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ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: LIFE IS STRANGE DEMO

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i don't listen to music but death grips, definitely 89F5fpvwPr0

 

edit: to do this shit, the parameters are

 

you're going to have to copy everything after v=. so for

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89F5fpvwPr0 it's 89F5fpvwPr0.

 

some links will include some bullshit after it, like

 

it always ends in an & ampersand. so just copy everything between v= and the &. You should be good to go

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I am extremely surprised that Ross covered this game (even if it's the demo version). Never in a million years would you have convinced me beforehand that he'd cover this.

 

That said, this video is 36 minutes long. As such, the subtitles will be very much delayed. Sorry, folks. They'll come, just not soon.

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FINALLY somebody takes down Life is Strange!

 

As tiring as it is to see people rip into this game you definitely come at it with much more defensible and entertaining arguments. I'm so glad you didn't just stop at the first mention of hella, or comment endlessly on any of the unforgivably low-hanging fruit, instead opting to go for the actual structural instabilities you noticed. I'm sort of impressed actually, it began feeling as if critiquing this game in a meaningful way was almost inconceivable for a while, until you came along.

 

In case it sounds like I'm defending the game, this isn't to say this game has no, or even few, issues, it's to say people critiquing it had seemingly no idea what the issues were. It felt like people laughing at a joke for the complete wrong reason, or like they were only pretending to laugh because there was an obvious spot for a punchline. Except in this example replace an obvious punchline with an obviously flawed game, and keep the inability to understand but desperation to interact.

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I think that Ross is hurting his case for being an ethics advisor to EA when he makes an argument in favor of sacrificing the blue haired girl to bring about social change in the school. More and more, I get the impression that Ross’s worldview is so utilitarian that I really wouldn’t want to be stuck on a desert island with him. I thought the same thing in the stream when he was talking about Starship Troopers, where he didn’t get white people in the book were so concerned about democracy when there was an emergency.

 

I'm guessing Ross's pro-sacrifice stance is strictly within the context of "What would make this fictional story interesting?". Though if ever stuck on a desert island with him, it may be advisable to avoid taking selfies and using "hella" in every sentence.

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Okay, I totally agree with Ross on this one, and had almost all the same exact criticisms when I played the first episode.

 

Then I watched

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19xgdLF5agU. Even if you don't have any interest in Life Is Strange at all, I highly recommend this video on a deconstruction of its genre. Some of the best twenty-five minutes I've ever spent watching a youtube video.

 

Eh, it's a cool video. Too bad the entirety of the game is too lazily put together to really sustain the points made in the video. For all the "would you even want to make the choice?" hullabaloo, that doesn't change the fact that the game fucking railroads you into making those exact choices (and completely invalidates the ones that you make in different timelines anyway). It doesn't change the fact that dialogue is terribly written, the puzzles inane and the characters mediocre at best.

There isn't a secret "you can do something that's actually satisfying" ending, there is just the "kill the burden" or "save the dipshits" endings and that's it. Besides, the time mechanics are still poorly explained, so you just can't really be sure of making any kind of dent in the future. So just because the characters think that killing off Chloe will save the town doesn't mean it will. The tornado could effectively happen because of something completely unrelated, Max could retain her powers anyway, etc. It's not well written, it's not well executed and the "the game is just like the main character" crap is just a front for justifying mediocrity. This game is about as deep as a lesser Rick & Morty episode.

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On the topic of the whole time-travelling thing, I'm honestly curious about why Ross calls it "science fiction" when there seems to be no scientific or even technobabbly explanation for the character being able to time-travel in the first place. Unless there's an explanation somewhere that clearly renders it as science fiction, but which was omitted from the review for some reason, it really just seems to be a straight-forward example of modern fantasy, despite time-travel being much more common in science fiction.

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It's amazing how this episode is simultaneously among the best and the worst episodes of the Game Dungeon.

Pretty much every remark made me laugh, from quoting Edward Bulwer-Lytton's «Paul Clifford», to struggling with stupid sliders designed by console-minded developers and thus having no mouse tracking, all the way to lazily implemented birds that just dissolve in thin air.

But at the same time, the game itself is just so cringeworthy, that this episode was painful to watch no matter how much of Ross's talent was dumped into it.

 

I can only assume that this game has «overwhelmingly positive» reviews for the same reason why Call of Duty is the most profitable game franchise. Sturgeon's law.

Edited by Guest

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More and more, I get the impression that Ross’s worldview is so utilitarian that I really wouldn’t want to be stuck on a desert island with him. I thought the same thing in the stream when he was talking about Starship Troopers, where he didn’t get white (*why) people in the book were so concerned about democracy when there was an emergency.

