Oxenfree: Review and Analysis

More video game reviews and analyses can be found here.

Note: Source for banner artwork can be found at this site discussing other potential media adaptations of the game.

Title: Oxenfree
Genre: 
Adventure/Exploration, Puzzle, Mystery, Horror
Developer: Night School Studio
Release Date: January 15, 2016

Oxenfree coverLet’s Player: ChristoperOdd
Date Started: 9/2/18
Date Finished: 9/5/18


A supernatural thriller about a group of friends who unwittingly open a ghostly rift.


With a heavy Stranger Things vibe and a female MC who’s a person of color, I couldn’t help but be drawn into this paranormal tale that starts out (like most) normally enough with a group of teenagers participating in a high school rite of passage that turns into a supernatural mystery involving secret subs, a lost crew, and a government cover up not dissimilar to The Philadelphia Experiment and Montauk.

Oxenfree, developed by Night School Studio and the brainchild of former Telltale and Disney employees, was released on January 16, 2016 accompanied by developmental documentaries and an alternative reality game (ARG), which allows players to interact with it in the real world, lending a creepier air to an already eerie narrative.   The atmospheric music, composed by scntfc, adds the perfect accompaniment to Alex and company’s exploration of the abandoned Edwards Island.  Along with the music, Morse code serves an integral part to understanding what happened here, though, as usual, the internet provides for those of us not savvy enough to be knowledgeable.

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The State of the Writer: 9/10/16

<–The State of the Writer: 9/3/16          The State of the Writer: 9/17/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 277,651
Prior Word Count: 272,701
Word Difference: +4950
Status: Writing
Progress: Chapter 4 in progress

broken-rose

In this additional chapter, I am literally writing about how broken Aeris is.  If I take a step back and really examine it, this part is a bit extraneous. Generally you want each chapter to pull the story along, further the plot, or introduce a new idea.  In all honesty, I’m just throwing this in because I can and I want to.  That’s the good thing about fanfiction.  While I definitely stick to the same rules of editing that I use for original works, there’s a little bit more wiggle room when it comes to fanfiction, because there are no threshold guardians.  Granted, I could probably make an argument for the narrative validity of this chapter as it really delves into how horribly abused Aeris was and how a redemptive and guilty Sephiroth does everything to help her heal.  I definitely wave some fore mentioned plot coupons around in this earlier section that will be cashed in later.  The truth of it though is I thought up some dialogue and interactions that I absolutely adored even as they broke my heart, and while some have found there way into earlier chapters, I knew that I’d need an additional one to bring the vision to fruition.

I’ve been plugging away at this chapter all week.  It’s like putting together the pieces of a very large puzzle, sanding the ends and/or adding enough glue to make them fit.  I had a lot of notes for this, many of them redundant, but I did manage to write almost 5k words this week.  I didn’t yet do a third edit on Chapter 3 (though I need to) as I decided I’d write 4 first, do the third edit, and then continue on with the process in Chapter 4.

I’m still planning on starting to post chapters once I get through Chapter 5, but I don’t know if this will occur before the end of my vacation.  If I can finish Chapter 4 by the end of this weekend, it may be a possibility.  I’ve been working on TBR every day since I can, but next week I have a slew of doctor’s appointments.  It might not be that bad since they’re only on Monday and Thursday, and my brother is driving me to the one on Monday since parking is $20 (blech).  Plus it’s in the city.  I hate driving in the city.  I can do it, but it wears me out even more.

Quote: In the crook of his neck, silvery spill made a soft nest for the weary.  The general shifted those thorn thin pupils, but they would never cut her.  Benevolence warred with rage within.  She was safe now and always would be.  *Would that she believed.  It’s my job to show her as much as to keep her safe.  My sins can’t be cleaned no matter how much the misted past might fade.  At least I can serve her.  Let me be your angel.  Even the fallen can beg…*

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Stranger Things – Not Really a Review

This is less a review and more of what I hope will become an open discussion.  I had absolutely no idea that going into Stranger Things, I’d come out with so many other narratives on my mind, but it was not only chock full of 80s aesthetic without being the least bit campy, but it also reminded me of many other stores of not just that decade but others prior and since.

Stranger Things Cover

While this is not a review, it will still spoil the entirety of the first season, as I’ll be discussing all aspects of the show in regards to other stories, and the discussion will spoil those narratives as well.

All of the doors are about to be opened Dustin, don’t worry!  Also, I love Gaten Matarazzo.

***Spoilers for Stranger Things and every single narrative in bold.***


Stand by Me – We’ll get this one and The Goonies out of the way since Stranger Things was heralded as being reminiscent of the adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Body and that classic 80s treasure hunt/coming of age tale, though ST was quite a bit darker and more horrifying than them both.  Also, oddly enough, in looking up the Wikipedia links for both movies, I discovered they both take place in small towns in Oregon.

