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    Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC)    by   andycho7       (Jan 18th, 2017 at 02:49:23)

    Since my last entry, the story of the game havenít advanced much yet. I reached two major checkpoints: 1) An oversized dog that I thought would cause no harm to my character turned out to be an enemy that I needed to avoid. This dog can be avoided by having one of the brother to lure and distract the dog while the other brother moves on. 2) I met this giant troll looking creature and after seeing the dog earlier, I was expecting a boss fight of some sort. Turns out heís a nice guy and he's helping the two brothers out along their way. I wasnít able to spot any ethical related choice(s) during this session of game play.

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    The Talos Principle (PC)    by   MBergdorf       (Jan 17th, 2017 at 22:13:35)

    "Why is it important to you that you are a human?"

    Wow. What a great question. I knew that I was going to explore some moral stuff in this game, but wow. That's the sort of thing that made me sit back in my chair and think about myself and my place in the world. I don't even know how to respond. How cosmically insignificant am I? Why does it matter whether or not I exist at all, regardless of whether or not I'm a "person."

    Some of the puzzles are annoying and rely on you using knowledge that is either counter-intuitive or poorly explained, but I'm looking forward to this game.

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    Life is Strange (PC)    by   brialinza       (Jan 17th, 2017 at 21:50:30)

    This is a game that right as the first episode was ending, it left me crying (and I know, it barely has just started). The storytelling, music, and characters made it so immersive. But a huge factor is the way that you make decisions that literally puts you in the story more. How after you make a big decision, you reflect back on what could have been the right choice. I personally face terrible anxiety, and so I guess this game really makes me think about everything more. I suppose when Max let everything out at the end of episode 1, I personally felt a huge relief in myself.

    Something I guess I dread a bit is what I could have done wrong in the game... sure, I understand the moral philosophy about how we can't turn back time, so we shouldn't worry about it. However, in this game, that rule is broken, so what am I supposed to do? I've been thinking about how you can't take some things back, and all I can do is just hope for the best. The only problem there... everything is kinda tied in a knot in the game and it brings you along for the ride.

    I already have enough to worry about in this life already. I'll feel those emotions when I am meant to while playing, but I shouldn't let it bring me down. But I do have to say, this game really resonates with me so far in my experiences on many levels... including life being strange.

    Well, let's see if I cry for the second play-through when that comes. T-T

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    Life is Strange (PC)    by   briakatrina       (Jan 17th, 2017 at 21:41:21)

    Right as the first episode was ending, it left me crying (and I know, it barely has just started). The storytelling, music, and characters made it so immersive. But a huge factor is the way that you make decisions that literally put you in the story more. How after you make a big decision, you reflect back on what could have been the right choice. I personally face terrible anxiety, and so I guess this game really makes me think about everything more. I suppose when Max let everything out at the end of episode 1, I personally felt a huge relief in myself.

    Something I guess I dread a bit is what I could have done wrong in the game... sure, I understand the moral philosophy about how we can't turn back time, so we shouldn't worry about it. However, in this game, that rule is broken, so what am I supposed to do?

    I already have enough to worry about in this life already. I'll feel those emotions when I am meant to while playing, but I shouldn't let it bring me down. But I do have to say, this game really resonates with me so far in my experiences on many levels... including life being strange.

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    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)    by   michelle       (Jan 17th, 2017 at 21:17:35)

    I played this game for the first time today. I expected to play for around an hour, however, I spent more around 2 hours to get to where I am at in the game. This is because the tutorials and opening intros and storyline took quite a bit of time. I currently am not too entranced in the game right now.. the map is really frustrating to follow and there are a lot of controls to remember. I do like the visuals though. The movie scene at the beginning where Geralt is tracing the footsteps of a girl is very beautifully drawn out and makes me feel like I'm watching a movie.

    The quest I have just completed is asking the Nilfgaardians about Yennefer and now I am trying to kill the griffin in the town to get more information from the commander of the "black ones" about Yennefer's whereabouts. So far, what I've already noticed about the game is that it contains common motifs seen in video games such as a strong male lead, violence, and sexualization of women.

