Edel Grace

Programmer, Developer, Enthusiast

Video Games

Life Is Strange: The Tragedy of Rachel Amber

Feb 5, 2018 | Comments

Warning: Spoilers for both Life is Strange Season 1 and *Life is Strange: Before the Storm*

In Life is Strange Season 1, Racher Amber is a mystery. If you walk around and talk to the locals, everyone (including those with less than stellar personalities) has nothing to say but praises about Rachel. Throughout the game, Rachel is built up to be perfect to everyone you speak to. The artists loved to try to capture her essence, the nerds enjoyed her intellectual prowess, and the popular kids enjoyed partying it up with her. But even to those who knew her, there was an element of mystery surrounding Rachel. She kept up a certain distance from everyone but was still able to draw people in with her personality.

Understandably, this made me excited and a little bit nervous for Rachel’s portrayal in the prequel, Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Who was this person who was able to seduce all of Arcadia Bay and put all these diverse personalities under her spell?

Once Rachel made her first appearance in the series, it was a little overwhelming. She stepped into frame and I immediately thought, “This is looks like a kid trying to look like a grownup.” There stood Rachel Amber, all dolled up in thick eyeliner and a gothic outfit that looks like it should intimidate and be edgy but is a little awkward on her small frame. She was a fifteen year old looking to impress and rebel. Not so different from Chloe who was doing the same thing but Rachel’s execution was more loud and dramatic. Rachel definitely had the flair for the dramatic.

In the first episode, Rachel brings Chloe along in her adventure to catch her dad cheating. However, Rachel doesn’t tell Chloe this. When Rachel sees what she clearly doesn’t want to see, her mood shifts drastically. This was when my red flags started going up. Rachel becomes immediately non-communicative. She then attemps to steal a wine bottle from a couple (wether or not she’s successful is up to you). Another red flag. Here is a teenager who is already drowning her sorrows in alcohol and at the expense of stealing.

When they move into the junkyard, Rachel’s sour mood continues. She throws insults and blames on Chloe when Chloe tries to decipher what was going on with Rachel. They quickly make up at the end of the day and Rachel confesses that the couple kissing in the park was her dad and a woman who was definitely not her mom. Her reaction is burn a photo of her and her dad in a trash can and knock it over, causing a raging forest fire.

From the start, Rachel Amber is complex and volatile. She is unpredictable and a beautiful liar.

What hurts the most about Rachel is that she is a perfectly flawed teenager. There is nothing more romantically tragic about someone trying to make their mark in the world in the most risky ways possible. Her end is even more tragic.

It wasn’t until the end of Before the Storm that I felt a lot sorrow for Rachel. She was extremely firey and full of life. She had big dreams and wishes and regrets. And then everything ended before she could even have the chance to really live.

On one hand, I’m a little glad they gave us such a short snippet of Rachel’s life. It really hammered down the fact that life can be so brief. So while Rachel’s story is tragic, it’s not so removed from reality. That’s why I really like the Life is Strange series. Despite the obvious embellishments, it’s pretty down to earth and the characters make everything worth it. Some people may dismiss it as a game but it’s still great medium of storytelling. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

One Hour of Path of Exile as a Non-Gamer

Feb 26, 2017 | Comments

Now I know that one hour is not enough to fully judge a game, especially for an online game which is supposed to be an extremely huge time sink. However, being someone who is not exactly the ideal demographic for this genre (I prefer turn based games like Fire Emblem, walking simulators like Life is Strange, open sandboxes like Minecraft, and RPGs like Mass Effect), one hour is just enough for me to have an idea of whether or not I would like the game.

Path of Exile is an online free to play RPG. You play as an exile washed up on the beach of an unknown land. There are several classes you can choose from: duelist, marauder, ranger, shadow, templar, and witch. I picked witch because it seemed cool and different and I enjoy magic based classes.

So the game starts on the shore of an island. As you make your way through the area, creatures and the undead ambush you. Obviously they are easy to get rid of but their real strength is in numbers. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. I will confess, I died once or twice.

Going through waves of enemies in a world empty of players is a little boring. It seems that the game is online but there is little player interaction, other than common areas like towns. I found it to be somewhat unexpected for an online game.

Most of my amusement from this game was the world chat. The players would jokingly call the game horrible, a rip off of Diablo 2 (my SO backs this up, I’ve never played that series), and ultimately dead. And yet, they still play. Maybe they enjoy the little group they have formed and aren’t willing to let go but who knows? I didn’t bother to ask.

It wasn’t until I got my first quest that I finally got to go out into the real world. There, I also found myself overwhelmed by hordes of enemies and died more times than I’d like to admit. I’m making it sound worse than it was but it takes me some time to get used to combat in a game and even then, I’m not a skilled gamer.

So, Path of Exile was a bit of a let down but I didn’t have high hopes for it because it was a bit out of my interests. It is free to play so there is absolutely no harm in giving it a try and deciding for yourself.

Xbox One Media Briefing 2013

Jun 10, 2013 | Comments

So I started this post with me sitting in my office with Wheat Thins in hand, waiting for the Microsoft Press Conference to start via Twitch. The sound was clear, virtually no lag (unless I decided to open a gazillion tabs), and pretty good quality for just 360p. I never realized how huge E3 is. The venue for the Microsoft Press Conference is flipping huge. Seeing the crowd and the green glow absolutely sets the atmosphere. I can sense the anticipation in the room and golly am I excited! This is mostly a live blog and doesn’t really offer any insights or anything, just things that jumped out at me. Also, I am game illiterate so my knowledge is basically null.

While watching this, typing this up, and making some tweets, I was also reading Rooster Teeth’s live blog of the event. It’s pretty hilarious, in a way.

I’m liking that I’m seeing gameplay. Not going to lie, MGS 5 looks like a cool game, even though I’m not fond for these type of games.

