Kate Didn’t Jump (and other short stories)

Life is Strange was on steam sale a few weeks ago, and considering I’d already watched the first 10 minutes of it played by PewDiePie and Felicia Day, I figured it was time for me to play it myself, and finally see what happens after those 10 minutes. So a sale and a super intriguing game? Sign me up.

If you haven’t played yet, spoilers ahead.

P.S. I’m not sure why I love adding “and other short stories” to any sort of anecdotal titles I think of. I’m starting a little collection in the notebook that goes everywhere with me. I’ll write a book with one of them soon.

As a side note/friend plug, if you’re into this game AND you’re into art – especially the header image & picture of Kate below, you should check out my friend Julia! She’s crazy talented and is just as excited for and about this game as I am, even if I was a little late to the (vortex) party. Check out her work here and like her facebook page for updates!

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Episode 5. October 20th. *heavy breathing*

I have loved “choose your own adventure” since they were Goosebumps books. The ability to go back and change your answers to be better ones is so insanely appealing to me – and I think most people in general, since that’s where most anxieties live. The casual “what if’s” in everyday life could be solved with just a quick rewind. To think: If only I had worded that differently, if only I had known that was a sore subject. Playing through this game – and watching movies like “What Women Want” for that matter, give us all the reasoning to why we shouldn’t be able to do that.

I’m in love with Life is Strange because it’s rare when you play as the mildly responsible kid. Your character Max is extremely conflicted, wanting to do the right thing but also getting involved with things that she really shouldn’t be troubling herself with. Basically my whole life in a nutshell – I just have a lot of feelings. When I played Beyond: Two Souls there’s already a built-in darkness to Jodie’s ethereal sidekick Aiden, so when you’re playing this innocent teenager who is being blindsided by a new superpower while she’s dealing with typical high school drama and impending doom, it’s a little more relatable.

The user experience is really interesting. There are signifiers and text that pops up when you’ve made an important enough choice/move/mistake that will tell you “this will have consequences” which is eerie. It’s just demonstrating the finite possibilities in the choice you’ve just made or action you’ve executed, which is a completionist’s nightmare. Since this is my first play through, I’m trying very hard to stick to my guns and make all of my choices based on what I personally would do in the situation.

IMG_5824I also LOVE the scorecard at the end of the levels. It shows you how your choices have affected the relationships you’re developing for your character. It also gives you an idea of if you’ve missed any decisions (apparently some girl in Max’s dorm might be preggo – missed that one), but similarly if you picked the road less traveled. I decided to give the bully chick in my game a taste of her own medicine, which I honestly wouldn’t have the balls to do IRL, but she so had it coming to her. I got docked a little for that, which I proceeded to feel bad about, buuuuut it’s a video game. I can just be the bigger person in my real life, and make fun of the girl who isn’t real on my computer. Trollololol.

Before I owned the game, I’d seen several stories and walkthroughs about some of the nuances, but the scariest I’d seen was about a suicidal girl named Kate that’s just having a rough week. Max’s job is to literally talk her off the ledge, but I knew going into this that this was a decision you can’t rewind on – so every step is important. MAN is that completely correct for the real situation (at least I would think, thankfully I’ve never been in this position). I had to really concentrate on my answers. Once I got to the end – the last question was about who it is that really cares about her unwaveringly, and I was so freaked. The last thing you want to do is let this girl jump. I CHEERED when I got the right answer. My heart was beating out of my chest and a huge sigh of relief fell across my person.

Here I was bullying a digital character earlier, and then being on the edge of my seat trying to save another’s life.

Too real. Great story development.

Another piece my friend Julia drew up - so much emotion.
Another piece my friend Julia drew – so much emotion.

Fast forward (hah – it’s almost like a pun! …nevermind) to Episode 4, where I am sobbing through the beginning of the episode and furthermore STUNNED at the cliffhanger, I don’t know what to think. The newest and last episode comes out next week and I am practically pooping myself waiting to figure out how Max will handle this. Is Chloe going to stay dead? Am I going to get gang banged and propped up for horrible and invasive photos? By my PHOTO TEACHER?

When your significant other comes up to you while you’re speechless/verge of tears/been sobbing for 10 minutes at your computer screen and he reminds you it’s just a game, you know you’re in too deep. All it takes is one developer to challenge the “good always triumphs over evil” rule and everything will be RUINED FOREVER. But they wouldn’t do that, right? 

It’s all about good storytelling in the end.

I’m excited about what the last episode has to share with us, but I’m also terrified. I’m fully prepared to not know what to do with myself, and to have a lot of trouble making my decisions. The show must go on. This is something I might consider streaming on twitch or something purely because I am an extremely animated person and it would absolutely be entertaining to others. Leave me comments and I’ll consider it. 😛

Until I have my next Life is Strange induced panic attack, I’ll see you guys in the next post.
-Rhi

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