I dedicate this thread to our colleague and peer, @charizard1605, who I have to thank for pressing me to commit the time and attention to see the game through. I now have to credit him with being the driving force for both P4G and the following game, so if we ever meet in life I'll be sure to treat him to his drink/meal of choice. But in the interim, I'll keep giving him the credit.
But alas, the game I'm here to shower with praise and urge all who enjoy narrative-centric games to play is none other than:
This may not come as news to many, seeing as I'm rather late to this shindig. But as I watch the credits roll, I am really floored with how a game with such a tiny budget (and painfully obvious shortcomings due to such) could be a thousand-fold more consequential than the AAA drivel that gets shoveled our way. DONTNOD's commitment to the narrative themes - and the central gameplay mechanic - is inspiring, in spite of the frustrations that said commitment does create.
While I will certainly sound off my adulation for Life Is Strange to all who will hear, I admit that I would have preferred it not have been encapsulated as a videogame. The interactivity is necessary to give weight to the course you chart and feel the burden of caring after the characters in its tale, but the ancillary paths you can take are largely fluff, expose the cast's poorer performances, and strain the writing. Plus there is little in the form of reward from exploring the secondary and tertiary dilemmas and relationships. And, like many other games in this genre, it exacts a specific type of toll on the player to see it through the 10-15 hour asking price, most of which - I expect - one will expend in solitude.
But that aside, the payoff at the finish line is magnificent and beautifully brings together a tale that touches on very grounded, human concerns and blends it with a touch of the supernatural that veers about wildly in its final chapter. I cannot give it a stronger recommendation if you're in the need for a quality story, be that in gaming or otherwise.
And thanks Char - you're still a weeaboo, but I mean that in the most complimentary of ways.