Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Hollywood U: Rising Star (iOS Store)

A mysterious benefactor offers you enough for Hollywood University, the most prestigious college for anyone who wants to make a living in show business.  Will you attend as a movie star, fashionista or a director?

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Even though Pixelberry abandoned this game for Choices, you can still download it on your smart phone or handheld device.  This game does have a story attached to it, such as finding out whom the mysterious benefactor is paying your way through Hollywood University.  You also have your own enemies to deal with in the form of Bianca and her father.  The MC and Bianca have a rivalry similar to Jem and Pizzazz from the 80s cartoon show.  However, there are two differences.  For instance, Bianca knows how to turn everyone against the MC and make herself look like the innocent victim.  This is something Pizzazz could never pull off.  The other difference is that the MC doesn’t get everything handed to her as Jem did.  He or she has to struggle through various obstacles in order to succeed.  Let me tell you, it gets rather tough.  I can’t recall how many times I’ve empathized with the MC and actually felt frustrated or upset with what he or she goes through.

The game does not shy away from certain issues found in Hollywood.  For instance, one of the characters, Addison, used to be a movie star until she had an affair with a director.  The director in question lied to her about leaving his wife and, when the affair became public knowledge, he lied by claiming that Addison seduced him.  However, if you ask me, even if his version turned out to be true, he’s still at fault.  These incidents happen in Hollywood with one example being Kristen Stewart’s casting as the title character in Snow White and the Huntsman.  The news reports revealed that the reason the director cast her is because of an affair.  Many people slut shame her though, since I don’t know the whole story, I won’t pass judgment.  I do know that it cost Kristen Stewart her job while they still kept the director.  Some people call a double standard but, personally, I believe that it’s because Kristen Stewart was more expendable.  I’m sure you can find many other stories of such instances all throughout Hollywood but, more often than not, people blame the woman and it ruins her career.

Another instance from real life the game drew inspiration from is Miley Cyrus in order to create the character of Lisa Valentine.  She is a former teen pop star who played the main character in a children’s show called Lisa Mermaid.  Now that Lisa’s all grown up, she goes out of her way to remind everyone of this, something her mother and manager disapproves.  While most works would portray Lisa’s mother as the sympathetic one and Lisa as the evil slut, this game does not fall victim to such thinking.  Instead, Lisa is the one in the right and the game implies that, if she wants to be a party girl, that’s her choice.  No one has any right to judge her for it.  As I said, the game drew inspiration from Miley Cyrus for this after her Hannah Montana days were far behind her.  Except I always suspected that her father encouraged her to act crazy in order to stay in the spotlight.  Now that Miley Cyrus is voicing one of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, I don’t think she needs to act crazy anymore.  I am not kidding; she voiced the robot in the credits teaser showing the original Guardians.

The game play is that of a typical smart phone game, with you assigning characters to task.  It can take up to 24 hours to finish tasks, so you’re free to clean house, do homework and take care of anything else while you wait.  I call it the video game version of the Crockpot.  You can also throw parties to attract certain character types and go on dates.  You can hook up various characters in Couples Corner and send the MC on dates in the Amour.  You can also purchase buildings and collect money.

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Oh, and those character types you collect from partying each come with their own side quests.  The game comes with many extras, such as A-Listers and side quests, but you have to pay in diamonds, which costs real money to purchase.  Let me tell you, the game is very addictive and you’ll want to see everything it has to offer.  After you’ve collected all the characters and done all of the side quests, the game loses most of its appeal.  By then, you just want to continue playing to see what happens in the story.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  It deserves 9 out of 10, emotionally affective but not enough for a full mark.

Telltale Games: Summer 2017 Update

Once again, I didn’t have anything to post today.  So, enjoy this video.

The Wolf Among Us: Season 2 – Telltale Summer Update

After a grueling two years, Telltale finally tells us that they’re working on Season 2.  As someone who’s been a fan of Fables since I read the first comic book, I’m definitely excited!  Even if I’m way behind on the actual series.

