I played a couple of hours of Oxenfree
last night! It's very pretty and colourful, which is an interesting design choice for a horror game. All the landscapes sort of look like they've been made out of coloured paper.
You have to make decisions within a few seconds in Oxenfree
, which I find very stressful, even when most of the decisions are just 'what do you want to say now?' (I feel a bit spoiled by Life Is Strange
, which not only gives you as much time as you like to choose your response but allows you to rewind and redo things if you change your mind.)
At the very beginning of the game, just after you get off the boat, I refused to speak alone with Jonas because my mind was working by Until Dawn
rules: DON'T SEPARATE, BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN. th_esaurus
pointed out that this was very early in the game, nothing bad had happened yet, and a brief conversation with my stepbrother was unlikely to get anyone killed. I felt so bad for turning Jonas down that I restarted.
At this point I set the first and most important of several goals that would help me make decisions in the future: I want to get along with my stepbrother
Later, after panicking during the 'who do you meet up with first?' decision at the radio tower, I came up with my second goal: I want to improve my relationship with Clarissa
My third goal, after telling Ren there were other fish in the sea and TOO LATE realising that the game might think I want to be his fish: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES can I end up in a romantic relationship with Ren
('The game won't let you romance your stepbrother,' th_esaurus
said, with deeply felt sadness. I laughed at her.)
I feel a lot more comfortable making quick decisions now that I know what I'm aiming for. Even if I still miss Life Is Strange
. (The soft colours and loading-screen Polaroids really remind me of Life Is Strange
, actually. Although I'm puzzled by the fact that Jonas took a picture on his phone
and it appeared on the loading screen as a Polaroid.)
I'm playing this game at th_esaurus
's flat, so I don't know exactly when I'll be able to pick it up again, but I hope it'll be soon! There's a lot of intriguing mystery. And I like Alex, which is unusual; I usually have trouble warming to characters who communicate entirely through dialogue choices, because they can end up feeling like an empty vessel for the player rather than a character in their own right, but a lot of personality comes through in everything she says.
Here are a handful of things I experienced in 2016 but didn't post full entries on:
- I watched the anime ERASED
(it's available legally on Crunchyroll here
), which is about a man who goes back to his childhood and tries to prevent the abduction and murder of a classmate. It was very good and very gripping, but I don't know whether I'll ever watch it again; it might be a bit too bleak and serious without the 'but what happens next??' drive to keep going. Still, I loved that it told a very compact, intense story in just twelve episodes. It also has one of the coolest opening sequences I've ever seen
. The shots of the empty school give me chills.
- I saw Your Name
in the cinema and loved it. The basic concept (two strangers keep swapping bodies across a great distance and can only communicate with each other by leaving notes) is exactly the sort of idea I find irresistible: people being drawn together by weird experiences, unable to talk about them with anyone but each other! Inevitably, I'm now wondering whether it could be employed in fanfiction for other works.
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
is a much, much better show than you'd think from the title. A couple of my favourite songs:I've kind of got a girl crush on you, by which I mean I wanna kill you and wear your skin like a dress.FACE YOUR FEARS. RUN WITH SCISSORS.
- The second series of How to Get Away with Murder
is, I'm delighted to report, just as stupid as the first. The scene in 'Meet Bonnie' where the students were going 'pfft, we've screwed up our lives, might as well have an orgy' inevitably delighted me. Has anyone written the fic where they follow through? I'm going to be so disappointed in fandom if nobody's written that fic.
Inevitably, the combination of fandoms in this entry is making me ponder a How to Get Away with Murder
scenario in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
, in which Rebecca somehow ends up killing someone and has to try not to get caught. It's actually a worryingly plausible scenario.