Life is Strange EP1: Be Kind, Rewind

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Apr 5, 2017

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 129 comments

Link (YouTube)

I know I’ve mentioned this in the past, but it bears repeating for new-ish viewers: Choosing a game to cover on this show is a complex process..

  1. We want a game a majority of us have played and have something to say about it. If we made it a rule that EVERYONE has played a game, then we’d be limiting ourselves to just a narrow band of ubiquitous AAA games. Our tastes are diverse enough that it’s very unlikely we’re all going to play the same experimental arthouse project.
  2. It needs to be a game that none of us will “veto” for whatever reason. I know we have a reputation for being kind of negative, but we actually do a lot to avoid overdosing on negativity. If we didn’t, then every season would be Hitman: Absolution.
  3. It needs to provide a regular supply of conversation stimulus. For example, the likes of Diablo II, Neverwinter Nights, and Borderlands might be popular and historically significant, but those games have long stretches where the player just goes through the same gameplay loop with very little variation. That’s fun if you’re the one playing, but if we’re trying to provide fan commentary it leaves us without stuff to talk about. Then the show turns into a podcast with more interruptions and cross-talk. We already do a podcast, so we don’t need that.
  4. It needs to work with our existing technology setup, which means modern-ish PC or PS4 only.
  5. It needs to be a game the audience will care about. I suppose this one ought to be higher on the list.

We usually start talking about the “next game” as we get down to the end of the current season, and it often takes us a few weeks to hammer this out.

Sometimes we end up with a game that’s a great fit for the rest of the team but not something I have a lot to say about. But no problem, right? I can just shut up and let everyone else comment. That’s good for the show. I actually like this because when I talk less it usually gets Chris to talk more, and I’d rather hear Chris than me.


I’m the one that writes these blog posts, and I have almost nothing to say about Life is Strange. I don’t have any strong opinions on it. I don’t love or hate any part of it with any noteworthy level of passion. So I dunno what I’m going to talk about in this space.


From The Archives:

129 thoughts on “Life is Strange EP1: Be Kind, Rewind

  1. Rory Porteous says:

    If you guys are mean about Life is Strange there’ll be hella retribution.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      It’s serious bidness to a lot of us.

    2. Wide And Nerdy® says:

      If they’re mean and there is retribution, I’ll be supporting them.

      1. Parkhorse says:

        Gotta agree. I can’t stand this game (thought I am interested in the SW crew’s take on it).

        It’s just… this gameplay style is not engaging, on its own. It can be workable, if it’s supporting an interesting story. Unfortunately, I find the protagonist about as relatable as, say, Kane and Lynch (albeit in the opposite direction). When the story starts with “I don’t care about this character,” and then forces me to react to situations in ways I wouldn’t, just… ugh. Boring gameplay in support of a story I don’t care about and protagonist I dislike.

        Honestly, my hope is just that the crew doesn’t take it easy on the game because some people like it.

        1. Fists says:

          I’ll join the anti-resistance fighters. My beef is the game fumbles or palms off all of it’s significant plot elements, they bring up and hype up such heavy subjects but then close them without saying anything. Goes from time travel drama to nietzschean parable on futility and escapism.

        2. Joe says:

          I just hate how the characters are so stereotypical, or something like that.. They aren’t likeable, in my opinion. They give off one of those painful “completely fake” vibes, for lack of better wording.

    3. Henson says:

      Now my face hurts.

      Wait, am I doing this right?

    4. Jonathan says:

      I’ve never heard of this game.

      1. Syal says:

        He’s saying if people complain about Life is Strange they’ll switch to a game that’s much, much worse.

  2. Izicata says:

    I'm the one that writes these blog posts, and I have almost nothing to say about Life is Strange. I don't have any strong opinions on it. I don't love or hate any part of it with any noteworthy level of passion. So I dunno what I'm going to talk about in this space.

    You could talk about how the story is incoherent garbage with a ME3-tier ending. You like doing that sort of thing, right?

    1. Izicata says:

      Here, I’ll get you started. There are two plot holes in this very episode. First, the magic-super-hurricane is supposedly the butterfly effect of Max using time travel to prevent Chloe’s fated death (even though there is absolutely no way Chloe being alive could cause a hurricane), but Max starts having visions of the hurricane she caused before she causes it. There’s no reason for her to be seeing visions of the hurricane before she even knows she has powers. Secondly, Max travels back in time to the start of class even though it’s “established” later that to travel backwards significant periods of time she needs to look into a photo, which she did not do in the bathroom. I put the word established in quotes because Max’s powers don’t actually follow any rules, they just do whatever the writer needs them to do so the plot can “work”. Additionally, since Max doesn’t physically move when she travels back in time without using a photo, Max should have still been in the bathroom and have mysteriously vanished from the classroom.

