And while this episode wasn't quite as mind blowingly awesome, it did have some good moments. As before there are going to be spoilers for episodes 1 & 2 of the game as well as seasons/books 1-4.
I assumed this episode would focus more on Asha's experience in the East, (as most of the preview material focused on his journey) but the episode focused much more on Gared and his brother. i suppose this is largely the result of the trailers not wanting to reveal the plot twist regarding Rodrick. On the whole I liked what we saw of the Yunkai story but I felt the same way as I did about Gared's story in part 1 (which I may or may not have mentioned in my ramblings) in that it was mostly set-up with very little pay off. It wasn't enough to spoil what little of his story there was but I was left wanting more, especially as all (three?) of his scenes took place in the space of a few hours.
In terms of the gameplay I thought this game had an advantage over the previous in terms of the combat. I don't know if it was just the fact that I was more adjusted to the format or whether telltale has refined its system slightly but I enjoyed the fighting segments much more this time. There certainly was more fighting in this episode, and while I enjoy the non-combat segments more, the action is a welcome break from the scripted story segments (not that the combat is any less scripted). I wish there was a slightly more relaxed failure state however. The only times I failed to hit a prompt I was instantly killed without any chance to recover. Beyond: Two Souls, a far less enjoyable game in almost every way, changed the path of the combat depending on which prompts you failed. However this wasn't all that great a system as your character just ended up getting beaten to a pulp but still able to win 90% of the fights through random intervention from the game-world.
But back on the topic of games which don't play themselves, episode 2 of Game of Thrones shook things up a bit with the re-introduction of the character of Rodrick Forrester. It was one of my complaints of the first episode (which I may or may not have mentioned last time) was that the character of Rodrick existed only to die and create drama. I didn't even realise he was Lord Forrester's son until after he'd been killed, making the timeline of events at the Red Wedding seem confusing and out of order. I don't know quite how to feel about his recovery. One of the things I quite like about Game of Thrones is how damage dealt to characters has serious consequences. Jaime's hand and Bran's fall are major examples but almost all perspective characters suffer some physical damage which stays with them throughout the series. When people die, they tend to stay dead and so when Rodrick woke up in the cart I was ready to call BS on his survival.
However I did enjoy his story (despite it reminding me how bad I am at talking to women) and I liked the repercussions from last episodes meeting with the Whitetrees. He reminded me of Ned Stark post his fight with Jaime. He's broken, and that's an interesting thing for a character. My advisor (the more violent of the two whose name escapes me) was less of a dick this time around and he didn't seem to mind when I ignored one of his suggestions one time. He's clearly learnt from that one time he GOT HIS LORD KILLED!
Gared's story has yet to catch my attention (although if this story goes on long enough we'll get to see the Battle of Castle Black from episode 9). I don't like the structure of this interpretation of Castle Black. At this point, Jon's just returned from beyond the wall with two arrows in his leg, having killed his commanding officer. Nobody's really on his side and he's definitely not running the show. Where are Allister Thorne, Janos Slynt and Samwell Tarly? Thorne is supposed to be acting Commander but this Frostfingers seems to be running the show. Don't get me wrong, I think this game's at it's best when it's inventing new characters and plots rather than reusing the ones from the books but this segment just feels like Jon's training at the wall all over again.
I don't really have much to say about Mira's story other than that I really wish I'd known that my House wasn't going to be able to provide ANY Ironwood to the Throne. That's going to play out well next episode. Tyrion was a pleasure and he provided one of the two laugh-out-loud moments in his rebuke of the Whitetree merchants. The other was this interchange between the men of the Night's Watch.
"So what're you here for?"
"You fuck potatoes?"
Oh Gared, you so comedy...
In conclusion, this episode wasn't nearly as intense as the last but still had some nice twists and turns. I'm looking forward to next time and the conclusion of some of these plot points.
- Talia will assume Ethan's role as perspective character in the North. No, *sigh* too hopeful for multiple female protagonists in a modern computer game.
- We'll have a segment with Asha (yup) in Essos with Dany & Dragons and she will look like a hobgoblin on steroids nope.
- Mira is going to get some more information from that coal delivery boy before he is killed horribly, (because... Telltale). I chose to save him, but only because he hadn't delivered any useful information yet and I didn't want to lose another prediction.
- I will regret picking Gung-Ho man over Mr Friendly. Quite the opposite, I rather enjoyed Gung-Ho's attitude this episode. He gave some decent advice.
- Ramsey FUCKING Snow will continue to earn his name, possibly with the addition of Reek and Roose Bolton. I actually felt myself wishing RFS was here this time. He wouldn't have let Whitetree screw me over and take my Ironwood... However he might have stabbed me in the neck again.
- Lady Forester will go all Cat Stark and mourn her son/husband/other-son/how-many-more-people-can-this-woman-lose. YES I actually got one!! (although it turns out she only lost one son. Other son's just dandy)
- Gared will go to the wall and have slumber parties with Jon and Samwell and everything will be magic. No Samwell, no slumber parties, no magic. I'm going to go with a loss on this one.
- More characters from the TV show will be introduced Kit Harington and I will be unable to tell whether or not they're the official voice actors or not. I'm pretty sure that was actually Kit Harington.
- Another Forester will have died by the end of the episode. Quite the opposite, we're actually one Forrester up than in the Last Episode.
1.5 out of 11 with 2 unresolved. Not a great start for the predictions, let's have another go:
- THIS TIME, we'll receive some sort of clue that Margaery isn't all she's cracked up to be. (I now have a bet with my Tyrell fan friend about who she's going to backstab first so I'd better get this right.)
- The Forester's Maester is going to do something to betray the house. I'm starting to trust him a little more since he gave me some good flirting advice but If anyone's going to betray the House, it'll be him.
- The Whitetree's son is going to be even more of a Dick than RFS earning him a similar nickname.
- Another Perspective Character will be introduced in the next episode. I thought there were going to be 5 and there are only 4 so far.
- Asha will arrive in Meereen and meet Dany & the Dragons. (What do you mean I can't have predictions from the next time trailer?!)
- Gared will take his vows and yet still be the least interesting PC. At least he call pull off more expressions than Jon. (He can also do grumpy).
- Something horrible is going to happen to someone I like (I mean come on, this is Telltale AND Game of Thrones).
- Cersei make another attempt on Mira's life (I mean come on, she's just pure Evil)
- We'll see Joffrey's Wedding in either this episode or the next. It's only two episodes into S4 and if Jon's back in favor in the Night's Watch we should have passed that point by now.
- Long Term Prediction Time: By the end of the series the Wildlings will have attacked the Wall.
- The game will lag out again and cause me to miss a conversation option. (Just some minor technical problems; I get them sometimes in Telltale games.)
Tune in tomorrow (or possibly last week) for Strip #100.
I do love me some milestones.