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The Beginner's Guide review
Exceptional
by Chris

NOTE: this is [not] a review a review on The Beginner's Guide. this is [not] an analysis of The Beginner's Guide. in fact, the only place in this 'review' that I mention The Beginner's Guide is this little introduction. this is merely an essay that I wrote after experiencing the game. that is all. I know how 'meta' the game is, I get the 'plot points', don't worry. just take what I wrote as it is—a standalone work. an essay on creation

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"If we opened people up, we would find landscapes."   -Agnès Varda

Looking at your reflection in the mirror and not knowing what you're looking at is a horrifying feeling. I mean, we are ourselves. I am myself, myself is me. If no one could understand me, recognize me, that's alright, because at least I know who I am....right? 

Sometimes the answer to that question is a resounding "no". And if you're the 'creative type', the kind of person that makes something—art, music, games, anything—you'd at least expect that although no one else might get what you're making, that you would. Personally, 99.99% of the time I make something, I don't have a single clue what it means, why I subconsciously chose to do that. Sometimes, I can live with that notion. Other times, it scares the absolute fuck out of me—fear of the unknown.

I mean, I know how the process usually goes. Random inspiration, random inclination to make something; proceed to make said thing, allowing the subconscious to take control of the steering wheel and create; finish the work, subsequently look at it and think: "what the hell did I just make?" Then I'd spend a good portion of time trying to put the pieces together. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. Then after all that, I share what I made.

It's a strange phenomenon, letting go and allowing your subconscious to flow through your nervous system, grab the reins, and work its magic. You have to allow yourself to become completely vulnerable across all fronts. The result of that process, in my opinion, yields the most genuine and authentically 'you' results. By letting go, you free yourself from any outside influence, channeling that energy of yours that is unique. I create all of my art this way. And no one has yet to really understand anything that I have made. Anything. And most people haven't even tried.

It's not their fault that they don't get it, or that they don't want to get it, or that they don't want to try to get it. It's not my fault for making something so seemingly difficult to comprehend. There's nothing wrong with not understanding something. Sometimes, you don't need to 'understand' something at all, but rather feel it. But at the end of the day, what I created is an extension of myself. It is me. It's not all that I am—my existence goes far beyond one work or several—but it can serve as a reflection of myself, or a reflection of a fragment of myself.

I don't find joy in making things. I really don't. I have made lots of things, and I can't say I enjoyed making a single one of them. It's a stressful and emotionally draining process. I usually get that random inclination to create when I feel like absolute shit, which is admittedly more often than not. Nonetheless, I create anyways. I continue to create. It's like I'm driven to, although I suspect that eventually one day, I will stop. I don't know why, but I will. 

I share what I make, against my own will, in an effort to get myself more comfortable with being 'open' and 'confident'. I've gone an entire lifetime without sharing any fraction of my being with anyone. I guess it's like a plea to the world, as if I'm standing on the top of a building with a giant megaphone, shouting: "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT WHAT I MADE! LOOK AT HOW I THINK AND FEEL!" I don't make things for attention. In fact, doing that is pretty counter-intuitive I think. I guess I just want people to acknowledge my existence in some way, to take what I have to say seriously. We all deserve that.

At the end of the day, I really make these things for myself. No matter how many times I share them, no one really looks at them. Most of the views I have on my works are my own. It's a lonely landscape, but it is mine—and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

"If we opened people up, we would find landscapes." -Agnès Varda

Other reviews7

I don't fully understand what was intended in the story. But I love what I have seen. The narration was very funny and continued the same brilliancy from stanley parable.  The seemless change into different levels are totally in sync with the voice and nothing seemed out of place. Is the story about the narrator itself or is there actually other person is still confusing for me.  I felt this type of games are unique and have to be tried regardless of ratings ..
Few games have stuck with me as much as this, and few games are as creatively daring. Effectively utilising a "House of Leaves" like layered narrative in a way I've not previously come across in a game, The Beginner's Guide examines the need for social validation at its extremes, here in the context of the games developer and the player. Throughout it feels like a deeply personal work from its creator (whoever that may be!), and at times you almost feel like you're actually trespassing on someone else's personal space (just as the narrator is doing to Coda). Like Davey Wredon's previous "The Stanley Parable", The Beginner's Guide pushes the boundaries of what a game can be in adopting storytelling techniques not commonly seen in games. It's probably not for everyone, but at this point if it does sound even remotely like your thing - then it probably is, and I can't recommend it enough.
This is, without a single doubt, one of the best games that I've played in my entire life, and I can't even explain why. It's different for each person, that's what makes it so special
«Blew my mind»
A very odd experience, that's better to be played than read about.
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
The Beginner's Guide takes the Player through several walk-in Sequences of an unnamed Developer. Davey Wreden, the Maker of The Beginner's Guide and At the same time Narrator and Guidebook, speaks of a game of his own At each Sequence. But there can be no Question of that, because there is hardly Any Interactivity or meaningful Activities that would make a Game. Instead, you move through the sometimes curious Levels, all of which run straight, listening to the Narrator's Interpretations. The Game itself is completely unspectacular. There are no Explosions, no real Characters, no pretty Graphics and no atmospheric World either. Even the Story remains trivial, even if it becomes very emotional towards the End. What I find very remarkable, however, Is that Wreden has managed to shape a real and captivating Game out of the completely lovelessly designed (and sometimes unfinished) levels. Wreden tells of his Impressions, interprets and says about the Thoughts of the unnamed Developer. Sometimes it gets philosophical and in some Cases even psychological. Verdict: The Beginner's Guide is a completely different Game from Wreden's penultimate Title, "The Stanley Parable." Both Titles have one Thing in common, though: The great Storytelling.
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Wow! This Game proves that Video Games are also Art. By short the Game, it's hard not to reveal anything. Therefore, at this point, issue a Warning to all who have not yet played it. Be told that this Game is worth buying if you are looking for "something else," what entertains you and may encourage you to Think. From here, something could be anticipated, even if I'm not trying to do it. The Developers of "The Stanley Parable" have taken a new and more serious Direction with this Game, but it is no less captivating and impressive. The Key is the Simplicity of the Game again. There is no need for playful Skill in "The Beginner's Guide," nor is it necessarily good to solve his Puzzle. This Game works by making clear Instructions in very straight levels with an exciting Story. The Graphics are rather simple and appear in places as if it had been reduced to the most necessary or rather not refined any further. But that doesn't bother, as the Levels tend to be short and, despite their Simplicity combined with the Story, really give a great Overall picture. The Story, in my Opinion, leaves a lot of room for Interpretation and Discussion, as I believe you can see and understand a lot of elements of the Game in different Ways. From me, there is a clear Recommendation for anyone in the mood for more in-depth games that may not Match the General Flavour. Sincerely, MasterEder
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