 

1) It was Wing Commander, not Starship Troopers, and

2) Democracy doesn't always work in cases of emergency. Sometimes you just need someone to just take full command and get stuff done. It's more effective than arguing over what to do.

 

Oh well, I guess you can make up your own mind, but still though, Ross has some good points on a few issues.

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I can only assume that this game has «overwhelmingly positive» reviews for the same reason why Call of Duty is the most profitable game franchise. Sturgeon's law.

 

Yeah, but Call of Duty is at the least consistent, the gameplay is honestly fun and enjoyable, and it caters towards the casual audience that doesn't have time to be invested in videogames for hours a day, kind of like all of us really. Call of Duty knows what it is, and is trying to be nothing more than it is. Granted I haven't played any other Call of Duty after Ghosts, and consider the MW trilogy to be objectively good at what it does, so maybe I'm biased.

 

Life Is Stange, along with similar toned games like Mirror's Edge and Until Dawn, just try way too hard to act smug and pretend that they are bigger than what they really are, and that's why they're worse.

 

Also technically Grand Theft Auto is the most profitable game franchise, but still get your point.

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Considering all the talk about getting stranded on a desert island... Anyone up for it? I am. I'm ready to go get lost at a moment's notice with all of you to be there to watch me walk into the densest, snake infested, spider crawling interior forest, all so I can build my own shelter my way after everyone else rejects my plans. :ugeek:

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At one hand I am the same age as Ross, so my teens are long forgotten. On the other hand, when I was a teen, I was listening to classical music. Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky... And stuff like this never ages.

 

I think if you REALLY want to tell everybody "I'm an artsy nonconformist, and I don't give a shit about trends and opinions of others" - that's what you should go for. Apart from the obvious reason that classical music is just very good (it has centuries of time-test, nothing else doesn't even come close) and that it will nurture a good taste in music in you, apart from that I can guarantee you, that you'll be the only person in your class (hell, maybe even in the whole school, including staff) who'll be listening to something like that.

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More and more, I get the impression that Ross’s worldview is so utilitarian that I really wouldn’t want to be stuck on a desert island with him. I thought the same thing in the stream when he was talking about Starship Troopers, where he didn’t get white (*why) people in the book were so concerned about democracy when there was an emergency.

 

1) It was Wing Commander, not Starship Troopers, and

2) Democracy doesn't always work in cases of emergency. Sometimes you just need someone to just take full command and get stuff done. It's more effective than arguing over what to do.

 

Oh well, I guess you can make up your own mind, but still though, Ross has some good points on a few issues.

 

I could have sworn it was Starship Troopers, but I could be wrong. As for emergencies, dictators are notorious for emerging from emergencies, no pun intended. Not to mention that in an emergency, the minority has a legitimate fear of being sacrificed by the majority, so it’s only natural they want their views to be heard, democratically.

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I don't think Ross and other people here are going against the grain in terms of disliking or hating the game. I've encountered many people that also hate the game, it's just a matter of demographics.

 

The reason this game is as popular as it is, I believe, is because it taps into the hipster millennial/Gen Z demographic. It also taps into the Tumblr demographic (as you'll hear the game called "Life is Tumblr" quite often). These demographics aren't always gamers, or at least not always hardcore gamers that are buying the latest big releases each year (of course, because that's what hipsters generally are). And in media, they're not represented very often. They're not being represented or catered to with Uncharted or Dark Souls or anything overtly Japanese, but Life is Strange is very specifically tuned into that culture and environment. And since it has no competition, it was able to become as successful as it is, compared to, say, a budding first-person shooter game trying to squeeze into the saturated market.

 

Furthermore, the game stars a young woman in high school, which is a very uncommon setting in games. Most games are action-oriented that take place in big fictional worlds, starring adults in positions of some authority or power. But the young girl in high school setting is a very popular one, just not among gamers. Think about all the teenage sitcoms/dramas about girls in high school that have existed on TV or film over the past two decades. Girls (and even some guys) love that stuff, but hat kind of story is rarely represented in games. So the game managed to tap into that demographic as well.

 

It also helps that the game is very light on gameplay or depth, as Ross points out in the video, since these people aren't usually gamers. I happened to rewatch the Eternam episode last night, and Ross talked about how he's able to recommend graphic adventure games to people that aren't normally gamers, because they rely more on storytelling and puzzle-solving than action or arcade reflexes. The same applies here, except this game is much more barebones than traditional graphic adventure games, so it's able to reach an even broader audience. Which is helpful, since as I said, the demographics this game is targeting isn't likely to be hardcore gamers or people who play anything challenging.

