Check out more of my journey through Dreamlight Valley as I recruit Olaf and restore the Frosted Heights Pillar!
Cursed Fables: A Voice to Die For Beta Test
When a princess’s fiancé goes missing, she begs the sea witch for help. Only problem, the sea witch might have unwittingly been responsible for his disappearance by freeing a siren. Can the sea witch find the siren and set right what she’s done wrong?
That’s right, it’s another evil magic seductress woman story. For those of you unfamiliar with Greek Mythology, sirens were women who sang to sailors and bewitched them so badly that they would sail to their deaths. In this version, the siren uses her magical voice to control the men of the town similar to how Poison Ivy uses her pheromones. Personally, I hate this trope. Not only does it villainize women comfortable with their sexuality, but it takes what is essentially rape and sexualizes it. One example, other than the previously mentioned Poison Ivy, is in Agents of SHIELD, an Asgardian named Lorelai used her magic to bewitch men into becoming her servants. Sif, the Asgardian sent to capture her, justifies it by saying that men are weaker willed, which is why they are affected but it’s still rape. One man abandoned his newly made wife under Lorelai’s influence and another man killed his girlfriend under the same magical influence, something they would never do if their minds were intact. However, it can be done well, such as with Poison Ivy who has more character to her than being a simple vixen. Also with Kilgrave, a man who can make people follow his every command and enjoy it, but he’s not only given more depth, the horror his power causes on the innocent is not glossed over. Yet I will admit that there does seem to be some hinted depth with this siren character from what little I’ve seen. Perhaps, if the game does not acknowledge the obvious rape, they will at least develop the villain.
Other than that, there are some intriguing factors of the storyline. Not only does the story borrow from Greek Mythology, but it also borrowed elements from the fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. A woman confined to the sea asks the sea witch to give her legs to meet the prince. Only, in this version, the woman is the siren in the game and she’s stolen a prince away from his loving princess. It’s a nice twist with the sea witch being the hero and the mermaid being the villain.
Game play is that of your typical hidden object, with you collecting various items that are needed to advance throughout the game. Some items require you to go through a hidden object puzzle, collecting a bunch of useless junk until you get the item you want. There are times when you’ll have to play a mini game in order to advance through the story and you might have to backtrack but, thankfully, you have a map that can transport you to the very place that you need to get to.
This game is intriguing, despite the evil seductress cliché. I might buy the full version when it comes out.
Cyberpunk 2077 Part 1 Let’s Play
Another Disney Dreamlight Valley Selfie
Check out the latest top I gave Jasmine and, this time, I took a selfie with Moana!
Disney Dreamlight Valley Selfie (Steam)
Check it out, I made Jasmine Ross in Disney Dreamlight Valley! While the game itself isn’t out until next Tuesday, the makers of the game released an avatar tool so you can design your character before the big premiere! They’re also running a selfie contest which I already entered on Twitter last week with Jasmine in casual clothes rather than this fancy look and posing with Mickey Mouse. This time, I got Ariel!
Life is Strange Episode 2: Out of Time (Steam Store)
After Max discovers her rewind powers, she finds herself in more trouble than she bargained for. Not only does Max not know what her limits are, but she finds herself caught between Chloe and Kate. To make things worse, the school’s psychopath, Nathan, is out to get Max and even her rewind power might not save her.
Spoiler alert, which I try to avoid, but it’s difficult not to talk about some video games without mentioning them. First, I’m going to talk about Kate, the religious friend of Max’s who found herself on a viral video. I’m going to tell you what I’m sure you’ve already figured out if you played the game. Kate when to a party and Nathan drugged her. As a result, she unintentionally starred in a sex video and has no memory of what happened. People hassle Kate for it with Victoria in the lead and her mother and aunt disowned her.
