Immersive Storytelling in Life is Strange.

Life is Strange is an episodic adventure game released in 2015 from developers Dontnot Entertainment. I just recently played through this game and found myself very drawn into its world and characters. While I often find video games very immersive for their settings and environments, very rarely do I feel like I inhabit the main character. Life is Strange, I feel, excels at this. Other games try to get you to inhabit their protagonists by making the protagonist silent and allowing you to choose their dialogue options. Max isn’t silent, she talks quiet a bit. She has her own personality and opinions, which may differ from your own. She has her own past, and goals for the future. But in the present that is the game, you become her*. I wanted to take a look at how LIS accomplishes this, at least for me.

 

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I’m going to go into some major spoilers for the entire game, so be warned if you haven’t played it yet.  This entry probably wont make a lot of sense unless you have played the entire game anyways, so you should go play it, its lots of fun and not that expensive nowadays.

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Ryuutama: Quick Analysis and First Impressions

Ryuutama is an RPG I picked up at Origins and have had the opportunity to play recently. Its a Japanese RPG that has been described online as “Miyazaki’s Oregon trail”, which I feel is a very apt description. With this article I wanted to take a look at how Ryuutama’s book and mechanics help to encourage and emphasize this style of play.

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The 5 most interesting Journey to Un’goro cards

In honor of Journey to Un’goro launch day I decided to take a look at the 5 cards I’m most excited about.  I do not think these cards are necessarily the best or most powerful within the set, just ones I think will lead to interesting gameplay.

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It’s too bad this cool purple T-Rex didn’t get a card in the set.

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Genre Twisting in Nier

Changing the perspective creates new experiences

Nier is first and foremost an action RPG.  It looks like one, controls like one, and plays like one.  Fighting enemies is in real time, but still based on statistics you can level up.  But at times Nier makes slight changes to feel like a different style of game, while retaining all of its usual action-rpg systems.

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Final Fantasy VII’s immersive world.

How visual details and an interactive world made Final Fantasy VII the most immersive game of it’s time.

Final Fantasy 7 is the game that made me fall in love with games.   Cool characters and fun combat played their part, but the immersive qualities of the world is what really got me hooked.  But what does ff7 do to make it’s world feel so alive?  For me it comes down to the visual details and interactive elements in the world.  Lets take a closer look at each.

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Check out the “Texas” sign above Tifa’s Bar

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Tetra Master in Final Fantasy IX

CCGs in RPGS part 2

maxresdefaultThinking back about Triple Triad (referred to as TT from here on) I’ve broken down four key points that I feel are most important to its success as a minigame:

– Simple rules

– Optional, but fleshed out

– Card game feel

– Card Value & High stakes gameplay

Now I would like to take a look at Tetra Master (referred to as TM from here on) to see how it failed an all four points.

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Plagues in 3 games

Disease is a terrifying enemy.  It’s both real and intangible, a totally invisible killer.  Adding something one to a video game is tricky, because it’s a threat that can’t be defeated with guns or swords.  Recently I played 3 games that each prominently feature plagues in their setting and gameplay.  In this article I wanted to take a closer look at the diseases in each, and what kind of effects they have on gameplay.

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