The Walking Dead

The most important moments for me so far have been:

Save Duck or Shawn

I chose to save Duck in this situation because he’s just a kid and I wanted Kenny to think of me as a trustworthy person and a potential friend. This also plays a part in persuading Kenny to stop the train during Duck’s last moments and realizing that letting Shawn die was not the reason Duck was bitten.

Deciding Who Got the Daily Rations

This was a very tough decision to make. I chose to give the rations to Duck, Clem, Mark, and Kenny. I instantly chose the children without giving it a second thought. Clem because of the deep emotional connection between her and Lee. I chose Mark simply because he was next to Larry and I wanted him to see that he got no food for that day.

Help Kill Larry

I chose to help Lilly attempt to help her father, even though throughout my whole playthrough I hated him with a passion. The way I saw it, though, was Larry still had a chance at surviving and Kenny acted too impulsively. Also, if you get to at least four compressions when attempting to help Larry, you see that he takes a breath and he may have a chance at living that is short lived by Kenny dropping the salt lick on his face.

Kill Danny

I chose to kill Danny and it was not a hard decision to make. I did, however, hesitate for just a second but he soon said that I didn’t have it in me to kill him and as soon as he said this I put the pitchfork through him. I did regret my decision after seeing Clem’s reaction to witnessing Lee murder him.

Kill Andrew

I chose to not kill Andrew. Part of the reason for this was that I didn’t want Clem to see me kill another person. Also, I ultimately decided that letting Andrew live was a far worse punishment than killing him especially after informing him that both his brother and mother were dead.

Killing Duck

This was very emotional for me because initially, I hated Duck because he was the reason Shawn died and overall he was just a very annoying character. However, at the motel when investigating the supplies situation, I began to bond with him after he referred to me as the greatest detective and him as Dick Grayson. Ultimately I chose to kill Duck because I didn’t think that Kenny should have kill his own son especially after witnessing his selfish wife take her own life. Kenny did not need more things piled onto the massive amount of sadness he has already faced. While I was still sad for Kenny, this situation showed just how hypocritical he is. He took no hesitation in killing Larry but yet when came down to his son he refused to believe he was inevitably going to die.

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The Last of Us

The Last of Us has many instances where creates meaning visually but one that stood out to me the most the first time I played it was the giraffe scene. It instantly became my favorite scene out of the entire game.

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As soon as Ellie spots the giraffe the player and Joel isn’t aware of what it is she saw and naturally it causes a sense of panic and hope that Ellie is okay. That is unless you somehow play this game and despise Ellie in which case you would probably hope it was the “end of the line” for her. But anyways as you run after Ellie hoping everything is okay you then come to see her in awe as she stares at the giraffe. As she pets it Ellie has a childlike wonderment and it reminds that even after all that she has done and all that she has been through she is still just a kid. It also shows that after all the awful stuff that has happened and they have witnessed there is still good out there in the world.

 

Flower

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A game that has a very effective art direction, as well as soundtrack, would be in my opinion Flower. The game itself is more or less pretty simple, you start off as a single flower petal and with the help of the wind you fly around a dead and barren field towards a group of not yet bloomed flowers, as you reach these flowers they bloom and you add a few petals to your group. Honestly writing it out makes it seem like a boring game and when a friend tried recommending it to me I thought the same, but he offered to let me use his account to download it for free so I decided to give it a try.

The first thing you see when starting the game is a black and white very gritty and monochromatic room with a view of a few building obstructed by torn up clothing set out to dry but in the middle of all this only object in color is an unbloomed flower in a small brown pot with a glow of light where the flower will bloom. This to me is a great way to start it off. It’s a way of showing that there is beauty in such a large and gloomy place and the actual gameplay shows this off even better.

You’re not really told much about what the objective is in the game at first. You’re simply shown the very basic controls and that’s about it. You start off by seeing a yellow flower in a very large and open green field with a few stones here and there, you then guide yourself to the rest of the flowers. As you fly around figuring out your task you begin to listen more to the music. You hear a very calming yet upbeat tune of a guitar and a piano as you listen to the wind blow you across the field and the petals brush up against the grass, in the soundtrack alone they blend the wind into the music itself. ou then see a dry patch

As you continue to fly you see a dry patch grass with a group of colorful not yet bloomed flowers and as you approach them and make them bloom the camera zooms out and you see what was the dry grass become very green and full of life begin to blend with the rest of the field. You then follow the path of the flowers collecting more petals along the way as you occasionally brighten up the dead part of the grass and make your way to the end goal, a tree that has lost all of it leaves in the center of the biggest patch of dead grass. As you make the flowers around the tree bloom the tree then regains its leaves and the entire field seems to gain much greener grass.

The use of the main menu of the game being a cityscape and seeing that before you go into the levels is a very big contrast which I think makes the large and calm field stand out even more, especially when you’re not sure what to expect from the game. The use of the very bright colors and the use of calming instruments such as flute, guitar, and piano for the music makes a very enjoyable and relaxing game to play.

Resident Evil 7

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My knowledge of the Resident Evil games is slim to none. I watched the full playthrough of Resident Evil 7 twice because some of the YouTubers I watch were uploading it. The game seemed interesting because it looked like a horror game and in many aspects it was. While some of the horror came from jump scares, some of it was psychological like when Ethan would crawl through tight spaces, the bugs that would swarm and attack you, and being in this creepy looking house with crazy invincible people and molded monsters right around the corners, oh and don’t forget granny who is somehow able to show up in the weirdest of place, pretty creepy if you ask me.

