Life is Strange Before the Storm Episode #2 Review

Currently, I’m playing Deadpool, the game by High Moon Studios & Activision along with episode #2 of Before the Storm. Episode #2 was available for download on October 19th 2017. I only was able to finish the episode a couple days ago due to my limited availability for gaming. Before the Storm is a prequel to Life is Strange which is one of my all time favorite games I played this year. This prequel is told from the perspective of Chloe Price, Max Caufield’s punk best friend from their younger years. These episodes explain Chloe’s relationship with Rachel who if you played Life is Strange, know that Rachel disappeared in that episode. I do like to include spoilers in my video game reviews so please avoid them if you’re planning on playing Life is Strange or Before the Storm. 

SPOILERS 🙂

Chloe and Rachel

Chloe on the left & Rachel on the right. *Image from Youtube*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chloe Price and Rachel Amber are in Principal Well’s office due to their actions for skipping school from the previous episode. Rachel claims ditching school was her idea which was the truth to avoid Chloe having to take the blame. One of the biggest actions you can make here is to decide to go along with Rachel or say she’s lying and take the blame. I chose to go along with Rachel because it was her idea to ditch school which Chloe went along with.

Chloe avoids her mom and David to hang out at the junkyard where she finds a beat up truck. She tries to repair it as she would love to leave Arcadia Bay for good. Frank Bowers, Chloe’s drug dealer calls her about a possible way to escape her debt that she owes him by stealing drug money from Drew, her classmate. She searches Drew’s dorm and finds the money, but his younger brother Max arrives with Drew as she is leaving Drew’s dorm. Suddenly, Max is left in the dorm with Chloe as Drew is beaten by a fellow drug dealer looking for the money. Another crucial decision in the game is to decide to intervene even though Drew specifically said not to, or to stay silent. I chose to stay silent to protect Max. After Drew’s beating is over with, you can choose to keep the money or give it back to Drew. I chose to give it back to Drew because I couldn’t bear to keep the money after watching the beating.

Rachel and Chloe attend the Tempest which is a play Rachel was supposed to play the lead in, but Principal Wells banned her from performing after ditching school. Rachel ends up being the lead in the play along with Chloe and they perform the play together. It’s a huge bonding moment for the two of them. After the play, they agree to leave Arcadia Bay and move to LA.

Rachel and Chloe go to Rachel’s house for dinner. This is a huge deal because Rachel’s father was seen by Chloe and Rachel making out with another woman. Rachel is confused and heartbroken over her father’s actions and Chloe thinks he’s an ass. A fight erupts after dinner where Rachel’s father reveals that woman is Rachel’s biological mother. [insert drama music here]

End of SPOILERS!

Before the Storm is fun especially if you really enjoy Life is Strange, but the story feels more character driven, than plot driven. The game doesn’t really have a plot to it, it’s more to tell Chloe Price’s story outside of the little knowledge we knew about her. I think that makes this version much weaker than Life is Strange, but again I am enjoying playing each episode. I can’t stress enough how much I recommend Life is Strange and if you haven’t played it, you’re missing out.

 

 

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Halloween / Call of Cthulhu D&D

Halloween was almost two weeks ago, can you believe how fast time is passing? Halloween as I probably have mentioned numerous times on my blog is my favorite “holiday” even though it’s technically not a holiday. This year, I was able to get together with a D&D group and play Call of Cthulhu 7th edition and I had a blast. I wanted to briefly recap my 3 hour gaming episode for Halloween on my blog.

Before summarizing the story, I wanted to share a couple details about the Call of Cthulhu game play. When you roll, you always want to roll low, rolling high is considered a failure typically. For example: If I wanted to fight a creature, rolling a 20 is better than rolling 90. Also when players start the game, they don’t know their own skills. To reveal your skills, you have to roll close to your skill. For example: my character had to pass the spot hidden check, I rolled a 67 and the GM revealed that my character had at least 67 to the identify / listen skill. Anyway, now onto the recap of the campaign.