Telltale Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 2: Under Pressure

After the resurrection stone brings Starlord back from the dead, everyone wants to find out its deal.  Meanwhile, Nebula’s back and she’s ready to take vengeance for her father’s death.

This story picks up where Episode 1 left off, with Starlord’s resurrection and everyone wondering what happened.  You can bet that the Guardians are not going to believe that Starlord came back from the dead and, when they finally do, they’ll want to investigate the relic that made it possible.  To do this, they have to go to Yondu.

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That’s right, our favorite blue-skinned pirate finally made his appearance.  The meeting even brings a few funny scenes, such as Yondu and Rocket meeting for the first time.  That’s what I love about Guardians of the Galaxy; it can be humorous without undermining the tragedy in the story.  Believe me when I say that there is some serious tragedy.

The main plot of the game is Nebula retrieving Thanos’s corpse from either Nova Corp or the Collector, whomever you gave the body to.  However, there is a side story involved with Rocket, should you choose to take it.

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Yes, when I said the game involved serious tragedy, this is what I meant.  The side story explores Rocket’s past and reveals that he once loved, and still loves, a female Otter named Lylla.  Even though her character is, to use a common saying, stuffed in the fridge, the story of how the scientists treated living beings as science experiments is still a serious tearjerker.  Add what happens after we meet her and it gets worse, much worse.  Just watching this scene and seeing Rocket’s emotions afterward made me cry.  Even after I played the game, everything about Rocket’s side quest put me in a seriously bad mood.  Even as I write this, I feel like crying.  Despite the effect the scene had on me, I still recommend that you take a break from the main story and explore Rocket’s side quest.

The rest of the story involves Gamora trying her best to fix things with Nebula and failing.  Unlike Rocket’s back-story, Gamora’s plot actually ties in with the main story.  The language of the relic is Kree and only Nebula can speak it.  However, it’s tough luck getting her to cooperate.  I wish I could give a more detailed review of the main plot but the problem is that I still find myself affected deeply by Rocket’s side quest.  Therefore, it’s a little hard for me to focus on everything else going on in the game.  I will tell you that Yondu has the hots for Gamora which, considering Starlord, who Yondu raised as a son, and Gamora’s ship tease in the movies, I find a little creepy.  However, there doesn’t seem to be a ship tease between Starlord and Gamora in the games, more like a deep friendship.  Then again, I could be wrong.  I will admit that I kind of like the hint that Yondu and Starlord’s mother might have been involved.

The game play is much like your average Telltale, picking dialogue options for Starlord being the main aspect.  However, I’ll admit, from the description of the episode and having not seen the trailer before playing, I thought that you’d play Rocket for the whole episode.   Since Rocket’s my favorite character, you can bet that this excited me.  While you can play as Rocket if you choose to take the optional side quest, you mostly play as Starlord.  The game also features QuickTime events requiring you to press the right key or button in order to survive.  Let me warn you, it will come when you least expect it.  You can also explore the ship and, once again, check your monitor.  However, the second part didn’t feel quite as fun as I found it in the last episode.  Mainly because you learn nothing new about the characters or places in the codex, save for a few places and characters that the game adds.  In addition, you can’t respond to email people send you; you just read it.  However, it is a bit cute to discover that Groot believes in chain mail.  At the end of the Episode, you can compare your choices with ones from other players.

This game is tragic and a bit of a disappointment.  I give it 7 out of 10, two points added for Rocket’s side quest.

Game of Thrones Episode 3: The Sword in the Darkness (Steam Store)

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Forrester family.  The Whitehills occupy Ironrath, Cersei reveals Mira’s alliance with Tyrion, the Lost Legion pursues Asher as he looks to hire sellswords and Gared must choose between saving the Forrester family, or staying true to the Night’s Watch.  Can the Forresters survive this entire struggle and win back their livelihood?

