TWDG Episodic vs Serialization
As with many ongoing series and downloadable titles, the stories told in The Walking Dead Game's various Seasons & Installments are told through different episodes. Each Season & Installment generally follows a single, large story that follows the same cast of characters until the end, with the arcs of it and its characters gradually developing as these episodes come out.
Based on the five separate games that have come out and finished thus far, what is your opinion on how these stories are told?
Do you appreciate the various attempts at a serialized format telling long-term story arcs? Do you think the games are better when they are relatively episodic with a monster of the week format?
Or maybe you a certain bit of both?
How might any Season/Installment have been different in the other format?
I think it's safe to say that Season 1 was so great in part because it struck a balance between the two. There were ongoing character arcs throughout its duration, mainly for Lee, Clementine, Kenny, Lilly, and Ben, but Telltale took the time to make each episode it's own, mostly self-contained experience for the most part. Starved for Help is generally considered the benchmark by many people because it went out of its way to make the St. John's Dairy, the Save Lots Bandits, and even Jolene feel like considerably and somewhat reciprocally realized entities with their own stories.
By comparison, I think many would agree Season 2 is still a big example of where the former side of this debate can rise considerable in validity. Season 2 set out from the start to tell a Myth Arc involving the history between the Cabin Group and Carver with Clementine's own arc regarding what she's lost & has to learn to deal with it amongst other things in the post-apocalyptic world developing as she becomes intertwined with it. On a cohesive paper, this could've been and should've been a great story that managed to showcase really complicated characters, situations, and lessons, perhaps surpassing that of Season 1. Instead, we saw something that was told in questionable ways, whether it be characters that were relatively underdeveloped or even somewhat variable between episodes, plot points and details that either get passed off or go nowhere, and a collective direction that was confusing at best or wishy-washy at worst. And while they've showed signs of improving a little in a way, I think the other seasons haven't exactly been that much better about it.
If I could go off script here for a second and maybe stretch my wings a little further than I should, I feel like serialization is both the sustenance and ironically a weakness of Telltale in general. Not to be too hard on them or claim I know more than I actually do, but I sorta got the vibe from what games I've experienced and/or heard about thus far that there tends to be some hiccups in the cohesive and/or "satisfying" storytelling. This seems to be particularly concentrated around the penultimate episodes, where the stories are entering or have entered their third act and are trying to wrap themselves up by drawing attention to the final conflicts that will be dealt with by the climax of Episode 5. Here are few examples for the rode:
Note: If you have much to say about my point with The Wolf Among Us, feel free to do so here instead. I haven't had much experience with the others, though, so be mindful with anything on that.
Did you played Tales From The Borderlands before ? Because that's the best game Telltale's ever made so you better play it at some point ¯_(ツ)_/¯
I know very little about Borderlands beyond, like, five characters I've seen in places and some pairing that was constantly referenced & got it's own thread reworked.
Old man dan did say it's one of the only games he enjoyed from Telltale, though, so I guess it's a decent sign.
Also, I found what I assume to be the credits song in a playlist and that was just nice.
You don't need to play the other Borderlands game to play this one,so you're fine,but yeah you have to play it,it's as good as TWD S1,even better imo.
And yeah the music is sick !
Oh, so another Michonne situation?
Hm...we may see.
A balance of the two is probably ideal. Serialization is currently a pretty big problem of (streaming) tv shows, where they're basically 10 hour movies instead of actual tv shows, which makes it absurdly hard to distinguish each episode from one another after you've finished the show. It also has a negativ effect on the pacing more often than not. I honestly can count all the tv shows i've watched that used their respective episode-count efficiently on one hand and I watched A LOT of tv shows.
There's also a difference between the episodic and monster of the week concepts, as the latter is arguably the extreme form of the former.
I honestly feel like many of Telltale's recent games, like ANF, Batman & Michonne turned out much more serialized than TWDS1, TWAU & Borderlands, by often beginning an episodes exactly where the previous one ended with sometimes no in-universe time between. The former games often end their episodes in a pretty weird and awkward way and don't feel conclusive at all, which is something the latter shows do a much better job of, since they seem to have been written with their episode structure in mind.
I do prefer the episodic way more, but I think both have their pros and cons.
Hm. I suppose so.
Really now? Cause I know a few episodes of TWDG1 and TWAU do begin right after each other where applicable.
Yeah, me too. The difference is that the endings for many of the older games' episodes still felt conclusive in some way and started a new storyline at the same time.
The Wolf Among Us for example: the beginning of episode three is exactly where episode two ended, but the ending of episode two is not only a cliffhanger/resolution to the current main goal, but also starts the next storyline/plotpoint.
On the other hand, there's Michonne's first episode's ending, where I primarily asked myself why it was placed there, since it didn't really finish off anything. It would've been better if they ended the episode with Michonne and friends trying to escape to the shore with the boat and seeing the burning community behind them.
Another weird example is between episode 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead: Season 2. I mean, it kind of works but I would've prefered it if it ended with the timeskip at the beginning of episode 2 rather than right after the Pete/Nick decision. It just felt forcibly dramatic.
That was what was supposed to happen originally,but they decided to cut this for some reasons..
What, wait was supposed to happen?
I do like episodic gaming but I don't like the waiting period in-between episodes
The beginning of episode 2 should've been in episode 1 lmao