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Humble Square Enix Bundle Includes $5 A Realm Reborn, $1 For Murdered Soul Suspect & Life Is Strange

Posted on December 22, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

Humble Square Bundle

The folks at Humble Bundle have joined forces with Square Enix to bring out a brand new tiered bundle featuring a wide selection from the publisher’s catalogue just in time for the holidays.

Highlights include Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (30 days of access for new accounts) for just $5.00 as part of the Beat The Average tier. Even the $1 tier has some great games you probably shouldn’t pass up included episode 1 of Life is StrangeMurdered Soul Suspect and three classic Tomb Raider titles.

Here’s the full breakdown of currently available titles, remember that the Beat the Average tier may fluctuate and that the BTA prices in this article are reflective as of press time. Also Humble will be adding new games in a weeks time.

$1 Tier

  • Murdered Soul Suspect
  • Life Is Strange Episode 1
  • Tomb Raider 1, 2 and 3
  • The Last Remnant

Beat The Average Tier

  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn + 30 Days Game Time (new accounts only)
  • Just Cause 1 + Just Cause 2
  • Front Mission Evolved
  • Gyromancer
  • Yosumin
  • 20% off Just Cause 3

$8.88 Tier

  • Lara Croft: the Tomb of Osiris
  • Tomb Raider: GOTY Edition
  • Hitman: Absolution


Life is Strange | Full Season Review

Posted on December 10, 2015 by Kenny Keelan

life is strange title

I can’t even start this Life is Strange review without worrying about how it’ll sound. That’s how this game has me: in a fluster of emotion, insecurity, and anger. This game perfectly embodies the high school experience – perhaps a little too well. While I am on in my years I remember my years in high school with a kind of clarity that set me on the path I took for college and, by proxy, the rest of my life. I don’t look back on those years fondly. When I purchased the game via the PlayStation Store I thought I was going to get a kind of Lean on Me experience that told a story that happened to kids that were in school and not highlight the school part of their lives so vividly; not only was I wrong but it felt as if part of the purpose of this game was to expose the player to a side of high school social life that the developers felt wasn’t talked about enough. However, this isn’t said to say that Life is Strange isn’t a good game or a good story: no, it’s just the opposite. What I’ll be talking about here is how you can use a good game as a vehicle to tell a compelling story that purposely goes out of its way to rub you the wrong way.

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Dontnod Co-Founder Would Love To Work On a Sequel To Life Is Strange

Posted on November 8, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

Dontnod’s co-founder Alain Damasio has confirmed in an interview with a French publication that if a sequel to this year’s surprise hit Life Is Strange enters full production he’ll be happy to work on it – just as he did as a script consultant for the original 5 episodes.

Here’s a translated quote (thanks to Google Translate):

I contributed modestly as Script Doctor on  Life is Strange  developed by Studio DONTNOD. If there were to be a sequel, I would happy to contribute, of course.

The remainder of the interview talks about the social function of videogames, how developing games has changed as the player base continues to age and what makes games so much more engaging when compared to other mediums like film, television and books. Even if (like me) you have to read the interview through a translator it is quite fascinating.

One of our editors recently took apart and analyzed several of the problems with Life Is Strange Episode 5’s ending. I personally was absolutely drawn to the series after playing the first episode and without spoiling things the ending I chose in episode 5 left me in tears. If Dontnod can re-create this magic in an eventual sequel I’ll gladly buy the season pass up front!


The Problem with Life Is Strange’s Ending

Posted on October 24, 2015 by Broken Joysticks

*Sighs deeply*

You know, this wasn’t the article I wanted to write. It really wasn’t. Let me get this out of the way: I love Life Is Strange. I love the empathy it shows in giving even most of its villains depth and meaning. I love how most of the time it manages to tap into that inexperience, that imperfection, that unbridled optimism that makes the best kind of teen fiction. I love Max and Chloe’s tender, confused, multi-faceted relationship with each other; and all those things that I love are in here. In fact, some of the best moments of the entire series are nestled amidst this final episode. Little pieces of humanity that represent the very best this series has to offer.

And that’s why the ending is so terrible.

The second half of episode five takes place largely inside what is implied to be Max’ own head, where she is forced to face her greatest fear: Terribly designed mandatory stealth sections. There’s plenty to criticize here, but let’s be honest. The gameplay of Life Is Strange, especially the puzzles that involve the rewind mechanic, have always been clunky. I can get over this bit of below-average gameplay, especially since the environmental design here is really cool. The way it manages to recall some of the scenes from earlier in the game and make them feel both familiar and yet alien, is well done and creative. No, the real ending, and the real problem I have with this episode, starts after Max has made her way through all that.