So far, there seems to be one serious problem with this plot and it’s that there is not one single likable person among the Whitehills.  Every single one of them has been made cartoonish to the point of being a Power Rangers villain.    They go so far as to re-enact the death of Ethan Forrester and run the land as if it is their own, chopping down trees needlessly to make ironwood and causing deforestation.  The only exception is their daughter, who I will talk about more in the future.  While the original Game of Thrones had your classic evil villains, such as Joffrey and Ramsay, there were plenty of smart villains to maintain the balance, Tywin Lannister and Roose Bolton being prime examples.  As the lawful evil characters, they were both responsible for keeping the chaotic evil characters in line.  Another thing that separates the show from the game is that, while Rob is clearly on the side of good and Joffrey on the side of evil, both have people of good and evil who fight for them.  For instance, Barristan Selmy is a member of the King’s Guard and, as such, shows loyalty to whoever the current King may be, whether his intentions are just or selfish.  The only reason Barristan sided with Daenarys is because Joffrey had the man thrown out.  Davos is another example of a good man who is on the wrong side, loyal to the insane Stannis due a lordship granted by him.  The prime example would be the episode where Stannis tries to siege King’s Landing to take his rightful place as heir to the throne.  Even though Joffrey is the villain, we still see the women and children huddled up in a shelter and know that, if Stannis is successful, his soldiers will rape and murder them.  Later on, Margaery Tyrell introduces herself to King’s Landing by helping the orphaned children, one of them living in these conditions due to a war Joffrey started.  Not only does it show the horrors of war, how it destroys lives and how, no matter which side wins, innocent people when die, it also serves to make Joffrey more despised as a character.  Those of you who’ve seen the show know that the War of the Five Kings started because Joffrey refused to show Ned Stark mercy when he pled guilty.  So many innocent lives lost because Joffrey acted through anger and hatred.

Speaking of Joffrey, the lengths this game goes to not show him borders on downright ridiculous.  At the beginning of Episode 3, Cersei forbids both Mira and Sera from attending the wedding, which contradicts the original show.  For those of you who don’t know, the designers based Mira Forrester’s look on that of an extra who played a handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell.

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Now, I might be wrong about this but, in the show, I distinctly remember that extra being at the wedding.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a little pointless to remake The Purple Wedding for the game, but it feels a little strange to contradict the show like this.  The only point this scene plays is that Tyrion Lannister, at first played as a valuable ally to Mira, is now a liability due to Cersei suspecting him of Joffrey’s death.

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This is what motivates her to take action.

Asher Forrester’s character seems incredibly similar to Han Solo from Star Wars. Lovable rogue who makes wisecracks, manages to make time for money and even gets a scene with an old friend similar to Han and Lando in The Empire Strikes Back.  For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, Han goes to see Lando when there’s no one else for him to turn to.  Lando, at first, greets Han with hostility but then laughs to reveal that it was little more than a joke.  Then he betrays Han to Vader.  Thankfully, Asher’s friend works for Daenarys, so it doesn’t play out exactly the same.  He also has his own little conflict between Malcolm and Beshka who don’t really trust each other.  Beshka is Asher’s partner in crime and I do appreciate that she’s not a love interest as so often happens when fiction teams a man and a woman up.  However, the game does imply that she’s a lesbian.  Malcolm is the brother to Lady Elissa Forrester and, in Episode 2, sent by her to retrieve Asher for extra muscle.  He is Asher’s only connection to the Forrester family.

Meanwhile, Gared continues serving in exile at The Wall.  His job is to locate the North Grove, even if it means breaking his vows.  For those of you who haven’t seen the show, when you join the Night’s Watch, it’s for life.  Desertion is punishable by execution, as seen in the very first episode.  Therefore, you can bet that Gared’s uncle Duncan is asking too much of him.  It doesn’t help that Britt, the man who murdered Gared’s family, has also taken the black.  Jon is the one who reminds Gared of his vows that he would never harm another member of the Night’s Watch.

