When I first heard Life is Strange was coming to Android, I knew I was in for another round of poor decision making and “hella” cool moments.
I completed all five chapters of the game’s PC port when they came out in 2015. Back then, Life is Strange was a breath of fresh air when open-world, combat-driven titles were all the rage. Being a story-heavy game, it wasn’t exactly light on a gamer’s heart, but was definitely chill enough be an in-between gaming experience.
The game revolves around Max who magically gains the power of time travel to fix mistakes and get her way. Sounds like a sure-fire trip to hell, but this main character’s intentions are mostly pure. With it, she sets out to save the town and her friends from certain doom which she saw in a dream. Yes, I know, totally cliché, but you come for the character interactions and unexpected plot twists.
It’s tough to say more without spoiling anything. Seriously, knowing one major plot point in advance can ruin the experience. Even though the game allows you to make decisions that alter the story’s advancements, you still follow a linear path that unravels like any other save-the-world plot. My advice? Don’t read up on anything about this game unless it’s spoiler-free (like this article).
Another piece of advice: Play Life is Strange on a console or PC before jumping into the iOS or Android version. As accessible as the mobile ports are, they can’t match the visuals and controls introduced by the first release. Even a decent laptop from 2014 can run the game smoothly on low to medium graphics settings.
Life is Strange on Android doesn’t get the touch controls right, making your control of Max feel clumsy and jerky. While the game offers control settings and camera sensitivity, nothing feels quite natural enough to keep you immersed while traversing hallways and strange dreams.
At the same time, even with a high-end smartphone, graphics aren’t that good. The are no settings for adjusting the visuals, and when it rains or stuff starts flying around, the frame rate takes an even greater hit — and consequently, causes the controls to become jerkier.
And that’s sort of my main gripe with Life is Strange on mobile; without the fluidity found in its original release, the immersion isn’t quite there. That’s a problem, because the story requires you to remember every detail, pain yourself over each decision made, and understand all character motives. It’s natural to play a gimped version of full games on mobile, but games like Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition were able to optimize gameplay for smartphones while (mostly) retaining the atmosphere.
So, who is the Android or iOS port for? Those who want another crack at the game, and need to catch all the foreshadowing early on, because there are lots. I highly recommend playing Life is Strange the way it was meant to be played first, which is with a TV and controller or keyboard-mouse combo.
The title is often available for cheap during Steam sales, and could cost as little as the mobile game’s asking price. But if sitting on a couch or office chair to finish the game is not an option, there’s nothing wrong with downloading the game from the App Store or Google Play instead.
What’s great is that the first of five chapters is free, so you can get a hands-on feel to see if the mobile version is for you or you’re better off experiencing the console or PC release first.
Whichever choice you make, you’re in for a tight story driven by a memorable cast. You won’t feel the need to redo that decision once all’s said and done.
8 career lessons I learned while playing Mobile Legends
The ingredients to winning in-game and in life
This is the first of a three-part series. Watch out for the next two articles.
When people say games have nothing to contribute in your life, I honestly believe they’re wrong. Playing Mobile Legends isn’t something I do mindlessly. I think, strategize, and find a way to win. Throughout the whole match, I’m invested in my game. I focus up, even though to some, it’s just a “game.”
In between defeats and victories, I realized a lot of lessons along the way. Here’s what I learned that’s also applicable in your work and career:
People are the key to success
To rise through the ranks — just like in life — we need to deal with people no matter how much we hate it. If you know how to lead, follow, and go with the flow, you’ll succeed. Mobile Legends taught me that it can’t always be just you. To succeed in this world (and in team fights), we need to work and band together. One man’s failure is our failure, and one man’s success is everyone’s success. We just need to fight and bring each other up to victory.
You don’t always get to retaliate
During my defeats, I learned that life doesn’t give us a fair chance to fight back. Some circumstances in life tell us to just stop and accept defeat and take the lesson learned into improving the next fight. However…
You can still flip things around
If opportunities arise, you can retaliate and strike back. As long as you keep fighting and keep your people together, you can turn the tables and win. Life may throw us lemons, but we can always make lemonade out of it and drink it while we’re on our way to victory.
