so I never suspected the other characters that the game spent so much time trying to cast doubt upon.

I have only completed Heart world and Clover world at time of this writing, and I begun to play Diamond world lastnight as well. Heart and Diamond have a LOT more suspense/mystery. Compared to these routes, Clover was pure Romance/fluff. Ukyo only appears for a moment in Clover, and they don’t seem to develop him much there, but even that tiny glimpse was enough to make me VERY curious about him.

I see he is very prominent so far in Diamond. — I’m assuming Ukyo is probably the true/final route in the game, although it’s just my speculation and not a spoiler or anything. Just I have this feeling that he’s really important. I have my own theory about him, but I’ll keep that to myself and let you form your own opinions while you play.

I have not played Spade route yet at all (though Ikki is probably the most handsome guy in the game.) so I can’t comment on Ikki’s route yet, but so far all 3 routes that I have played, have had good stories.

In Heart World, you’re trying to help your boyfriend solve a crime that caused you to fall from a cliff, a crime which you have no memory of. The police suspect your boyfriend and you have to help clear his name. When you learn the truth, it is quite painful (though not surprising at all; I had it figured out pretty early on).

In Clover World, you discover that you had a fight with your boyfriend the day before you lost your memories, and now he wants to meet to talk about the fight and the future of your relationship. Wanting to use the opportunity to learn more about yourself, you agree to meet and try to hide the fact that you don’t remember him. You seem to be successful in the beginning at keeping his suspicions at bay and you continue to meet with him as it seems to be helping you to remember more. As you grow closer to him you begin to wonder why you were fighting in the first place, and also wonder if learning the truth will cause your feelings for each other to change.

In Diamond Route, you have to hide your illness to avoid going back to a hospital. Your childhood friend, Toma, has been helping to take care of you while your parents are overseas. He claims he’s not your boyfriend, but that you did date eachother. He said he didn’t want to tell you because it would confuse you. Which you seem to take to mean that you were dating recently, before the amnesia. In your notebook you also have many “dates” listed where you met with another man, a coworker at a cafe where you worked. While trying to figure out where both of these men fit into your life, someone approaches you with a warning about your boyfriend and a threat on your life; strange things begin happening which put you in danger and add to the problems you’re already facing.

The pacing of all of the routes feels pretty good. You’re given one month in game time to solve the mysteries and regain your memories. This amounts to about 4-6 hours per route for your first playthrough, and substantially less for replays due to the skip feature and ability to keep multiple save files. With 5 routes to complete, it amounts to 20-30 hours total of play time, assuming you beat all the routes and achieve good endings for each on your first run. This is just long enough to capture your interest and leave you with questions and desire to play through the many different routes to learn more about each of the characters.

The story is well written, but like many games with heavy text; it suffers from some translation/localization errors. Sometimes entire words are missing that leaves a sentence not making sense (though you can figure it out by the context of other sentences). For example in Kent’s route in his ending one line says something like “Your feelings I fully now.” (it’s missing the word understand; “Your feelings I fully understand now”.) There’s other cases where a word should be singular or plural, or a or an are used incorrectly, but those are minor compared to some sentence mangling as demonstrated above. Also I think, but could be wrong, that the names of places sometimes change (within the same route). I say I “think” because, the example I can think of is getting a text from Kent saying he’s in XYZ Laboratory; and when I arrive at the campus my character says “So this is ABC University” It could be possible that the laboratory has a name itself which sits within the university, but to me it felt like the game couldn’t decide what it wanted to call the place – though it could have been intentional. Little inconsistencies like this, don’t detract from the story, but definitely pull you out of immersion.

The main thing that pulls me along in this story is this burning question / feeling that someone is lying to me. Why is it so cold in “August”? Why do I not have a cellphone? Why did someone take my computer battery AND charger? It’s like they don’t want me to know what the date REALLY is (or they want to prevent me from contacting anyone). Is Toma checking my mail to keep me from seeing anything with the current date, or is he really just being a gentleman for me? Maybe he was the one that put scary things in my mailbox to discourage me from wanting to check it myself. And although there’s a calendar in my room and everything is the way I left it, each route, someone has had a key to my apartment and been in there while I’ve been away. What are they trying to hide?