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Regardless of whatever crime they committed. Those of you who’ve read my previous reviews for Game of Thrones know that Jon Snow is the love of my life.  I even have a T-shirt that reads Run like White Walkers are chasing you and Jon Snow is waiting for you at Castle Black that I wear often.  However, this is one of the instances where Jon is being too naive to see the big picture.  While he does remind Gared to uphold his vows and not kill Britt in vengeance, it doesn’t occur to Jon to give the same lecture to Britt regarding Gared.  I doubt it would’ve done much good, but Britt seeking out Gared and trying to murder him never even crosses Jon’s mind.  Spoiler alert, that’s exactly what Britt does.

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Earlier, I mentioned the Whitehills committing deforestation and the only good member being their daughter, Gwyn Whitehill.  However, what I have yet to tell you is that she arranges a meeting between herself and Rodrick, the current head of the Forrester household.  It’s Gwyn who wants to see peace between the feuding families while, at the same time, still loves her family.  She goes against her family’s wishes and sees Rodrick in secret.  Those of you who have read my review for Guardians of the Galaxy know the problem I have with Gamora’s character and I take the same issue with Gwyn.  While I appreciate that she expects Rodrick not to trust her, going as far as praising him for bringing a knife with him, once again the story tasks the only woman with being the good and reasonable one of the group.  This scene also takes the time to give an environmental message by showing the destruction the Whitehills have done to the forest.  Let me point out that the source of the Forrester family’s income is Ironwood, which they get from the trees in the forest.  While the Forresters also chop down trees, they are not so reckless in their endeavors that they destroy every tree in sight.  If they destroy the forest, then there is no more ironwood.  Such a move will destroy their business, something the Forresters take into consideration, and the Whitehills do not.  It’s similar to the message in Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, where reckless chopping for thneeds puts the Onceler on top for a while but, in the end, destroys his business and livelihood when the last truffula tree falls.  However, considering that the Onceler only needed the leaves, it was stupid of him to chop down the trees for his product in the first place.

In my last review, I talked about how amazing the ending to episode 2 was with the switch between scenes as Talia sings.  This ending, while not ending on a song, does not disappoint.  The scenes pan to Rodrick and Talia talking about how to handle the Whitehill occupation while Mira destroys the document Tyrion had not yet signed before Cersei arrests him.  Gared also faces trial for the murder of Britt and Asher meets the one and only Daenarys, who is my second favorite character on the show.  Each of them, in their own ways, is doing what they can to help House Forrester.  Even Mira, who is not combat proficient like her brothers are, but is still risking her life retrieving Tyrion’s unsigned document in order to make another deal to save her family.

The game play is typical Telltale with you getting to pick dialogue options for the characters you play.  Some choices are more important than others though, let me tell you, they don’t really matter in the end.  For instance, there is one point where Tyrion wishes to talk to you in private but Margaery, who tells you that she will fire you if you continue to associate him, won’t allow it.  She gets mad at you whether you go off with Tyrion or not.

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There will be times when you have to press the right button for QuickTime events or end up dead.  Other scenes will have you walk around with the character you play while examining certain items as you explore.  When you’ve finished the episode, you can compare your choices to that of other players.

This game is fun but, so far, seems like wasted potential.  I give it 6 out of 10, a must if you’re a Game of Thrones fan.

Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 1: Tangled Up In Blue (Steam Store)

Thanos is on the rise and it’s up to the Guardians of the Galaxy to bring him down.  Can they save the galaxy and still make a profit doing it?

Many people might play this game thinking that it’s set in the movie timeline and they couldn’t be more wrong.  Others might suggest that the game is set in the comic book universe and I’ll admit to having a very limited knowledge of the comics.  Therefore, I wouldn’t be able to confirm that.  However, I have heard that, while the game draws inspiration from the comics and the movies, it actually takes place in its own universe.  For one thing, and this is a huge spoiler, Thanos dies in the first episode of the game.  There are also other hints, such as Starlord admitting that he never met the collector, Starlord’s tape being called the rad mix rather than the awesome mix and the flashbacks to Starlord’s past being different than what they were in the movie.

