The Walking Dead A New Frontier Episode 4: Thicker Than Water Review

(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…Thanks, Ho-rror Ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)

If Above the Law, the third episode in The Walking Dead: A New Frontier series, left you feeling a little underwhelmed, then prepare to be totally blown away. Above the Law continued the story fine, but left me (the player) let down. I thought the story arc was fine and I did like how it had me questioning Clementine’s view of David, but it lacked any emotional punch or consequence to your choices and the action sequences were boiled down to repetitive button mashing. I’m not saying it was bad, I didn’t dislike it or anything. Thicker Than Water, the fourth episode, makes up for all of that. Maybe not necessarily make up, because I get the sneaky feeling Telltale planned on you letting your guard down, because there was nothing that could have prepared me for what happens.

Like all episodes, this one also starts with a flashback from Javi’s past, this time he’s with David at the batting cages shortly after the incident that got Javi kicked out from professional baseball. It’s never fully explored, but hinted at which I think is for the better and to be honest, it’s irrelevant to the main plot. The idea behind this little sequence is to allow you the opportunity to shape David and Javi’s relationship, but I have to tell you that not matter what you do, David is always gonna respond like an asshole, so I have no idea if I did good or bad. After that little trip down memory lane, we catch back up with the two in jail who bicker until Joan comes and takes David away and as Javi you get to explore the area to find a way to escape until Kate shows up and helps you escape where you meet back up with the group. Tripp and Eleanor are having a little spat and the weirdest of all things happened, at least in my game; Conrad showed up being all buddy buddy. This is weird, because back in the second episode I shot him in the head to save Clementine. Now, I’m not doctor or anything, but he looked pretty dead. Maybe I just shot him good enough to erase his memory of what happened… and apparently mine. Actually, I did research this and this is a glitch that was pretty common and the only way to fix it was to start over. Since I’m not doing that, I guess we will be seeing more of Conrad, although I feel like I missed out on his arch, so him being here really has no impact on me.

There are some really good bonding moments between Gabe and Javi as they set out to rescue David. Javi’s can lend Gabe some good advice on how to be a better person during a zombie apocalypse as you make your way inside a medical bay where you meet back up with Ava, who is happy or not happy to see you depending on whether or not you bailed on her in the previous episodes and if you did, don’t sweat. You can calm her down. Javi’s injured in a fight, but luckily the good, stoned Doctor is close by as if our pal, Clementine. Clem offers to patch up Javi and has to have an awkward conversation becoming how her bleeding means she’s becoming a woman. Ever think you’d get to be a part of that in a video game? Well, wonder no more. Of course, there’s another Clementine flashback, but this one is used to flesh out the relationship between Ava and Clem, so choose wisely. Me, I decided to be friendly, so I hope that works out. However, much more critical choices lie ahead, as well as some insight on what a good person David actually is.

n style=”font-weight: 400;”>Doctor Lingard awakens from his drugged state and spills the beans about Joan’s plan and that he doesn’t want to live anymore. He offers Clem and Javi the location of AJ if they give him an overdose or you can choose not to, well, that’s yet to be see. I was unsure of this decision when it happened. Seeing as I wasn’t expecting it, it totally threw me off guard and I had to think fast. I wanted to help Clem and get the location of AJ, but killing someone to do so seems like it was going against everything I was shaping Javi to be, so I opted not to. Looking back, I’m still not sure if I made the right decision.

Everyone’s back together and you help to devise a plan, so everything seems like it’s going good. In any incarnation of The Walking Dead, you know that’s not a good thing seeing as things go to shit equally as planned. You’re almost expecting what happens in the finale to come, but for the most part, I wasn’t prepared to deal with it. Sure, I knew this plan was going to go sour and it was sweet to see Javi and Kate decide they were gonna tell David about them and be happily ever after, but you know The Walking Dead can’t let things be like they are in fairy tales. I don’t want to say that these games don’t have happy endings, but rather end on a slight positive note. Unfortunately for the characters, that’s not how things go this time around. Let’s just say that ‘the shit hits the fan’ is putting it lightly.

