Mar. 31st, 2017

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Another $3 ticket to a roller coaster of FEELINGS and EMOTIONS, Star Billions season 3 feels like it comes down harder on the "fiction" side of the interactive fiction divide. Happily, interactive fiction games where you make a choice and accept deviations in the text as your reward have long since been grandfathered into being games via Telltale, "walking simulators" and Japanese visual novels, so I get to enjoy having read this story ... and make no mistake, I really enjoyed having read through the text and I enjoyed the choices I made.

Putting the question of whether interactive fiction is really a game or not aside... There was never a time I wasn't anticipating the next bit of text, the next choice I'd make to propel my adorable spacegoing buddies into MORE IMPENDING DOOM I mean their next situation. There's a real A+ for sticking to themes in here and I felt they were actually explored well.

Even so I can't give Star Billions complete praise. I have a number of questions that aren't answered and a couple of minor details dropped out of the plot and vanished between seasons. (On the path I took at least? Maybe they're in other branches, if there are any.) I'm pretty sure that stuff will show up in the fanbook they're publishing. Which I will of course be buying because I'm a total mark for this series. Still, if it's in the manual it's not in the work itself and that bothers me just enough to mention. (It also felt like the stakes were lower and the threat level less intense than Season 2... but y'know, that's not an entirely good or bad thing. It's worth mentioning though if you were expecting an escalation that it's more a sidestep.)

Xenophobes (why are you reading MY blog?), the non-empathetic and people who just really feel a passionate need to control every aspect of a narrative will probably not enjoy this. It's kind of the definition of a niche game, something that will really resonate with only a handful of people.

I'M SO SORRY it's over, though! The previous seasons were not only a delight but showed up on my Favorite Of 2016 list. I am proud and delighted to admit I completely flubbed every prediction about where the story would go from that point on. I want to do a full replay sometime later when I've forgotten some details. I don't want to go poking holes in the narrative just yet. I want to sit and soak it in, feeling like I've learned something about myself and stewing in the emotions this game drew out of me. Ein, Lacie, Rosie and Sarge... Ebu-Ishi and Ka'King and [SPOILER] and [OOPS EVEN BIGGER SPOILER], and even more minor characters like Nano and Gil will stick with me a long time. I'm gonna miss this game and I look forward to the next Catch & Release ... uh, release. I'll catch it. ... when they relea... yeah.

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