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This to me is a much more interesting question than the amnesia itself. I don’t know if my questions will be answered or if I’m correct but it’s just something that feels REALLY off to me. And other games I’ve played have done this before (Remember 11 comes to mind) which puts me on high alert for this sort of plot twist.

This feeling that something is not right, really makes me want to complete all the routes. I think there’s more to this story than meets the eye. I’m not sure I’m correct yet, but something just feels so off to me. It’s an interesting plot device, and although I have seen it before, it’s not “overly” used. It adds an extra layer of mystery to the story. And then there’s Ukyo, who says he’s a friend but also an enemy, he seems so sad, but also scary. He seems to know everyone but no one knows him, and he seems to have something against me, but also seems to be in love with me, and he appears to be suffering from multiple personalities as well. This makes it more of a thriller / mystery than just pure fluffy romance. It sets it’s story apart from other games with a sense of fear, paranoia, and anxiety. The mystery and the way in which Orion is presented almost as a main character (more on that under characters) make this an otome game that even male gamers could enjoy.

Characters: 7/10 Characters’ jobs, studies, backgrounds, and relationship with our heroine change in each route; but their personalities more or less stay consistent. Characters shift in and out of focus and become major or minor characters depending on what world you’re in. Below is a brief overview of the different characters:

Shin: Shin is often misunderstood, his appearance and attitude can come across as quite scary, but he’s actually very hard working and responsible. He was born into a poor family and his father had a questionable background which made Shin have to work harder to prove himself or make friends. His current goal is to study for the college entrance exams in order to obtain a scholarship. He really enjoys studying. He speaks very bluntly, it’s not that he’s cold, or a Tsundere, but just rather, he believes that by being harder on the heroine, it will encourage her to strive to do better for herself as well.

Toma: Toma is like a big brother to both you and Shin. He is always doting on you and spoiling you. He views it as his job to protect you and shelter you. Unlike Shin, he is not very honest about his own feelings, and tends to handle the heroine very delicately.

Shin and Toma: In Heart and Diamond, you, Shin, and Toma are childhood friends who have been together since birth and there’s a love triangle dynamic. In Clover, and I assume Spade, they are merely your coworkers at the cafe. But even in these routes, Toma still has that “big brother” attitude towards you (and his other coworkers). In Clover and Spade, Shin and Toma are both actual brothers (related by blood or marriage).

Kent: Kent is a graduate student (in all of the routes I’ve played so far), and he loves Mathematics. He is very shy and not good at dealing with people which makes him come across as cold and calculating. He tries to reason his way through everything, including his relationships and feelings. Although he comes across as cold, it’s simply a misunderstanding because he thinks so differently and rationally all the time, and the heroine is more pure and impulsive, this leads to friction between the two characters. Although he is also strict (like Shin), he will also give praise and compliments more freely than Shin. Like Toma, he also has a hard time expressing his true feelings and emotions. He gets shy, embarrassed, and flustered quite easily which the Heroine sometimes interprets as Kent trying to push her away. He’s best friends (in all routes so far) with Ikki, another mathematics student at his university.

Ikki: I know the least about him since I haven’t played Spade world yet; from what I have seen of him in other routes, he’s a playboy with a lot of charm, goodlooks, confidence, and charisma. He knows the perfect things to say, and often helps Kent by giving him dating advice. Kent and Ikki both love math puzzles, riddles, and games. They’re both very competitive with eachother. Ikki enjoys making Kent jealous. Ikki seems to think he has special powers over women which comes from his beautiful eyes. He claims he can hypnotize anyone who looks into his eyes. For this reason he often wears sun glasses when he is around others.

Waka: As far as I am aware, Waka is not a dateable character, though there are two ??? boxes on the main menu still – I’ve read there’s only 5 routes, and I’m betting the 5th belongs to Ukyo. — ANY wanys, Waka is your manager at work. From what I’ve seen, he’s completely different in Heart and Clover. In clover he’s the strong silent type and very strict with his employees. He rarely smiles, and rarely even talks. In heart he talks a lot, teases and jokes with his employees, and seems very kind and caring. I’m not sure why his personality changes when they keep the other characters pretty much consistent in all routes. It is interesting :).

