Sunday, 18 October 2015

RowGames: Top 10 Life is Strange Characters

With the final episode if Life is Strange just days away I'm gonna be making a few 'tribute' post based on the game. Life is Strange is one of the best games I've ever played and has both helped and impacted me in my life and how I view games and storytelling. I found out about the game as a way of comfort when I was going through some rough times earlier this year from watching my favorite lets player on youtube and have been hooked since then with binge watching theory videos and checking tumblr for all the awesome fan art and discussions. Heck in case you don't know one of my favorite things to listen to are gaming podcast where I'll listen to a bunch of people who has played the game discussing their theories and choices and how the game diverged for them.

Life is Strange have some of the best, complex and flawed cast of characters I've ever encountered not only in gaming but also in fiction and over the last few months I've grown attached to them and even care for some of them and what they went through. Its gonna be bittersweet saying goodbye to the amazing cast of characters when the finally dropped since if Dontnod were to make a season 2 of Life Is Strange, they will most probably reset the setting and cast of characters.

So with that being said I'm listing my top 10 favorite character in the game as a proper 'send off' to this amazing and diverse cast of characters.

Keep in mind this top 10 list is based on what I've seen up to 4 episode of Life is Strange since I am not a time traveler and can't tell what happened to them in episode 5. 

10. Kate Marsh

Kate was the first character I related and warmed up to when I first played the game. She comes from a strict and religious background and is a genuine kind and helpful person. Going to Blackwell she obviously made some mistakes that she regrets which unfortunately leads to her being bullied with no idea how to handle the situation. Depending on the choices you made you can save her and give her a chance to turn her situation around.

Kate's a sweet yet innocent girl who's has this aura that makes you want you to protect her no matter what since the start of episode 1, whether or not you know of what she was going through. I related a lot to Kate as I was in a similar situation earlier this year but also I used to act a lot like her when I was younger ( minus the religious part and by the way I'm a hella lot different now cause that was like 5 years ago). Her story arc was realistic and heart breaking as it drastically turning her form a bright, positive girl who who always smiles and plays the violin in the morning to being dark and helpless due to the bullying incident making her loose hope in not only the things that she love but on her view of life. Of cause us being 'Max' we are there to help her and be the friend she was to Max when she first came to Blackwell.  Mostly what I love is if you do managed to keep her alive you are given a good little 'epilogue' that she'll have a second chance in life and she'll use this experience of her being bullied for good as well as that she forgives the people like Victoria for hurting her. Also one thing to note is that thought she looks like a 'stereotype christian girl' she does not act like one who fling bibles into other peoples faces. She just post posters up around school asking them to join their bible study and never preaches her friends (according to max's journal) which is something I respect her for is that she never forces her religion onto other people and respect them. 

There are still a couple of questions about Kate that I have like why was she in the vortex party at the first place and that I want to know every detail about what happened to her in the bunker but I guess we have to wait till episode 5 comes along. 

9. Frank Bowers

Okay he didn't have a good impression on me at first too but once again the more we play the game the more I like the dude. He is hilarious and loves his dog (and beans!!).

Once again depending on how you play the game you can either make him a friend, an enemy or you know... by the episode 4.

Also I like how even though he looks like a though scary drug dealer on the outside, in the inside he is a huge softy and loves his dog and of cause Rachael. Heck his expressions soften when you mention either one of them. He is seriously a cool character who though he is doing something shitty, he still has a good heart.

8. Step 'insert mean word' David Madsen

Man I didn't think I was gonna like the dude especially how our first impressions in episode 1 went but the more I play the game the more I like the dude. Yes he is verbally abusive to Chloe and has no right to threat her like so along with a weird camera surveillance fetish but like lots of characters in this game the dude has serious issues.

He's a war veteran unable to let go of his army days not to mention suffers PTSD. While he does genuinely care for Chloe he has a terrible way of showing it and is often miss looked like in episode 1 when he warns Chloe via voice message not to go to the junk yard. Also I don't blame him for being mad at Chloe for how she acts at times as if it was my parents and they were to catch me with an attitude like Chloe, I'll probably get worst than a slap in the face. 

Anyways his character is once again very complex and often misunderstood. He has his reasons and was so close to gathering the truth, not to mention depending on how you play as Max you might see a different side of him. I keep to his good side (sorry Chloe) mostly cause I want to see what Joyce see in him but also because I wanted to see if he warms up to Max if we be nice to him and stick to his side. In my play through, cause I sided with him he sorta does warm up to Max and gave us a lot of valuable information that we won't get if we sided with Chloe.  He's very similar to Frank where does have a good heart, is often misunderstood due to him doing a shitty job with his actions.

7. Nathan Prescott

Keep your pitchforks down people!!!!

I choose that picture in particular as I seriously believe Nathan deep down is a nice guy but has lots of pressure and issues from his father and Jefferson (gagggg) to do what ever the heck they are doing as well as the fact he has got some sort of mental issue that needs professional help. Lots of his friends say he's actually a cool dude and I totally can see that as the rare moment we see his calm face especially when he's hanging around Victoria. In some ways while Kate is a easily a sympathetic character from the start, once we got all those information about Nathan and what's he's going through I can't help but feel sorry for the fella.