E.T. There’s a picture of all of the kids on their bikes with Eleven in a hoodie with the hood up.  I can’t find it right now, but I recall the scene from one of the latter episodes.  If I knew exactly where it was (and I wasn’t being lazy), I’d screenshot it from my Netflix app, though…maybe it’s better I don’t since I don’t want to get in trouble.  Anyway, that was a definite visual reference to E.T., but just the idea of government officials hunting down a special entity set in the 80s, and the children the entity befriended trying to keep them safe has E.T. all over it.  Now El’s not an alien…or so it might seem, but the Demogorgon certainly is.  We’ll talk more about aliens and special children’s connections to them in a later entry.

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The State of the Writer: 8/27/16

<–The State of the Writer: 8/20/16          The State of the Writer: 9/3/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 272,761
Prior Word Count: 273,620
Word Difference: -852
Status: Editing
Progress: 2nd edit of Chapter 3

House By the Sea

I’m honestly can’t believe I haven’t used the above picture yet.  It’s almost exactly how I picture the house save for some minor details.  There’s no garage; it faces the sea; and the staircase is slightly different, being split at the top not at a lower landing, but the extensive veranda is dead on, and the luxury is exquisite, though I would not want to have Aeris’s history in this story in order to live here.

The little Cetra gets a brief glimpse of where she now resides, but there’s a much better one in Chapter 5 where she (and the readers) also find out the name of the estate.  When I do my (hopefully) light reedit of Northern Lights, I’m going to use the same name for their abode.  It’s…sad but fitting, and Sephiroth finds it achingly ironic.

I’m making good progress on the second edit.  I was worried it was going to be tedious and nitpicky as the first, but I only had some trouble with the initial paragraph or so.  I’ve mostly been doing a read through with minor edits, which is what I wish all editing could be.  Granted I haven’t yet reached the part where I’ve done extensive additions, so I’ll have to get back to you when I do.

This chapter amps up the sweetness even amongst the heartache.  At the end of it since Aeris is completely bereft of clothing, Sephiroth orders her a multitude of them in addition to jewelry and shoes.  I debated using a picture of the former, but there will be plenty of time for that when it arrives.

Quote: “Her coloring?  Fairer than the mist with the first blush of dawn on her cheeks.  She resembles a tiny porcelain doll with large, deep, summer blessed eyes.  Her hair is chestnut waves down to her knees with bangs similar to mine.  Yes, she’s lovely, beyond so.  Beautiful’s the word I would use.”


Project: Story
Title:
The Threads of Sorrow
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Retold Fairy Tale
Type: Original Short Story
Prior Word Count: 6887
Current Word Count: 6825
Word Difference: -42
Status: Editing
Progress: First Edit 5/6 Complete

I only edited one page last week, and I’m not sure I’m going to get to this tonight.  Since I went to my friend’s book signing, I’m exhausted as is the case whenever I do anything.  I’d need a nap before any editing took place, and I have so much still on my planner to accomplish.  I would love to finish the first edit this weekend, but it may have to happen during my two week vacation, which starts the first full week of September.

I’m also starting to get weird about submitting this for publishing.  That’s all I’m going to say about that for now :\

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The State of the Writer: 8/20/16

<–The State of the Writer: 8/13/16          The State of the Writer: 8/27/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 273,620
Prior Word Count: 273,244
Word Difference: +376
Status: Editing
Progress: 1st edit of Chapter 3

Dream House Living Room

There has been a great deal of revision in this portion of the edit, since I’m prepping to add a new chapter.  It’s been equal parts editing, equal parts writing, but I’m happy I’m doing it in the first edit.

The above picture shares similarities to how I imagine the living room, though the view would of course be the sea, and the window is more like a bay.  It’s obviously near impossible to find perfect pictures for the images in my head.  I was trying to locate a good dining room since that’s where I am right now, but I suppose you’ll just have to rely on my descriptive skills…as they are I suppose.

Quote: The great glass lights above ornate steps were now lit like a calm holiday.  Black boots made no sound on their scattered dance in display upon marble veins.  He carried her through the living room that dwelled off the stairs’ right side.  The carpet here looked just as soft to what crinkled her toes in her room. 

Evening was falling behind the bay window that framed his dining room.  Though the kitchen had a table, this was fancier.  *She deserves that,* Sephiroth thought, setting Aeris down.  She sank in soft cushion, her head still a-whirl for the arms were upholstered and soft.  Undoing his coat with the pin back in place, he swung it from broad to frail shoulders.  The Cetra caught her breath to keep back tears for the velvet warmth shielding her now.


Project: Story
Title:
The Threads of Sorrow
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Retold Fairy Tale
Type: Original Short Story
Prior Word Count: 6940
Current Word Count: 6887
Word Difference: +53
Status: Editing
Progress: First Edit 3/4 Complete

I have three more pages left to edit so I’m near the climax of the tale.  I’m starting to get anxious about this, because after I edit and polish it, I’ll have to submit it, and submitting stories sucks.  I just…sucks.  That’s all I can really say about it.  It contorts my stomach like a twisted sheet.  I hate the threat of failure, and it always falls, it always falls, ironically without fail.  My last resort is just posted it here on my own social media, but I would like some validation that I’m a halfway decent writer.  We’ll see what happens.

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