    We play a character named Geralt who is currently on the search for his love, Yennefer. It is unclear where she has gone or why she is missing. At the beginning of the game, Yennefer is shown in Geralt's dream butt-naked and the view mainly focuses on her behind. Geralt is also shown naked in a tub, however we are never shown his butt. There is also a scene where an adult joke was made about a unicorn and how Geralt and Yennefer used this unicorn as a bed (I'm not really sure if this was sexual?? this part was vague and lightly touched on). The topic of rape was also brought up nonchalantly a couple times because soldiers in the game rape women when they come through villages. This sort of representation of women and rape seemed so casual that I can't help but to wonder if the people playing the game have learned to become desensitized to these sorts of things.

    Something else that is interesting to note is that Geralt has two swords. In the tutorial, it states one is a silver one to slay monsters and the other is steel to kill humans. I noticed for some reason that I did not feel guilty when killing monsters or angry guards, however, when killing wild dogs, I felt a little bit guilty. Why does this difference in emotions felt occur? Is this normal? Should I feel guilty about attacking both humans and dogs since they're more realistic? Am I not feeling guilt about killing monsters and angry guards because they're not pure and innocent like most dogs? I think that is what I'll use as a justification for my evoked emotions.

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    1 : MBergdorf's The Talos Principle (PC)
    2 : brialinza's Life is Strange (PC)
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    Random

    Peggle Extreme (PC)    by   ajrich

    Good humor, great demo.
    most recent entry:   Monday 14 January, 2008
    GAMEPLAY
    In my second session, I completed the five bonus challenge stages. Two of these stages required a minimum score once the orange pegs were cleared, another two added more orange pegs than normal, and the fifth requires that all pegs be cleared. The most difficult, for me, was surprisingly not the clear all pegs stage, but the more difficult of the two high-score stages. Even after I managed to find a way to reliably make a super-slide on the first drop, I was unable to clear the challenge until, by chance, the ball fell into the center bucket during extreme fever (it's worth 100,000 points, as compared to 10,000 or 5,000 for any of the other buckets). The additional orange peg challenges also felt chancy - pegs and bricks are of fixed position, but which pegs are which color is randomly generated at the beginning of the round, except for the one bonus point peg, which is randomly selected before each shot. The randomly moving purple peg is especially important on points challenges.

    I also played a few rounds of duel mode with the computer - I set its difficulty to medium and was treated to an absurd shellacking - the computer never failed to tag an orange peg (duel mode penalizes you for that) and frequently timed the ball to fall into the moving bucket at the bottom of the stage. I did win one round, by making a rather difficult shot to take the Extreme Fever.

    DESIGN

    Peggle incorporates the three main design elements common to most, if not all, of PopCap's games.
    1. Simple rules and interface: Peggle can be played with only a one-button mouse. It is sometimes advantageous to use the arrow keys to fine-tune a shot, but it is not strictly necessary, even during challenge mode. The core rules of Peggle are clearly visible to the player in the course of play - after the first ball has dropped, all that really needs to be explained is that you have to clear the orange pegs to win. Due to the simple ruleset, most of the designer work necessarily goes into level design.
    2. Blurring the line between luck and skill: Although the course of the ball is strictly determined at the time of launch, to actually work out that course beyond one or two bounces is beyond the ability of reasonable human beings. This sort of design is fundamentally advantageous to the AI player, which can precisely calculate the course and travel time of its shot. Furthermore, the game randomizes the color assignment of the pegs, which prevents memorized "solutions" - a sequence of predetermined moves, determined by painstaking research, that solves the puzzle. (Or at least requires that these solutions remove every peg on the stage, and not rely on special abilities or extra lives from high-scoring shots).
    3. Family Friendly art: PopCap's art follows an aesthetic not entirely unlike that of the Carebears. The cast consists of talking animals, one of whom is a unicorn, a rainbow features prominently in the extreme fever sequence, ect. Peggle Extreme, as noted in the summary, imports art from Valve's distinctly darker aesthetic. The result is aptly summarized by the image that graces the menu screen: Bjorn, the talking unicorn, standing with his face obscured by a headcrab impaled on his horn.

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