 

However, none of this is to say that the game isn't objectively bad. Ross did a good job of not only giving his own personal grievances, but also pointing out many of the objective flaws with the game, such as how it claims to be about your choices, yet you're forced into making certain decisions. Of course, a game can't give you absolute freedom all the time, since that'd multiply the amount of game/work exponentially, but this isn't an uncommon problem in games that advertise dynamic decision-making. They give an illusion of choice, where in actuality the outcome is the same regardless, or only slightly altered in an insignificant way.

 

The director of Heavy Rain, perhaps the game that most popularized this kind of gameplay, has actually gone on record advising people to not play the game more than once, which is crazy. Usually you want people to replay your games, especially in ones where your decisions are supposed to drastically affect the story. Well, the reason he said that is because when you play Heavy Rain for the first time, you usually walk away pretty impressed and satisfied. But if you replay it, then you'll notice all its seams, and how certain decisions don't matter at all, among other things. This is a problem that has been carried forward in that studio's other games, as well as its imitators, such as Telltale Games.

 

One game that has done a good job at this format, though, is the PS4 exclusive Until Dawn. If Ross could somehow get his hands on the game, I'd recommend he play it and do a video on it. It'd make a good Halloween episode, for sure.

 

Back to Life is Strange, perhaps the biggest objective flaw in the entire game is the blue-haired character you see briefly in the demo, Chloe. Not only is her character both cringeworthy and totally unlikeable, the developers spend the entire game trying to force you to like her, despite how awful of a person she is. Now, again, maybe to the hipster, Gen Z, Pacific Northwest demographic, they would find this character likeable on some level, which, judging by the positive reviews and sales, many did, despite her being a huge scumbag. You can have fake choices and minimal gameplay, but if the story, characters, and writing are at least good and interesting, then there's still some form of payoff. Not here.

 

This problem only escalates to insane proportions in the end. I'm going to spoil the ending, if someone hasn't already. I doubt anyone here cares, but I'll hide it just in case:

 

 

At the end of the game, that giant storm from the dream in the game is coming to destroy the entire city. Max is forced into a decision: save the city... or save just Chloe. That's right. Save the thousands of innocent people in the city, or be selfish and just save this one scumbag character that is totally unlikeable. The developers expect the player to have a connection with Chloe by this point, making this decision difficult, but instead all it does is really showcase how poor the writing is that they expect people to like Chloe to such an extreme degree when the opposite is true. I've rarely heard anyone speak positively of the ending, even if they had good things to say about the rest of the game.

 

I can't see any reasonable person choosing to save Chloe. The only people I can imagine doing that are, again, the hipster/Gen Z kids that get attached to her, which, given the game's success and focus on Chloe again in a prequel, seems to have been the case. Pretty terrifying that so many people would be so narcissistic and selfish for a character who's a terrible person, but that's just the culture we're living in, I suppose.

 

Good thing Ross didn't play through the whole game and get that far. He'd probably transform from Ross into Angry Video Game Ross if he played all the way up to that conclusion.

 

 

The prequel that's currently ongoing apparently stars Chloe again, possibly in an attempt to redeem her/make her more likeable, but so far I hear that it's not really working.

 

Disclaimer: I say all this as someone who is A) not a hipster/Gen Z/woman, B) has not actually played the game, and has only heard about it through discussions. So take my input as you will.

 

Just a quick question, Ross. Why is Max not being cool a problem?

I don't think the issue is that Max isn't cool or likeable. The issue is that she's either boring or unlikeable. A character doesn't have to be likeable in order to be a good character, they just need to be interesting or understandable. Max is neither of those things, at least to most people. Like I said above, the game is targeting a niche audience, so people in that demographic are more likely to connect to Max or the other characters.

 

I can only assume that this game has «overwhelmingly positive» reviews for the same reason why Call of Duty is the most profitable game franchise. Sturgeon's law.

 

Yeah, but Call of Duty is at the least consistent, the gameplay is honestly fun and enjoyable, and it caters towards the casual audience that doesn't have time to be invested in videogames for hours a day, kind of like all of us really. Call of Duty knows what it is, and is trying to be nothing more than it is. Granted I haven't played any other Call of Duty after Ghosts, and consider the MW trilogy to be objectively good at what it does, so maybe I'm biased.

 

Life Is Stange, along with similar toned games like Mirror's Edge and Until Dawn, just try way too hard to act smug and pretend that they are bigger than what they really are, and that's why they're worse.