As I said earlier, this game takes place in its own universe.  For starters, I doubt setting the game in the movie universe would allow them to kill Thanos so easily.  Just in case you’ve been living on Mars for the past decade, Thanos is not only the Big Bad of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but also features in the Avengers movies behind the scenes.  Rumors claim that Thanos will be the Big Bad in the Avengers: Infinity Wars movies, resulting in the Avengers and the Guardians teaming up to defeat him.  In the video game, the Guardians kill Thanos in the very first episode and the rest of the story is about life for the Guardians after the one enemy who brought them together is defeated.

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Despite not being set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the characters are still true to form to their movie counterparts.  Starlord is still the smartass leader, Drax the literal-minded vengeful warrior, Rocket the greedy tech genius with an attitude, Gamora the former assassin turned voice of reason and Groot is just… Groot.  Each of them even go through their own little subplots.  Starlord has to deal with his team falling apart, Rocket considers leaving and living off his fame, Drax is wondering what to do now that his quest is complete and Gamora has to make things up with her sister, Nebula.

As I mentioned earlier, there are flashbacks to Starlord’s past in the game, but what I didn’t tell you is that it’s the case of a new artifact known as the Eternity Forge.  This device is capable of bringing life back but at a strong price, you have to murder someone.  Therefore, you can bet that this device is trying to tempt Starlord to bring his mother back and he’s not the only person who wants it.  Hala the Accuser wants to use it to bring back the Kree race and is willing to kill billions in order to do so.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the smurfette principle, which is one token woman among men.  The Guardians are no exception with Gamora being the single woman among a whole group of men.  I’ll admit, I actually love Gamora’s character.  She’s a tough as nails former assassin gone good, she doesn’t take any crap and she actually lives up to her reputation.  Unlike most arrangements where you see the man with a sword and the woman with a gun, Starlord usually handles the guns and Gamora fights with her sword.  Since Starlord is a former space pirate and Gamora a trained assassin, it makes sense that the former would specialize in ranged weaponry while the latter is more proficient in close range combat.  Gamora also has her own past and problem and, despite being what tvtropes calls a Green-Skinned Space Babe, there’s more to her than being an exotic beauty.  If the Star Trek writers plan to bring Orion women back, they need to watch Guardians of the Galaxy and take notes.

However, there are still some problems with Gamora’s character.  More often than not, she is the voice of reason and morality.  When the Guardians discuss what to do with Thanos’s body, it’s Gamora who suggests bringing it to Nova Corps while Rocket wants to sell it to the Collector.  There is another situation where you have to choose whether to bring Drax or Gamora on a mission.  Drax is the one that wants to kill every Kree they come across while Gamora feels that it would be best to sneak in and not draw attention to themselves.  Maybe this wasn’t intentional but, to me, it feels like they purposely made the only woman on the team the mature and responsible one.  Which, as a woman myself, I am neither one.  Not to mention that, once again, a franchise makes a hot alien woman for men to gawk at but women don’t get exotic fan service.  Yes, I am well aware that Starlord is hot but keep in mind that he is also human.

The game play is your typical Telltale style.  You take control of Starlord and pick his dialogue.

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There are some scenes where you make important choices and you have to be fast to respond to quick time events.  Let me tell you, they will sneak up on you when you least expect it.  However, there are some differences.  One is the ability to use a communicator to contact people who aren’t with you.  You also get to explore the ship and can check the terminal for codex info and your email.

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I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for games that let you do the latter.  Don’t know why.

The game is intriguing and addictive.  I give it 7 out of 10, a good take on the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Gone Home (Steam Store)

When Katie comes back from college at midnight, she finds the house empty.  Where has everyone gone?  Explore the house as Katie and find out.

First, I’m just going to tell you that spoilers are unavoidable.  The entire game is about you going through the house and reading people’s letters, journal, notes and so on.  Many trailers will fool you and claim that it’s a horror survival game.  Even the beginning, where the house is up on a hill and empty on a dark and stormy night, will fool you.  I’m just going to tell you, it’s a story about Katie’s sister, Sam, learning who she is, in more ways than one.

