This is the story of a man named Alex.
Alex was employed by a company called Nintendo Life, and one of his many duties was to review video games. One day when at his desk Alex heard the news that The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe would be releasing on the Nintendo Switch, the games console which was understandably his primary focus.
“Yippee!” cheered Alex, “I must make sure that I am the one to review it.” Being familiar with the original release of the game, Alex’s co-workers agreed that he should be the one to take on this mighty task. He downloaded the game, and as his Nintendo Switch whirred to life thoughts started buzzing around his head: ‘Could it live up to so much expectation? Would the 2013 original be tainted?’ Alex of course knew that the game started as a mod before 2013, but in that moment he simply forgot.
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe successfully booted, and Alex sat down to play.
Much of what he saw he had already seen before. The first-person perspective of the eponymous Stanley remained intact, as did the most typical meandering around the office that made up the meat of the gameplay. Hallways, office desks, doorways, yes, this was The Stanley Parable as he remembered it. The familiar numerals on all the doors, the soft and dulcet rhythm of the narrator’s dialogue, it was all as it was, and more importantly running at a relatively stable 60 frames per second, which Alex was certain could only be a good thing. Yes, if Alex could describe what he was playing in but a single word, it would be ‘familiar’. Perhaps… was it too familiar?
Alex began to feel deflated. “I’ve completed the Freedom Ending half a dozen times before! Where’s all this new content I was promised? Was that all just a sick joke on the part of the developers?” With nothing but faith to keep him going, Alex soldiered on in the hopes that something new might show itself.
Ending after ending, nothing was changing after almost half of an entire hour of playtime. And then, as if from nowhere, a door that was previously nothing but reliably closed was now ajar. Better yet, the words ‘NEW CONTENT’ were emblazoned upon its face. “This is it!” Alex cried, “The new content, whoopee!”
As Alex delved and scurried around a swathe of brand new features he felt almost overwhelmed by just how much lay before him. A shiny new friend, an enticing new dimension… Alex was so flustered that he forgot to write anything down, which for the purpose of avoiding spoilers he considered effortlessly convenient.
But Alex was sure of one thing: that everything he experienced was wonderful, be it the new dialogue from the narrator, the tied up loose ends, the jumping circle — it was all either a joyous addition that fell right in line with the ethos of the original, or a humorous and self-aware nod to the long journey the team had taken in order to reach this point. He was also surprised to discover that he had not once thought twice about the move from computer to console; every bit of the game just flowed, and he never once missed or even considered the old keyboard and mouse standard.
Alex did ponder how someone unfamiliar with The Stanley Parable would feel about being dropped in with no prior knowledge. Would they feel alienated? Was that the point? The game had always been so unlike anything else released that Alex was sure that even if these people felt like fish out of water, they would surely find their feet if they were keen enough to give the game the attention it deserves.
Alex continued to play through again and again and again, assuming he must have seen it all by this point, and almost every time he played he was proven wrong. Until at one point Alex took stock of everything, every possibility, every door, every achievement, and found himself at the end. If there was more to discover, it had eluded him. Satisfied and rubbing his cheeks that had become swollen from the mindless grinning he had been forced to endure, Alex put pen to paper.
“NINE OUT OF TEN,” Alex bellowed as he wrote. “A thoroughly enjoyable expansion of an already classic game treated with love, care, and most importantly a meta awareness that pays tribute to everything that made The Stanley Parable so beloved. It may leave a small few questioning more than they’d like, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Alex wondered if this small sound bite could be considered a complete review, but he was certain that if he needed to, he could find a way to pad things out.
An announcement for a physical release should be happening soon.
Totally, I've been interested in The Stanley Parable for some time now, and a physical would be a great way to commemorate this classic.
What an interesting review.
I really love this game, it's super unique and a lot of fun!
Removed - spoilers; user is banned
Free will and manipulation and reverse psychology the game, something I've wanted to play since first I saw it.
So I can wait for a sale, on a regular retail physical release.
'At first, Stanley had assumed he had broken the map, until he heard this narration and realised it was part of the game's design all along. He then praised the game for its insightful and witty commentary into the nature of video game structure and its examination of structural narrative types'
This game is amazing.
This looks like someone made game out of the r/backrooms subreddit which is really cool haha. The theory of clipping through the environment into some... backroom of unused assets and environments.
I'm intrigued! ...and this was a really neat review style!
Absolute classic. Let's hope their other game Beginner's Guide makes it to Switch too, love that one.
Anyone who hasn't really should. It's one of those games that sticks with you and makes you think, but not in the depressing way that so many of these games do. It uses humor, and uses it well.
@ChromaticDracula The review matches the writing style of the game. I love the original, I can't recommend this enough, especially if you know nothing about it.
Damn you alex this is so well done this feels like one of those reviews that probably wrote itself out of sheer inspiration.
"Alex was so flustered that he forgot to write anything down, which for the purpose of avoiding spoilers he considered effortlessly convenient."
Alex had written his review and he hit publish. He was excited to publish this one. It didn't take long for comments to be written and Alex would hastily hit refresh so he could give them a read. At first Alex was delighted. People would bask in the glory of his well written piece. They would marvel at his writing ability. He then started to read...
It wasn't long before he began to wonder... did people actually read his review? Did they just want to talk about the game? What did "interesting" mean... did people even understand?