      1. Yummychickenblue says:

        You should probably put most of this comment in a spoiler tag for those that haven’t played the game.

        1. Izicata says:

          Spoiler Warning is the name of the show. Why would anyone watch a series named Spoiler Warning if they’re not okay with getting spoiled?

          And it’s too late anyway, can’t edit a post that’s more than 30 minutes old.

          1. Yummychickenblue says:

            The name is kind of a misnomer in that there are many cases wherein the group tries to avoid discussing major plot points before they happen to avoid spoilers.

            1. ehlijen says:

              Agreed. The tradition, as far as I can tell, seems to be to spoiler tag everything until it is mentioned in a video by the cast.

              That allows people, usually, to ‘play alongside’ the cast. I.e. playing a bit, watching up to where they played, rinse, repeat.

          2. Rutskarn says:

            I tagged it. For the record, tags are generally a good policy.

            1. Izicata says:

              Thanks m8.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Those arent plotholes.

        First,its never actually established whether its the hurricane causing her powers,or if her powers are causing the hurricane.Oh sure,max and *the scientist* warren speculate,but their speculations are pure conjecture.

        Second,nothing says that her first manifested power is the rewind thing.It very well could be that the vision of the future is her first power to manifest.

        Third,she didnt rewind very much this time,and later you can rewind for a far bigger stretches of time even before you get the photo thing.The only reason it sometimes doesnt work is because of the loading zones,and that kind of thing can be excused.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          I kinda don’t want to get too heavily into parts of the game that the team didn’t reach but in brief:

          I also don’t think they handled the hurricane thing very well. Maybe it worked better if you played the game episodically but when I played it as a whole I didn’t feel it really contributed to the pacing and it kinda went away for a good while.

          Also, I don’t mind the powers not being explained but the first time travel (I mean the actual time travel from the bathroom, not the vision) became somewhat jarring to me as the game went on and the “Max travels through time not through space” thing became more pronounced as a mechanic.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Maybe it worked better if you played the game episodically

            No,the whole twister thing is still jarring if you play it with breaks between the episodes.

        2. Henson says:

          It’s still an inconsistency in how her powers work. Her rewinding alters time, but her location doesn’t change when she’s doing it. But in this first example, she ends up back in the classroom. Izicata correctly points out that, to be consistent, she should stay in the bathroom the whole time.

          Incidentally, the whole concept of spatial impermanence with her powers creates some really weird logical questions (fatmanfalling does a good job of addressing some of them here). But as a game mechanic, it is kinda neat.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Thats not the only time when she goes back to the previous position as well.Sometimes her location changes,sometimes it doesnt.It may not be consistent,but its not a plot hole.

            1. Henson says:

              I don’t think I would characterize it as a Plot Hole, per se, and it didn’t really bother me when I was playing either. But it is worth pointing out these problems, particularly because a story in which the rules aren’t consistent has a much greater chance of pulling some handwavy bullshit deus ex machina solution later on.

    2. Phantos says:

      This game really does crap the bed right at the end. (Spoilers, btw)

      Although I’d compare it more to The Walking Dead Telltale games rather than Mass Effect 3’s ending, the frustration and disappointment are similar. And even then, it wasn’t just that the story went down the toilet; even the user interface started to fall apart. It got so bad, I couldn’t even tell what options I had, let alone which options were the “correct” ones that would move the story along. And a lot of the “solutions” made me shout at my television wondering how I was ever supposed to figure that out.

      This game makes me mad because it had so much going for it, and all of that potential gets thrown away. Just the novelty of it makes me wish they’d done a better job with it.

      Now that I think of it, a better comparison might be to Alan Wake.

    3. Christopher says:

      Lol I can’t believe it became an ending discussion in the second comment on the first episode.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        That is the most controversial part of the game.The only surprise is that someone managed to squeeze in a joke comment before it.

  3. MrGuy says:

    So I dunno what I'm going to talk about in this space.

    Pun threads as far as the eye can see!

    1. Syal says:


      1. Lachlan the Mad says:

        That could get a bit punderous.

        1. Disc says:

          Watch out for the punder storm.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:


    2. TheJungerLudendorff says:

      That is a puntastic idea!

    3. Decius says:

      Pun of us! Pun of us! Pun of us!