A big shocker to me was the fact that they’re releasing a new version of the Xbox 360. I find that… Weird. Especially a couple of months before the Xbox One coming out. I guess it’s another way to rake in money.

Max and the Curse of Brotherhood is very cute platformer, seemingly tailored to younger gamers. Good to see that, there lacks good children games nowadays. Gotta grab them while they’re young!

Now, Ryse: Son of Rome. A new franchise. A historical game, obviously taking place during the Roman times. Mostly a cinematic trailer, not sure if I’m entirely sold yet. Scratch that, a live demo. You wouldn’t even realize it IS gameplay, until the HUD comes on. I’d say it’s very next gen. Just might get it. Hopefully it’s not an Xbox One exclusive. I really like how if you want to step on someone, the button prompt is over the character’s foot. That’s a really cool detail. It looks awesome. And… It’s exclusive to Xbox One.

Okay I don’t like cars, but I like this car. Holy crap that McLaren P1 is so freaking sleek and sexy. I want that car.

The premise of this Quantam Break is almost deal breaking. I like this. Technology that can stop or stutter time? I love games like these. Too bad I think it’s another exclusive game for the Xbox One.

And time went by really fast, I kinda glazed my eyes over the rest of the briefing, mostly because they were shooting games and I don’t really find shooting games all that fun unless the story is ground breaking. I’m picky about my character development. And I love conspiracy theories.

E3 2013: Things I’m Looking Forward To

Jun 10, 2013 | Comments

While I can’t say I’m a huge gamer, I game enough to be excited about E3 that’s starting tomorrow. There is a ton of stuff that are coming out that will hopefully be super crazy due to the next gen consoles that are coming this year. So, here’s what I’ll be keeping my eyes glued to the screen on over the next few days.

PS4 Console

They showed us the controller, they showed us the features, and they showed us the games. They haven’t showed us the actual console. Contrary to the Xbox One reveal, the reveal for the PS4 was basically advertising for games. While I do think that not showing the console may give them some leverage over Microsoft in that they might be able to make some last minute tweaks, it’s probably not significant if they showed it before or after the Xbox One. Still doesn’t change the fact that I’m super excited to see it!

Used Game, Rental, and Trading Policies

Used games are awesome. When my cousin gives me games he thought he’d like but didn’t, it’s even better. Mostly because overpriced games hurt my wallet. And because my family is always super late to an next gen consoles. For example, we bought a PS3 just last year. It’ll be a couple of years until we get the PS4 and I’m hoping a lot of used games will be available for us (the cheaper they are, the better).

WATCH_DOGS

I hate to say that I love Ubisoft, but I love Ubisoft. Despite their endless pitfalls, they make games that I like. Watching the WATCH_DOGS segment at the PS4 reveal was mind blowing. I was hooked at the very second it started. I’m a sucker for conspiracy theories, especial the “one company that controls about 90% of the world but no one really knows it” kind of conspiracies. The game itself looks awesome. It’s reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed and my fingers are crossed that maybe it might take place on the Assassin’s Creed universe (which is not likely, since I’m pretty sure UbiGabe shot that idea down).

Destiny

I’ve never gotten into Halo and probably never will but with this new IP, I might finally get a taste of the next and possibly biggest series to date. But before that happens, I need to see what it’s all about and if it’ll be a series at all.

Gameplay

Cinematic trailers and speeches are all fine and dandy but gameplay is where it’s at. Gameplay is the deal breaker. It comes before everything else. I personally haven’t seen a lot of gameplay from any of the upcoming games so I look forward to it!

I Don’t Know

Nov 21, 2012 | Comments

I’ve been really unmotivated lately. I should be busy with school, but I really am not. Little things keep on discouraging me and causes me to lose sight of the end goal. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I keep telling myself, “This is your future at stake! Do you really want to be working 2 or 3 part time jobs?” But even so, it does nothing. I’m at the point where I seriously think, even for a second, to hell with society. I’ll live in my parent’s basement for the rest of my life doing whatever the heck I want to do. Society frowns upon those people but gosh darn it, they’re happy. They’re living life the way they want to.

I really just want the semester to be over. Take the Christmas break to reevaluate my life. Weed out all of the things I don’t need. Begin a new clean slate. Take charge of my websites again. Learn some time management. Will it really happen? I sure hope so.

On a lighter note. I bought Assassin’s Creed 3 last weekend. It. Was. Beautiful. Extremely frustrating, but beautiful. The graphics were clean and crisp. The landscapes huge and wide and just overall stunning. Assassin’s Creed has always been about details. Oh the details. The turkeys. The spray of snow at your heels. And limbs of a tree bouncing as you land on it. Ahhhh. Wonderful. As always, the story is really engaging and oh god, the twists and the turns. AND THE FEELS. All of my feels. It’s a bit saddening to see this arc end. I’m looking forward to the next one, nevertheless.

Even though AC3 was really good, it was largely unpolished. Surprisingly buggy too. I know no one can catch all the bugs but I’m surprised so many slipped through the cracks. It’s not the fact that they’re there but how many there are. The soundtrack is a bit disappointing too. Good. But not as good as the ones in previous titles. It definitely has to do with the fact that Jesper Kyd was not doing this soundtrack. Not to discredit Lorne Balfe of course. He composed great pieces but they lacks personality and atmosphere. The story was awesome (like I already said), but some parts of the game I was confused as to why I was doing certain things or how things were happening. Oh well. Still an awesome game overall. I’ll probably go into more detail in a later post as I’ve been itching to rant and ramble more about the game.

About

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My name is Edel Grace Altares. My programming interests include full stack development and back end development. My languages of choice are Python and Java. Outside of programming I enjoy crocheting, video games, cats, historical fiction, and reading.

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