KH-Vids Podcast Episode #110: Life is Strange Spoilercast

Discussion in 'Community News & Projects' started by libregkd, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. libregkd -

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    This week @Calxiyn and @libregkd are joined by a special guest, @Misty! And we come together to give you all another spoilercast! For those who aren't familiar with the concept, on the KH-Vids Podcast we sometimes decide to do special episodes focused on a certain video game, movie, book, etc. in all its spoiler-y glory. This time around we choose to focus on Life is Strange, the episodic darling of last year from the folks at Dontnod Entertainment. The game was released throughout 2015 and has gained a dedicated following as all the episodes were put out.

    We begin by discussing the ending of the game and the controversy surrounding that. From there we discuss our reactions to the story and the characters, our favorite episodes in the game, and moments that stood out to us. Finally, we discuss the possibilities for the future of Life is Strange as Dontnod has confirmed a sequel of some sort is in the works.

    This episode goes on far longer than our normal podcast, so much so that we've included a 15 minute long supplementary piece simply titled "Things Misty Hated and Loved About Life is Strange" so be sure to check that out as well after listening to the Spoilercast! And huge thanks to @Misty for creating the album covers for this week!

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    Download Episode #110 (MP3)

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    Download Things Misty Hated and Loved About Life is Strange (MP3)

    Subscribe to us on iTunes or through our RSS feed

    Thanks everyone for listening! Please support and participate in the KH-Vids Podcast by leaving us a comment, answering our user-submitted questions, submitting to be a guest, or sending in questions of your own! Have a suggestion for a future spoilercast? Let us know through our topic submission form!

    Interested in being a member guest on the podcast? Fill out our form here and we'll be in touch. Ask us a question by visiting this page or sending an email to podcast@kh-vids.net!
     
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Discussion in 'Community News & Projects' started by libregkd, Mar 29, 2016.

    1. ♥♦♣♠Luxord♥♦♣♠
      ♥♦♣♠Luxord♥♦♣♠
      Ayy keep it up guys, can't wait to listen to this when I have the time.
    2. Misty
      Misty
      i cursed a lot on this podcast

      (thanks guys for having me)

      edit i listened to the 15 minute one and there was a much longer conversation about ed hardy in there, previously.
      Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
    3. libregkd
      libregkd
      Said conversation was mostly her struggling to come up with the name ed hardy.
    4. ♥♦♣♠Luxord♥♦♣♠
      ♥♦♣♠Luxord♥♦♣♠
      The times I have been on I gave myself a pep talk about how I'm not going to swear like a sailor for the next 1-2 hours.
    5. Hayabusa
      Hayabusa
      Perfect timing, since I finally finished the one from December earlier today.
    6. Heart ❤
      Heart ❤
      I still want a podcast on why Misty hates FF15 :p
    7. Scarred Nobody
      Scarred Nobody
      Checked my iTunes feed and don't see this listed. Just letting you guys know.

      And a couple of months back, when you uploaded episode 109, I was able to download it onto my phone from iTunes but it wouldn't play.
    8. Hayabusa
      Hayabusa
      I'm currently listening to the cast now, and just thinking about all the stuff that happened in Episode 5 and how it happened has been making me like that episode less. Because I recall being ok with it when I had just finished the game.

      The dinner dream scene in Episode 5 is probably my least favorite scene in the entire game, especially when it came down to Max talking to herself...the episode had already become a mess of half-assed stealth sections, painting Warren as some weird psycho no matter what we as players chose, asset reuse in extremely weird dream scenarios that felt had come out of nowhere, etc.. I mean, we see Chloe and then TIME FOR CRAZY SHIT, and then we go back to seeing Chloe.

      I also disagree with Nick and Cassie about which ending was being the "obvious" choice. To me, sacrificing Chloe was always the conclusion I saw the game pointing us to. Not to mention, just watching the Bae scene made it so obviously clear that this was not the intended choice: it felt incredibly lazy compared to how much better directed and shot the Bay ending was. This compounds with Episode 2 having made Kate such a huge part of the story...sacrificing Arcadia Bay felt like betraying the choices we already made. I can justify the ending of sacrificing Chloe, but the fact that the story funneled down to this was....not well done.

      But all of those issues are symptoms of the real issue: Dontnod was rushed, hard, which is partly a result of having a smaller budget (Remember Me, the studio's previous game, looks better graphically for comparison.) The choices at that point were so regressive toward all of the decisions and relationships we were building up throughout the game.

      The most disappointing thing about the game's conclusion is that Dontnod didn't want it to end this way. Here's just one of the things that was abandoned. The art in the game's Limited Edition shows that there was supposed to be a street scenario with Max in a gown and seemingly losing control or maybe even gaining more superpowers. It looks sick. There was also a lot of build-up around Native American spiritualism...that was entirely dropped. I'm almost certain the developers straight up have said that this was not the original intended ending on podcasts or something.

      I also side with Misty about one of the main characters: why would you finish this game if you hate Chloe??? (And Ashly Burch DAMN I love her as Cassie Cage in MKX) She was for sure manipulative but....if anything, that made her feel more human (though she still has some really unrealistic qualities.)

      Still listening. I had some theories regarding Rachel that were proven wrong but if anyone is interested in seeing them anyway let me know.