  4. Langis says:

    You could always talk about how she can teleport using her powers but nobody ever addresses this (except this one time to open a door) and she never uses it to prove her powers exist to other people.

    Call me salty but this game has some really bad holes in the logic behind her powers.

    1. guy says:

      She can go back in time and teleport? That… the last fictional schoolgirl I saw who could do both those things was trying to cast a grand spell to accelerate the colonization of Mars, which is more the kind of problem that people who have both those powers find actually difficult.

      1. Thomas says:

        She can’t teleport. But she’s normally not affected by her rewinding. So she can walk somewhere, rewind time, and yo everyone else she’s affectively teleported.

        Weirdly Life is Strange doesn’t care that much about Max’s powers even though they’re the central focus of the game.

        1. Christopher says:

          I can’t remember where the concept is introduced, but I remember glitching the game out with it in this episode(of the game). There’s a scene where you’re hiding in a closet and listening in on a conversation. After it’s done, or if you decide to interrupt, you leave the closet. But if you then rewind time, you find yourself standing out in the open where to conversation is taking place. As a result, the scene ends up like the scene after the conversation, but Step-Dick is frozen in place with a smoking joint in his hand.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Thats not a plot hole,thats that other thing.Oh,what is it called.You know,that thing when the gameplay does not match the story.Someone has to know the name of that phenomenon.Budo larrative something something.

      1. Parkhorse says:

        Langis never said it was a plot hole, just a hole in the logic of her powers. Which, yeah, the game really wasn’t interested in a serious examination of how her powers did and did not work. Whether it would be better if it was Worm or not, well, that’s not what the designers were going for.

    3. Phantos says:

      “She never uses it to prove her powers exist to other people.”

      Yes she does. That comes up more than once.

  5. Hawk says:

    Go retro. How about Adventure?

    1. Decius says:


      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        No,they should do something modern.Like dwarf fortress.

  6. Gruhunchously says:

    It was at the credits sequence that I realized that Max’s power is basically in-universe save scumming . Yep, this is going to be fun.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      In-universe save-scumming is a pretty good thing to make films about. Games need to do it too! :)

        1. Christopher says:

          Between Edge of Tomorrow, When They Cry, Erased, Re:Zero, that Scott Pilgrim Movie, Edge of Tomorrow, All you need is die, Undertale and Steins;Gate all your needs for timetravel/groundhog’s day as savescumming-plots should be satiated.

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      It kinda is, but while we’re at it can I say that I actually really liked that they let you rewind through the major choices? Most games using rewind as a mechanics would do something like call the big choices “key points” and make it a thing that you can’t rewind past those (unless maybe in special circumstances), which would lead to the “I was expecting my character would do something else” situation. As it is I think they got as close as possible to having the cake and eating it in that you can rewind and change the immediate effects, even if they are pretty major, but you also can’t rewind past the long term consequences so you can’t go full scum save on the game.

  7. Daniel England says:

    I have a lot of (hopefully) interesting things to say about this game. I’m gonna try to save them for later episodes as they’ll be more relevant then. Hopefully I don’t forget.

    Also, I can sympathize with Bay: I’ve played Dishonored over 7 times.

    1. Henson says:

      Yeah, I feel like I’ve got a lot to say this season, too. Unfortunately, I’m sure other people will say most of them before I do. But anyway:

      I really love that intro down the hallway. The music sets the tone like nothing else, and yet the sequence doesn’t take any control away from the player. Characters are introduced, setting is explored, and you can take your sweet time with it.

      Oh, and I think the game audio is a little too loud. There are times it’s very hard to hear what you guys are saying.

      1. TheJungerLudendorff says:

        Agree on the audio problem. Especially since I listen to them in the background, I essentially have to listen to two completely seperate conversations at the same time.

    2. Christopher says:

      Baychel is the first person I’ve heard of to New Game +7 Life is Strange. The enemies have got to be real hard by now.

  8. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    I really wish the teacher could have just been a teacher. Just a normal teacher. I know why a certain someone liked this game when she likes so few and its no doubt because of things like whats going on with this teacher.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yeah,the whole teacher thing seems out of place.The story could work just as well without that subplot.

      1. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

        Yeah especially since we have the violent student. We’re left to think “well at least the teacher is a good guy. Oh wait . . . “

    2. Christopher says:

      Who’s a certain someone?

  9. Henson says:

    Rutskarn: “You really need to read that notebook to sorta get a head start on this.”

