"Finding Paradise" Is One Of The Most Moving Games Of 2017

"Finding Paradise" Is One Of The Most Moving Games Of 2017

Fulfill the wish of a dying man by traveling through his life.
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Many years ago, I played a video game called, "To the Moon," by Freebird Games. To this day, it has fundamentally changed the way I look at certain aspects of life. It's difficult to explain why the game impacted me so heavily without revealing crucial parts of the story, but ever since playing it, I yearned for more. Six years later, Freebird Games has finally released the sequel, "Finding Paradise," and it's every bit as moving as its predecessor.

Before going too in-depth, it's important to note that "Finding Paradise" isn't a video game in the traditional sense; there's not much actual gameplay involved. Many have instead referred to it as an interactive novel, which I find to be a more accurate description. "Finding Paradise" has a story to tell, and the player's job is to experience it without stressing out over any hurdles most normal games would present. Since the game is so narrative-driven, it is the quality of the story that I find so captivating.

"Finding Paradise" puts you in the shoes of Eva Rosalene and Neil Watts, a pair of doctors who fulfill the wishes of their dying patients by reliving their memories and altering their lives. However, these changes only exist in the patient's mind. The two doctors enter the mind of former pilot, Colin Reeds, and attempt to figure out how to give him the life he wants before his time runs out. Despite the science-fiction premise of the story, "Finding Paradise" touches upon very real, very human topics. And it does so with great care and subtlety; arguably the biggest strength of the game is the superb writing.

Freebird Games does an excellent job at portraying emotions like love or loneliness indirectly. The characters that express these emotions feel so realistic that I found myself empathizing with many of them. They also manage to deftly balance the heartwarming moments with comic relief (mostly from the doctors) that prevents the game from turning into a melodramatic mess.

The incredible music also plays a massive role in separating "Finding Paradise" from its contemporaries. The numerous orchestral and piano ballads composed by Kan Reives Gao are well-composed individually, but when played by themselves they're merely above-average instrumentals. However, they shine brightly in this game by establishing different moods in certain parts of the story, creating peaceful or ominous atmospheres. Many of the climactic parts in the game wouldn't have been nearly as moving were it not for the accompaniment.

Overall, "Finding Paradise" is far greater than the sum of its parts, weaving all aspects of it (yes, including the gameplay) into a beautiful tale about a dying man's final request. Clocking in at around five-hours-worth of gameplay, be sure to get a taste of one of the greatest stories of the year, found here, along with the previous games in the series, "To the Moon" and "A Bird Story."

Cover Image Credit: Steam

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Things To Do When You're So Bored All You Want To Do Is Cry

Do something artsy

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Everyone has times when they have nothing to do and boredom strikes way too hard. From experience, I have found some top things to do when you literally have nothing else to do!

1. Clean

Not super fun, but will keep you busy.

2. Netflix

Find a new show to binge watch. Watched them all? Rewatch something you haven't seen in a while!

3. Shopping

Retail therapy can always keep you busy.

4. Make a home cooked meal

Spend some time in the kitchen and make something yummy! Even invite some friends.

5. Visit friends/ family

Pop in on some people you care about that you haven't seen in a while!

6. Write

Writing is something we all do and is a great way to express ourselves!

7. Exercise

Hit the gym or go for walk, do something to keep you nice and fit.

8. Volunteer

Go to an animal shelter, food bank, museums, or anywhere in your area that needs help.

9. Look for a job

If you're bored, maybe getting a part time job will keep you a little occupied. Plus it's extra money in your pocket.

10. Draw/ do something artsy

Even if you think you're a bad artist, drawing is something fun to do! You'll get better in time.

11. Join an Odyssey Team!

Writing articles through the Odyssey is an amazing experience and can always keep you busy!

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