According to them, Kate’s disgraced the name of God by starring in that video and, either they don’t believe that Nathan drugged her, or they feel that it’s her fault. First off, I would think that people that raised Kate would know that she would not do something like this voluntarily. Another thing is that, as tragic as the situation is, I’m glad that they chose Kate to give it to rather than Victoria. I’ve seen rape used too poorly in many fictional franchises where the victim is usually a provocatively dressed party girl. What many people fail to get is that rape is about power and ugly people can fall victim to it. By having this happen to Kate, who preaches about abstinence and wears conservative clothes, you demonstrate that this can happen to anyone. Doesn’t matter how pretty you are, how modestly you dress and how much you preach about God. Anyone can be a victim and it is not your fault. Kate’s storyline also shows how evil Victoria is and yet the game shows hints that she’s not pure evil. Yes, she does spread Kate’s viral video around, bullies Max and even films something at the end that I won’t give away because I have to keep some mystery. However, Victoria is there for her friend, Taylor, in her time of need and, at the end, even feels remorse over her actions. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t redeem Victoria but it makes her a more complex character. Nathan, on the other hand, seems closer to pure evil but the game hints at a troubled family background in the first episode. I applaud that they’re not using this to excuse him and it doesn’t look like he’s getting a love redeems plot. That’s something that happens quite often in these types of stories.
Now, I’m going to talk about Chloe. Right now, I don’t know what to feel about her. I do like that she’s not pure evil as society would portray most female characters like her. Chloe can also be rather tough and I can sympathize with her situation. In the last episode, we learn that Chloe has an abusive step-father her mother married after her real father died. This episode does give the step-father depth but it doesn’t excuse him beating up Chloe and harassing Kate. Chloe dreams of leaving Arcadia Bay and making it out on her own in the big city. However, some of her actions are very questionable, such as attempting to exploit two insane people who could kill her if she so much as makes the wrong move. One of them, Nathan, actually did in the first episode. Chloe also encourages Max to use her powers as much as possible, which causes Max’s nose to bleed and for her to pass out. If that’s not enough, Chloe plays with guns and lays on train tracks, the latter nearly getting her killed.
When you save her in a destructive way, Chloe does thank you but asked if you could’ve found a less destructive way to do it. I don’t know if this is a Final Destination Paradox, meaning that Chloe’s fate is to die, or if she’s just too dumb to live.
The game play is similar to TellTale with no QuickTime events. You pick dialogue but you don’t have to pick it right away. You explore different areas, talk to people, examine various items and take pictures. If you discover certain information about people, you can rewind time and use it to get closer to them. You can also rewind time if you don’t like the choices you made. Sometimes, the game play is rather frustrating on the PC if you can’t line the camera right. Other times, the mouse refuses to cooperate with you. You have no idea how many times I had to rewind time until I could get my mouse to cooperate.
As you play, Max will automatically fill her diary with character profiles and her version of what happened in the story. You will also receive text messages from various characters that Max will automatically answer if you press the right button. There will be a point where you get a text message from Chloe during Jefferson’s class and, if you try to look at it, he’ll scold you. I mentioned a scene that’s very tragic. However, you can prevent that tragedy if you say the right things. You won’t be able to rewind time in that scene, so be very careful. It’s frustrating but, I have to admit, I’m glad that they’re giving Max limits with her powers. It makes her more human.
This game is tragic and yet addictive. I give it 9 out of 10, it gave me a bit of an emotional reaction but not strong enough to get the full ten.
Fables The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf (Steam Store)
Bigby’s finally solved the murder of Faith and Lilly. Now he only has to bring the Crooked Man to justice.
The last episode ended on a cliffhanger with Bigby meeting the Crooked Man. T
hose of you still interested in finding Faith and Lilly’s killer might be disappointed in the resolution. Thankfully, the game is more about the huge conspiracy in Fabletown than it is about that. Which, if you ask me, is a little more interesting. As for who the killer is, it’s the one the fans most suspect.