    Me [nerd voice]: “Well, actually, all that stuff is explained in the Codex…”

    1. Rutskarn says:

      Exactly. After all the shit I gave ME, I’d be hypocritical if I didn’t ding this game for it.

      1. Kaidan says:

        I liked Max’s journal and I really liked the Codex in ME1 and 2. I mean, a lot. But then again, I grew up on point and click adventure games, where that sort of exposition is kinda standard fare. I understand the criticsm (show don’t tell and do don’t show etc.) but I just don’t share as long as I enjoy the game’s atmosphere.

  10. Daniel England says:

    If you’re looking for stuff to write about this game, Shamus, you might give in to your inner literary critic. Think about what the power to rewind time might represent. Usually it’s regret, so already, maybe, we should expect Max to have some regrets from he past. It could also represent a fear of taking risks, of being unsure of the outcome of your actions. That’s certainly seen in this game (and all video games that give dialogue choices). How many times did the player stick to the option they first choose or try both to get the “optimal” outcome?

    I’m probably going to be making reference to an anime that has some similarities to Life is Strange, called ERASED, in the future. They make a lot of the same mistakes. Also don’t bother actually watching that anime it is not very good. It’s one of those “the more you think about it, the less you like it.” The basic premise of ERASED is a twenty-something travels back in time to his years in primary school. He regrets that he was one of the last people to see one of his classmates alive before she went missing and later was found dead. He is intent on “saving her” this time around. That’s pretty similar to some of the plot threads of LiS. Heck! The murderer/kidnapper even ends up being the same person! Or, at least, the person who fills the same role.

    1. Syal says:

      He regrets that he was one of the last people to see one of his classmates alive before she went missing and later was found dead.

      I have the wonderful image of someone going back in time just to distract themselves so someone else will be the last person to see their classmate alive.

  11. Mr Compassionate says:

    If I had that power all I’d use it for is to prepare witty comebacks ahead of time.

  12. Phantos says:

    The first episode of Life is Strange feels like it was written by alien robots badly trying to sell a product to our species, and they are also the weird uncle at Thanksgiving trying to relate to the hip young kids these days.

    “Greetings fellow hu-mans! We are fleek and bae and understand your word-rituals! Dab! Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a movie you enjoyed, right?”

    1. Rutskarn says:

      I’m absolutely fascinated by the discourse on this game’s dialogue. Half the people who play it say the dialogue’s totally plausible, half say it’s outrageous garbage. There doesn’t seem to be any obvious correlation between how old you are and which category you fall into.

      For the record, I’m somewhere in between. I think it sounds mostly on point, occasionally off target.

      1. Phantos says:

        Later episodes are written better… and then worse again… and then better…

        I’m guessing the weird robot aliens traded writing duties with Actual Meat People every other episode.

      2. Henson says:

        I think it would be instructive, over the course of this series, for the cast and commenters to point out exactly which lines they find too implausible/affecting. I’ve always heard the ‘real people don’t talk like this’ argument for this game, but I don’t think I’ve been able to pin down which parts in particular are being referred to.

      3. TheJungerLudendorff says:

        From what I can see during this episode, I do think this is how some people talk. It’s just they’re teeth-shatteringly obnoxious to listen to :P

        1. Henson says:

          For my money, it’s not nearly as insufferable as Juno

      4. Syal says:

        I think the correlation would be where people live, rather than when they started.

        1. PlasmaPony says:

          As someone who has grown up in central California, the dialogue in this game generally felt pretty on point. Some off bits of course, but for the very most part is sounds like stuff high school and even some college students would say.

  13. Traiden says:

    With Bay having played the game 7 times why not have her provide the written comment for the videos?

  14. Phantos says:


    Ten minutes into this game, a character said something that made me go : “lol, so they’re The Murderer! haha, nah, I’m sure it’ll just be a red herring. They wouldn’t just blatantly announce that in the first ten minutes and expect me to be shocked later. Only a really clumsy writer would show their hand that obviously and that early, and then treat it like it’s a big plot twist later.


    1. Gruhunchously says:

      But he’s such a cool teacher and nice hip dude, and there are so many other Obvious Villains hanging around to distract your attention. How could you possibly suspect?

      1. Phantos says:


        1. Benjamin Hilton says:

          I’d like to get metrics on who had this reaction and who was genuinely surprised. I always find this dichotomy interesting. In his articles on Jade Empire Shamus talked about how much he loved the reveal of the big bad because it took him off guard. Meanwhile I had him figured out at the start and spent the whole game thinking “please don’t let it be that obvious” only to be disappointed in the end.

