Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the month “August, 2017”

Game of Thrones Episode 4: Sons of Winter (Steam Store)

Westeros falls on dark times and the Forrester family is no exception.  Gryff rules Ironrath and Rodrick must fight for his right as Lord.  Asher goes on a mission for Daenarys in exchange for some of her sellswords.  Mira discovers that the Whitehills have a spy in Kings Landing while trying to get back in Margeary’s good graces.  Gared faces execution at The Wall for murdering a fellow brother.

I’m going to talk about the story that really upset me first and that is Gared’s adventure.  As I said earlier, he faces execution at The Wall.  The real kicker is I went out of my way to not murder Britt and remain true to my vows.  I even recited the oath aloud as I clicked on each sentence.  I am not lying.

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Doesn’t matter if Finn vouches for you, Frostfinger still doesn’t believe it and has you sentenced for execution.  Therefore, according to The Wall, you can’t defend yourself against other people who try to kill you.  Better to let them murder you or the Watch will do it themselves.  When I had to pick a dialogue option for Gared about the Watch, you can bet that I had him say they betrayed him.  Jon Snow gets one little scene before he leaves for Craster’s Keep.

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If you tell him it’s an accident, he’ll believe you but he’s powerless to stop Frostfinger.  Those of you who watch the show might see the irony in this.  Those of you who haven’t might want to skip this next part to avoid spoilers.  The Night’s Watch betrays Jon himself when he ascends to Lord Commander.  His aim is to unite the Watch and the Free Folk against the true enemy, the White Walkers.  However, many of the more old-fashioned members don’t like this new turn and trick him outside, stabbing him one by one.  Mysandra resurrects Jon, but it destroys his hero worship of the Night’s Watch.  If Telltale makes a second season, it would be interesting for Gared and Jon to meet and bond over their shared betrayal.  Gared breaks out and continues his search for the North Grove.

In order to give a proper review, I need to discuss what happens at Ironrath.  This is when Gryff’s rule becomes intolerable as he uses brute force to assure his position.  It’s very similar to how a bully will use fear to rule over those weaker than them.  Therefore, Gryff is little more than a thinly veiled Joffrey, which is the closest we’ll get to seeing him in the game.  To ensure their position, the Whitehills demand that Eleana, betrothed to Rodrick, marry Gryff.  Again, we have an obvious love triangle between a hero and a villain with Eleana having no affection for the villain whatsoever.  However, I will applaud her for taking matters into her own hands.  Needless to say, this gives Rodrick more allies in his fight for Ironrath.  However, the trouble isn’t over when you deal with Gryff.  Ludd Whitehill wants to make a deal with you and let me tell you something The Whitehills suck at making ironwood, so they have to threaten the Forresters into helping them.  While Roose Bolton is an evil and ruthless man, there is no way he’d still side with the Whitehills after seeing their horrible work.  The meeting at their estate does show one key difference between the Forresters and the Whitehills.  Ludd Whitehill cares nothing for Gryff due to being his fourth born son.  Rodrick, on the other hand, loves Ryon, despite him being fourth born, and will do anything he can to bring him back.  Did I mention that, when you leave Ironrath, you have the option of leaving Talia in charge?  I didn’t care for her, at first, but her biting Gryff in the third episode and openly rebelling against the Whitehills shows that there’s more to this young girl than meets the eye.

However, Talia still has a long way to go to catch up to Mira in my eyes.  Margaery might fire her and she still risks her life to discover who’s working for the Whitehills in King’s Landing.  Mira’s plot is about making a deal with her fellow handmaiden, Sera, and snooping around Tommen’s coronation to discover who works for the Whitehills.  I love how the dialogue options can demonstrate that she’s not to be underestimated.  You can also give Mira sweet dialogue options, though whether they’re genuine or she’s playing innocent to get what she wants is up to you.  There is one scene I found rather funny.  When Mira asks about Lyman, a fellow nobleman says that her ears are too delicate to hear such things.  Keep in mind that, as a handmaiden, Mira cleans chamber pots, which are old-fashioned toilets.  Yet she is far too delicate to hear of subjects such as sex, violence and drug addiction.  That logic astounds me.

Last but not least is Asher’s plot, beginning with when you have to explain to Daenarys how you found her dragon.

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I’ll admit that dealing with her can be rather intimidating.  I’m just glad Joffrey or Viserys, Daenarys’s brother, never got dragons.  It’s best not to think about it.  Anyway, you have a hard time convincing her to lend you her sellswords until you agree to go on a stealth mission for her.  You also get to find out about Beshka’s past and, let me tell you, the mission Daenarys sends you on is a conflict of interest.  I won’t give too much away for fear of spoilers, but you do have to stop Beshka when she gets out of hand.

The game play is typical of a game made by Telltale, but executed quite well.  You have to pick dialogue options for each character you play, as I said before.

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You also get to experience quick time events and, let me tell you, they sneak up on you.  My favorite part is when you get to go on a stealth mission for Daenarys as Asher.  That, and beating up Gryff, but it was a little more personal on that one.

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This is the one episode where the items you collect actually play a role.  For instance, if you collected medical supplies when you were at the Maester’s in Episode 1, you can now use them to heal a fallen comrade.  At the end of the episode, you can match up your choices with that of other players.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I give it 8 out of 10; fun but didn’t get a true emotional reaction out of me.  Being upset over stupid decisions does not count.

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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.

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