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Character sheet

My character started off in a locked room in an asylum. I glanced into the mirror to realize my head had been shaved. I was let out of my cell and followed the other players to a room where we could hear jazz music. The GM forced us to this room because of creatures chasing us down the hall. My character was in the jazz room where I picked up a saxophone, nicknamed “Johnny” to use as a weapon. Unfortunately, another player failed an insanity check after looking at herself in the mirror and bashed me in the head with a cornet. I was now bleeding from the back of my head. We followed this old lady to a library where a little girl was sitting and reading a book. She was a girl who was probably not right in the head as she would chant weird phrases to herself. I used my library check to discover a map of the asylum so all the characters could leave. Another character ended up staring into a statue, went insane and attacked the other players. I was able to calm him down because apparently, I’m also good at using psychology. After that ordeal, we headed down to the morgue for medical supplies. Suddenly, the dead body lying in the middle of a table grabbed one of my other player by the arm and was squeezing him. I kept rolling too high so I would try and smash him with Johnny, but I missed every single time. More bodies came back to life in the morgue forcing the players to go to patient records where we found out why we were locked in the insane asylum in the first place aka. revealing our character’s names and abilities. My name was Dr. Tamela Wissler, a scientist put away in the asylum due to my religious ramblings. I’m also an above average brawlers so I should have been easily been able to use a saxophone as weapon, but failed miserably. Our group neared the end of the session with knowledge of our characters, but still a long way to go to escape the asylum.

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Waldo Costume

I tried to keep the recap brief without missing anything in the campaign. To celebrate Halloween, I also dressed up as Waldo from Where’s Waldo for fun. Call of Cthulhu was the perfect game to play on the spookiest night of the year.

 

Life is Strange Before the Storm Episode #1

I hate coming up with catchy titles for blog posts. I struggled writing this article for the longest time because I couldn’t come up with a creative title. One month ago I wrote about Life is Strange so check out my review if you haven’t already. I received a comment on the post directing me to Before the Storm, a prequel game released starring Chloe and Rachel. I recommend completing Life is Strange plus the first episode of Before the Storm before continuing reading this post. Also spoilers are included.

Chloe and Rachel

Chloe on the left & Rachel on the right. *Image from Youtube*

*Final Warning: SPOILERS*

 

 

Chloe at this point in time has just lost her father in a car accident. She often has flashbacks to being in the car with her father before he’s hit by another vehicle. I sympathize with Chloe because I lost my father at a young age. I dealt with the loss much differently than Chloe does, but none the less it’s a traumatic experience. She blames Max for not being around while she slips into a depression.

The episode begins with Chloe wandering around a farmhouse where a punk rock band is playing. I like how instead of Max’s optional photos, Chloe carries a sharpie to graffiti with. It’s fitting to her personality while unlocking easy achievements to boost my gamer score. This is also the event leading to her meeting Rachel because she saves Chloe from these dingy guys at the concert. Throughout the episode, I find Chloe and Rachel’s friendship to be awkward, yet endearing. I personally hope there is a romantic relationship between the two of them.

Chloe Before the Storm

My favorite video game scene. *Image by Hooked Gamers*

One of my favorite scenes in the game is when Chloe plays D&D with a couple friends. I start to like Chloe more through this scene because she treats her friends extremely well and seems to have a good time.

One unique game mechanism in Before the Storm is Chloe’s back talk ability. To progress a certain sequence in the game, Chloe has to use her sass to get what she wants. The game gives prompts to choose from based on what the characters say. If you choose the correct response, Chloe can sway characters into doing what she wants. Although every time I used Chloe’s ability, nothing major in the story happened. The most mild incident is chasing off a bully, but that’s about it.

Life is Strange was one of my favorite games I beat this year, and I personally got my money’s worth of Before the Storm. I think Before the Storm has a lot of hype because of how fantastic Life is Strange was. The next episode is available for download on October 19th.