Mine: I really don’t like how they spelled her name; they should have changed it for localization to Mina or Minnie. Just my opinion It’s pronounced Mee-nay, Minnie would have been closer than Mine (which I want to read/pronounce just like the english word). Anyways, that aside, Mine is one of your coworkers at the cafe, and one of your best friends, but her or Sawa alternate as perspective love rivals in some routes. She’s very feminine and sweet (although she can act cold if she thinks you are competition for her in any way).

Sawa: Sawa is another one of your coworkers and one of your best friends; she’s very athletic and outgoing, somewhat of a tomboy type character (basically a direct opposite of Mine). As mentioned above, Sawa also appears as a love rival in some routes.

Ukyo: This mysterious character appears in each route with multiple personalities, and he seems to know everyone, but they do not know him. In most of the routes he seems to both loathe and love the heroine. He seems like a dangerous guy, but he also seems rather sad and pittiful too.

Rika: So far, I’ve only seen Rika in one route, she’s a very elegant older woman (probably around Kent’s age, maybe a little older); She’s a bit of a snob, and in the route I saw her in, she seemed very interested in Ikki so she may very well be a love rival for you there in Spade World.

Orion: This little guy is the reason for your amnesia (not a spoiler, it’s introduced before you even play the game for the first time). He’s a demon from another dimension who was “traveling to earth for important business” when his mind “collided” with yours, causing you to lose your memories. He’s now trapped inside of you, and if you don’t recover your memories, he will overtake your conscious and take over your body. In order to separate, you need to recollect your memories to push him back out of your conscious.

I like most of the characters, but I do not like the way Orion is presented in the game. He speaks for the heroine; thus the heroine is the only character in the game who is not voiced. If we are not yet fully merged, shouldn’t the heroine still think/feel for herself without being told what is happening in 3rd person all the time? It makes me unable to connect with the heroine which is bad because I want to care about her as much as I care about the other characters, but I really don’t because she is downplayed so much and presented “through” Orion.

Typically most visual novels leave the lead character somewhat of a blank slate; to help create immersion; but the fact is, they do have a character portrait for her, and several CGs featuring her, but the only time you see the heroine’s portrait (other than the CGs) is when you enter her name on the title screen.

I don’t mind seeing Orion SOME but I would have liked to have seen my player character some too; I know we are supposedly “linked” to where we feel the same feelings, fear, happiness, embarrassment, etc; but I would have liked the heroine to speak for herself and to show her emotions through her own character portrait instead of always “hiding” behind Orion.

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Because Orion also has a VERY distinctive personality, it makes it hard to immerse myself into the role of the heroine. He’s VERY immature, although he is kinda kawaii (cute) sometimes. He has an almost “overbearing” personality that I feel is so different sometimes from my own. Which brings me back to the point that typically most visual novels leave the lead characters more generalized; but because this game focuses SO much on Orion instead of the heroine, it makes it very hard to “plug yourself” into the heroine’s role. It made me feel less like I was playing as the heroine, and more as if I was playing AS Orion since you see him constantly throughout the game.

Graphics: 6/10 Why are the backgrounds not colored? Maybe there’s a reason for this plot wise (like I’m in a coma, or dreaming, or something). But so far I see no reason why the backgrounds are “black” and white (more like green and white). It is kinda “lazy” to me to leave them this way. It does draw more attention to the characters, and the character art is gorgeous. There’s a good number of what I call “CG scenes” in which you see special extended artwork (that’s usually more detailed than the regular game artwork). Still when you look at games like Nekopara or the upcoming Norn 9 Var Commons (which is also by Idea Factory); you wonder why there’s not more animation in this game. The character portraits have various emotions and expressions, which range from serious to humorous (Orion often has very many “anime” style expressions like the wide streams of tears, or two little beady eyes).