Now it could also be said that RE 7 has some mystery and adventure. Mystery simply because most of the time Ethan has no idea what exactly is happening or why and adventure because of the way the story is structured with Ethan having to find his way through this pretty big world and fight of Moldeds and the family. In the end, you see that everything can actually be explained seeing that they have been running experiments on this little girl and you then have some elements of science fiction.

Gameplay wise this game is very much survival/survival horror. You have to manage your resources very carefully making sure you have enough rubbing alcohol to simply pour over your hand and make everything all better, ammo so that you’re able to actually kill the Moldeds and not die or just sidestep them and completely ignore them, but if you’re like me then all of your inventory matter and you don’t want to part with it so instead of picking up the dog head needing to open up a door you hold onto some herb because you might, but probably won’t because there is so much scattered throughout the game, need it later. It could also be said that there are some puzzle aspects such as the statue you must pick up and place on a pedestal to turn around and have the shadow match the picture or things such as my favorite the tape where the man get the candle to the cake without the sprinklers having it go off because for some reason he can’t cover the flame with his hand?

Introduction to Brothers

I believe Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons does an amazing job of establishing the story right from the beginning. From the beginning, we can see that the story that will unfold will most likely have some elements of tragedy as we see the younger brother knelt down in from of a gravestone and then we see a flashback of him on a boat as he attempts to save his mother’s life but fails as she drowns.

What makes it amazing to me is how Brothers uses a fictional language yet we seem to understand everything they are saying by the emotion they use alongside this made up language. After the flashback we see the older brother come out with their father on leaning on him for support. The brother calls out to the younger brother and we can hear the sense of urgency in his voice as the father lays in the wagon coughing and in pain.

Another thing that the game does great is establishing the controls. As we know the controls played a huge role in Brothers and as soon as you are able to control a character in the game for the first time you not only control one but two characters, something a bit unconventional in most games.

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You immediately have to try to get accustomed to this odd controller scheme and also learn how to use it effectively. Such as when you pick up the wagon to get the father to where he need to be. When you pick up the wagon both brothers must pick it up. Now usually in most games, you’d move the character with the left analog stick which when I played the game is exactly what I did. After a short while, I became a bit agitated that they were moving so slowly but then learned that it would move much faster if I moved both characters at the same time. Thus putting it into my head that the control scheme, while a bit annoying, was crucial to the storytelling.

Internal and External Conflict: Batman Arkham Knight

Recently I finished up with what is now one of my favorite game franchises I’ve played in a while. Out of the Arkham series, Arkham Knight is hands down my favorite. Not only is it a fantastic game but it also, in my opinion, is a great example of showing internal and external conflict.

The major point of this game is that Batman has to prevent Scarecrow from releasing his fear toxin throughout Gotham (external) but all the while he must fight off the Joker who resides in Batman’s mind after he was injected with Joker’s blood. Throughout the story, Batman is constantly having to fight off the Joker as he attempts to persuade Batman to give in and let him take over. Batman also has very little time to come up with a formula to get rid of the Joker infection that plagues not only him but four others as well.

At points, Batman also becomes infected by the fear toxin and in one instance as he goes to rescue Oracle who had been captured by Scarecrow, he then “witness” her kill herself as she was infected by the fear toxin herself. Batman then has to decide whether or not to tell Commissioner Gordon that his daughter, who he believed to be safely out of the city, has died.

At points, the Joker would give Batman hallucinations of things such as a beaten up Jason Todd (previous Robin) in order to try and break Batman down more and more and it does start to sort of taking a toll on him. Eventually, Batman is shown the scene of Jason’s death and then decides to lock up Tim Drake (current Robin).

In the end, Batman confronts a “new” enemy who he has been trying to figure out the true identity of, the Arkham Knight. After what seems like thousands of attempts to apprehend him they finally have their final battle and the Arkham Knight reveals just who he really is and surprise, surprise it was Jason Todd who now has a huge desire to kill Batman after he refused to kill the Joker for what he did to him and having replaced him.

Archetypes in Brothers

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons of the archetypes we have mentioned. The Hero of the game could be seen as both brothers but to me, I see the younger brother being the main Hero and the older brother being the mentor is anything. I see the younger brother as the hero mainly because, in the end, he is the one to bring back the elixir and save their father. The herald is the priest/healer who tells the brothers they must go the tree and collect the elixir, the main story of the game. The older brother is the definitely the mentor in the sense that his death caused the younger brother to further develop into the hero. The younger brother also takes the form of the trickster. Along the way, you can interact with certain NPCs and if you choose the older brother to interact with them he’ll usually ask for directions to the tree. The younger brother, however, will interact with them in a comedic way usually doing things like taking the ball from a younger boy and throwing it down a well or spanking a man who is looking for something in the bushes.

 

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The true villain of this game.

 

The shapeshifter is very clearly the girl that “helps” them reach the tree. She literally shifts her shape into this weird spider girl thing. She also plays the main role in the death of the older brother which is one of the bigger plot points of the game and changes the younger brother very drastically. In the end, the villain did not have a physical form but it was death itself. Throughout the game, you see death many times through the giant warriors lying dead on the ground or the scene where the man attempts to take his life after his family is burned in a house fire. You see the main villain without ever realizing it.