          1. Ninety-Three says:

            I didn’t see it coming, but instead of liking it, I had missed all the foreshadowing so it seemed unearned, shallow and arbitrary as though the writers just took an eleventh-hour spin on the Wheel Of Plot Twists.

            In my defense, is there any foreshadowing other than “I could capture you in a moment of weakness”?

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              I cant say,because while I interacted with him every time,I never paid attention to what he was actually saying.Its only on rewatching this scene that I got it.So I didnt see the twist coming.I thought it would be nates father.

            2. Benjamin Hilton says:

              I think that gets into something they said on the show. With a game like this where so much information is up to the player to seek out, who should the responsibility fall on? Do we say it’s the player’s fault for not “getting it” because they didn’t look for all the lore, or do we put the burden on the developers to design the story in such a way that the player doesn’t feel cheated regardless of how much extracurricular story searching they put in?

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So,a game about high school.No wonder Rutskarn has so much to comment on,seeing how he is just about to go to high school himself.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    but we actually do a lot to avoid overdosing on negativity.

    Theres too much negativity about being negative on the internet.How come no one ever says to people to tone it done when they are being overly positive?Too much positivity can be just as bad,or worse.

    We already do a podcast, so we don't need that.

    Ah,but if you were to do a podcast while playing a video game in the background,perhaps then youd be talking about video games instead of plumbing and cars.So this may be a good idea.

    Besides,why not try a spoiler warning about diablo 2?Theres plenty of things to be said about gameplay.No need to always focus mostly on the story with gameplay being a second(or lower) priority.

    It needs to be a game the audience will care about. I suppose this one ought to be higher on the list.

    I disagree.Like with any lets play with commentary in it,people are here mostly because of the lets players.If they cared just about the game,they would either play it themselves,or watch a silent lets play of it.Heck,a big chunk of the audience that follows this show has listened to half an hour of Josh talking about plumbing.Not pipe dream,not a mario game,actual physical plumbing.

    1. lurkey says:

      Too much positivity can be just as bad,or worse.

      Only worse. A creative person like our hosts here can do — and they do indeed — very interesting, profound and humorous things with negativity, whereas gushing is always monotonous, boring, raising suspicions about shilling and – the worst thing – never, ever funny. Not to mention bad for your blood sugar level.

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      How come no one ever says to people to tone it done when they are being overly positive?

      Oh I dunno, I’ve seen stuff like “gushing (‘Bioware’ in particular) fanboy” thrown around a lot.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        That is true, but I feel like the kind of people who throw around “gushing fanboy” aren’t doing it because a person is being overly positive, but rather because a person is disagreeing with their opinion of how good a game is and therefore objectively wrong.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Either that,or towards the reviewer who dared to rate an obsidian game over a bioware game.

          But to have fans of the person tell them to tone down the positivity?Never heard that one.

          1. Phantos says:

            The closest I felt to that was back when I still watched Extra Credits, and felt like they could have stood to be a bit less… toothless?

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Theres one thing that is really weird to me in this game:The rapeless rape.

    Chloe openly talks about how she had sex,rachel is mentioned as having sex with numerous people,yet what drives the whole kate subplot is that she…made out with someone when she was drunk.I mean yeah,for someone as conservative as her that would be a big deal,but for everyone else?They are 16-18,and its just kissing that has them riled up for weeks?

    And the big bad is only taking pictures of his victims.Yes,he drugs and kidnaps them,but then he just…poses them around,usually not even undressed.

    For a game that has so many adult themes,this is a bit of a weird representation of rape.Especially because just a bit before playing it I watchd veronica mars,where they tackle this whole setting of rape,drugs,rich kids getting away with horrible shit,…in a much more adult,smarter way.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      It does seem that they wanted to go in that direction but decided, perhaps rightly so, that they would be better served with metaphor and insinuation rather than tackling it straight on.

      But with Kate, I think the idea is that she had a reputation for being very conservative and even a bit preachy on sex and all the things surrounding it, so the drama was less about some girl kissing a lot of people, but rather the local Purity Girl being a hypocrite and a secret sex fiend and all that jazz. It’s kind of pathetic but, y’know, teenagers.

      And I felt the Veronica Mars comparisons as well. In fact, Veronica Mars in Twin Peaks is such an awesome idea that I can’t help but be disappointed when this game doesn’t pursue that angle harder.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        With Kyle MacLachlan voicing the teacher,that wouldve been brilliant.