Yes he's still an A-Class jerk and a huge sun of a beach but I find his character fascinating and complex especially in episode 4 when we see how mess up he is as a person yet like everything in the game is not as what it seems. So far I like how his story arc evolved through the game. When we first meet him I found him as a unstable alternate reality version of Draco Malfoy. Obviously this game does a grate job of making all fingers point to Nathan as the bad guy which if you have watch episode 4 by now you'll know that's not really the case.
I'm hoping we a good conclusion for his character and figure out some of the mystery resounding him in the last episode. But seriously I mostly want to see him to get some processional help.

6. Ms Grant

The only faculty member (a part from Samuel who just miss my top 10 list) who seem to not be any shitty business in the game. Wise, lay back yet fair and sassy, she's everything I look for in a good teacher. Also, though she is a science teacher, she has a wide range of knowledge from history to art. I enjoy all the interaction with Miss Grand who genuinely cares for her students and have some of the best interactions in the game as every time we talk to her I feel like I'm getting a spontaneous out of class lesson.

5. Joyce Price

Joyce is another one of the few sane adults in the game! I always look forward to moments with her as she has that motherly warmth that makes you want to hug her yet she is fair and strict not to mention hilariously sassy. Mostly what I solute her for is after William's death, how she still manage to stay strong and move on with her life to support her and Chloe. In a way she's probably my favorite adult figure in the game especially how she's a great mother figure to Max and how she manages to patiently handle Chloe. Also it helps that almost every time we see Joyce we get yummy home cook food (especially pancakes!!!!)!

4. Warren Graham

Warren was a character who I adored from the moment I first saw him and heck is probably the type of guy I'll be friend in real life thanks to his quirky and geeky personality. However the more I play the game the less I like about him as in some ways he's kinda a creep. Still I love how every episode he's always there for Max and is a caring and loyal friend. At times it's fun watching him acting like a love sick puppy around her but there are so many times I cringe at him trying too hard. No wonder the guy keeps being friend zone by Max! haha!

Also him suddenly going all alpha male ape in episode 4 is one of the highlight in the game. 
3. Rachael Amber

Who is Rachael Amber and what the eff has happened to her???

Obviously if you have played through episode 4 you'll have already know what happened *cries*.

We never see Rachael in person but looking around and learning more about Rachael and the impact she has on her peers makes her an interesting character. We never have any direct interactions with her yet the more I play the game the more I like her character and care for her even if she sounds too perfect and like a manic pixel dream girl. Mostly I like that she's kind to everyone around her and that she's the one who helped Chloe picked up the pieces after her dad died and Max left. I really hope we get answers to the 101 question I have about Rachael as there is still so many things about her I want to know. 

2. Max Caulfield

Maxwell Silver Hammer!!! 

Of cause the MC of this game has to be in one of my top characters in the game. Max is the perfect type of character to follow through this game as she starts out as this shy and introvert girl who slowly evolves to being more bold and and confident, doing things she will never do if not for her powers.

The fact that we are playing from a character like Max's POV is refreshing and new to me in gaming. Max is such a sweet and quirky character and her inner dialogs in the game are one of the best. Mostly what I love about Max is how its easy to relate to whatever she's going through from the teen awkwardness of going to a new school and being shy to make new friends to even self doubting herself on the choices made. I love her passion for photography and and that you don't have to be an art student to understand what she's saying. Now you'll be wondering why she's not my most favorite character.. well that's cause Max is more of the characters I'll probably favor over the entire cast 5 years ago as Max was literally 17-year-old me. Heck I actually acted more like her when I that age so she sort of brings back a lot of nostalgia of high school me who was very unsure of myself.

Also fun fact I actually went to a special 'college prep' school similar to Max when I was her age so lots of mundane senior high school/early college stuff Max went through I related to.

1. Chloe Price

 Ah Chloe... can she be my spirit animal?
Minus the smoking/drugs/getting high part and all that fun shit along with the fact I'm too chicken to get blue hair or near a tattoo needle, I'm similar/related to Chloe in so many ways! Like almost every character in the game they have complex flaws, issues and layers and Chloe is no exception.

Chloe is such a fearless, strong and bad ass girl on the outside but in the inside though she's kind, smart, a closet science nerd and caring she's also very broken, still not over her dad's death and Max leaving her along with raging and rebelling as a way to cope with it. It was kinda a tipping point when her mum remarries her David. I related a lot to Chloe cause like her I used to have a hard time letting go of the tragic past that happened to me and while I didn't go as up the walls as drugs/ tattoos and stuff I did rage and throw fits of anger around especially at people who were always there for me. Watching Chloe through the game is both fascinating and scary as I sort of saw a lot of myself in her though she's obviously more bolder than I am.
Still while she has lots of problems and flaws, through the game you see mature as she owes up to the consequences and even realizing her mistakes. Also I love her snarky and smartass dialogs as they always made me laugh at what she has in mind. Mostly I like how she's such a loyal and supportive friend to both Max and Rachael where she encourages them both to pursue their dreams and in Max's case, pushing her to do things she'll never be bold enough to do with or without her powers like say... kiss a girl??? hehe still a priceless scene. 
Yah long story short I hella love her!!!
And I'm excited and scared on what's gonna happen to my favourite blue hair rebel in episode 5 as if you watched episode 4 you'll probably know... *cries*
So that's my top 10 list of favorite characters of Life is Strange. There are more and but obviously had to narrow down. What are your favorite characters in the game and do you agree/disagree with my list. Comment below! 

Till Next Time Happy Playing

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