 

Also technically Grand Theft Auto is the most profitable game franchise, but still get your point.

No, I don't think you're biased. From an objective point of view, Call of Duty games are some of the most consistently enjoyable, valuable, and functional games released nowadays. I say this in the sense that you know what you're getting when you buy it (a standard campaign, multiplayer, and zombies mode, sometimes even more), you get all that content for $60 (compared to many games that cost $60 for way less content or replayability), and you can know it's going to be quite bug-free compared to many other buggy releases.

 

Subjectively, it's a different story, because not everyone likes the same things. And since few people nowadays know how to separate subjective opinion from objective evaluation, and then take their opinions to the extreme, they'll say "Call of Duty sucks" as an objective statement, and then claim that anyone who enjoys it is automatically casual or just has trash taste.

 

Although, the last Call of Duty game I enjoyed was Black Ops III, and my all time favorite is Black Ops from 2010. I skipped Infinite Warfare because I tried the beta, didn't really enjoy it, and then I tried the campaign sometime after release, and it was entirely paint-by-numbers and uninspired. I'm also skipping the new WWII game because the beta wasn't very enjoyable, and the developers are being hypocrites by talking about how it was such an emotional project for them and how they put a lot of effort into historical accuracy, but actually aren't putting any effort into historical accuracy at all for asinine political reasons.

 

More and more, I get the impression that Ross’s worldview is so utilitarian that I really wouldn’t want to be stuck on a desert island with him. I thought the same thing in the stream when he was talking about Starship Troopers, where he didn’t get white (*why) people in the book were so concerned about democracy when there was an emergency.

 

1) It was Wing Commander, not Starship Troopers, and

2) Democracy doesn't always work in cases of emergency. Sometimes you just need someone to just take full command and get stuff done. It's more effective than arguing over what to do.

 

Oh well, I guess you can make up your own mind, but still though, Ross has some good points on a few issues.

 

I could have sworn it was Starship Troopers, but I could be wrong. As for emergencies, dictators are notorious for emerging from emergencies, no pun intended. Not to mention that in an emergency, the minority has a legitimate fear of being sacrificed by the majority, so it’s only natural they want their views to be heard, democratically.

The thing about democracy is that, even in a democratic setting, that minority could still be overruled by the majority. It's called "tyranny of the majority." That's why, in the US government (which is a democratic republic, not a pure democracy), things like the senate's two representatives per state and the electoral college exist. If they didn't, then the more populous states (California, Texas, Florida, New York, etc.) would all have complete power over, say, Wyoming, because they have several times its population. Or, more generally speaking, metro area populations having complete control over rural populations (which still does kind of happen anyways, but isn't as bad as it could be).

 

Of course, in a democratic setting, tyranny of the majority isn't as likely to occur as just plain tyranny by one or a few people in power, since there's far more variables and more spread distribution of power. It's still always a danger, though, and as the world becomes more urbanized, rural people and their voices are going to become almost like second-class citizens. Still, as Winston Churchill said, "Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time."

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I have a very diverse palate for music, so some of these may interest you and some may not, but here is my list of more modern bands kids nowadays should be listening to in my opinion. The Hypnophonics, The Interrupters, Bad Cop Bad Cop, Bobot Adrenaline, FIDLAR, Hank III, Justice, Mischief Brew, PUP, Reel Big Fish, Remo Drive, Shark?, Star Fucking Hipsters, Leftover Crack, Titus Andronicus, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Wavves, and Me First and The Gimme Gimmes

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Hey, does anyone else here listen to Be Your Own Pet? Some highlights include Adventure, Becky, Creepy Crawl, October First Account, and Take That Walk.

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While referencing Merriam-Webster for the correct spellings of certain terms for the subtitles, a small popup appeared talking about a word they were "watching": Xennial. Felt like it was referencing this Game Dungeon where Ross was talking about terms for generations. I.... don't know how I feel about "Xennial". I like it because it sounds like a Half-Life term....but that doesn't really count for human generations. Xennial is supposedly for those between Generation X and Millennial. I...don't think we need a term for them. They're either Generation X or Millennial.

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I...don't think we need a term for them. They're either Generation X or Millennial.

 

It was a period of spectacular tech advancement, but before tech started converging. We grew up playing the very first user friendly computers and game systems. We were there for their entire evolution, but predated any meaningful internet. People whose childhood encompassed the C64, Apple II's, Atari, NES and SNES feel more than a little separation from people who grew up using AOL and the Playstation.

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