There’s some minor action scenes here and there, enough to keep you entertained until the finale when all hell breaks loose. With David about to be publically executed, Javi attempts to talk their way out of it, to prove that people need to use words, not violence. Actually, he has a very strong, valid point, but Joan doesn’t see it that way. With two of Javi’s friends captured, you must decide who gets to live and which one gets to die and things only get far, far worse from there. David doesn’t keep his cool and makes matters worse and everything literally explodes out of a control. Then the episode just drops the mic right there.

I was entertained throughout the whole episode. I felt like a lot of things were coming together and we learned more about the all the characters, no matter how big or small their roles are. It made everything and everyone seem to come together and to watch it all quickly fall apart at the end was a sucker punch to face. You knew this was coming, but not to the extent of it. Things go out of control faster than you will be able to make a fully thought decision and you will undoubtedly be regretting the choice you made and second guessing yourself.

Thicker Than Water is a powerful episode, requiring you to think and act faster than you ever have. The consequences to your decisions and actions pack quite a wallop and at times even if you think you made the right call, something bad will happen. Just be emotionally prepared for it. With how great this episode was, I am both anticipating and fearing the next and final episode. I know there are going to be some tough calls to make and there are going to be some serious repercussions, but I can’t wait to see how it ends. Hopefully happy.

Ho-stess’s PS- On a Walking Dead-related note, this happened to me last night at the Saturn Awards. #TeamAbraham4Evah!!! 🙂 xoxoxo

 

The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 3- What We Deserve (Review)

(The final installment of TWD: Michonne trilogy reviews submitted by Andrew Peters…Thanks for saving me some time with this, Kinky Ho-mie. I moved it way, waaaaaay down on my Must Play list after reading these! xo)

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Well, The Walking Dead: Michonne has finally come to a conclusion with the episode What We Deserve and all I can say ask is: Is it? Is it what we deserve? Up until this point, I was drawn into the character of Michonne and sympathetic with her loss and struggle, but in the final episode, they do away with subtlety and really heavy hand it, which unfortunately makes it lose any effect that they were building up to. Not to say the whole episode is bad, but the good moments are few and far between with a slow start. Nothing wrong with a slow burn, but when you treading the same idea, which at this time is more stale than old toast, you tune it out.

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Another huge let down is, of course, nothing is done with the other characters… again. Sam is dealing with the issue of her father’s death from the previous episode and there is a bit with Michonne speaking with her younger brothers about their loss and swearing to protect them, offering them comfort and it is touching and quite a good piece of the story. But those moments don’t last long and hardly exist. The funeral scene, as much as they tried, has very little impact on the player, mostly because we didn’t know the character so therefore we don’t care and only delays the inevitable let down of a conclusion. And yes, it is quite a let down.

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There is another moment the game tries to play at the unexpected and shock you by killing off one of Michonne’s group, but like with most TWD stories, they didn’t develop this character and she only previously had a single interaction with this character. We didn’t know him, so we don’t care, so it’s unnecessary. Of course, the bad group shows up at the home and there is a gun fight that doesn’t feel exciting and ultimately leads to inevitable and predictable deaths of the one-note villains. At this point, it feels like you’re just going through the motions. I didn’t care about them and they didn’t resonate at all and when they finally got their comeuppance I just thought, “Ok, finally. Now we can move on.”

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And this is where the game had a good chance to make a real connection, but ultimately loses it. Michonne is now hallucinating pretty intensely while the house is on fire and everyone is escaping. She sees visions of her dead daughters and she chases them them in flashbacks. The point is to show is she can let go of the past and move on, which is a good way for the character to develop and I did like it, but it does drag which really just dampers the impact it originally intended to have.

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In the end, I remembered that this was supposed to be the story that explained why Michonne left Rick’s group and would eventually returned to. What I gathered from the story was she left because the weight of her past, which works fine, but she left this group because basically Pete feels she is crazy. Underwhelming and disappointing. I guess we have the third season of The Walking Dead to look forward to, which I am. Hopefully Clementine will have a more entertaining and developed adventure.