The interface is clean and simple, and the text is easy to read even from across the room while playing on my ps tv. But the whole “stat” thing confuses me, because as I said it does NOT need to be maxed out to obtain the good endings. And your suspicion can be maxed out and not get a bad ending. And there’s only one good ending per route (as far as I know); so why are there seemingly multiple “good” stats (Trust and Affection). One would think there would be a “Trust ending” “Affection Ending” “Normal ending” and “Bad Ending” but I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s more likely that trust = normal; and affection = good ending, when if you think about it, a “good” relationship needs equal measure of both trust and affection.

I would have liked to have seen something graphically that made more sense to me here. Maybe show your heroine with various expressions, such as a blank stare for normal, a happy or blushing face for good ending, and a fearful, sad, or angry face for the bad ending. It would have been more clear than these sliders which dont seem very accurate. In heart world, my Affection was ALMOST maxed, but not quite, and my Suspicion (a bad stat) was completely maxed). My trust was high too but not as high as either of those, and somehow I still got the good ending despite not having either of the two “good” stats maxed, and the one bad stat’s bar being at maximum level. That’s just confusing to me.

Music: 10/10 Both the opening and ending themes are quite catchy and memorable and the music throughout the game does not feel repetitive or annoying.

Voice Acting: 10/10 The game is fully voiced and they keep the Japanese voice track which is a plus and what most of the people playing these types of games would prefer, so kudos to Idea Factory for that. The voice acting itself is very well done.

Replay Value: 10/10 The fact that you need to beat all 4 routes to unlock the Joker’s route makes you want to replay the game to learn the truth. Not only that, but the ability to skip read text helps with subsequent playthroughs in the same world trying to get the good endings.

Overall: 72/90 80% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”

Amnesia Memories Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Life is Strange Review

Title: Life is Strange

Genre: Point and Click Adventure Game (With some Visual Novel Elements)

Publisher: DontNod Entertainment & Squaresoft/Square-Enix

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Release Date: Life is Strange is an Episodic Game, where your decisions made in each episode carry over to the next, the first episode was released in January of 2015. There are a total of 5 episodes, and we are still waiting (at time of this review) for episode 5 to be released.

Geeky Factor: 

Sweetie Factor: 

Overall: 65/90 72% C- “Good Game for Girls”

Concept: 10/10 Life is strange is a Point-and-Click adventure game with a heavy focus on story telling. It also includes branching plots and decision trees similar to those found in visual novels. The story is set in the 90s, and follows a young woman attending an art college who is insecure about her own artistic abilities, and struggling to make friends and fit in with the other students. The school is full of the stereotypical characters one remembers from their own experiences in surviving highschool (or university), such as jocks, preps, goths, hipsters, the shy people, the fat kids, the druggies, the bullies, the cheerleaders, the airheads, the geeks, the studious types, the religious types, and of course the teachers and staff of the school as well. This makes it pretty relateable for anyone who hated school or also felt like they never really fit in anywhere.

Story: 10/10 It’s a coming of age story, and also a story about finding out what’s important to you, and what you must do to protect it. You play the role of the protagonist, Max, as she returns to her childhood neighborhood to attend college after being away for a number of years. Max is rather aloof and although she has a few friends in her class, she also has a lot of enemies. She sometimes has trouble focusing in class, and also she wonders if she even belongs in an art program, because she doubts her own abilities and lacks self confidence. She is asked to participate in a photography contest but she is too shy to submit her entry. While thinking of what she should enter, she is captivated by a blue butterfly in the ladies restroom. Wanting to get a pic, she turns the corner, and quickly becomes involved in something she wasn’t supposed to see. Two other students have entered the restroom and are struggling over a gun, a real gun. Max hears the gun go off, and then, her head hurts, she feels a strange power, and realizes she’s able to rewind time, to undo the events of what happened. Using her new power, she rewinds time to prevent the gun from going off. The other girl, scared but unharmed, thanks Max for her help, and the two begin chatting. It turns out that the girl was Max’s best friend when she was a little girl, but she’s changed so much that Max no longer recognizes her. The two begin to rekindle their friendship, as Max learns about the events that led to the struggle that day, including mysterious murders, disappearances, rapes, and drugging of female students from Blackwell Academy. As the story progresses, Max finds herself trying to save the girls involved in these incidents while trying to uncover the truth behind who’s to blame for the horrendous acts. On top of that, Max begins having strange visions, and strange things begin happening around town, such as snow in the summer, and dozens of beached whales, and solar eclipses, and tornadoes, and other strange phenomenon that eerily seem to be connected to Max’s new powers. As she uses her powers, sometimes other things around her change, and not always for the better, sometimes for the worse, or even heartbreaking consequences. There’s a lot of emotion and heart in this game, and your choices and decisions impact which parts of the story you will see.

