Well! It has been awhile hasn’t it? I just wanted to do a quick update on what’s been going on.
I did have a shiny new post all ready to go but then I realized it hadn’t saved. It was to have been a review of the PC game Gone Home. But it didn’t save and, quite frankly, that game is not worth three more hours of my time writing about it.
I’ll give you the short version here (spoilers): It’s over-priced for the length and content (I got it on sale for 2 or 3 bucks but last I checked the price was back at $20). I completed the game in roughly four hours but that was with a laggy computer and quite a few breaks. With a decently functioning PC and going straight through, it’s probably about two hours worth of gameplay. So, that’s like paying ten dollars an hour to play. Which is insane.
I absolutely hate Sam and Lonnie’s storyline (and no, not for the reason you think). I hate the “Oh, happy ending!” of it all when Sam throws away an awesome scholarship, Lonnie throws her career away and Sam steals from her family to pay for their little romantic elopement. Which might get them the next town over before getting either dead-end jobs or come crawling home. And I specifically mention the dead-end jobs because they threw away great opportunities…because they’re in looooove. At eighteen and sixteen. Yeah, that relationship is going to last. And Sam makes her parents out to be assholes when she outs herself to them. Really their response is pretty mild. They say “It’s a phase” (which, I’ll grant you could be hurtful but it’s not like they kicked her out, disowned her and forbade her from seeing Lonnie ever again). Their main worries were her falling grades and fighting at school. From all evidence at the house, Lonnie is still coming over with the parent’s only caveat being that they keep the door open, which would be a reasonable request even if she were dating a guy. Point is, it bothers me because the same story could be played out no matter the gender of the couple. Any combination could be the same basic storyline and I was expecting a much more in-depth, psychological aspect.
Which brings me to my next point. When I saw the first trailer to this game it was very heavily weighted toward making me think that it was a horror oriented game. I don’t mind that it’s a story exploration game. I’ve played some that were fantastic stories with very little actual gameplay. But the trailer (the first one) with all of it’s horror imagery (mostly cribbed from The Shining) made me genuinely excited to play it. I should have looked at the newer reviews and trailers but sometimes they can spoil things inadvertently so I try not to look too much because I want the game fresh and unspoiled. Lesson learned, I suppose. So, yeah, I felt tricked when I realized the scariest thing about the game was the lightning, thunder, and rain. And it made me angrier the more I played. I see that now it’s listed as a ‘walking simulator’ but I want the game it first promised me.
Ok, I know I said this is the short version (and trust me, it is). After I got over the disappointment of it not being horror I was hoping the story would make up for it. Nope. I can’t stand Sam’s character. I think she’s a whiny, self-entitled brat. I might like Lonnie more but she’s a very peripheral character who we see mainly through Sam’s eyes. Which wouldn’t be so bad but her thoughts on Lonnie usually circle back around to herself. So you don’t learn too much about her, really. And what annoys me most about their story (besides what is mentioned above) is it’s lack of depth. If you’re going to pull a bait & switch like that you’d damn well better have something fantastic to switch to. As it stands this could be any story about young love taken to an extreme.
And it feels a bit…cheap. Like they could avoid criticism on the game itself by making their central story something that some people would be leery of attacking for fear of being labeled judgmental. The really interesting story about her father is hidden so deeply in the background that it’s easy to overlook. I won’t mention it in this post because it’s getting late and it deserves more time than I can give it right now so I’ll save it for a later post.
The gameplay mostly consists of inspecting the home and finding notes, memos and recordings. You can interact with just about everything, which was fun. At first. Then it just got tedious because you can’t really do anything with the stuff you pick up. Except the notes and the music tapes. I won’t go much into them because I did not like them. But other people might so it’s a matter of taste. I’ll just say that I’m very glad I did not buy the package that included the soundtrack and leave it at that.
So, that wraps up my not-so-brief review of the game. Now, onto upcoming items. Tomorrow I’ll be posting a review of Out of Tune 2 – Edited by Jonathan Maberry. A horror anthology in which the stories connect to old folk songs and tales. I absolutely loved it but I’ll go into more detail in my next post.
Also, next Tuesday I’ll be starting up Twilight Zone Tuesdays again. I’m also trying to get an X-Files recap series going but I’m trying to get a couple more people in on it with me as guest bloggers so we can get some different viewpoints on the series. So, I’ll keep you updated on that as well.
As always, if you have any thoughts on the review or if you think I misjudged the game I’m always open to new ideas. Or if you have any comments or suggestions I’d love to hear them.
Goodnight and good day to all my fellow travelers of the unknown realms…