Life Is Strange is an episodic interactive drama graphic adventure video game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix. Today's review will cover Episode 1 − Chrysalis.
You play as Max Caulfield who left her hometown of Arcadia Bay,Oregon 5 years ago to move to Seattle. Now she has moved back home to attend Blackwell Academy an elite private school where her aspirations of becoming a skilled photographer may come true under the tutelage of her favorite teacher Mark Jefferson. A former photographer whose photos have made it onto the covers of some of America's most prestigious magazines.
During class one day Max has a nightmare, a dark premonition of something yet to come. Don't worry I won't spoil it for you but long story short, Max also finds out she has a power, the power to rewind time.
To advance in certain areas of the game you will need to manipulate time in order to get the desired result. Be forewarned all your actions have consequences as there is a butterfly effect in altering event's and time and all the choices you make will not only carry over to the next part of this episode but will follow you throughout the duration of the series so choose wisely.
Life Is Strange is a breath of fresh air in the world of episodic gaming. With its emphasis on exploration, finding all the optional shots for photographing and a story rich environment all add up to make for an amazing start to a new series.
Graphics :10 (Life Is Strange is visually stunning.)
Sound : 10 (The soundtrack thus far is simply amazing.)
Gameplay : 9 (The rewinding of the time mechanic in the game is used in a very clever and unique way but it won't solve everything as in certain areas of the game you are on a time limit and once reached you wont be able to rewind past that position and in doing so removes this power as a "cure all, fix all" solution. and that's a good thing.)
Controls : 9 (Depending on your platform of choice you can use either controller or keyboard and mouse. I played on PC With an Xbox 360 Controller, nothing complex or that will take you out of the experience, control layout was as expected and worked nicely.)
Fun : 10 (I found Life Is Strange to be a refreshing take on episodic gaming. The folks over at Dontnod Entertainment went in a different direction then other episodic gaming companies such as Telltale and in doing so have hit gold. Even if it's not as popular as The Walking Dead games in my view it stands on its own with any other games of the same genre on the market today. It's like playing an indie movie.)
Difficulty : 3 (It's a story driven game so it's not "hard" but finding all the locations, items, and animals to get the optional photos to unlock the optional photo achievement may be a tiny bit tricky but nothing too difficult if you take your time and explore.)
Life Is Strange is available on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. To purchase it on Playstation or Xbox just visit the PSN or Xbox Live Store.
For PC you can get it through Steam - http://store.steampowered.com/app/319630/
Until Next Time Stay ~ Five by Five
Trapped Dead is a RTS (Real Time Strategy) game developed by German studio Headup Games.
In Trapped Dead you play a lone survivor at the Outbreak of the Zombie Apocalypse but as you fight your way through the horde of ghouls/zombies you will find other survivors each bringing a different skill to the group which will come in handy as you battle through each level. The Cut-scenes are nicely done in full comic book style.
You have the option in battle of either playing in real time or if you want to take a second to gather your thoughts and plan out a battle strategy you have the option to press the space bar and in doing so will pause the gameplay. The game will still allow you to issue orders to your survivors and upon pressing space again they will proceed in fulfilling those actions. There are a ton of levels and each are huge and filled to the brim with zombies making the game somewhat tedious at times as well as drawn out.
While this may be a time killer it didn't take away from the fun factor for me because it's always fun to bash a zombies' brains out with a Louisville Slugger plus the fact that Trapped Dead is up to 4 player co-op so you and your friends can try and make a go of it together. There are a bunch of weapons to collect ranging from sniper rifles and crossbows to katana's and taser weapons. Ammo management is important as there are only a limited supply in each level, as well as medkits (which can only be used by the doctor to heal party members). Save Points are located throughout each level usually as sewer manholes, just walk your survivors on top and it will auto save your position.
Graphics : 8 (From a distance it may look just like every other zombie game but when you zoom in the graphics are pretty decent.)
Sound : 6 (Trapped Dead has nice voice over work as well as sound effects, but there isn't really much "music" to speak of while playing. i'm assuming they did this to add to immersion?)
Gameplay : 7 1/2 (The gameplay is above average from most other zombie RTS games, but it's slower pace might be a deterrent to peole with A.D.D)
Controls : 7 1/2 (You use the Keyboard and Mouse to play and 95% of the time the controls are responsive but there is that five percent of the time where you will issue an order and it either won't be carried out or will be carried out too late which leads to one of your group members being bitten, but over-all the controls are about average.)
Fun : 8 (Trapped Dead is a polarizing title, while not receiving grand reviews in the U.S. it did however win the Award for Best Action game in Germany in the year of its release. So really it's a love it or hate it kind of title. I wouldn't say it's the greatest game by any means but I did enjoy my time playing through it. While the levels look insanely long and hard with the amount of zombies to contend with I loved the challenge and thought process that came into play keeping my group alive the whole game through.)
Difficulty : 8 (While the first few levels can be a pain in the butt because you're basically alone at first but the game gets a 'lil easier with the addition of more survivors and weapons/ammo.)
Trapped Dead is available on
Until Next Time Stay ~ Five by Five
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Dick Dyszel - Voice Actor