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The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 5: ‘No Going Back’ Review

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Sometimes you have to hurt others to protect the people you care about,” but what happens when you have to hurt the people you care about to protect the lives of others? It’s never easy choosing between tough decisions, nor is it easy to sacrifice the things you care about most.

Many hearts were broken and tears were shed at the end of Season One, but if there’s one thing to be said about Season Two, it’s that not every ending will be the same and it all depends on your final choices. The ending can go five ways, and the question is, how will it all end for your Clementine? Will she be the loyal friend, the true survivor or the follower? It all depends on you.

Survival

As the snow falls and the temperature drops, Clementine and the survivors from the shootout — along with a returning face — continue their journey to safe haven, Wellington, but the journey won’t be easy. The snow will prove to be difficult, the injured will struggle, and with the group and the baby running low on food and supplies, they will face dangerous obstacles in order to survive. But will it all be for nothing?

The finale will test your loyalties, your selflessness, your survival and your friendships. Risks have to be taken and who you trust most is a question only you can answer and for you to decide. And just when the group need to stick together most, certain characters will test each other to prove points and leadership that won’t end well.

Not everyone will survive, not everyone is as trustworthy as you think they are, and be prepared to say goodbye to not only the end of another amazing season, but also to a few beloved characters, possibly your favourites.

Some Day

Some Day

No Going Back’ means just that. It’s an episode that will leave you feeling all kinds of emotions, from relief, to happiness, to feeling sad, annoyed, frustrated, shocked, indecisive and sad again. It’s a rollercoaster within itself with its ups and many downs, one that you have the control of deciding where and how it ends.

Like ‘Amid the Ruins’, Episode 5 is well balanced in terms of dialogue, choices and action, with only a short section of exploring. The storyline remains on point, though it can drastically change in the last final moments when you are pushed into one of the toughest choices yet. It stays true to its theme of survivalism and makes you to think about Clementine’s best interest and who will keep her safe, even if it is herself.

We see a lot more character development from each of the surviving characters, as well as a brief moment of joy around a campfire — a moment you can appreciate — and also a face from the past that will make you smile. In saying that, embrace the happy moments while you can because it won’t only be the ice that breaks and it won’t only be the snow that falls.

Reflection

Reflection

The season finale is another eventful and emotional episode that will test your trust, reliability and morality. The choices you make can affect the storyline and dialogues, as well as relationships, and replaying the episode and changing certain choices will slightly alter your gameplay.

One of its drawbacks is that none of the choices you made in ‘Amid the Ruins’ come into play resulting in no consequences or rewards, meaning whether you chose to steal the medicine from Arvo or let him keep them, doesn’t affect anything at all — it would have made the episode more interesting if it did. Another drawback was the stupidity from the group in one segment. Being in an apocalypse and in the middle of the snow, you’d think you would take the safest path in order to survive, right? Nope. It was the biggest facepalm moment and a sad one, too.

The endings will cause discussion and a lot of debate as there are five, but keep in mind that it is your playthrough and your Clementine — you have the option to decide what is best for her. As far as the endings go — without going into spoilers — I will have my say on each of the three outcomes.

'Til the End

‘Til the End

If chosen, Ending A is quite powerful, emotive and actually feels like an ending as it concludes Clementine and the determinate character’s journey to safe haven, whereas Ending B’s outcome seems more like the end of an episode rather than a Season Finale — it felt quite weak compared to Ending A. As for Ending C, it wasn’t only an ending to the season, but a beginning as it mirrors the start of Clementine’s path, only this time without guidance where she becomes the protector instead of the protected. It’s all a matter of preference and taking a side in the end.

Each ending will cater for most players, though the ‘big’ decision should have been between two favourable/dominant characters which would have made it even more difficult to decide and made the showdown even more intense.

Not Again

Overall, Episode 5, ‘No Going Back’ wrapped up the season quite nicely. It’s engaging, eventful and the action scenes will leave you on edge. Although there are still a few remaining unanswered questions left to you to decide on, it concludes the story of certain characters as well as the story overall, depending on which ending you get.