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All the horror elements are little more than red herrings.  For those of you who don’t know, a red herring is a plot device meant to mislead the reader.  Take Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  When you read the book the first time, you think Snape is out to steal the Stone.  Then you find out at the very end that it’s Quirrell.

The game takes place in the 90s and it shows.  For instance, there’s a plot element in the game about Sam’s girlfriend, Lonnie, wanting to join the army despite their Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.  Just in case some of you aren’t familiar with the nineties, the army once employed a policy forbidding anyone to ask about anyone else’s sexuality.  Therefore, open homosexuals couldn’t serve in the military.  Thankfully, the government repelled it in 2011.  Lonnie is the rebellious social misfit always getting into trouble and wants to join the army one day.  As Sam points out, this clashes with everything about her.  Sam is even the one to point out how unfair the policy is.  Another instance is the marriage of Katie’s parents, Terry and Jan, falling apart because he won’t join Jan in activities such as couple’s bowling and ballroom dancing.  However, Jan wanting to have an affair with a co-worker didn’t help matters.  It even goes as far as mentioning shows such as Boy Meets Worlds on prime time.

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Despite Terry and Jan’s marriage problems, the former stuck in a dead-end job reviewing technological appliances while mourning over his failed career as a writer and the supernatural elements about a possible ghost in the house, the game is really about Sam and her relationship with Lonnie.  I should tell you that Sam’s parents don’t approve of her lesbianism, even going so far as to suggest that it’s a phase.  However, there are hints that Lonnie is a bad influence on Sam.  For instance, Sam skips school on Lonnie’s suggestion.  Some fans speculate whether Terry and Jan not approving of Sam and Lonnie’s relationship is due to homophobia or Lonnie’s influence on their daughter.  Personally, I think it’s both.  I think that Terry and Jan always imagined that both of their daughters would be straight and it’s shocking to them that things didn’t turned out as they planned.  However, if I told my mom I was a lesbian, she’d just be happy I wouldn’t be getting pregnant.  I also feel that, if Sam had boyfriend they regarded as a bad influence, they would’ve been able to handle it better.

I will admit that Terry and Jan are right about Lonnie being a bad influence and my reasoning is the ending.  In it, Lonnie backs out of joining the army and asks Sam to run away with her.  Sam then proceeds to sell all of the major appliances in the house and drive off to meet with Lonnie.  Let me summarize, Sam and Lonnie throw their lives away so they can be together.  Neither one of them has any clue how to live on their own nor do they have jobs.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard of teenagers filing for legal emancipation, but that’s only because the parents are so dangerous the child is better off alone.  Terry and Jan might be self-absorbed and prejudice, but there is no sign that either one of them is dangerous.  Sam also had a promising career as a writer and she’s throwing that away for Lonnie.  Don’t say that Sam can still make a living as a writer because she’ll be too busy working job after job to make sure she and Lonnie can still afford food and a place to live.  My only consolation is that Katie will immediately drive out, pick up Sam and talk some sense into her.  I’ll admit, this ending is horrible and the writers actually think it’s happy.  I just have one question.  Would they have gone through with it had it been a straight couple?

There’s not much to say about the game play, since all you do is look around the house for clues.  You pick things up, use them and you read various documents lying around to discover what’s going on.

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I’ll admit that using the mouse can be difficult since I couldn’t always get it just right.  I can say the same about using the keyboard.  You can also hear diary entries from Sam as you progress further and further through the game.  Occasionally, you can see Katie’s thoughts about certain things in the house, such as her getting disgusted by her dad’s condom in the drawers.

The game is intriguing, but expensive.  I give it 7 out of 10, great plot but not sure if three hours of game play is worth the price.

Fabulous: Angela’s Sweet Revenge (Gamehouse.com)

Emily’s fun-loving sister, Angela, moved to the Big Apple to start her career as a fashion designer.  Unfortunately, she has to work for Yum-mee, a stuck up boss who thinks she’s all that. To make matters worse, Angela’s husband, Jimmy, doesn’t support her.  Is it because there’s something going on between Jimmy and Yum-mee, or is Angela just being paranoid?