 

Life is Strange

Max Caulfield from Life is Strange reminds me of myself at the age of 18. She’s insecure, timid, yet caring to her close friends. Playing through Life is Strange reminded me of old high school drama that I experienced. My best friend recommended this game which says a lot because she isn’t a gamer though her boyfriend recommended it to her.  After beating the game, I can without a doubt say that this was the best game I played this year.

Life is Strange Photo by Game Accessibility

Max is a freshman at a prestigious art school in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. As a talented photographer, she was accepted into Blackwell Academy which is her dream school. During a lecture, she experiences a vision of a tornado destroying Arcadia Bay. In addition to having these visions, she hides in the bathroom and watches helplessly as a woman is shot and killed by a student. Turns out this woman was Max’s former best friend, Chloe. Max awakes in her classroom and is able to rewind time to save Chloe. Max now has to balance her newly renewed relationship with Chloe and uncover how to save Arcadia Bay from the tornado.

Life is Strange Photo from Wikia

Life is Strange is all based on making decisions that will impact the later episodes. I often took a couple minutes to think about how Max would react. It could be something as simple as choosing to comfort a mean girl or more complicated responses like trying to prevent a student from committing suicide. The game is all dependent on how you choose to interact with each character.

*Massive Spoilers*

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the game, Max is looking out at the tornado which will soon be upon the shores of Arcadia Bay. Max and Chloe realize that the tornado was created based on how time has been altered. Chloe pleads with Max to allow her to die to save Arcadia Bay so do you: A. Ignore Chloe and watch as your family and friends perish or B. Choose to rewind time, but not save Chloe and allow her to die so the town will be protected.

I chose to let Chloe die like she was supposed to. Morally, I couldn’t justify saving one person and sacrificing thousands. It’s heartbreaking to watch the cut scene as Max is shedding tears knowing there’s nothing she can do to save Chloe.

I’m interested to know what my readers thought about all the decisions in this game and what they chose at the end. Also I really hope there will be a Life is Strange sequel because I will have that pre-ordered in a heartbeat. Life is Strange is the best video game I played and probably is one of my all time favorite games.

D&D One Shot Monsters and Other Childish Things

Becoming a game master in my own D&D campaign is a recent goal of mine. Last Saturday, I was fortunate to be included in a one shot campaign using the rules from Monsters and Other Childish ThingsPlayers take on the role of children whose best friends are monsters as you play through a custom story about surviving the school day. Ironically, our story didn’t even occur on school grounds instead happening during a sleepover at my character’s house. This campaign can be adapted into a longer campaign or a one-shot which is what my group did on Saturday.

One shot campaigns are campaigns that begin and end on the same day. Most D&D campaigns I have heard of continue for weeks or months. I like that one shots are short because if you’re schedule is as chaotic as mine is, it’s difficult to carve time for a D&D campaign weekly.

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I was required to draw Mr. Waffles, so this is what I came up with.

Ellie Ferguson is the character I created myself. She’s a sassy 7th grader living with her dad, little sister and her monster. Unfortunately, her mother passed away when she was young, so her dad struggles to put food on the table. This circumstance has influenced Ellie to be overprotective over her little sister. Ellie’s monster is named Mr. Waffles who is an orange tabby cat when he’s happy. If Mr. Waffles is threatened, he turns into this raging orange lion monster complete with a sword. Mr. Waffles also has menacing claws that when he scratches his opponent, an ooze leaks from his claws that causes his enemies to hallucinate.

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My character sheet for Ellie Ferguson.

Over the course of the story, Ellie’s father starts dating a woman who turns out to be a witch. The big conclusion to this story is when Mr. Waffles is fighting her in the house. Mr. Waffles constantly is scratching her head to cause her to go insane because of the ooze that leaks from his claws. Also Mr. Waffles can breath fire so the house burned away ultimately collapsing on the evil witch, killing her.

Ajani Inspiration.jpg

My inspiration for Mr. Waffles. This is Ajani from Magic the Gathering. Photo by Magic & Wizards of the Coast.

D&D is a way I can express my creative side by envisioning Mr. Waffles walking alongside Ellie. Monsters and Other Childish Things can be found at a local game store that carries D&D handbooks. Otherwise the book can be found online in paperback and PDF format. Hopefully, the more experience I get role playing, the more comfortable I would be in being a game master.