In one of the last scenes of the game, Max finds herself in a representation of Joyce’s diner. It is filled with the residents of Arcadia Bay who are all blaming her for their deaths. As she walks through the crowd, she finds herself confronted by a mirror image, who accuses her of being selfish. Her motivations weren’t pure, the doppelgänger claims. She only used her power to make people like her more, and in doing so started a chain reaction that destroyed their lives. It is without a doubt meant to be an emotionally devastating scene, forcing both Max and the player to reflect on their action throughout the adventure. They have to face the consequences of their actions now that there is no rewinding, only taking responsibility. This is followed shortly after by the final choice of the game: To either sacrifice Chloe and turn back all the changes Max has made, undoing all of her damage to the timeline but killing her friend in the process, or to sacrifice Arcadia Bay and its residents in exchange for Chloe’s continued existence.

It’s not a bad ending. That is to say, it’s not a bad idea for an ending. However it’s not the ending this game needed. In fact, this ending undermines the entire point of the series. The choice here and what it means is rather obvious: Max has to either commit to her selfishness and accept that saving Chloe quite literally means letting everyone die, or she has to turn everything back, letting Chloe die but in doing so not fuck up the lives of everyone else. The tornado here is a metaphorical butterfly-effect turned literal. It is the result of her actions doing countless things beyond her control, and others suffering for it.

The reason the ending ultimately rings false is that the criticisms thrown at Max are unjustified. They are not backed up by anything that actually happens in the series, and they fundamentally contradict the main focus of the games themselves: Max’ powers allow her empathy. There is an obvious parallel between Max’ passion for photography and her powers, with a lecture in the first episode referring to photography as “framing little pieces of time”. This is fundamentally what Max’ powers allow her to do to capture a moment, and to examine it closely from multiple angles. Her powers allow her to explore not just the possibilities she has, but the people around her. And in doing so, it allows her to see the sympathetic side of people that she would normally just dismiss. This is something that comes back constantly throughout the series. Victoria’s aggression and hate come from a lack of certainty about her own work, coming from a rich family and never knowing whether people actually care about her work and her as a person, or just her money. Nathan is a rapist and a murderer, but he’s also obviously an addict with an unclear mind who is groomed and manipulated by a man far more in control than him. Frank is a drug dealer who doesn’t care what his product is used for or how it damages other people, but he also genuinely cared for Rachel. While he is apathetic about the lives of most, he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. The principal is an obstinate man who protects Nathan from scrutiny until he can no longer avoid it, but he does genuinely seem to care for his students and cannot help being forced into a position where most of the money for his school comes from the parents of one of the greatest threats to his students. The game never pretends these reasons absolve any of these people, but it understands they are humans and have their reasons for doing the things they do, and through her powers Max is able to understand these reasons as well and use that to find the best solution. Max’ power is fundamentally one that creates empathy and understanding, and it’s this empathy and understanding that guides the decisions Max makes.


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Square Enix Brings Its Biggest Q4 2015 Titles To New York Comic Con

Posted on September 28, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix

Square Enix will be attending the New York Comic Con from October 8th thru the 11th and they’ll be bringing some of their biggest titles for Q4 2015 / Q1 2015 with them. Here’s a full rundown of all of Sqaure Enix’s planned festivities for this year’s show.

The publisher has two developer lead panels lined up – the first being for the upcoming cyberpunk RPG Deus Ex: Mankind Divided tilted “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Creating the World of 2029” on Friday Oct 9th at 7:45PM in Room 1A21. Their second panel centers around the upcoming Just Cause 3 and is titled “Just Cause 3 : Choose Your Own Chaos” It will be held on Saturday Oct 10th at 1:30PM in room 1A21.

If you’re wondering what playable demos will be available in Square Enix’s booth – they’ve got a great mix of recent releases like Life Is Strange along with some upcoming 2016 like the latest Hitman.

Here’s their fully playable slate as provided by Square Enix:

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system
Developer: DONTNOD
ESRB: Mature
Availability: Now Available (Episodes 1–4)
Summary: Developed by DONTNOD Entertainment, the Paris-based studio who released their debut game  REMEMBER ME™ last year the game takes place in the fictional town of Arcadia Bay, Oregon, where senior student Max Caulfield returns after a 5 year absence. Reunited with her former friend Chloe, the pair begin to uncover the uncomfortable truth behind the disappearance of fellow student Rachael Amber.

Platform: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile
Developer: Square Enix Montreal
Availability: Now Available
Summary: Lara Croft GO expands the turn-based puzzle gameplay and takes you on an adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient civilization, discover hidden secrets and face deadly challenges as you uncover the myth of the Queen of Venom. Attendees will witness a never-before-seen take on the iconic franchise featuring challenging gameplay, gorgeous visuals and a mesmerizing soundtrack, all at your fingertips.