  18. Content Consumer says:

    I know I've mentioned this in the past, but it bears repeating

    You know, this sentence is probably the best possible way to begin this particular season.

    1. Galad says:

      *slow clap* You’re awesome :D

  19. Thomas says:

    Life is Strange is such an iconic game – as in a game full of Moments. There’s just scene after scene that you could reference to its fanbase and bring along a whole flood of recollection and baggage.

    That classroom sequence more than anything. A whole section of people now have a completely different reaction to the word ‘daguerreotype’.

    Most games aren’t set up to do that. And even with Telltale games, they don’t have many phrases like ‘Go F*@! your selfie! ‘ which the whole fanbase remembers

    1. Phantos says:

      That’s kind of damning it with faint praise. “Oh man, I remember that game with the cringe-inducing dialogue!”

      1. Thomas says:

        Its the opposite, you’re might not care for it but it _really_ connects with the fanbase.

        Its different, a bit strange, tonally consistent with the game and reinforces what they’re going for. That’s why this game found relevance that Telltale has been struggling to find for a while now.

        Its better to do things that some people will hate and some people will love than to plbe generically good.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Its better to do things that some people will hate and some people will love than to plbe generically good.

          I agree.But doesnt iconic mean generically bland ?

    2. Christopher says:

      I think the whole opening is very strong, it pretty much sold me on the game. I think the storm, which is not a long bit, establishes some much needed immediate danger. And then you get that scene in the classroom with a couple of the important characters, can look at pictures or the notebook for however long you want, which I did for a while. And then, the hallway with the music and title card, followed by Chloe and Nathan and that whole dramatic scene. It’s such a cool start, and I played through this game over the course of two days because I was so excited to see what happens next. When those episodes end on a cliffhanger and you have the next episode ready, you start immediately on the next one.

      0 The fanbase will remember that

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        The storm definitely established danger, but I disagree that it was necessary.

        The hurricane seems obviously designed to say “Don’t worry dear player, something Big and Dangerous will happen!”, and if the story had a slow start, it would be reasonable to reassure the player of this. But the story doesn’t start slow, it is slow . It spends three whole episodes establishing but not advancing the main plot*! If all this slice of life stuff doesn’t interest you but a hurricane does, you’re probably not going to like LiS, because the slice of life to hurricane ratio is about three to one.

        In that way the hurricane almost feels like false advertising. It seems designed to catch the interest of players who don’t like the majority of what LiS is trying to be. I’m not accusing the developers of trying to trick people into buying their game or anything, but it feels… misguided.

        *Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I think the first three episodes wanted to be a “nothing really happens” slice of life and they achieved that goal.

  20. Christopher says:

    As for Rutskarn’s: “Some people haaate this game”…

    I think it’s very easy to instinctly be annoyed by whatever new modern trend you’re not a part of. I’m technically a millennial, but not a very trendy one, and a bit older than what people generally mean I think. When sidecuts started to become popular or everyone got themselves a tattoo I viewed that with mild, internal disgust. It’s not any better when older video game developers take those trends and reflect them back at me, like with Cora and her dumb hair in Mass Effect Andromeda.

    Life is Strange is a teen game, but it’s not, I think, a universal teen game. Persona 4, despite being Japanese, has a pretty wide appeal. Part of that is that it’s not a hot take on a recognizable, modern youth culture. At least for any foreigners playing. The worst you get is Yosuke saying “An epic fail”. In Life is Strange, selfies are a core part of the plot, and the dialogue is at least intended to be “how teens speak”. I like Life is Strange’s world, but I don’t go “Oh YEAH girl, this is hella representative”. I just treat it like a more adult version of a Disney Channel original movie, like Zapped. Or like one of the more exciting Sweet Valley High books where some girl gets kidnapped.

    The strangest thing about the setting for me is that everyone are like four years older than they should be according to my own life experiences. Nobody were particularly nuts in high school. The bullying and cruelty and experimental romances was all when they were 13-15. I guess that was either a ratings thing or I just had a different experience to them. It’s hard to know without asking them outright.

  21. Piflik says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but could you maybe change the audio mixing for future episodes? The ingame dialogue is about as loud as your voices in this episode, which is a bit suboptimal when you talk over it.

    1. Narkis says:

      Nope, definitely not you. I could barely understand what they were saying at times.

  22. Daimbert says:

    PS4? That means that you could do a season with a Persona game (Persona 5)! Which means that I’d probably actually have to watch that season …

    Admittedly, two hours in, I’m not sure that one is the best Persona game of the series. It’s kinda lost the charm of Persona 3 and Persona 4.