Be warned, I have a few more spoilers to discuss. One is about the social commentary on prostitutes at the end. For starters, I should tell you that the one who killed those girls and the one who put their heads on Bigby’s porch are not the same person. The latter is Nerissa, The Little Mermaid, and this is where the social commentary enters. She talks about how the world considers prostitutes like her to be disposable. If one of them dies, people won’t bat an eye. It’s something Nerissa refuses to let happen to her friends, so she stuck their heads in front of Sheriff Bigby’s office to get his attention. This is something that separates Wolf Among Us from other video games. Don’t get me wrong, prostitutes are quite common in adult video games but this is the first time I’ve seen a prostitute treated as a person and not window dressing. Let me explain that, more often than not, prostitutes are what the main character pays for on the side being little more than sexual fantasies. In this game, the prostitutes may be victims but one manages to take an active role. In the second episode, it’s Nerissa who leads Bigby to Crane by insisting he pretends to be a regular customer. In this episode, if you bring the Crooked Man to trial, Nerissa will speak against him by pretending to be a witness.
Truth be told, she wasn’t actually there but she didn’t expect the Crooked Man to remember her and she was right. I’ll admit, Nerissa does dress a bit revealing when on the job and it is partly fanservice. However, remember her profession. When she’s finally free, Nerissa dresses casually.
Personally, I don’t think putting a woman character in revealing attire is sexist. It can be, if done poorly but, if you analyze each of your characters and you feel at least one of them would dress like that, you can pull it off.
The game play is typical of TellTale games. You pick Bigby’s dialogue options, you have to make important choices and you have to press the right button for Quicktime events. In this game, you get to fight Bloody Mary and it is awesome!
Yes, the original Bloody Mary from the urban legend. She can walk through mirrors, make copies of herself and is a real match for Bigby, in his original wolf form. That’s right, Bigby completely wolfed out! You even get to see Bloody Mary in her original unglamoured form and it is terrifying! This is a woman who kills the children playing Bloody Mary in front of a bathroom mirror for kicks. Even the Magic Mirror is afraid of her, I am serious.
As for the Crooked Man, you can either bring him to face judgment or kill him.
Either way, it’s rather anti-climatic. For instance, everyone at the Crooked Man’s trial is against him. Tim claims that people in Fabletown rely on him, yet we see no evidence of that. Speaking of Tim, he is also absent from the Crooked Man’s trial which feels like a major cop out.
As the Crooked Man’s biggest supporter, he could have spoke on his behalf giving Bigby a true challenge rather than only convincing the people who hate him. Speaking of copping out, I discussed Snow’s reasoning to have Toad and Colin sent to the Farm, which I did not approve of. It doesn’t matter if you stick up for Colin or give Toad money, Snow still sends them there. Then again, Toad could have been lying about Snow claiming the money didn’t matter. This is a guy who complains about the cost of glamour and has a sports car parked in front of his home. He probably screwed over himself and TJ, the one I really feel sorry for, and blew the money on expensive watches.
This game is intriguing and a little disappointing. I give it 7 out of 10; good ending yet a few wasted opportunities.
Fables The Wolf Among Us Episode 4: In Sheep’s Clothing (Steam Store)
After discovering Crane’s sick pastime, Bigby continues the hunt for Faith’s killer. What he didn’t know is that he’s uncovering a plot that not only involves Faith, but all of Fabletown.
That’s right, there’s a huge conspiracy in Fabletown and it involves the Crooked Man, the same one from the nursery rhyme.
You don’t see him to the end, so I’ll discuss the Crooked Man more in my next review. However, I do want to take a moment to applaud Bill Willingham for his creativity. For those of you who haven’t picked up any Fables comic books, it has a similar premise as Once Upon A Time. Many people call the latter a rip-off of the former, but Bill Willingham himself said that’s not the case. I will admit that I feel Once Upon A Time has the easier job with adding new characters. That show is on ABC, which Disney owns, and believe me when I tell you that Once Upon A Time takes advantage of this. Bill Willingham does not have the Disney Company to fall back on, so he must improvise with characters from poems and nursery rhymes. Which is why Georgie Porgie is a pimp, Bloody Mary is a gleeful murderer for hire and the Butcher runs a shop near the Baker and the Candlestick Maker.
