PlayStation 4
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Game Info:

Yesterday Origins
Developed By: Pendulo Studios
Published By: Microids
Released: September 29, 2016
Available On: PS4, Xbox One, Windows/MacOS
Genre: Point and Click Adventure Game
ESRB Rating: M
Number of Players: 1
Price: $14.99 Digital on Game Website

Thank you Pendulo Studios for the game!

Yesterday Origins is the prequel/sequel to Yesterday, a point and click action adventure game developed by Pendulo and released back in March of 2012. This explores the background to John Yesterday, and what happened to him after the prior story. Don't worry, though, you don't need to have played the prior game before playing this one it is its own self-contained adventure and story. Suffice it to say, I had no idea this game was even a sequel to any game until I was writing this review. This did not take away from my enjoyment of the game at all, if anything it makes me want to play the original game to get more of the character of John Yesterday. There are clues scattered throughout that lean back towards the original game, such as achievements for using prior character names among other nods that I was confused about but upon learning it was a sequel gave me a huge light bulb moment!

Speaking of light bulb moments, this game is filled with them. The game is ultimately a puzzle game and the times I finally figured out a puzzle was worthy of celebration in and of itself. For the record, I am terrible at them. I enjoy them for the most part, though. The game is narrative-driven so each puzzle will help you move on to the next chapter of the story. There are six in total and they can vary in range based on how quick witted you are in regards to the puzzle. If you know what you're doing, it'll take about an hour or so per chapter. It took me an hour to figure out what to do in regards to the first puzzle, my biggest hint would be click [i]every[/i] option. Make sure you don't miss a single one because that will be your last resort to get everything together. It might take the longest, and sometimes you'll just intuitively figure it out, but sometimes you just gotta rely on your brute forcing.

Yesterday Origins
Highlights:

Strong Points: Interesting art style, interesting story
Weak Points: Buggy towards the end, can get really annoying if you haven't played in a while and can get lost, slow start
Moral Warnings: Mentions of pornography, strong language, blood and gore, sexual themes, violence, occult imagery

The gameplay feels rather standard run of the mill when it comes to a point and click style game; playing it for the PlayStation 4 it took a while to scroll through some options. I'd have to press down on the directional pad and wait for me to go to the option I desired. Sometimes, it just went straight where I needed it to, however that wasn't all the time and it [i]did[/i] start to get on my nerves after a time. Other tiny annoyances were at times during the later part of the game, it would glitch and I was unable to talk to anyone to advance the story so I would have to restart my game. During interactions sometimes you will want to click on something but the selection highlights two options, or the controller might be a little on the lightweight side and quickly switch to an option because you tapped the joystick a bit too hard, but in regards to the dialogue options the controller worked for me rather well.

The sound design in the game however, is phenomenal and I actually could just let it play in the background just for the music alone. It's ominous and really aids in setting the tone for the rest of the game. I'm also just a complete sucker for that kind of music though. The music really helps bring you into the world and is honestly what kept me going because I enjoyed the music enough that I wouldn't even realize how much time had passed. Although sometimes that wasn't for the best, but it was certainly good enough to keep me invested in the story. The voice acting did feel a little off at times, but sometimes I wonder if that was intentional at times. In one particular case near the end, John's girlfriend sounds a bit air-headed but I am certain that was intentional. There was another part where John tells someone to scream as if he was actually being tortured, but the person supposedly being tortured is just stuttering quietly. Not enough to take me out of it, since I had to run through that room enough times for me to be incidentally okay with him not screaming at the top of his lungs all the time.

Yesterday Origins
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 72%
Gameplay - 14/20
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 32%
Violence - 2/10
Language - 3/10
Sexual Content - 6/10
Occult/Supernatural - 0/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10
+3 for having the option to forgive someone who has wronged you

Something to always keep in mind when it comes to narrative driven games are the characters. The characters in this game do not feel weak in the slightest, each one having distinguished goals and recognizable personalities. You can even control how the characters act and feel in regards to each other. There's a fight between the main character and his girlfriend at one part and something I personally enjoyed is that you could argue for both, and the game gives a hefty dose of repentance opportunity. I wanted to take that option but the game thought I meant to say I hated the guy, so that was relatively annoying.

The morality of the game is rather dark overall, a lot of cursing, occult imagery, being called the Son of Satan. The hero character, in a past life, had been engaged with a woman in extramarital affairs and had nearly convinced the woman to run away with her. The affair seemed to come of the husband's lack of sexual prowess, which is seen as something unforgivable and not something that she should work through. During this life, he was actually a monk for the church in Ireland. So he was a priest who was cheating with the local noble lord's wife. He gave her a ring to show his love for her before they planned to run away together. During the beginning, to showcase your girlfriend's immortality, she kills herself in the bathroom.

Playing as John Yesterday, who had been called the Son of Satan, the moral issues of this game are vast and numerable. The occultism spread throughout the game among the murders, blood and gore, cursing, among many other things, I cannot bring myself to justify recommending this game to my fellow believers. The game itself, however, is enjoyable and watching the mysteries unfold is rather entertaining.

-Dabuddah453

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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