    1. Christopher says:

      Man, I wish.

  23. SPCTRE says:

    I love LiS.

    It’s not great at telling an incredibly coherent, logically flawless story (and the late-game “stealth segment” is atrocious), but it was incredibly good at making me feel, you know, actual, strong feelings.

    I thought the ending choice (well, my choice) was beautiful precisely because it felt so inevitable and tragic.

    1. Galad says:

      I think you nailed it in the first paragraph. Concerning the ending I felt like it was a non-choice – what did I care about the other town randos, half of whom only annoyed me, compared to Chloe?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        what did I care about the other town randos

        I cared for a bunch of them.Especially the ones max personally touched.Which is why the ending infuriated me even more.

    2. Phantos says:

      I hate when it fails, but only because it did get me emotionally-invested.

      I WANTED it to succeed more often.

  24. Ninety-Three says:

    Regarding the deer and spirit animals, the deer is literally a spirit. At one point you have an opportunity to take a photo of it, and if you then look at the photo in your notebook (which I think most people don’t do), the photo is a landscape shot without a deer in it. Max will remark “Huh, that’s weird”, which seems like an underreaction to encountering a supernatural entity, and then it’s never brought up again.

    I’m not a big fan of the deer because okay, the deer is Max’s spirit animal. What does that mean? Why is that important? It’s just kind of there.

    1. Henson says:


      I got the feeling that the deer is the spirit of Rachel Amber, guiding Max. The deer is twice seen in the junk yard, pointing out where the body is buried. Of course, you could also say the same thing about the butterfly. It’s all wild speculation.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        But if that’s the explanation, it doesn’t accomplish anything. Yes Max ultimately finds the body, but the deer has so little to do with it that she never even realizes “Hey, in retrospect maybe the deer was trying to tell me something and I just missed it”. So we’re back to my question of “Why is it important?”

        The “It’s Rachel Amber’s ghost” theory proposes that ghosts are real, one is trying to help the protagonist of the story, and all of this is completely irrelevant to the progression of the plot. It’s an unnecessary detail of the story that looks like it should have huge implications, but actually has none.

  25. Ninety-Three says:

    I disagree with Chris on Max being a cipher for the player. Throughout the game, I felt like Max was her own person, and I was just the angel on her shoulder who she occasionally asked for advice.

    This is present in some subtle ludic ways: Max’s room is labeled “Max’s room”, not “My room”, and there are some classic adventure game moments where you tell Max to do something and she says “I don’t want to do that”. It’s also present in some slightly less subtle “necessary limitation of the medium” moments where the player will have a perfectly reasonable thing they want Max to do (generally “Give person X some obviously important piece of Future Knowledge) and there’s no option to do it because Max hasn’t asked the shoulder angel if she should (because the developer doesn’t have time to write all those interactions).

    Those are minor things though, and the main thing that made me feel like a shoulder angel was how Max reacted to the player’s choices. Whenever she’s conflicted, the player gets to choose what to do. Max will then fill in her motivation for why she did that thing. The player doesn’t choose what Max is thinking, and if Max’s reasons don’t match the player’s, this becomes a jarring disconnect between player and character. The worst instance of this for me was at the end of ep 3 when Max’s terminally-ill friend asks Max to euthanize her. I chose not to, thinking “I would love to, but that would be illegal, which would get Max arrested for murder”, and Max immediately said “I would hate to, I just can’t”.

    1. Daimbert says:

      If that was made clear, then it’s not a bad approach, but the thing that they’d have to pull off — and it sounds like they might not have pulled off from your example — is the shoulder angel KNOWING her motivations. Trying to make the life that the player thinks is best for Max requires them to know a lot about what Max wants and believes.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        In comparison, I think Dreamfall Chapters handled the shoulder angel approach much better. Whenever you come to one of the choices in that game, you can mouse over each option and you will hear the character’s inner monologue justifying why they might make that choice. Mouse over both choices and it sounds like they’re mentally weighing their options. It’s a simple fix, requiring only a few extra lines of writing per Big Choice, and I think LiS would have benefitted from it greatly.

    2. Henson says:

      Yeah, Max doesn’t feel like a cipher to me, either. She has likes and dislikes, she always gives opinions on the things you choose to ‘LOOK’ at, and while she’s trying to find her own style, she knows what kind of style she doesn’t want. Yes, she’s more malleable a character than, say, Chloe, but that’s doesn’t mean she doesn’t have strong defining characteristics.