I am not kidding about that last one. You have to admit, for a man who doesn’t have Disney to fall back on; Bill Willingham is very creative with what he does have. I do remember King Louie in the comics, who many people know originates from the Jungle Book Disney movie and had no role in the original book. I actually took the time to research that, and I could find no record of Bill Willingham facing copyright trials for it. However, I did come across a statement from the author saying that you need to do proper research before you publish.
I should tell you that Bill Willingham is conservative and, while I don’t agree with his views, I do enjoy his writing. He himself admits that he never intended for Fables to be a mouthpiece for his political agenda. All he wanted was to tell a story about fairy tale characters living in the modern day. His views accidentally popped in as he wrote, which is something that happens to me as well. This story is no exception and, I should warn you, I will give away spoilers as I write. So skip the next paragraphs if you haven’t played the game and wish to go in fresh.
One of the Crooked Man’s operations is at the Butcher Shop Bigby visits and he’s been enslaving Fables to make cheap glamour. For those of you who don’t know, glamour is a magical substance used on animal fables to make them appear human. It’s rather expensive due to being difficult to mass-produce and the animals that can’t afford it must live at the farm. Bigby makes a statement about how people are so desperate get stuff cheap, they’ll do anything without realizing the cost of it, which I rather agree with. However, I do not agree with how Fabletown treats their animal citizens. I understand that the citizens must lay low, but that doesn’t make it right. The first act Snow White enforces when she takes Crane’s place is that all Fable animals must go to the farm. Something both Colin and Toad take issue with because the city is their home.
Even in the comics, the animals call it a prison sentence because the government won’t let them leave. In fact, the Fables go as far as to appoint a human to control the farm. Is it any surprise to see many people choose not to send Colin and Toad to the Farm? However, that doesn’t do them any good. Another thing I will talk about in my next review.
As for what the Crooked Man has on the Fables, I never discussed Faith’s situation in previous reviews. She is the princess from Donkeyskin married to Lawrence in the original Kingdom. When the Adversary took over, Faith and Lawrence were a couple of the lucky, or unlucky, people able to escape. In the fairy tale world, Lawrence is Faith’s Prince Charming, able to rescue her from her father and give her a comfortable life. In our world, he can barely hold down a job forcing Faith to prostitute herself so she can support them both. Nerissa, the original Little Mermaid, is in a similar boat, as she must prostitute herself to survive.
Then there are Fables such as Beauty and Beast who live comfortably by our standards yet have expensive tastes.
This leads them both to be indebted to the Crooked Man similar to how Corrine found herself indebted in Flowers in the Attic and resorted to cruel measures to keep the life that she’s accustomed to having. While Beauty and Beast haven’t done anything that drastic, they both have expensive taste and they’ve paid for it. Playing as Bigby, you are free to call them out on this, which I’m sure many people will. I don’t know about you but, after seeing how Fables such as Faith and Nerissa live, it’s rather hard for me to sympathize with Beauty and Beast.
Speaking of Fables who have it worse, Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol is in this game. He’s all grown up and still handicapped as the mundies remember him. Let me explain that, in the world of Fables, the character’s strength is dependent on the memories of the mundies. This makes some Fables invulnerable and others as weak as any normal human, called mundies in this franchise. In the case of Tiny Tim, while the mundies remember him, they see him as the handicapped child in A Christmas Carol partly responsible for Scrooge’s redemption. It’s speculated that this is why Tim will always be handicap and there’s no cure for his condition. Either that, or there is a cure and he can’t afford it. Since the Crooked Man gave Tim a job, he speaks in favor of him. However, he’s not against the Fabletown government. When talking to Bigby, he claims that Fabletown needs both the Crooked Man and the government to survive but a war is the last thing the town needs. While Tim does not agree with everything his boss does, he points out that Bigby doesn’t agree with everything Crane does either. I loved this interaction because it talks about the shades of grey underlining what seems black and white.
The game has other character interactions that make it worth playing, and even show former enemies becoming friends. Colin, for instance, is one of the original three little pigs and he sleeps in Bigby’s apartment. If you haven’t figured it out, Bigby is the Big Bad Wolf who tried to eat them. Yet Colin regularly visits Bigby with no fear and even sticks up for him.