There are a lot of selfish people in the world
People will leave the match unexpectedly, do things on their own and refuse to cooperate or steal your buffs and kills. You will encounter a lot of greedy and selfish people not just in games, but also in life. It’s frustrating and annoying, but we always have a choice to outsmart them, to try to include them, talk them out of it, or just be kind, try to understand, and accept that some people are just selfish at their very core.
Not all battles are worth fighting for
When you’re running on data, every minute and every fight should be worth it. Just like in life, our time, energy, and resources are limited. A former mentor always tells me to pick my battles, and I find it accurate especially as I am getting older and taking on more responsibilities.
We can’t always win our fights, and when we see we’re on the losing end, we can always retreat. There is no shame in admitting that you lost. Humility goes a long way.
Don’t be arrogant and belittle people
Some people are just starting, and they won’t hit as hard as you do. However, life happens and people gain a lot of experience where they grow stronger and smarter. You’ll never know who will be a worthy competition or an important ally in the end game (or later in life). Choose to be kind, it doesn’t even cost a cent to do so.
We all have our own pace and potential
Some people shine early. They get promoted, recognized, and get awards early in their careers. Heroes like Cyclops, Selena, and Angela are always strong during the first part. Other people (and heroes like Gusion, Claude, and Roger) shine in the middle as they rise through the ranks and the tables start turning around.
However, some shine in the late game. People (and heroes like Hanabi, Irithel, and Lesley) hits harder when they are at their peak condition. I guess what I’m saying is take your time because you’ll shine when the time is right. All you have to do is grind and work on yourself for now.
Communication is key
You can’t expect people to read what’s on your mind (especially when you’re playing a MOBA game). Like I said earlier, teamwork (read: people) is the key to success. If there’s a problem, tell people what’s wrong and how they can be better. Take the initiative to call for backup or ask everyone to retreat when they’re in danger. Lead them when opportunities arise for your team to advance and take down your opponents. The main ingredient in winning in life (and in everything else) is communication.
Even Microsoft listens to your Skype and Cortana recordings
Absolute privacy is a myth
A couple of weeks back Apple admitted it listens to accidental triggers of Siri to analyze and improve user experience. They also added that none of the recordings are associated with the user’s identity. However, contractors tasked to listen to these recordings admit coming across clips that revealed personal data.
Now, even Microsoft admits it uses human contractors to review its users’ audio. The list of “listening” companies also includes Amazon, Facebook, and Google. If you want absolute privacy, going off-the-grid may be your only option.
Microsoft uses third-party contractors to listen to your voice conversations on Skype and virtual assistant Cortana. The updated privacy statement says a human review is used to help build, train and improve the accuracy of its artificial intelligence systems.
While other companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple have suspended these collections, Microsoft says it will “continue to examine further steps we might be able to take.” In simpler terms, “Screw you, we’ll continue doing it.”
The company also says the recordings may actually be subject to “transcription of audio recordings by Microsoft employees and vendors.”
Users are increasingly worried about online privacy since the Cambridge Analytica scandal was revealed. Technology companies have a huge chunk of our daily lives and many aren’t comfortable with it. Especially when privacy policies are complex and security loopholes are widely abused.
Facebook will have dark mode for mobile
Things are looking bright for our eyes
Facebook is working on Dark Mode for mobile
I wrote a blog about this: https://t.co/X5tAZuIlPz
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 12, 2019
Wong came across the unreleased dark mode for Android by looking in the code underneath, indicating that the tech giant has recently started implementing the feature. However, it seems that Facebook’s dark mode is still in its early stage of development.
By “early stage of development”, this is what I mean
Only the Groups tab is looking good for the demo at the moment 😅 pic.twitter.com/L1SHaWlSk1
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 13, 2019
While some users declared having it already on Facebook Watch, Wong emphasized that the dark mode is underway across the whole Facebook app.
There are no words yet from Facebook regarding dark mode nor its timeline for implementation. However, things are looking bright for our eyes that are hurt by bright lights should the tech giant implements the much-awaited feature. It’s only a matter of time before we embrace the dark.
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