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Tell Me Why Episode 1 Review

DONTNOD Entertainment are back at it again!
We know them as the developers behind games such as Remember Me, Vampyr and, of course, the critically acclaimed Life is Strange series. Currently they have two new games in the works. One being Twin Mirror and the other one, which I’ll be talking about, is Tell Me Why. The first episode was released on the 27th of August and will be followed weekly by the second and third episode, which will release on the 3rd of September and the 10th of September respectively.


Tell Me Why Episode 1 available on Microsoft Windows and Xbox One now!

Tell Me Why is a brand new adventure game that follows twins Alyson and Tyler Ronan. Both twins have been apart for the last 10 years of their lives due to Tyler being in juvenile detention as a result of an incident that happened during the twins childhood. Alyson and Tyler meet up after all this time and travel back to their old home in Alaska as they’re selling said home. Going back to their old house brings up old memories the twins would like not to remember, but these memories seem to show that everything the twins remember might not be what it seems. These memories bring back hard times, especially for Tyler who has since transitioned into a male. Alyson and Tyler decide to investigate their memories as they seem to have conflicting ideas of what happened.
You play this game by switching between both twins and investigating the environment. Like in the Life is Strange series, there are supernatural elements and this game bares no exception. While it’s not a supernatural ability on the “same level” as Life is Strange, this game has the twins experience something called a “Bond” which allows them to both view memories from years ago and also communicate to each other by their thoughts. Like I mentioned before, each twin seems to remember something different (although this isn’t always the case) and when it comes to making decisions, you can choose between Alyson’s memory or Tyler’s memory and doing so will affect their bond as siblings and also change the outcome of the story.
The first episode of Tell Me Why focuses on Alyson and Tyler reuniting after 10 years of being apart. They travel back to Alaska to their old home and as they’re looking around the house for things to keep and things to throw away, they experience memories of their mother who died when they were children and it is implied that Tyler was the one behind it and that’s how he ended up in juvenile detention.
The twins soon realise that everything they thought they knew about their mother might not be true, so they decide to talk to people involved in theirs and their mother’s lives to put together all the pieces that seem to be misplaced in their memories. Some people they speak to aren’t always willing to help, so Alyson and Tyler need to look around their environment to find clues and hints that will help them pry the truth from people who aren’t willing to talk.
In the end, it’s up to Alyson and Tyler to trust in each other as they dig deeper into their childhood memories that they thought they’d left behind long ago.