Another interesting case is The Woodsman from Red Riding Hood, the first suspect in the murder of Faith. At first, the roles changed to Bigby being the one enforcing the law and The Woodsman being the suspected perpetrator. In the first episode, The Woodsman reveals that he originally intended to rob the old woman Bigby ate, but ended up saving them instead. It’s not until you go to the pawnshop and see the Woodsman trying to get his ax back from the Jersey Devil that you team up with him and he encourages you to bring Faith and Lilly’s killer to justice.
The game play is typical of Telltale with you picking various dialogue options for Bigby. Sometimes, you have to make choices that supposedly influence the story, but I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet. You also have to participate in QuickTime events that don’t sneak up on you as badly as they did in Game of Thrones or Guardians of the Galaxy.
This game has an extra feature where you can collect a profile on a Fabletown citizen as you play. Let me warn you that does mean you’ll have to replay a bit of the game if you want to collect them all.
This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 8 out of 10, an adult take on classic fairy tale characters.
Game of Thrones Episode 6: The Ice Dragon (Steam Store)
This is the final chapter for the Forrester family. One of the older brothers died in a campaign to free Ironrath from the Whitehill Occupation; forcing the living brother to pick up the pieces. Gared’s found the North Grove, but he’ll have to work extra hard to gain the trust of the inhabitants. Meanwhile, Mira’s scheduled for execution in King’s Landing unless she marries an evil man.
The Ironrath plot goes one of two ways depending on which brother you killed in the last episode. As Rodrick, your goal is to negotiate with the Whitehills to prevent war and save your brother, Ryon. If Asher survives, he must take Rodrick’s place as Lord of Ironrath and convince the Whitehills that the war is not over. Since Asher survived in my play through, I’ll be reviewing that one.
First, I should tell you the terms of Ramsay Snow’s deal. In the last episode, Ramsay told you that the Boltons would stay out of the Whitehill and Forrester conflict. They will resolve this through war and the last house standing wins. Personally, I feel that Roose Bolton would side with the Forresters. No, I don’t mean that he would do so out of the goodness of his heart. Remember, the game points out that the Forresters are the better artisans and take care to chop down the trees they need. The Whitehills, on the other hand, are not only shoddy artisans, but reckless in their endeavors to harvest Ironwood. Roose Bolton may be evil, but he is also practical.
If Asher survives, Ludd Whitehill feels that his house is victorious. However, Asher refuses to bow down to the Whitehills. In this plot, you see a new side of responsibility in Asher as he tries to hold the reins after Rodrick’s death, refusing to let him die in vain. You also see a hint of a romance between Asher and Gwyn, the reason for his exile to Meereen.
Yet, despite his exile, Asher still loves his family as they do in return. Talia is someone you do not want to get on the bad side of. She may be as refined as Sansa, but she shows a spirit similar to Arya. Let me give you a little spoiler, if you choose to poison Ludd Whitehill at dinner, Talia volunteers to pour the wine. Elissa isn’t shy herself because she’ll offer to drink from the glass first to save Asher when Ludd insists Asher take the first drink. However, Gwyn’s character is still lacking in my mind. I get that she needs to side with her family but if the Forresters submitted to the Whitehills, that would just make things worse. Therefore, Asher has to fight with everything he has.
Another spoiler alert, Gared is the only character who will survive no matter what you do. This is ironic, because he’s not a true Forrester. He himself must gain the trust of the inhabitants of the North Grove. As for who they are, let’s just say that Lord Forrester had a few lapses in honor.
However, Gared does face one important decision. In the previous episodes, Cotter’s wounds are fatal. It doesn’t matter if you tended to the wound, he will still die. As Gared, you have to decide how you will end his suffering.
