Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jan 302017

I didn’t know what to expect when I started Life Is Strange.

I’d seen the start of the game, so I knew about Max’s time travel powers and love of photography, and I knew it was a 5-part episodic game, but nothing else.

Some games have slow beginnings. It’s one of the common criticisms I’ve seen against my favorite time travel game, Steins;Gate, although it didn’t bother me there.

Here, however, I finished Episode 1 of Life Is Strange thinking that I’m happy to be out of high school and away from stuff like this, so why would I return to it for entertainment?

But thanks to a friend, I had the full game, so I kept playing. I’m glad I did. After that slow first episode, things really pick up. High school drama is only one small part of a story that involves a dark, twisted mystery and hints of an impending apocalyptic disaster.

Gameplay-wise, it’s similar to a Telltale game. You mainly interact with other characters and make choices. Max also has the ability to rewind time, so that plays an important role. There’s a tiny amount of puzzle-solving, especially as you figure out how to use her powers to proceed, but Life Is Strange primarily focuses on its narrative.

And that is where it excels. For a while, I had trouble liking Chloe, Max’s best friend, but she grew on me as I got further in the story. And despite some wacky dialogue at times, the characters are pretty realistic. They’re also multifaceted, and characters who appear cliche when you first meet them may surprise you with later development.

Click for Life Is Strange spoiler
For example, David. At the start of the game, he seems like a general jerk, possibly dangerous, and a likely suspect for at least some of the terrible things going on. But while he is paranoid and extreme, later episodes take steps to show that he’s trying to do the right thing and knows he messes up a lot.

Even Nathan gets more depth than it originally looked like he’d have. He’s partly a victim himself, first from his father not getting him the psychological help he needs, and then from Jefferson manipulating him.

It’s difficult to discuss Life Is Strange’s story without getting into spoilers, but it’s dark and intense. This is not a happy game. It’s not the sort of game you should turn to if you want something to lift your spirits.

(Seriously, when the official website has a dedicated page for suicide prevention resources, you know it’s not a lighthearted game.)

There were times when I needed a break from all the darkness and unhappiness the game threw at me… but at the same time, I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters and wondering how everything would turn out. It’s intense and gripping, and once the story gets going, it’s hard to turn away.

Now, I do wish Life Is Strange went into a bit more details about how Max’s powers work and how they affect the world around her. I didn’t expect it to go all-out Steins;Gate with scientific lectures, but a little bit more time spent on that would have been nice.

Click for Life Is Strange spoiler
Max demonstrates four distinct types of time travel:

  • Rewinding time, where she stays in her current physical location but everything else is restored to its past state. She can use this at will.
  • Traveling back to the past via a photograph, where she returns to her past location and body as well.
  • Stopping time, which she uses exactly once. It never comes up again.
  • Rewinding time and returning to her past location without a photograph, which she uses once, the first time she ever uses her power.

I wish these were explained and expanded on a little more.

As for the effects on the world, the storm, dead birds, beached whales, etc. can be explained… but the eclipse? Two moons in the sky, after which the second moon just disappeared? How did Max’s powers mess up space?

Of course, it might just be magic.

I was fully invested in Life Is Strange by the time I reached the ending, and I cried. This is not a happy game. The more I thought about it, the unhappier it seemed, and I’m not wholly satisfied with the ending. Nevertheless, it was a thrilling ride to get there, and I’m happy I finally played Life Is Strange.

(But for the record, I still like Undertale better.)

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Jan 272017

When Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue came out on January 24, Sora became available as a Champion in World of Final Fantasy.

He’s only available for a limited time, however, so make sure you download the free DLC before March 31.

Even though World of Final Fantasy has a DLC section you can access from the main menu, Sora doesn’t actually appear there. Instead, you’ll need to find him on the PlayStation Store, either by going directly to the page or searching.

(I searched for “Sora” and it came up right away.)

Once you download and install the DLC, start up World of Final Fantasy to get Sora’s Champion medal.

If you don’t have the game yet, you can still download the DLC before March 31 to have Sora if and when you decide to get World of Final Fantasy.

Not only is it cool to have Sora in World of Final Fantasy, but he also seems like a pretty good Champion. His attack, Ragnarok, inflicts magical light damage against a single enemy, bypassing defense, and also casts regen on the party.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t get any lines during the summons, much like Sephiroth. Unlike Sephiroth, however, you can fast-forward through the animation if you want.

Are you going to get Sora for World of Final Fantasy? Remember, you have until March 31!

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Jan 252017

New details are on the way for the sequel to Dai Gyakuten Saiban, or The Great Ace Attorney.

If you’re like me, and avoiding Dai Gyakuten Saiban spoilers because you’re still waiting for its localization, there isn’t too much speculating we can do about the sequel. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at what we know.

At the Ace Attorney 15th Anniversary Event, Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2 was confirmed for the 3DS, and they also revealed a new trailer. The trailer doesn’t actually show much about the game itself, but features banter between the protagonist and Sherlock Holmes as they try to analyze the logo.

(It even jokes about the fact that they don’t have much to show yet.)

Here is the trailer subtitled in English, courtesy of Bolt2nd.

Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2 will also be featured in the newest issue of Famitsu, and some information has already surfaced. Like the first game, it will take place in both Japan and England. It deals with a “cursed room” and the World’s Fair, both of which seem to have been referenced in the original.

Best of all, it will resolve the first game’s mysteries. Loose ends and unresolved mysteries were the main source of Dai Gyakuten Saiban’s mixed reception, which could be one of the things holding it back from a worldwide release. Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2 clearing up those problems is definitely good news.

Capcom still hasn’t announced plans to localize the first Dai Gyakuten Saiban, but I believe the sequel improves our chances of getting them both (especially if it has a positive reception).

What do you think? Can we look forward to a Dai Gyakuten Saiban localization announcement in the future?

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