I’ve been looking forward to this game for quite a while, so I was very excited when I was able to play it. Unfortunately, this game is only available on Xbox One and Microsoft Windows, but luckily my boyfriend has a PC, so I was able to play the game on that.
One of the main things I like about this game was the honest depiction of possible struggles that transgender people face and the prejudice that also comes with that. Almost every character you come into contact with tried to front they were fine when talking to Tyler, but even their “casual” talk came with an obvious hint of awkwardness. But so far, Tyler is a brilliant character; very strong and happy with the person he is and I’m looking forward to more character development on his part.
Also it’s worth mentioning that DONTNOD worked very closely with GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) to make him, and I quote, “an authentic representation of the trans experience.”
Tyler’s voice actor, August Aiden Black, also identifies as a trans man which adds another level of authenticity to Tyler’s character and another thing is that while recording, August was given the freedom to talk about the script and make any changes to things Tyler says which adds yet another level of authenticity to Tyler. The fact the team has worked so hard to make Tyler the character he is definitely shows and he was truly brought to life on the screen.
The gameplay in general felt very smooth. Like Life is Strange, you’re controlling one character (though Tell Me Why switches between Alyson and Tyler), but the movement around the environment and selecting things felt very familiar to Life is Strange. One thing that bothered me a little bit was that the dialogue often overlapped with each other. Like sometimes you’d select an aspect of the environment to view and you’d observe it with the character talking about it and then the other sibling would respond to what they were saying which is fine. But sometimes if you selected to observe something, the sibling would make a comment on it and talk for a while, so you would carry on walking around the environment but then an option to respond to what the other sibling was saying would appear while you were already talking about something else which was kind of confusing. I don’t know if that was just me being impatient and not waiting for the other character to finish talking, but it did feel like sometimes there was a lag between the character talking and for an option to reply to appear and I felt like I missed out on a few chances to improve the siblings bond because the option to reply would disappear if I’d already moved onto something else.
One improvement I definitely noticed was the incredible lack of bugs compared to Life is Strange 2. That game constantly seemed full of bugs whereas Tell Me Why seemed to have an almost total lack of! There was one thing I noticed though that “bugged” me…
(I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
During one scene when Alyson and Tyler were in this shop, they had to walk around the isles looking for the locations as to where their memories would appear through their “Bond” and to view these memories, you had to ask the man behind the counter, Tom, to play some music that would trigger said memories. The song would play as you walked around the shop and I think there were three memories to view, but I only saw two. And if you spoke to Tyler after the music stopped (you were controlling Alyson at this point), he’d ask you to ask Tom to play the song again. So I obviously went to do that to which Tom was like.. “Yea, sure!” kind of thing…but the music never played?? I don’t know if that was a bug or I was meant to find all three memories the first time because no matter where I looked, I could NOT find that third memory!! I even closed the game and restarted it a few times which made no difference. And because I couldn’t find that third memory, I failed in getting information from someone involved. That was kind of annoying… Again, I don’t know if it was a bug or not, but it seemed like it could have been since, when asked, the song never played again.
But aside from the one moment, very much so bug free.
It also felt like there was a massive improvement on the graphics. Not to say the graphics in their previous games weren’t good; I especially loved the graphics in Life is Strange 2, but the overall look of the environment in Tell Me Why was very beautiful. The snow and the water effects…also the look of the twins house and their bedroom had a very “homey” feel with drawings Alyson and Tyler had done, their little play nook near the stairs, even their old bedroom…it was a very comfortable feeling and reminded me a lot of when you’d spend time in Chloe’s room in Life is Strange.
I feel very bad though that I can’t remember much of the soundtrack…
I don’t know if it was because I was so invested in the story that I just maybe didn’t notice but, again to compare to Life is Strange, the music in those games has always been so amazing and memorable to me. Even when playing the game, I was always aware of it, but for some reason, I just don’t remember even hearing music when playing the first episode of Tell Me Why which is a shame. So I’m going to remember to pay closer attention in the second episode! And of course this is the type of game you can play multiple times as there are various endings, so I’ll go back to the first episode at some point and I’ll make sure to listen then!

Overall, I thought this was a very strong episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It had plenty of drama and even a bit of suspense. I also already absolutely love Alyson and Tyler! They are two great characters; on their own and as a pair and I can’t wait to find out where this story takes them.
Also the fact that DONTNOD has managed to release the episodes only a week apart is a brilliant touch on their part! I never minded waiting for the release during Life is Strange 2…but it did get a bit much when the episodes were months apart and after a while, the excitement of waiting died down. But with a week between these episodes, the excitement, for me, will still be constant.
So I definitely cannot wait for the next episode! ..I feel like it’s going to be a good one!
If there is one thing I would like to see more of, it would be to see more of the Tlingit culture. It’s heavily featured in the game, but I feel like the first episode only lightly touched on it. So for future episodes, I’d like to see more of it explored as it seemed very interesting. I mean, the general area the twins found themselves in had a very Tlingit look to it, like the outside of the shop I mentioned earlier and obviously there were Tlingit people. But a bit more of an in depth look into the culture, I think, would be very, very cool.

To anyone who has previously played the Life is Strange games, I see no reason as to why you wouldn’t enjoy this! DONTNOD are very constant at telling great stories. And for people who haven’t played Life is Strange before, I would still recommend this game. It’s an adventure game with great characters and an already promising story that looks like it will only get better!
Definitely worth your time.

Tell Me Why Episode 1 Overall Score:
4/5
It was just the overlapping dialogue that seemed to cause me to miss the chance to make choices that affected the twins bond that bothered me. Also the scene that seemed like it possibly bugged out (??) and also the lack of memorable music was also a bit bothersome.
But hardly anything that really affected my overall enjoyment.
So I would still highly recommend Tell Me Why.

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Thank you to all who read my first game review!
I’ve done game reviews on previous blogs before, apart from I would go far too in depth that it would sometimes take me days to write my reviews; I literally wrote about the entire game from start to finish.
So I wanted to improve on that this time by sectioning my reviews.
So having an Introduction, Brief Synopsis of the game, my thoughts and opinions and then ending the review with a few comments, which seems like a much more effective way of doing it. Plus this way, there are less spoilers since I’m not talking about every single little thing that happened 😅

So, once again, thank you for reading!
If there is anything you felt I missed out or anything else you feel like it would be necessary to include, please let me know in the comments! I want to try and make these reviews as good as I possibly can!