Mira’s plot in King’s Landing is rather strange because, to me, she always felt the least like a Forrester. I get that Mira’s in King’s Landing because Elissa signed her up to be Margeary’s handmaiden. She wanted her eldest daughter to learn to behave like a southern woman. However, she’s never truly interacted with The Forrester family. Yes, I get that would be a little difficult since she’s in a different location. Asher also had the same issue but we get to see him interact with his family and show affection for them. In the case of Mira, all we hear about how much she loves her family is through letters she gets and that her actions at King’s Landing do contribute to Ironrath in small ways. I realize that the Forresters are supposed to be like the Starks, separated through tragedy but still trying to pick up the remains. In the show, we see the Starks interact with each other before tragedy falls, giving us a sense of family and sorrow as they’re torn apart. Since the situation in the game is different, it would’ve been nice to provide some flashbacks to show happy family times, making Mira a true Forrester in my eyes. However, considering what happens to her, I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.
As I said in the first paragraph, Mira has to choose between death and an abusive marriage. Remember that Lord who helps you out in King’s Landing, Morgryn? Well, spoiler alert, he’s evil and wants control of Ironrath through Mira. Let me admit, I accidentally read a spoiler about Mira’s fate in the Game of Thrones Wiki and I knew she would live or die depending on my choice. I’ve grown rather attached to Mira so, at first, I was going to choose marriage.
Then I decided to have her die rather than marry Morgryn and have Tom, the coal boy who helped her, die in her place.
For those of you who don’t know, Telltale’s working on a second season and, considering this outcome, I don’t think we’ll be playing in King’s Landing anymore. This means that the plot will have many unanswered questions, such as why Tom wanted to help Mira in the first place. It’s what TV Tropes would call shoot the shaggy dog. Then again, considering how things usually turn out in Game of Thrones, maybe it’s not that much of a shock.
The game play is typical of TellTale with you picking various dialogue options for the characters you play.
Some choices will have a huge impact on the story and, this time, I actually mean it. During fighting scenes, you have to press the right key at the right time in order to live. At the end of the game, you can compare your choices with that of other players.
Since this is the true final episode, you can watch an epilogue of the Game of Thrones characters talking about each of the Forresters and their thoughts on them. Ramsay talks about Ethan and Rodrik, Margeary talks about Mira, Jon talks about Gared, Daenarys talks about Asher and Cersei gives her opinion of the Forresters as a whole. Let me tell you, it’s beyond awesome.
This game is depressing and yet addictive. I give it 7 out of 10, had me a bit shaken up but I didn’t like the King’s Landing story.
Game of Thrones Episode 2: The Lost Lords (Steam)
After Ramsay Snow murders Ethan Forrester and hands their livelihood over to their rival house, The Whitehills, the family struggles to maintain their once great house. Fortunately, Rodrik returns to become the new Lord under dire circumstances. Meanwhile, Mira Forrester secretly plots to overthrow the Whitehills while working as Lady Margeary’s handmaiden in King’s Landing and Asher, the exiled Forrester, is on his way home from Meereen with an army of sellswords.
I should warn you; this is the second episode of a TellTales game, so spoilers are unavoidable. For instance, Rodrik supposedly died in Episode One and then came back in Episode Two, his death turning out to be an exaggeration. Personally, I felt that was a cop out that they centered so much drama around Lord Forrester and Rodrik’s deaths, forcing Ethan to be the new lord. Then they destroy all the drama surrounding it by revealing that Rodrik’s alive and he can take over as the New Lord. I’ll admit, I actually liked Ethan and his struggles with having responsibility thrust on him at a young age. This was why I wasn’t happy to see Ramsay kill him at the end. I think it would have been more dramatic to keep Ryon dead and see how the Forresters truly struggle.