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Ho-stess’s Random/Pointless PS- I miss Lee. 🙁

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Video Game Review: The Division

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This one’s not a KH eXXXclusive, but it comes (hehe ;)) courtesy of my buddy @OutsiderMike, (formerly of one of my formerly favorite non-Walking Dead/Game of Thrones shows ;)). I’ve been big time curious about this game and figured many fellow Kinky Ho-s were, too. Ho-pefully Mike doesn’t mind me spreading the good(? ;)) word (yell at me if you do, bro!! ;)), so enjoy the found footage, fangtastic fiends! 😉 xoxo

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The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode One: In Too Deep Review

(Submitted by Andrew Peters…Thanks, ho-mie. This baby’s on my ASAP list, so awesome to get your take on it. 🙂 xoxo)

Telltale Games’ latest undertaking into The Walking Dead series was not a third season like we were all hoping, but instead a look into some missing history in one of the franchise’s most popular characters. However, it’s not a means to exactly exploit the popularity of her character, but rather is an answer to the fans to try and explain what caused her to leave Rick, Ezekiel and the others in the comics… and what brought her back. This asks the burning question, “does this need to be told?”

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Right from the start, the story starts strong as we assume control of the game’s titular character who seems to be haunted by her past, running from it. She very much is suffering from PTSD, which offers for some tense moments, but unfortunately for the game, nothing else. You don’t start in any action, which is totally fine, but you do get the sense of what is pulling Michonne apart as she is saved by another survivor and we cut to her adrift on the water on a boat with a different group and this is where the game really suffers; in its characters. But let’s talk about the gameplay a little more first.

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The game, like all Telltale games, is a mix of QTE for the action segments and answering questions in a timely fashion, The way you answer these questions are not only going to affect how a character will see you or further interact with you, but it will affect outcomes in the chapter and future chapters, allowing you to have multiple story branches. The story itself is nothing really new and feels stale at this point, so I didn’t find myself worrying about the decisions I had made. Furthermore, the QTE didn’t seem as urgent as they have in previous Telltale games. I never felt panicked or on edge about the timing of pressing the right buttons at the right time. In fact, there didn’t seem to be any penalty for pressing the wrong buttons. Nothing about the gameplay seemed like I was ever in any danger and as I said, I didn’t care much for how I responded to the questions, although I found myself playing into more how Michonne would answer something rather than how I would.

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Unfortunately for The Walking Dead: Michonne, one of it’s greatest weaknesses is in its characters, who I get the feeling aren’t going to make it and so far don’t warrant any feelings or interest. I didn’t find myself invested in anyone that was introduced into the story and they seem to fill the roles of the sympathetic and compassionate type to the gruffy, creepy and crazy type. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground for these characters, offering no variety and at this point, we have seen these types of characters far too much in any iteration of The Walking Dead. The villain, Randall, seemed somewhat over-the-top and he may as well have been twirling a mustache while lightning crashed every time he said something evil. All other characters didn’t seem subtle, so it’s easy to see who is on your side and who isn’t. It was very black and white.

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Oddly enough, I wish there were more action segments. I mean, the game opens up with you chopping down a few bushes, which isn’t very action oriented. I realize it was probably to acclimate you with the game, but by now we all know how Telltale games are played. We can’t open with some zombie slaying? It’s a minor gripe, but as the game progresses, you will get a few action segments that cements Michonne as one of the most badass zombie killers.

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The Walking Dead: Michonne is by far Telltale’s weakest entry into their library of games, but it’s not by a long shot a terrible game, just a very vanilla story thus far. The voice acting was very well done, as usual, and is probably the strongest feature in the game. This is only the first episode and with two remaining, it still has some time to shape up.

Fallout 4 Kind-Of Review (But Not Really… ;)

Ho-wdy, Ho-mies…I’ve gotten a lot of messages asking about Fallout 4. The sad truth is, I haven’t been home enough lately to do as much gaming as I’d like, and every second I’ve had has been spent exploring every inch of Tomb Raider. (No jokes!! Lara’s too sacred for that… ;))

Luckily, my buddy Mikey C is here to fill us all in on his thoughts. (He’s a real, official, sponsored gamer-type dude, y’know!! ;)) Thanks for the post, Outsider. Looking forward to checking out your really real reviews soon. 😉 xoxo

PS- Cover pic by Shadbase, who does some really rad, totally NSFW art. Definitely check it out if you haven’t!! 🙂

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