Characters: 10/10 Max is the player’s character throughout this game; she’s an intelligent and artistic young woman who’s just enrolled into a new university where she’s struggling to fit in. Chloe is Max’s childhood friend, they were separated when Max moved away as a child. Max did not keep in touch with Chloe due to a certain event in their past, but their paths soon cross again. Kate is one of Max’s close friends at her new school. Kate had something terrible happen to her and is now the victim of constant bullying. Rachel Amber, another student at Blackwell Academy, had filled in the role of Chloe’s best friend in Max’s absence, but then Rachel mysteriously disappeared. Nathan Prescott, is the rich spoiled boy who’s family owns most of Arcadia Bay and Blackwell Academy. Is he behind the mysterious disappearance?

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Appearances are not always what they seem in this game; be careful who you trust, and also don’t judge others too quickly until you know them. They may surprise you!

As mentioned above, the characters feel very relateable because they’re based on all too common, but all too true, stereotypes of the types of students one has encountered in their own life.

Gameplay: 6/10 Gameplay consists of wandering around the school or town looking for clues, by finding objects that you can interact with or talking to different people. Many objects have multiple ways in which to interact and the game does not hold your hand or make it readily apparent which options are best for which objects. At times, your actions, decisions, and dialogue will impact the past, present, or future, and you will be notified by a blue butterfly icon on your screen. You can then either rewind, or proceed and live with the choices you’ve made.

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Although the gameplay itself is fun, there are some MAJOR gameplay issues with this game when it comes to control, usability, and interfaces. I play on a “gaming” laptop machine. I don’t have a mouse, nor any place to really put a mouse, because I play from my bed. Using the touchpad OR my touchscreen with this device is a nightmare for some reason. Also when I first got episode 1, maybe it’s just me and I’m really dense, but I spent over 4 hours trying to do the first action, and stumbled through the game for days, until I realized one thing – I was trying to “trace a path” to the action I wanted to take, following the little arrow that’s drawn by every object. This is wrong! Instead you just click below or left/right/above etc for the action you want. — This made control somewhat easier BUT the main thing I find is I have to be facing/looking at an object JUST right in order to “reach” the action I want to click on, sometimes I have to back out of the action tree and reposition the items on my screen – I think this probably doesn’t happen when using a mouse – but I can’t be the ONLY gamer who doesn’t use a mouse, especially with a game like this which doesn’t require much user input.

Music: 8/10 Music plays a big part in this game; with the ability to sometimes sit and listen to a music cd or play your guitar, and you can just relax and immerse yourself in the soundtrack. The soundtrack is also fitting for the game, and has an “indie” feel to it which matches the “hipster” vibe of the game’s settings and characters.

Voice Acting: 10/10 The game is fully voiced, and the game relies on this mechanic to tell its story to the audience. The voice acting is also quite well done; in fact, it’s been nominated for Performance of the Year in the Golden Joystick awards for the voice actress behind Chloe.

Graphics: 7/10 I enjoy the graphics of the game, and it’s fully animated and fully 3d, presented to you like a movie. They’re not the most highly advanced cutting edge graphics ever, and other reviewers are quick to point out some lip syncing inconsistencies (which I personally haven’t noticed). But I think it’s still a pretty game to look at :). The number of environments that you get to interact with are rather small, the school, a diner in town, a scrapyard, your friend’s home, and the dark room; but this is an indie game, so it’s expected to be somewhat small in scale. I think the outdoor scenes are especially lovely. Character design is also very good, although the characters feel a bit stiff at times.