 

Overcooked; the Cuter and more Cartoony Diner Dash

This gaming review is late to my blog because I beat Overcooked way back in April with the boyfriend. I kept shelving or saving this draft and writing about other topics that randomly popped into my head. I felt it was time to carve time to talk about Overcooked and how adorable this game is. Any game that gets me and my boyfriend to team up is worth playing.

Lava level in Overcooked

Remember in 2004 when Diner Dash became popular and it was an instant hit? Overcooked has a similar concept, but you play as cartoon chefs. There are recipes that pop up on the screen and you work with a partner to cook/steam/plate foods. Levels get complicated, me and the boyfriend struggled through the icy levels since you’re character is slipping on the ice and falling into the river. . . oops.

River Level in Overcooked

Overcooked tells the story of the Onion Kingdom that’s currently controlled by an evil entity. To defeat him, you have to feed him on time before he gets hangry. I mean I feel this hangry beast because being hangry sucks and would make anyone want to devour a kingdom. While playing the game, you unlock cartoon characters to play as. I loved the orange cat chef and didn’t play with any other characters.

Overcooked is such a fun, challenging and short game to play. It’s playable on Xbox One, PS4 since 2016 and a Nintendo Switch version should be available now or sometime this year. For all the Xbox players, achievements are easy to earn in this game and everyone needs a boost in their gamer score.

 

Selling “Sally”; Embracing the One

My gaming has consisted of solving a murder in Murdered Soul Suspect and attempting to stop Ganondorf in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Sadly as I have gotten older, it’s much more difficult to play video games. I try my best to cram in 30 minutes for gaming on my 3DS, but working longer hours to pay bills gets in the way. Besides bills, moving home has made me busy along with organizing the boyfriend’s belongings. He moved home with me because he accepted a job in the Minneapolis area. The boyfriend is a huge gamer so he has his own Xbox 360 and Xbox One which means I didn’t need my thick white Xbox 360 *nicknamed Sally* from 2008. I had two options: I could keep my 360 because it does hold a lot of great gaming memories or I could sell it. I hate clutter, so I made the choice of selling my Xbox 360 to game stop.

Sally provided endless entertainment including online battles in Halo 3, exploring Rapture in Bioshock and fight the joker in Batman Arkham Asylum. I don’t regret selling my 360 because I genuinely didn’t need it anymore. I will never forget the excitement I had Christmas 2007 when I unwrapped the Xbox 360. I wanted this console so bad and my mom made comments about how expensive it was. Sure enough, it was the last present I opened. Thanks Sally for all the memories, but I am ready to accept the Xbox One.

Game Stop totaled the worth of my Xbox and I had $69 dollars store credit to spend. Check out my game stop haul:

Zelda Poster

Breath of Wild Poster

This poster is breathtaking! I actually got this for free because the Gamestop employee found it in the back and gave it to me. I plan on buying a frame for it and hanging it in my future apartment.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M

Code Name Project Steam

This game features the voice work of Wil Wheaton and the art is inspired by comics what more could you want from a video game?

Deadpool

Deadpool

I don’t know how great this game will be, but it looks like Wolverine and Psylocke may appear at some point so I’m looking forward to that.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes

Lego Marvel Superheroes

Lego games are underrated and usually keep me busy for a good chunk of time.

Life is Strange

Life is Strange

My friend played this game on Steam and loved it. This means a lot since my friend typically isn’t a gamer, but her boyfriend let her play it. After Murdered Soul Suspect, this is the next game that’s going in the Xbox One.

Sonic Boom Fire & Ice

Sonic Boom Fire and Ice

The last game I purchased is this Sonic game. I remember being a young kid watching my brother play a Sonic the Hedgehog PC game. I thought he was the coolest creature and I have a soft spot for any Sonic game.

De-cluttering can be stressful, but I have no regrets in selling my Xbox. I just need to get better at managing adult time with gaming.