DRAGON QUEST HEROES: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below
Platform: PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system
Developer: Omega Force from Koei Tecmo Games
ESRB: T for Teen
Availability: Oct. 13, 2015
Summary: DRAGON QUEST®, one of the most iconic RPG series from Japan, will be transformed into a full-scale action RPG in the West. Players must rise up against insurmountable odds, challenge swarms of enemies and conquer gigantic monsters. It is filled with characters and monsters designed by world-renowned artist Akira Toriyama. Also, Yuji Horii, director and creator of DRAGON QUEST, and Koichi Sugiyama, the renowned composer closely tied to the series, are closely involved in bringing this title to life. The demo area allows fan to take on and challenge the all-mighty monster, Gigantes.

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Availability: December 1, 2015
Summary: The Mediterranean republic of Medici is suffering under the brutal control of General Di Ravello, a dictator with an insatiable appetite for power. Enter Rico Rodriguez, a man on a mission to destroy the General’s hold on power by any means necessary. With over 400 square miles of complete freedom from sky to seabed and a huge arsenal of weaponry, gadgets and vehicles, prepare to unleash chaos in the most creative and explosive ways you can imagine.

Platform: Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system
Developer: Square Enix
ESRB: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Availability: January 26, 2016
Summary: FINAL FANTASY EXPLORERS focuses on cooperative play with friends and utilizes a refined party system allowing Explorers to master over 20 new and familiar jobs—including Knight, Monk, Black Mage and White Mage—to defeat the realm’s mightiest monsters and even recruit them for battle. Players will have the ability to call upon the powers of eidolons like Ifrit and Bahamut, as well as transform into other legendary characters from the FINAL FANTASY series via the Trance feature.

Platform: PlayStation®4 system, Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Windows PC
Developer: Eidos-Montréal (a Square Enix studio)
Availability: February 23, 2016
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the sequel to the critically acclaimed  Deus Ex: Human Revolution®, builds on the franchise’s trademark choice and consequence and action RPG-based gameplay, to create both a memorable and highly immersive experience. Players will once again take on the role of Adam Jensen, now an experienced covert agent, and will gain access to his new arsenal of customizable state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations. With time working against him, Adam must choose the right approach, along with whom to trust, in order to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy.

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC
Developer: IO Interactive (a Square Enix studio)
Availability:  TBD
HITMAN will see players perform contract hits on powerful, high-profile targets in exotic locations around the world, from the highly fashionable Paris and sunny coast of Italy to the dust and hustle of the markets in Marrakesh in this creative stealth action game. Gameplay focuses on taking out targets in huge and intricate sandbox levels with complete freedom of approach. Where to go, when to strike and who to kill — it is all up to you. And for the first time, HITMAN will lead with a digital release inviting players into a world of assassination.


Life Is Strange E3 Trailer

Posted on June 10, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix and developer Dontnod Entertainment have released a trailer for their episodic story-driven adventure game Life Is Strange.  This trailer features a brief look at some of the major events that have occurred during the last three episodes. A big warning though – alongside snippets of the critical acclaim that Life is Strange has received are major story spoilers for those who have not played the episodes released thus far.

I’ve played through all three episodes on PlayStation 4 and I absolutely fell in love with Life Is Strange by the end of the first episode. I found myself getting wrapped-up in the drama between the teenage cast – Dontnod spends a lot of time exploring the personalities and relationships between the various characters.  Episode 2 had such a major plot point that it sent me into tears and Episode 3 ended on such a surprise cliff hanger that it left me wanting more.

Without spoiling things you should check out Life Is Strange. Check out the trailer below.

[youtube id=”8vL5JIwyqjM”]


Life Is Strange Episode 2 ‘Out of Time’ Rewinds Time on March 24th

Posted on March 16, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

The second episode of Dontnod’s excellent indie themed time traveling episodic adventure Life Is Strange: Episode 2 “Out of Time” will be released on Steam, Xbox Marketplace and the PlayStation Store next Tuesday March 24th.

Alongside a brand new batch of Episode 2 screenshots Square Enix also released a brief gameplay clip from Out of Time over the weekend. We’ve also included the previous developer diary ‘Creating Academy Bay’ which focuses on the game’s absolutely fantastic soundtrack.

I purchased Episode 1 Chrysalis  when it was released this past January and absolutely loved it. We’ll be posting some impressions of Life Is Strange Episode 2 next Wednesday morning!

Each episode is priced approximately around $5 CDN per episode and a season’s pass for PS4 is available for $16.99 CDN as of press time.

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