Replay Value: 8/10 Your decisions really do matter; For example, Kate Marsh really can die if you don’t save her. I saved her in my game, but I did some research while typing this blog post to see if the decisions we make in the game actually matter, and a lot of people are asking for help how to save her, etc. Also they say it’s one decision that you cannot rewind and redo; so unless you save before then, or start all over, you’re stuck living with the consequences of your actions. — However, so far, every episode has followed the same story and reached the same climax; although what happens in between the beginning and end IS dependent on your actions, as illustrated above, you will still arrive at the same conclusion each episode so far; though there may be multiple endings as it is advertised as such on steam – we won’t know for sure until Episode 5 arrives.

Overall: 65/90 72% C- “Good Game for Girls”

Life is Strange Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Life is Strange Review

Title: Life is Strange

Genre: Point and Click Adventure Game (With some Visual Novel Elements)

Publisher: DontNod Entertainment & Squaresoft/Square-Enix

Release Date: Life is Strange is an Episodic Game, where your decisions made in each episode carry over to the next, the first episode was released in January of 2015. There are a total of 5 episodes, and we are still waiting (at time of this review) for episode 5 to be released.

Geeky Factor: 

Sweetie Factor: 

Overall: 65/90 72% C- “Good Game for Girls”

Concept: 10/10 Life is strange is a Point-and-Click adventure game with a heavy focus on story telling. It also includes branching plots and decision trees similar to those found in visual novels. The story is set in the 90s, and follows a young woman attending an art college who is insecure about her own artistic abilities, and struggling to make friends and fit in with the other students. The school is full of the stereotypical characters one remembers from their own experiences in surviving highschool (or university), such as jocks, preps, goths, hipsters, the shy people, the fat kids, the druggies, the bullies, the cheerleaders, the airheads, the geeks, the studious types, the religious types, and of course the teachers and staff of the school as well. This makes it pretty relateable for anyone who hated school or also felt like they never really fit in anywhere.

Story: 10/10 It’s a coming of age story, and also a story about finding out what’s important to you, and what you must do to protect it. You play the role of the protagonist, Max, as she returns to her childhood neighborhood to attend college after being away for a number of years. Max is rather aloof and although she has a few friends in her class, she also has a lot of enemies. She sometimes has trouble focusing in class, and also she wonders if she even belongs in an art program, because she doubts her own abilities and lacks self confidence. She is asked to participate in a photography contest but she is too shy to submit her entry. While thinking of what she should enter, she is captivated by a blue butterfly in the ladies restroom. Wanting to get a pic, she turns the corner, and quickly becomes involved in something she wasn’t supposed to see. Two other students have entered the restroom and are struggling over a gun, a real gun. Max hears the gun go off, and then, her head hurts, she feels a strange power, and realizes she’s able to rewind time, to undo the events of what happened. Using her new power, she rewinds time to prevent the gun from going off. The other girl, scared but unharmed, thanks Max for her help, and the two begin chatting. It turns out that the girl was Max’s best friend when she was a little girl, but she’s changed so much that Max no longer recognizes her. The two begin to rekindle their friendship, as Max learns about the events that led to the struggle that day, including mysterious murders, disappearances, rapes, and drugging of female students from Blackwell Academy. As the story progresses, Max finds herself trying to save the girls involved in these incidents while trying to uncover the truth behind who’s to blame for the horrendous acts. On top of that, Max begins having strange visions, and strange things begin happening around town, such as snow in the summer, and dozens of beached whales, and solar eclipses, and tornadoes, and other strange phenomenon that eerily seem to be connected to Max’s new powers. As she uses her powers, sometimes other things around her change, and not always for the better, sometimes for the worse, or even heartbreaking consequences. There’s a lot of emotion and heart in this game, and your choices and decisions impact which parts of the story you will see.