  26. Olenna says:

    Is there an option just to punch Chloe in the face repeatedly? Saying this as both a person who’s completed the game AND as a former teenaged girl.

    1. Christopher says:

      I think that was planned for DLC, but plans must have fallen through.

      I went back recently because of this season of Spoiler Warbing and listened to the episode of the Diecast where Josh and Baychel talk about the ending for a half hour. They mentioned that Dontnod was talking about more Life is Strange. I have no idea if that’s still on the table or if they’re all busy with Vampyr at the moment, but I hope they give this sort of story another shot at some point.

    2. Gruhunchously says:

      There is an option to make her accidentally shoot herself repeatedly, if that’s any consolation.

  27. Ardis Meade says:

    So I dunno what I'm going to talk about in this space.

    Cultivate strong opinions on Baseball and discuss them.

  28. wswordsmen says:

    My problem with games like this on Spoiler Warning is the story is to involved to get by osmosis and the commentary is too involved to jump in and out of paying attention to. I haven’t played Life is Strange, which makes this really hard to watch.

    And I just got to the point where you talk about getting ads. It might be worth trying the Jim Sterling copyright deadlock technique by adding more copyrighted material at the end of the episodes.

  29. stondmaskin says:

    re: The scene in the classroom being a better opening than the tornado scene by the lighthouse. If i remember correctly in the developer commentary stuff they released they talked a bit about how they deliberately put this sort of weird supernatural scene at the start to make people interested and think that there was something else going on that just normal school drama, so that they could then follow it up with the class room scene that sort of introduces the setting and gives you a general feel for many of the central characters.

    1. guy says:

      To be fair, Madoka Magica starts basically the same way, with a big supernatural battle followed by Madoka waking up and going about a normal day for a while before getting directly involved with the supernatural after school. It’s similar enough I wonder if it was a direct inspiration especially since time travel features heavily in both stories

  30. Abnaxis says:

    “I didn’t realize this took place in a private school”

    Has it really been so long since you suffered the public school system that the fact that there’s an entire class dedicated to exhaustively studying art history in photography doesn’t immediately tip you off?

    Hell, my school barely managed to fund math beyond algebra.

    1. Shamus says:

      In 9th grade I actually had a photography class. There was SLR cameras for us to use, a darkroom, everything. We did history and theory of photography.

      1. Abnaxis says:

        Hrm. This might be an age or location thing, but the only thing any school I ever went to had (and I went to three high schools) was an old AV/photography room that nobody had used for its intended purpose in a decade because keeping up with technology got expensive (though for some reason one school tried to sell it as “trying to avoid discouraging students into dropping out”). Even before that, from what I’ve heard they were never used for actual classes, only for after-school activities.

        I think I went through school about 10-15 years after you. Maybe that photography class didn’t last long past your graduation…

        1. Shamus says:

          I wonder.

          In our school, photography was categorized as a “shop” class for the purposes of class credits. This made it an alternative to stuff like wood shop, metal shop, etc. (We also had plastic shop. My favorite! I wish I could re-take that class right now. They had the coolest stuff.)

          You’d expect photography to draw from the “arts” budget, but instead it was drawing from “shop”. This probably protected its budget.

          Although I wouldn’t be surprised if the program was long gone now. Like you said, keeping up with tech gets expensive. Camera tech was slow-moving for a few decades there. (Sure, cameras got nicer, but the process of taking pictures and developing them didn’t.) But then they went digital and cameras became computers: Everything turns obsolete after three years.

  31. Deadpool says:

    Completely random thoughts:

    PS4? Persona 5 would make a great season next year.

    I too hate the lighthouse opening. Just erase it and be game works a lot better.

    I mind my actions being meaningless less here than in Telltale. Maybe because the ending was relatively obvious to me?

    A lot of people hate this game because it start teenage lesbians. No, not everyone who hates it hates it because of that. But that certainly adds to the number.

    I think the problem with the dialogue is everyone assumes the kids in their high school is representative of every teenagers in the country… I find that not only donpeiplenhave wildly different opinions on the dialogue, theybhave wildly different opinions on which ones ring true or false.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      PS4? Persona 5 would make a great season next year.

      Not gonna happen.Like practically all of the japanese companies,the publishers of this one are adamant to ban all of the lets plays.

      1. SPCTRE says:

        Just call it Endurance Run* and it should be fine ;)

        *<3 Giant Bomb

      2. Daimbert says:

        By the time they finish this season and start the next one, Atlus will probably be less picky about it. Right now they’re really — and overly — concerned about spoilers.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.