Mira Forrester’s scenes are some of my favorites, partly because they include Tyrion, who’s my favorite character in the show, other than Daenarys.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Mira, her struggles and how you can make her a total badass, if you so choose. Though I think Tyrion might have been a little sloppy in his assistance. Let me put it this way, this is the same man who told Lady Stark that, if he were to plot an assassination, he wouldn’t hand the assassin a dagger that could be easily traced back to him. When Joffrey’s killers frame Tyrion for the murder, he points out that, if he were to murder Joffrey, he wouldn’t do so in a way that leaves him standing there holding the cup. Tyrion also had to see who Cersei’s spy was on the council, so he deliberately told each member of his plan to betroth Myrcella to a different ward. I think that, if Tyrion were to ally with Mira, he would do so in a way where his alliance would not expose her or himself. For one thing, he approaches Mira while she’s with Sera, the other handmaiden, and not asking to speak to Mira in private. Tyrion also failed to dismiss the Lannister guard before bringing Mira to the meeting.
Speaking of Sera she has a small part in this and it’s something I actually like. She is a bastard and, while we see many male bastards in the show and learn how hard life is for them, we never learn what it’s like for females. In the world of Game of Thrones, no matter how bad things get for men, women always have it worse. Therefore, you can bet that life would be worse for a woman bastard, something I wish the show would explore and, I hope the game will take the chance to. No matter how bad things get for men, they always have the Night’s Watch as an option. I’ll admit, it’s not a great one but it’s better than nothing. How would a woman bastard be able to cope in Westeros? In the case of Sera, she needs to secure a marriage to a man of high rank in order to establish her security.
Gared joined the Night’s Watch and he hasn’t fared well.
I don’t know what the popular opinion about The Wall is, but my mom absolutely hates it. She finds it dull with only a few matters of interest. Personally, I like The Wall but that’s because I’m in love with Jon Snow, who gets to make an appearance in this game and advises Gared in life as a member of the Night’s Watch.
So far, nothing really happens except that Gared gets into a few fights and has trouble getting along with many of the other recruits. Gared also talks to Jon Snow, the one redeeming feature about The Wall, about the Red Wedding. They even discuss why Gared wants to be a ranger.
We heard about Asher in Episode One, but we never really get to meet him until now. I’ll admit, I like Asher’s journey as well as his companion, Beshka. You can tell that they’re both good friends who’ve seen each other through the good and the bad and are trying to survive in a harsh climate.
They both made a living as sellswords and have quite a few enemies to deal with. I was happy when Malcolm comes to get them and tells Asher the plan to save House Forrester. I already said their plan is to hire an army of sellswords to take back House Forrester, but what will they hire them with? Sellswords cost money, which they don’t seem to have in abundance. Maybe they plan to pay them with Ironwood, which is their livelihood, but you only get to keep half of it if you managed to convince Ramsay that the Forresters are the better craftsmen. Even then, you give over another half as dowry to convince Elaena Glenmore to marry Rodrik.
I particularly loved how Episode Two ended. Talia sings at the funeral for Ethan and Lord Forrester and the former’s last words influence the lyrics in her song.
I found this particularly moving not only because of the beautiful song, but also because of the shift of scenes to the other Forresters and Gared dealing with the aftermath of their own decisions and their own struggles to save their family, even if they don’t live at Ironrath anymore. It’s enough to make you cry.
The game play is typical of TellTale games. You make dialogue decisions for each character you play and the game compares the more important ones to what the other players decided. I’m just going to say right now that your decisions don’t really matter. For instance, there’s one scene where you have to choose whether Rodrik kisses Lord Whitehill’s ring out of respect in order to let his younger brother, Ryon, the Whitehills’ hostage on Ramsay’s orders, attend the funeral for his father and brother or refuse and allow Rodrik to keep his dignity.
No matter what choice you make, the outcome is inevitably the same. So don’t kiss the ring and let Rodrik rule the house with his head held high. You can also explore scenes with the character you play and collect items for your inventory, even if that doesn’t really accomplish anything. There will be quick time events where you have to press the right button, so don’t drop your guard for even a second. The Wall also has a game play event where you can demonstrate Gared’s skills in strength, swords and crossbows. I’ll admit that I actually liked that part, even if shooting the crossbow is a little tricky due to the constant movement.
This game is intriguing yet doesn’t seem to explore its potential. I give it 6 out of 10, a bit of a letdown but maybe it will get better.