LifeisXbox’s The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe review | …That is 100% trustworthy because I say so. Seriously. I’m a writer and I’m putting this on the internet, so it must be true! Google it… I’ll wait!
Ah, you’re back? Good. I’ll trust you when you say that you’ve googled my credibility, just like you’ll take every word that follows as righteous gospel and facts. This is an equal exchange in trust and we’ll all feel better at the end because of it.
Now, first things first. I need you to go grab a bucket. Yes, really. Go ahead and grab one because every second that you spend reading this review without feeling the warm and comforting embrace of your bucket is one you’ll have lived without the emotional support it brings.
Now this will be a good moment to tell you that the best experience you can have reading this review is when you’ve already played the original game and possibly even after playing the Ultra Deluxe edition a few times as well. There may be spoilers here. And when I say “may”, I actually mean that I promise there will be.
The other element vital to your enjoyment is that you’re cradling a bucket, but we’ve already established that we can trust each other and that you’re doing that at this very instance, right? Right!
Most Memorable Moment
For those who may not know me: I’m a huge completionist and I always suffer from crippling FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when playing videogames. The thought of (accidentally) skipping on (optional) content completely cripples me and makes me feel uneasy.
*Grabs Reassurance Bucket and holds it tight*
There. All better. I told you we would need a bucket!
The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe also doesn’t want you to miss out on any glorious new content, so that’s why they put the “NEW CONTENT” door right there in plain sight.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by the developer, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- The Bucket | Playing the game with your Reassurance Bucket makes it a completely different experience from the original version and I’m not even kidding. Every dialog is rewritten, every ending has an alternative version and the number of protagonists in the game DOUBLED! How’s that for value!?
- The Narrator | The Stanley Parable has quite possibly the best videogame narration ever and that hasn’t changed over the years. Throw any fears out the window that the narrative tricks that are being pulled here would have been dated by now. They still feel as fresh as when the game was first released on PC. And he’ll even mention the console you’re playing on. How meta is that? That means they had to make four unique versions of the game. How’s that for effort? It also means you can’t possibly state to have experienced everything the game has to offer until you’ve played all versions. So go ahead and buy the game four times. We promise we are not being held at figurative gunpoint by the narrator to ask you to spend your hard-earned money.
What we liked!
- Wait, isn’t this where we usually put Mixed Feelings? | Why yes it is, but we’re only focusing on the positives today. If you’re feeling insecure about this unusual review format, we advise you to scream your frustrations into your bucket. But don’t forget to apologize after. Buckets have feelings too, you know!
- All your favourite classic characters make a return | Have you missed spending time in the broom closet? Now you can relive the thrills in the company of your bucket. Can’t wait to relive the thrills of keeping the baby away from the fire for four hours? You can do it all over again. Want to follow The Adventure Line™ to new and exciting adventures? It may take a different turn. Literally.
- Walking | Don’t you love walking? I’m not talking about the big strolls through nature, no, I mean the distance you travel between your office chair and the photocopier and back again. Ahhh, sure feels good to stretch those legs, right? Well, prepare to do a lot of virtual walking in The Stanley Parable, and even flex the occasional biceps when you’re pushing a button. Or not. The Narrator can’t force you to do anything.
What we liked!
- This again? | Do you mean there isn’t anything negative to say about The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe? Well, If I have to get nitpicky, perhaps the graphics could have used a bigger overhaul. The game has been remade from the ground up in Unity and still looks exactly like the Source version from back in the day, but that’s undoubtedly the intention and therefore should be applauded, not ridiculed.
- The Achievements | Do you like innovative and unique achievement lists? You’ve found the ruling champion. There is even one for playing 24h straight on an idle Tuesday, which I’ll probably never get.
Here are the top five reasons why:
1. It’s probably not good for the console.
2. It’s probably not good for the environment.
3. It’s probably not good for my wallet.
4. I’m probably not good at counting.
Then there is one for not playing the game for 10 years. Which I totally didn’t cheese on the first day. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I did. And I’d no longer be able to face my bucket.
How long to beat the story | Around 5 minutes to reach the first ending.
How long to achieve 1000G | About 10 years (yes, really!) to get all achievements.
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Robby lives and breathes video games. When he’s not playing them, he’s talking about them on social media or convincing other people to pick up a controller themselves. He’s online so often, he could practically list the internet as his legal domicile. Belgian games-industry know-it-all.