What Ferrari is to cars, Ducati is to motorcycles. The legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer celebrates its 90th anniversary of its founding this year. To celebrate, the Italian marque joined forces with Italian racing game developer Milestone to produce a motorcycle racing game that explores the history of Ducati through some of it famous models through the years.
The pre-E3 press conferences will wrap up with Sony’s annual event. They tend to go very big with their E3 presentations and this year looks like it will be no exception. While the PS4K/Neo won’t be at E3, their E3 presser will have a lot of big games announced and updated from both first and third-party developers. Given last year’s big announcement, this year has a lot to live up to and just might pull it off.
Seldom do reboots actually reinvigorate a franchise. Sure, Star Trek wasn’t too bad but when you consider the likes of Point Break and The Amazing Spider-Man and Conan The Barbarian and Godzilla (twice), you find yourself scared away from reboots. Gaming isn’t immune to that with the likes of Sim City, Medal of Honor and Sonic the Hedgehog as failed attempts to reinvigorate franchises.
One of the more successful reboots in history is 2013’s Tomb Raider which is the series best-selling and among its most critically acclaimed. It came as a shock that Microsoft had to pay the way for this sequel to 2013’s hit. Rise of the Tomb Raider recently hit PC after an exclusivity period on Xbox One and will come to PS4 this fall (despite being the platform that Tomb Raider sold best on).
So how does the sequel to the reboot standup? Well, it’s not all sunshine and lollipops.
Life is Strange started as a simple episodic digital release but today gets the full retail treatment. The Life is Strange: Limited Edition hits shelves today with an art book, developers’ commentary and a licensed soundtrack. While I’d love to get my hands on that, I’ve already played the game and named it et geekera’s Game of the Year for 2015. However, I only reviewed the individual episodes. This review is for the first “season” of Life is Strange.
Over the weekend, Square Enix released the first look at gameplay from their upcoming remake of Final Fantasy VII. This included a look at part of Midgar as well as the opening assault on a Mako reactor. Not surprisingly, the whole of the internet was excited about it though there were some concerned with some of the changes that SquEnix has already shown off for FF7 Remake.
What didn’t sit well with gamers were some of the quieter announcements that Square Enix made about the game in a press release that seems to have gone to selected outlets. Square Enix quietly announced that Final Fantasy VII Remake will be a “multi-part series.”
It’s so seldom that I play a game that really moves me. Sure, there are plenty of games that I play that I think are really good or have their poignant moments but I can’t remember the last time I played a game that stuck with me quite the way that Life is Strange has. I came into it expecting to be underwhelmed but Dontnod exceeded all of my expectations and made the best episodic point-and-click adventure game on the market.
Next week marks the release of the final episodes of both Tales from the Borderlands and Life is Strange. As someone who is reviewing both games, that leaves me a choice of which game I should play first with both finales coming out this week. After playing Episode 4: Dark Room, Life is Strange proved that it is the best in class in the episodic adventure game genre.
Newton’s third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Put simply, for every action take, there is an opposing force pushing the opposite way with equal strength. While that’s a law of physics, Newton may as well have been a philosopher with that one. I’m not sure that there’s a law of physics more appropriately applied to life.
The whole point of Life is Strange is actions and their equal and opposite reactions. You could make the argument that all games that are designed to change themselves to fit your decisions should act like that. If there’s one thing that Dontnod has gotten right through three episodes of Life is Strange, it’s that your decisions cause real and obvious reactions in Arcadia Bay. It certainly extends beyond just little changes in dialogue too.
Chiaroscuro is an art term for the use of strong contrasts between light and dark in a composition. It’s the concept that forms the basis of most strong black-and-white photographs. No, Life is Strange – Episode Two: Out of Time isn’t presented in black and white in a literal sense. It contrasts light and dark themes to pull off emotionally impactful moments in just two episodes what it takes Telltale five episodes or BioWare dozens of hours to achieve.
With the final episode of Life is Strange, Square Enix and Dontnod’s surprise hit episodic adventure game, coming out on October 20th, I think that’s as good an excuse as any to play through it and get it all reviewed between now and the release of that last episode. Critics adore this game and review scores are getting better with every episode. My interest comes in that I find that my reviews often contradict the critics in that where critics see improvement, I see it differently. Will I see a game floated as a game of the year contender differently that the rest?