He stood up and he screamed... no... wait, you're not meant to do that, what are you doing? This isn't in the script... Alex, what are you doing? This just won't wor--
The comment seemed to end abruptly. The reader laughed but then realised... the comment hadn't actually ended. But now... it had.
I can't bring myself to read the review (sorry Alex - I scanned it and you look to have written a great piece.) I have wanted to play this for yonks but trying to be as blind as possible going in to it. I'll happily read this after I've played it lol.
....Isn't $25 a bit much for this? I mean, it really is an old game.
@Magician is that confirmed? I'm debating whether to wait for physical or not. This seems like a game you can play multiple times (I've never played it!) but I'm not really one who revisits older games often. Should I wait?!? Or would digital be just fine for me?
BUT ALEX, DID U GET THE BROOM CLOSET ENDING? THEB ROOM CLOSET ENDING WAS MY FAVRITE!1 XD
@Joeynator3000 the original game was fifteen dollars, and since this game has more content, I don't think an extra ten dollars is too steep of a price bump.
Always wanted too play this game because I've heard nothing but praise from critics but don't exactly know what too expect just jumping into it blindly, is this a game with mostly meta-humor?
@ImmaWario The developer, Crowsx3, have mentioned a physical release is in the works, but nothing is official yet.
@russell-marlow Haven't played Ultra Deluxe yet, but I played the original a good bit. It's a mix of meta humor, slightly dark humor, and absurdist humor, and it's excellent.
@Cr4shMyCar Is the game about game development or what exactly is the premise here?
@FlaviusFire Noted! I'm likely buying this very very soon. I think I need this in my life right now.
This game is so good. However I'll be playing this on my Steam Deck which will arrive this friday
As with most releases, it’s better to play on a console or PC that can handle the frame rates and graphics better. Maybe the reviews should start including what other systems the game is on and their performance so those of us who want to game on superior hardware can weigh our purchase options. Thanks.
Really enjoyed the review, but I am non the wiser as to what type of gaming experience this actually is…
It's basically a walking simulator. Along with Dear Esther, it arguably invented the genre. (Both started life as Half-Life 2 mods, fulfilling the story-focused promise of that game's opening 10 minutes.)
That said, unlike most walking simulators, there's a huge amount of non-linear interaction here. You're still just walking and occasionally pushing a button, but there are dozens upon dozens of branching paths. Every version of the game (and I've played most of them, including the mod) has you start out in an office. You walk away from your computer and start poking your nose around the building, all while listening to a narrator who describes your character and what you're doing (and who sounds just like Alex's imitation in this review). It all gets very meta, very quickly, as you start going against the narrator's wishes, get him really pissed off, discover new areas, and drop down the rabbit hole of questioning the concepts of free will and choice in video games. (Not unlike Portal — except here it's not subtext, it's the actual text.) It's also frequently surreal and surprising. You'll "die" a lot, of course, but there are like a million endings (slight exaggeration) and you're supposed to discover them all.
@Beaucine Is there any reward for discovering some of those endings?
I love to see such a passionate review, it's made me a lot more interested in this game.
@russell-marlow It is all about the journey, as they say.
Played this on the pc back in the day, a truly fun experience! I suggest everyone try it out.
@russell-marlow yes, you get thoroughly entertained. Some of the endings are just hilarious.
The game has a story, but please, don’t focus on that, that is not what this game is about
The original was and still is one of the best games ever, will get my hands on this new sweet edition.
@Picola-Wicola Be happy... Alex managed to get the tone of the game right (well done!) without spoiling much... Experience it for yourself, you won't regret it
@romanista wow, ok, I am up for new experiences. I don’t know what I am getting myself in for, but will just jump in.
It's not really that type of game. I probably got Steam achievements or whatever from some of the endings, but it's more about just exploring all the possibilities. Keep in mind that every "play through" takes around 5 to 10 minutes. (Though some paths can take longer and get pretty elaborate and through-the-looking-glass weird.) You then "start over," but the flow isn't like a rogue-like, because you're always finding new branching paths, so there's not actually a lot of repetition. (And even if you do repeat part of a path, the game is often self-aware about it and will comment on it.) Also, you don't "die" in the traditional video game sense. You simply reach an ending, some of which are painful.
Brilliant review. Absolutely brilliant.
This game has serious framerate problems. There are random stutters and the other times It'll be buttery smooth and then you'll look down a hall and the framerate will drop to half. It's seriously distracting and it also breaks the game flow because once that happens you know that whatever's in that direction has more going on than whatever room you're in and as a result kind of spoils the sense of uncertainty about what's next. I wish Nintendolife reviews were more diligent about this stuff, this is not the first time they've glossed over notable performance issues.
"A nine out of ten," the reader narrating about the journalist's
experience with the narrator and the game mumbled to no one in particular, focusing entirely on the negative collumn. "...With an experience that hinges on the player 'getting it'." But was it that this particular journalist did not fully 'get' whatever the writer penning the narrator penning the player played by the journalist hoped the player to get? Or were the scenes in which the player did not grasp what the thoughts that the narrator or the journalist did particularly unsatisfactory? The reader shook his head, choosing instead to focus on the joys of pushing buttons and discovery and dialogue while greedily consuming MORE content tailored in response to gripes of negative steam reviews. 'Perhaps the DLC will address it further, 'he thought to himself. No matter. The player and the reader and the journalist seemed mostly satisfied.
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