Characters: 10/10 Max is the player’s character throughout this game; she’s an intelligent and artistic young woman who’s just enrolled into a new university where she’s struggling to fit in. Chloe is Max’s childhood friend, they were separated when Max moved away as a child. Max did not keep in touch with Chloe due to a certain event in their past, but their paths soon cross again. Kate is one of Max’s close friends at her new school. Kate had something terrible happen to her and is now the victim of constant bullying. Rachel Amber, another student at Blackwell Academy, had filled in the role of Chloe’s best friend in Max’s absence, but then Rachel mysteriously disappeared. Nathan Prescott, is the rich spoiled boy who’s family owns most of Arcadia Bay and Blackwell Academy. Is he behind the mysterious disappearance?

Appearances are not always what they seem in this game; be careful who you trust, and also don’t judge others too quickly until you know them. They may surprise you!

As mentioned above, the characters feel very relateable because they’re based on all too common, but all too true, stereotypes of the types of students one has encountered in their own life.

Gameplay: 6/10 Gameplay consists of wandering around the school or town looking for clues, by finding objects that you can interact with or talking to different people. Many objects have multiple ways in which to interact and the game does not hold your hand or make it readily apparent which options are best for which objects. At times, your actions, decisions, and dialogue will impact the past, present, or future, and you will be notified by a blue butterfly icon on your screen. You can then either rewind, or proceed and live with the choices you’ve made.

Although the gameplay itself is fun, there are some MAJOR gameplay issues with this game when it comes to control, usability, and interfaces. I play on a “gaming” laptop machine. I don’t have a mouse, nor any place to really put a mouse, because I play from my bed. Using the touchpad OR my touchscreen with this device is a nightmare for some reason. Also when I first got episode 1, maybe it’s just me and I’m really dense, but I spent over 4 hours trying to do the first action, and stumbled through the game for days, until I realized one thing – I was trying to “trace a path” to the action I wanted to take, following the little arrow that’s drawn by every object. This is wrong! Instead you just click below or left/right/above etc for the action you want. — This made control somewhat easier BUT the main thing I find is I have to be facing/looking at an object JUST right in order to “reach” the action I want to click on, sometimes I have to back out of the action tree and reposition the items on my screen – I think this probably doesn’t happen when using a mouse – but I can’t be the ONLY gamer who doesn’t use a mouse, especially with a game like this which doesn’t require much user input.

Music: 8/10 Music plays a big part in this game; with the ability to sometimes sit and listen to a music cd or play your guitar, and you can just relax and immerse yourself in the soundtrack. The soundtrack is also fitting for the game, and has an “indie” feel to it which matches the “hipster” vibe of the game’s settings and characters.

Voice Acting: 10/10 The game is fully voiced, and the game relies on this mechanic to tell its story to the audience. The voice acting is also quite well done; in fact, it’s been nominated for Performance of the Year in the Golden Joystick awards for the voice actress behind Chloe.

Graphics: 7/10 I enjoy the graphics of the game, and it’s fully animated and fully 3d, presented to you like a movie. They’re not the most highly advanced cutting edge graphics ever, and other reviewers are quick to point out some lip syncing inconsistencies (which I personally haven’t noticed). But I think it’s still a pretty game to look at :). The number of environments that you get to interact with are rather small, the school, a diner in town, a scrapyard, your friend’s home, and the dark room; but this is an indie game, so it’s expected to be somewhat small in scale. I think the outdoor scenes are especially lovely. Character design is also very good, although the characters feel a bit stiff at times.

Replay Value: 8/10 Your decisions really do matter; For example, Kate Marsh really can die if you don’t save her. I saved her in my game, but I did some research while typing this blog post to see if the decisions we make in the game actually matter, and a lot of people are asking for help how to save her, etc. Also they say it’s one decision that you cannot rewind and redo; so unless you save before then, or start all over, you’re stuck living with the consequences of your actions. — However, so far, every episode has followed the same story and reached the same climax; although what happens in between the beginning and end IS dependent on your actions, as illustrated above, you will still arrive at the same conclusion each episode so far; though there may be multiple endings as it is advertised as such on steam – we won’t know for sure until Episode 5 arrives.

Overall: 65/90 72% C- “Good Game for Girls”

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Life is Strange Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie