One quick question, why do you hate Before the Storm? I actually really liked it. It could be because I'm a hopeless romantic, but I just want to see your opinions on it
Oh boy, where to even begin...? I cannot stand bts... it actually hurts my insides to think about how much I hate this game haha.
[note: yeah hi uhhh... this is long because of course it is, it's coming from me but listen, my feelings for this game are not nice and I have a lot to say so.... my bad]
One of the bigger reasons, though not the biggest, is Chloe... I'm not exactly a big fan of Chloe. At all. Not in the first game, nope. I understand that so many people love her and they have their reasons for that, that's fine, she's just a character who doesn't appeal to me. If anything, she pisses me off because I can see the foundation for such a compelling character, but it all gets thrown away for the sake of bullshit.
So then they plop bts in front of us with Chloe as the playable protagonist in a prequel story about her and Rachel Amber. This is an opportunity to expand on her character, to tie into the first season and make me feel more positive feelings about her character, to do what the first game failed to do..... and to be fair, they DO have a few of them sprinkled in... but then they're overshadowed by the garbage.
It's just... the ideas are there, and they're ideas that I like but they're executed so poorly. I want to like Chloe Price, I can see that there's something good here.
Like okay.... lemme do a thing:
Chloe Price. She's going through some serious shit after her dad dies. He died unexpectedly in a car accident, something Chloe had zero control over, it's not fair, and even though it's not like the universe singled her out and said "fuck you," it feels that way to her.
On top of that, her best friend who she adores? She moves away. Not something that's in either of their control, they're kids at this point. However, Max stops contacting her and that hurts Chloe. Chloe tries to stay in contact, but eventually Max stops responding.
Then you have her mother, who's also grieving after losing her husband and dealing with her daughter pushing her away and on the wrong path. She meets a man and falls for him after realizing she still has a long life ahead of her and that's too long to be miserable over her husband's death, William wouldn't want that, and David is a source of comfort for her... something she's not getting from her daughter. The problem is that David and Chloe don't get along in the slightest... which leads to Chloe feeling like her mom is trying to replace her father by moving on, not understanding why Joyce's timeline of grief isn't the same as hers, y'know?
Oh, and can't forget that Chloe has fallen onto a not so great path of drugs, booze, bad grades, lying, staying out late without letting her mom know where she is, pickin' fights, making friends with drug dealers, stealing money and other items, all that. She's bitter, angry, unable to understand most of her own complex emotions and that only makes her even more upset. She's unable to express them in a healthy way, she doesn't ask for help, and denies it whenever offered.
So... Chloe's starts out as an extremely entitled, rude, obnoxious character. She insults the bouncer in the cringiest way possible because these adult men writing her don't know how teen girls talk, she steals money and a t-shirt from a dude who works for the band because $20? how dare? even though bands don't make a lot of money and a lot of profit comes from their merch but who cares about supporting artists you like, right? Chloe sure doesn't. She probably buys some weed from Frank because yeah, she's got a dependence on the stuff now. She gets into a fight with a couple of dudes after spilling beer on them.... but what's this?
Oh look, it's Rachel Amber. Y'know, the pretty, popular, talented, smart, perfect, charismatic girl from Chloe's school?? yeah, she's at the concert and saves Chloe from the dicks who attacked her, and the two girls spend the rest of the concert together.
Now, for some reason, Chloe isn't sure but Rachel has taken a special interest in her. Rachel is flirty, she wants to know who Chloe is, she asks her to skip school with her, and the two take a ride on a train to a park and... honestly? pretty romantic, and it plays into that escapism fantasy thing of having the pretty girl who everyone likes single you out, making you feel special.
Over time, the girls grow close. Rachel has some family problems and seeks comfort in Chloe. They spend nights walking together down empty streets at night, holding hands. They hang out and talk about the stars, they discuss Shakespeare and what it's like to actually be your true self, if there's actually such a thing. They get tattoos together, and Rachel helps Chloe color her hair. They have a special hideout they decorated together in the junkyard. Rachel spends the night at Chloe's enough that she ends up leaving a lot of clothes there. They daydream about running away together, long road trips and living big in LA.
Chloe starts to see Rachel as her angel because for the first time since Max, she feels like she has someone she can be open and honest with. Rachel almost seems too perfect to be true, y'know?
And hey, over time Chloe actually starts to kinda get her life on the right track, if not in an unconventional way. Sure, she's still dealing with losing her father. that's not something she'll just get over... but she does start making an effort with her mom, and yes, even David after he told her about his time in the army and gave her that photo. They both know they'll never be friends, and they'll still have arguments, but they'll at least keep the peace for Joyce's sake.
It's not all perfect, though. Chloe's still smoking and Rachel isn't always the best influence. They get into trouble here and there, but nothing super serious.
She dropped out of Blackwell so that her mom didn't have to keep paying her tuition and because she's fixated on this fantasy of running away with Rachel. Chloe's feeling good about herself, about her future, for the first time since her dad died.
Until Rachel disappears.
And everything goes to shit pretty quick after that. Rachel's gone, she's not answering calls or texts, and everyone keeps saying that she probably ran away, but Chloe knows better. She knows Rachel wouldn't leave without her, so something must've happened. She makes posters and puts them everywhere, but things only get worse.
Money is tight. Joyce isn't making as much as she needs at the diner, David isn't making enough as a security guard, and hey... they might lose the house... the house that was once Williams, that's a piece of him he left behind. Not only that, but where will they go?
Chloe doesn't want them to lose the house, or for her mom to be this stressed out over food and bills. Chloe borrowed money from Frank in hopes of using it to run away with Rachel, but with her missing... Chloe decides to give it to her mom in order to save the house. Joyce is alarmed that she has this much, but Chloe manages to lie her way out of it to give her mom some peace of mind.
Except now she has another problem- she can't pay Frank back and he's getting more aggressive about it as the weeks go on. Rachel's still missing, Frank's breathing down her neck with threats toward her mom, money is still an issue at home, and she's not in a good place. Chloe's desperate enough to steal... so when she makes it into a bar that doesn't card her and she sees rich boy Nathan Prescott drunk off his ass and flashing bills, she thinks it'll be an easy score. It's wrong to do this, it's dangerous, but Chloe justifies it to herself. She needs that money.
She didn't expect Nathan to drug her drink, and she wakes up to him taking pictures of her. She manages to get the hell outta there, but she still has no idea what the hell happened to her. Like.... that reeeally fucks with her, it doesn't even feel real. She can't tell anyone, she can't tell her mom, and the police won't do anything since they're under the Prescott thumb.... and well, she decides to blackmail him.
And we all know how that goes.
So... we have the highs and lows of Chloe Price. She's flawed, even starting out as unbearable, but over time she becomes more nuanced and you're invested in what happens to her. You want to see her better herself, you want her to work through her grief and get help, you understand why she hates David but when you see him and Joyce happy together and him make an effort to be better, you want to see them make amends. You know David doesn't want to replace William, hell HE knows no one ever could.
You want Chloe to keep going, to find purpose in her life and realize her own potential. You saw her at the beginning when she was broken, when she was lost and didn't see a future for herself, and it's satisfying to see her come this far to where she knows she has a future... something that becomes all the more tragic when you remember her fate in the first game.
You're invested in Chloe and Rachel's romance, you get giddy watching them flirt and do dumb, romantic, cliche things, and you're just as compelled by Rachel as everyone else. No, she's not perfect, she's not a stereotype, she's much more layered than that and it only breaks your heart when you realize that she's killed later on, that of course she's going to go missing... you already know that! So you're watching Chloe, who has gotten pieces of her life back together and is genuinely happy.... fall back down the pit, fall back into the habits she had at the beginning, and you know it will lead to her downfall.
.....TOO BAD BEFORE THE STORM DID FUCK ALL WITH THAT RIGHT?
Nope, you don't get any of that. Well, except Chloe being cringy. You get a lot of that.
No, no, we got edgelord, flanderized Chloe who thinks her wit is much greater than it actually is, whose terrible moments outweigh the good, and who doesn't grow or change no matter what influence you try to have over her.
Rachel could be replaced with a literal barbie doll and little would change. She has no charm, she's nothing like what she was described in the first game, and she's just so fucking unlikable. When she finds out that her mom isn't actually her birth mom, she claims that her whole life is a lie and her parents aren't real and she wants to meet her druggie mom who chose drugs over her for 15 years because she's the one who actually squeezed her out.
Which, by the way, WHY is this the goddamn plot?? Why did they feel like they had to shove in this "oh hey Rachel's dad is the bad guy, oh wait now this drug guy is the bad guy because he stabby Rachel, no wait now her dad is the super bad guy because he put a hit out on Rachel's REAL mom, oh no wait it's fine because Frank murdered drug man off screen" WHY YOU DO THIS??
You have three episodes. THREE. And in those three episodes, you have the opportunity to explore Chloe as a character, and her relationships with Rachel, Joyce, and David. But instead of dedicating the story to that, something you could've created a compelling narrative out of, you threw in this dumb mom plot and fire-
HOW THE HELL DID I FORGET THE FIRE????
What- why did- does she have- Rachel just- RACHEL SETS THE FOREST ON FIRE??? WHY THOUGH???
I get it, "Rachel is the fire" yeah yeah and it's dumb.