      (also guys watch Steins;Gate it does a time travel story so well.)
      Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
    9. Misty
      Misty
      I don't think Warren's representation in the nightmare sequence was necessarily connected to the character, as many players didn't see him as overbearing or creepy, but rather a fear young women must grapple with about men, especially male friends who are sexually or romantically interested in them. Even if you think Warren is an alright normal dude and play the game that way (agreeing to go ape with him, kissing him, etc.), given what Max has seen in the Dark Room I don't think it's really unbelievable for her to fear similar behavior from Warren. It's a sort of trauma-induced paranoia, regardless of whether you as a player felt it had practical basis -- psychologically, it adds up. The game to me very much deals with sexual assault and gendered violence and I found it a natural and even fitting choice to have a nightmare sequence about the various men Max knows and meets in Arcadia Bay.
      To clarify my thoughts a bit, I was dissatisfied with both options, really. I don't blame Dontnod for it really, because I know they had much more planned that had to be abandoned for time and budgetary reasons, but I'm unhappy with the consequences of both. The sacrifice Chloe option felt too obvious to me -- so I agree in that the game was pushing you towards believing Chloe needed to die, given how frequently it happened. But I never felt there was really a compelling or interesting reason for it, while I had a compelling reason to want to save Chloe.

      Both options bastardize the entirety of the game in their own way. They're like two giant red reset switches. Obviously the sacrifice the town ending destroys everything you changed and established over the course of the five episodes (like you said, whether Kate lives or dies in Episode 2 doesn't matter as much when she gets killed by the storm, same goes for Frank, etc.), but the sacrifice Chloe ending returns everything to its pre-Episode 1 state too, aside from Max. Neither really deliver on the promise of consequences to your actions.

      I disagree that the difference in ending cutscenes is indicative of Dontnod's preference, too. To me it was pretty clear that they straight up ran out of money in the sacrifice the town ending, and I believe in an interview someone from Dontnod alluded to that being the case (obviously not in such specific language, but sort of that he regretted it wasn't a meatier scene). I have watched the Chloe dies ending and I dislike it too, I found it very overwrought, melodramatic, and altogether a huge tonal difference from the rest of the game. The sacrifice the town ending by contrast I feel reinforces the sort of recurring theme of finding a way to live and move on from trauma by leaning on friends, because Max isn't alone in knowing all the ****** and horrifying stuff that went through over the week.

      Both endings are disappointing to me so it really just came down to "I like Chloe so I'm going to choose her." I wouldn't say one is superior to the other and I think Dontnod did a pretty good job in keeping a pretty objective stance on the two, even if the diner scene is fairly weak compared to the "look at all your awesome memories with Chloe" museum thing (which I guess can be seen as a sort of eulogy if you're intending on sacrificing her but I digress).
      I definitely disliked Chloe at some points (like when she wants to steal the handicap fund, like I get she's in a rough spot owing Frank money but holy ****, and when she's rude to Joyce) but yeah, some people really hate her and I'm like... how did you get through five episodes of this ****.
    10. Hayabusa
      Hayabusa
      That's actually a super good explanation that I hadn't heard before hand...but I still feel it was weirdly tacked onto Warren. I dunno, I can't think of how to better do that scenario.

      For me, the compelling reason to sacrifice Chloe always came down to the fact that Max had been changing the events of the original timeline -- where Nathan kills Chloe. But there's still a question of conveying a message. In Life is Strange's case, I figured giving Max those abilities was a creative way to show her how much of a better person she could become -- saving Kate, helping David see how other people view him, stopping Mr. Jefferson from continuing his crimes etc. Yet all of that feels weird to say when the reasons for those choices comes down to saving Chloe. It all just feels like it got muddled when the game is wrapping up after four and a half episodes that felt mostly consistent with the game's themes.

      Agree to disagree with the handling of the two endings, but I will agree that making it so binary in the conclusion as using two reset switches was extremely disappointing.

      (also if anyone cares to know, I agree with Cal's bf about the whole "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" dilemma but that's another thing.)

      Oh God that moment pissed me off so much about her. I wanted Max to be extra furious, but I like how Dontnod referenced the choice with what happens to Chloe in Episode 3-4, especially when she gets a letter of rejection since the school she applied for doesn't accommodate handicapped students.[DOUBLEPOST=1459977149][/DOUBLEPOST]Adding more things as I"m getting through more:

      • I was going to mention the Max = Rachel theory, but I didn't think of it as "resurrection." Dunno if anyone wants to hear what I thought was going to happen...
      • The bunker thing was such a big annoying plot hole to me
      • Jeez I don't think Warren deserves nearly as bad a treatment as you guys gave him. He's a conflicted teenage boy and honestly reminded me of myself when I was younger. I don't recall ever seeing him outside a window either...
      • Thank you Nick for ripping into David Cage a bit, I could add a ton to that discussion
      • My girlfriend heard that Dana is apparently supposed to be Filipino
      • My favorite episode is probably Episode 3. It has SUCH a strong conclusion and was consistently enjoyable. Episode 1 has the fantastic walk through the school, one of the best intros I've seen in games, and Episode 2 had the best dilemma with trying to save Kate.
      • Cal: if you want deeply thematic games, please take a look at the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. If you can't play them, try finding stuff about the worlds and lore those games build. It's fantastic material, even if it's not gay teenagers in suburbia.
      • Agreeing with Nick; the rest of this series should try some other supernatural element that isn't time travel
      • Pretty sure the Final Fantasy VII Remake has been confirmed to have episodes that are each as big as Final Fantasy XIII. Ask Nick about that now.
      Now listening to Misty's extra stuff.[DOUBLEPOST=1459978119][/DOUBLEPOST]Extra stuff
      • "Ready for the moshpit shakabrah" is the best fight me
      • I like Max and Kate's pajamas :<
      • Brooke has probably my favorite outfits
      • Max in Rachel clothes is the best look she had
      Oh yeah, I don't get how the Kate x Chloe kiss nightmare thing is somehow so much more offensive than the rest of the stupid convoluted stuff that occurs in that nightmare scenario. I feel like Cassie is overblowing it and discrediting the creative team there, when it was just bad asset reuse for something that was clearly not meant to be in the ending.
      Last edited: Apr 6, 2016