I hope you enjoyed my first review on this blog!
Have a great day and I’ll see you on my blog again soon 🙂

Sarah Alyze 🌸

My Blog & What I’m About

Hello there! : )
and..

Welcome to my blog!

With this post, I’m going to explain why I created this blog and what I’ll use it for.
And if I do that right…maybe it’ll get you, the lovely reader, to follow me 😊

The main reason I created this blog is because I really love writing. I’ve always loved writing. And I’ve always entertained the idea of becoming a published author one day but I never really found something that “kick started” that inspiration in me.
Back in 2016, I watched an anime series called Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash or in Japanese, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar.
And as far as anime series go, it was pretty solid. I gave it an 8/10.
I knew it’s original source was a light novel written by Ao Jyumonji, but because I can’t speak or read Japanese, there was no way for me to read the novel (even though I was desperate to).
A couple of years later, I saw that Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash would be getting an English translation and I was so happy! Even though the anime series wasn’t outstanding or anything like that, it was the characters and the world that had left an impression on me. So I’d always been interested in reading the novel. So when that opportunity arose, you can BET I was going to read it!
Once I was able to read it, I was captivated by the characters and the world all over again. But what got me the most was Ao Jyumonji’s amazing style of writing. It was honestly like reading a JRPG and it was so thrilling and exciting! Each and every novel had the power to draw me in to the point that I would sometimes forget I wasn’t actually in the world myself…
And that right there was what kick started the inspiration in me lying somewhat dormant just waiting to be woken up! I wanted to write novels that made me feel the way his made me feel; I want to be able to write captivating characters in an even more captivating world so the readers feel like they’re really in the story.
I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m willing to put in that effort if I can make people reading my novels feel the way his novels made me feel 💝
But, unfortunately, I am a perfectionist. So I find it really hard to start writing something unless I 100% have everything relatively planned out.
I have one major idea that I love, but because of how I am, I haven’t started it yet.. ^^”
So I made this blog so I can create and post short stories to keep my writing skills sharp so when I am ready to start my bigbigbig story, I’ve had a decent amount of practice!

You may be thinking..
“Why do you need a blog to do that? You could just write stories anyway.”
And while that is true, I thought that if I made a blog and people followed it and saw my stories, I could get little bits of criticism to help me improve my writing even more.
..b-but friendly criticism if that’s not too much to ask. I’m a sensitive soul..
But also in general, I do enjoy blogging! I’ve had a blog before and enjoyed posting on it, so I kind of wanted to try doing it again!
So while my main goal for this blog was to post short stories, I can’t always guarantee how often that will be. So in between those posts, I’ll do other things as well.
I have a pretty big interest in anime and I also like playing video games (though mostly just RPGs, life simulation and visual novels), so I thought it would be cool if every now and then, I posted a blog either reviewing one or the other or just a post talking about one or the other and why I’m enjoying it or why I’m not enjoying it etc.

Writing is writing. So whatever I write will keep my skills sharp and pointy! XD

So that’s pretty much the ins and outs of why I created this blog and what I’ll use it for.
As for how regularly I’ll post…
I’m thinking for the time being, two posts and month. And I know that might not sound like a lot, but I work five days a week and my job is quite a draining one, so whenever I get home…sleep hits me like a ton of bricks. I get two days off a week, so I’ll do what I can on those days off and after work when I get my energy kick back…I don’t drink coffee, so I need to wait for my energy to return naturally.. ⏰😴

To sum up!
If you follow this blog (which I hope you will 🙈), you’ll find short stories where I welcome kind criticism, anime and game reviews or just a little talky-talk about an anime series or video game that I’ve enjoyed or not enjoyed or that’s just left an impression on me.

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If you made it to the end of this blog (it wasn’t very long, so hopefully you did), thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this 🙂
And if you decide to follow me after reading this blog, you get an even BIGGER THANK YOUUUU!!! 💥

I’m already working on a short piece to post, so hopefully that won’t take too long to finish and once it’s done, BOOP! It gets posted .. I don’t know why boop.. XD
Once again, thank you for reading and I hope I’ll see you around on my blog again soon!

Sarah Alyze 🌸

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