Oh and because we didn't have enough going on, here's a side mission where you gotta deal with getting money from this other kid who's running drugs for big bad drug man because he wants to help his dad who lost his job.
But WAIT, there's more- In a series where several girls were drugged by Nathan and Jefferson, forced to pose for pictures, and some even killed or driven to try and take their own life? something taken so seriously...? Victoria gets drugged and it's treated like a joke. Even worse, there is a path that has Rachel drugging her, and no one cares.
ALSO.... Rachel cheated on Chloe with two adult men, remember? One of which fucking murders her?? and we're just... we're just not gonna do anything with that??? Nothing??? Maybe a little stinger at the end but that's it????
I just..... I hate this game so much.
It had so much potential. Not only that, but it had the first game to look at and learn from. Learn from the mistakes that game made and improve upon.... but instead, they fucked up even worse. It's just a game of fanservice that has way too much going on, is trying to do too much, and loses focus on the most important things.
Three episodes could've been enough to explore different points of Chloe's character before the events of the first game. They could've crafted a story that gave more insight into her life that make sense of the choices she made, that turn her into the Chloe we see in the first game. You don't need a forest fire, you don't need evil lawyers. I know the first game had the storm and time travel and big dumb Jefferson, but you wanted to tell a story that's grounded without shit like that... y'know, before the storm.
I could probably go on and on if someone doesn't stop me, so I'll stop myself here... I hate bts because it's potential was there, I could see it in a few key moments, and it was wasted.
The romantic ideas fall flat because being pretty and gay isn't enough for me, I need more than that. I don't care if they kiss because I don't care about their relationship, and frankly, they've done very little to make me care about them as individuals.
.......does that answer your quick question? haha sorry for the not so quick answer, but like I said, this game makes my brain mad and once I get going, it's hard to stop.
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So in order to pass the lab course I'm taking, you have to pass every single lab. If you don't pass a lab, you get one chance to redo it, but if you get under a satisfactory score on any single assignment a second time, you're doomed to have to retake the course (which you need permission for). There is no feedback provided before you actually submit the lab, so the only feedback is what you get after it's already been graded.
I finally failed a lab, but apparently a lot of people also failed it, because there was a "don't freak out" announcement and everything. I checked the feedback and... I did everything right. I used the verification checklist in the lab instructions on every scenario and caught everything that I was supposed to catch.
What I got marked incompetent for was not identifying "this prescription is crumpled and being filled late" as an issue. Despite the fact that they were otherwise valid prescriptions which were not expired. And despite the fact that the assignment was only to review the prescriptions for accuracy and completion. And despite the fact that nowhere in any course materials has it ever said that that should be something to be concerned about.
I redid the lab and basically added a line to each applicable scenario to be like "the prescription is being filled a bit late but it's not expired and it's still valid." I turned the new version in along with about 4 paragraphs worth of explanations about why I had made the conscious decision the first time around not to consider the state of the piece of paper an issue, why there are concerning ethical implications if any professional did treat "paper is crumpled" as grounds for suspicion, the fact that I had clearly met the learning objectives and followed the instructions as they were laid out in the lab by assessing strictly the accuracy and completion of the written prescriptions, and a request for additional feedback in the event that my judgement was not sound, such that I may improve and adjust accordingly.
Prof gave me the passing score and response note about how, when the class was in-person, the lab scenarios would have been walked through step-by-step as a class, and how the resubmission method is meant to be a way to give students feedback in lieu of being able to meet in-person. She also said that while a tattered prescription isn't strictly a legal issue, it could be a sign that a patient doesn't know about assistive services available to them, for example prescription mailing or financial services.
Which is fair, but that was still not a part of the scenarios or the labs, and at a certain point I cannot list every single attribute a pharmacy might have, I cannot be expected to learn without meaningful feedback about the logic behind "correct" answers, and I still don't think that a crumpled piece of paper in and of itself is incredibly weak as a red flag that a patient needs extra intervention, compared to much less innocuous things that would actually happen in non-hypothetical scenarios.
I've also emailed her pretty much once a week at this point to point out quiz questions that weren't covered in course materials, to ask about grading criteria on labs, and to ask about trans-inclusive practicum sites. This one person has to deal with me for three different classes, for the record.
So the point of all that background context is that the grade for another lab just came in and the feedback is full of smiley faces, exclamation points, and compliments on my competence. Which is extra wild to me, since the syllabus and program handbook explicitly says that using emoticons is unprofessional and will result in docked grades if students use them. And all I can think is "does this lady think I'm a crybaby, or is she scared of me?"
Also online school is stupid as shit and I hate the fact that I am literally not being taught critical things, and I was 100% correct the first time around when I decided that paying full tuition for online courses is a terrible idea.
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