Yep, it’s a simplistic cheating plot.  Though, I have to say, I’m glad that Angela’s mad at both of them.  Warning, there will be spoilers for the game so read with caution.  The name of the game is Angela’s Sweet Revenge and she takes it out big time.  Don’t get me wrong, cheating is not a matter that you should take lightly but the way Angela goes about it seems very wrong.  With Jimmy, she goes so far as to throw seeds on his car so that birds will poop on it.  Yum-mee, on the other hand, gets to be publicly humiliated at an event she organized.

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Something similar happened in Emily’s True Love and I had a problem with that as well.  Once again, I will say that Angela has every right to be mad.  However, there are better ways to go about things like this.  I admit, people have screwed me over in the past and it is tempting to sink to their level.  That doesn’t mean that you should do so.  Let’s take the song, Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood.

When I first heard it, I thought it was a song about empowering women by destroying the cheater’s car.  I told my mom about this and she said that the behavior is destructive and insane.  You can take the moral high ground by confronting the people who’ve hurt you honestly and openly.

The game play is similar to Delicious with clothes replacing food.  You deliver the required clothes to customers and check them out at the register.  Some of the customers will try on an outfit before they purchase it.

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During each level, you can make new clothes and complete a mini-game associated with each one.

Unlike previous games, this one’s layout is made of Facebook entries for each level, and you can like each comment.

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I thought it was a unique system.  It also shows how different Angela is from Emily.

The game is short but fun.  I give it 7 out of 10, it doesn’t take up that much of your time.

Fashion Boutique (Bigfishgames.com)

Maya’s dream has finally come true.  She has her own boutique and she’s ready to make her name in the world of fashion.  Can you help Maya balance her career and her personal life?

It’s hard to talk about the storyline because what the comics say changes depending on Maya’s stats.  They might focus more on Maya’s career, her personal life or both.  I’ll admit, I did like that aspect of the comics.

The game play is something else.  You take customers to whatever part of the shop they request, bring their orders to the sales clerk and then give them back to the customers.

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My favorite part is at the end of the week, when you can pick actions for Maya that bring up her stats and help her balance her career with her life

This game is interesting but can get dull.  I give it 4 out of 10, unique but doesn’t really have much else to offer.

Game of Thrones Episode 2: The Lost Lords (Steam)

After Ramsay Snow murders Ethan Forrester and hands their livelihood over to their rival house, The Whitehills, the family struggles to maintain their once great house.  Fortunately, Rodrik returns to become the new Lord under dire circumstances.  Meanwhile, Mira Forrester secretly plots to overthrow the Whitehills while working as Lady Margeary’s handmaiden in King’s Landing and Asher, the exiled Forrester, is on his way home from Meereen with an army of sellswords.

I should warn you; this is the second episode of a TellTales game, so spoilers are unavoidable.  For instance, Rodrik supposedly died in Episode One and then came back in Episode Two, his death turning out to be an exaggeration.  Personally, I felt that was a cop out that they centered so much drama around Lord Forrester and Rodrik’s deaths, forcing Ethan to be the new lord.  Then they destroy all the drama surrounding it by revealing that Rodrik’s alive and he can take over as the New Lord.  I’ll admit, I actually liked Ethan and his struggles with having responsibility thrust on him at a young age.  This was why I wasn’t happy to see Ramsay kill him at the end.  I think it would have been more dramatic to keep Ryon dead and see how the Forresters truly struggle.

Mira Forrester’s scenes are some of my favorites, partly because they include Tyrion, who’s my favorite character in the show, other than Daenarys.