So, who will you become? Who will you choose, and which path will you take? The end is near, and with the group heading toward a cold, icy path, the final choice is sure to leave you with a chill. “Sometimes there just isn’t the right answer,” and it’s true, but it’s for to you to decide. After all, there’s no going back.

Goodbye_____________________________________________________________

For all of The Walking Dead reviews for Season Two, click the links below:

Episode 1: All That Remains

Episode 2: A House Divided

Episode 3: In Harm’s Way

Episode 4: Amid The Ruins

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Stephanie is an aspiring novelist who loves writing—both fiction and non-fiction—and enjoys editing. Having graduated from University studying Professional Writing and Editing, she continues to do what she loves most: writing novels, short stories and poetry, as well as writing and editing articles for the site and listening to her favourite band, Linkin Park. But apart from writing, there is one other primary passion of hers. Video games. From playing Monkey Island on Microsoft DOS, to Doom, Mario, The Sims, Grand Theft Auto and Tomb Raider, her love for video games became a part of her life at a young age and they always will be.

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198X Review — A Nostalgia Trip Without a Destination

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198X

Some short stories feel more like chapters—snipped out of a larger work—that struggle to make sense on their own. 198X represents a translation of that ethos to video game form. As a result, the game feels unfulfilling, though that does not detract from the overall quality on offer. Ultimately, the player’s appraisal of 198X will depend on whether they place more stock in story or gameplay because while the former leaves much to be desired, the latter will be a hit for anyone with fond memories of the 8- and 16-bit classics.

In the framing and overall structure, 198X is decidedly modern, but everything else pulses with a retro vibe. At its core, the game is a compilation, weaving together five distinct experiences under the auspice of a story of personal development. From the Double Dragon-infused ‘Beating Heart’ to the turn-based dungeon RPG ‘Kill Screen’, each title feels slick, if a little undercooked. Those old-school originals could only dream of being as smooth as these throwbacks. However, the two-button input methodology results in the games feeling just a touch too simple, though their brevity—each clocking in at a maximum of 15 minutes (depending on the player’s skill level and muscle memory)—makes that less of an issue than it might have been. If more depth is present, it is hidden well, as the game lacks any sort of tutorial to guide players. Nevertheless, the stellar presentation goes a long way towards papering over the cracks.

The pixel art aesthetic of 198X is staggering. Each of the worlds that players make their way through is pitched perfectly to fit the mood it evokes. From the grungy brawler of the first game to the more melancholic mood of the open-road racer, the screen is drenched in lavish colour and far more detail than one might expect from such a seemingly simple art style.

Easily a match for the visuals is the audio. The in-game sounds of a car engine or bone-crunching strike are low-key, which allows the music to come to the fore. Those tunes are all from the electronic genre, simple, yet layered with enough depth to not feel tedious or tiring. Easily overshadowing all the rest though is Maya Tuttle’s voice-over narration as The Kid. Her tone is one of pervasive resignation that works to reinforce the same mood within the script.

That melancholia will surely strike a chord with anyone who has grown up on the fringes. The Kid speaks of once loving and now hating the Suburbia of their childhood, where memories of happiness collide with a contemporary feeling of entrapment. The words and lines are powerfully evocative—made even more so by the connection between the gameworlds and the prevailing emotion at that point. The problem is that they amount to nothing. The story comprises of these snippets—these freestanding scenes of life lived lonely—that never coalesce into anything. The Kid may find an arcade and speak of finding some sort of home and a source of strength, but it goes nowhere. The game ends just as things start to get interesting. Setting up for a sequel is no sin. Plenty of other games and media products—from Dante’s Inferno to Harry Potter—have done just that. However, to be effective, such first parts need to offer a story in and of themselves, not just the promise of a story to come, and that is where 198X falls apart.

With each game in the compilation being a straightforward, one-and-done affair and the overarching narrative feeling like a prologue at best, 198X is wafer-thin. The presentation is simply remarkable, and the package has enough variety to be worth a look, but the unmistakable impression is that something is missing.

OnlySP Review Score 2 Pass

Reviewed on PC. Coming soon to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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