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Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Mira, her struggles and how you can make her a total badass, if you so choose.  Though I think Tyrion might have been a little sloppy in his assistance.  Let me put it this way, this is the same man who told Lady Stark that, if he were to plot an assassination, he wouldn’t hand the assassin a dagger that could be easily traced back to him.  When Joffrey’s killers frame Tyrion for the murder, he points out that, if he were to murder Joffrey, he wouldn’t do so in a way that leaves him standing there holding the cup.  Tyrion also had to see who Cersei’s spy was on the council, so he deliberately told each member of his plan to betroth Myrcella to a different ward.  I think that, if Tyrion were to ally with Mira, he would do so in a way where his alliance would not expose her or himself.  For one thing, he approaches Mira while she’s with Sera, the other handmaiden, and not asking to speak to Mira in private.  Tyrion also failed to dismiss the Lannister guard before bringing Mira to the meeting.

Speaking of Sera she has a small part in this and it’s something I actually like.  She is a bastard and, while we see many male bastards in the show and learn how hard life is for them, we never learn what it’s like for females.  In the world of Game of Thrones, no matter how bad things get for men, women always have it worse.  Therefore, you can bet that life would be worse for a woman bastard, something I wish the show would explore and, I hope the game will take the chance to.  No matter how bad things get for men, they always have the Night’s Watch as an option.  I’ll admit, it’s not a great one but it’s better than nothing.  How would a woman bastard be able to cope in Westeros?  In the case of Sera, she needs to secure a marriage to a man of high rank in order to establish her security.

Gared joined the Night’s Watch and he hasn’t fared well.

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I don’t know what the popular opinion about The Wall is, but my mom absolutely hates it.  She finds it dull with only a few matters of interest.  Personally, I like The Wall but that’s because I’m in love with Jon Snow, who gets to make an appearance in this game and advises Gared in life as a member of the Night’s Watch.

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So far, nothing really happens except that Gared gets into a few fights and has trouble getting along with many of the other recruits.  Gared also talks to Jon Snow, the one redeeming feature about The Wall, about the Red Wedding.  They even discuss why Gared wants to be a ranger.

We heard about Asher in Episode One, but we never really get to meet him until now.  I’ll admit, I like Asher’s journey as well as his companion, Beshka.  You can tell that they’re both good friends who’ve seen each other through the good and the bad and are trying to survive in a harsh climate.

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They both made a living as sellswords and have quite a few enemies to deal with.  I was happy when Malcolm comes to get them and tells Asher the plan to save House Forrester.  I already said their plan is to hire an army of sellswords to take back House Forrester, but what will they hire them with?  Sellswords cost money, which they don’t seem to have in abundance.  Maybe they plan to pay them with Ironwood, which is their livelihood, but you only get to keep half of it if you managed to convince Ramsay that the Forresters are the better craftsmen.  Even then, you give over another half as dowry to convince Elaena Glenmore to marry Rodrik.

I particularly loved how Episode Two ended.  Talia sings at the funeral for Ethan and Lord Forrester and the former’s last words influence the lyrics in her song.

I found this particularly moving not only because of the beautiful song, but also because of the shift of scenes to the other Forresters and Gared dealing with the aftermath of their own decisions and their own struggles to save their family, even if they don’t live at Ironrath anymore.  It’s enough to make you cry.

The game play is typical of TellTale games.  You make dialogue decisions for each character you play and the game compares the more important ones to what the other players decided.  I’m just going to say right now that your decisions don’t really matter.  For instance, there’s one scene where you have to choose whether Rodrik kisses Lord Whitehill’s ring out of respect in order to let his younger brother, Ryon, the Whitehills’ hostage on Ramsay’s orders, attend the funeral for his father and brother or refuse and allow Rodrik to keep his dignity.

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No matter what choice you make, the outcome is inevitably the same.  So don’t kiss the ring and let Rodrik rule the house with his head held high.  You can also explore scenes with the character you play and collect items for your inventory, even if that doesn’t really accomplish anything.  There will be quick time events where you have to press the right button, so don’t drop your guard for even a second.  The Wall also has a game play event where you can demonstrate Gared’s skills in strength, swords and crossbows.  I’ll admit that I actually liked that part, even if shooting the crossbow is a little tricky due to the constant movement.

This game is intriguing yet doesn’t seem to explore its potential.  I give it 6 out of 10, a bit of a letdown but maybe it will get better.

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