I just don't get the hype...

#1HayateTokidokiPosted 3/24/2014 10:30:18 PM
I finally played through this game for the first time the other day and I just don't understand what people are raving about. My main complaints:

*There is virtually nothing to the gameplay. Jump. Collect things to jump more often and/or higher. Explore incredibly simplistic environments.

*The environments were dull. Everyone raves about how beautiful this game is, but aside from the end of the desert area (the sliding part where the camera moves to a side view) it just didn't look impressive.

*There was nothing to compel me to care about this character and the journey I was taking him on. The story was nonexistent, there was nothing to the character I was controlling, there was no threat of failure (as far as I can tell, it's not possible to die or lose)...

*The multiplayer was pointless. Having a second person around to help me solve the incredibly simplistic puzzles adds nothing to the game. If anything, it was irritating because the other person was finishing what few moments of gameplay this title offers.

Also, I don't understand how people are claiming that this game is in any way emotional or that it's a completely different experience playing with other people.

Everything about this game just felt incomplete. Every part of it felt like something with good ideas behind it that just hadn't been realized yet. It felt like the intro to a game or movie that normally takes 5 or so minutes till you see the title screen to signal that it's ready to actually start, except that it lasts for 2 hours and doesn't end up going anywhere.

I'd love to hear some more detailed explanations about what makes everyone love this game. All I see so far is that it's an experience more than a game, that it's incredibly emotional, and that it's art, but nothing about why it is those things and what makes it a good game.
#2Hotel_SecurityPosted 3/25/2014 7:04:50 AM
I finally played through this game for the first time the other day and I just don't understand what people are raving about. My main complaints:

Iím curious of what you heard about the game before you played it. Did you expect some rich adventure game? Did you get what the concept was? Did you know what previous games from this developer were like? If you were expecting this to be like a ďnormalĒ game then, of course you would be disappointed. If you were expecting this to just be a simplistic experience where the ďjourneyĒ is the most important part then maybe youíd like it moreÖbut itís too late for that.

*There is virtually nothing to the gameplay. Jump

The point is the myriad of things you can do with just the few tools at your disposalÖyou can do some impressive flying tricks and soar high around various areas. Need more than this? Then I once again ask why the heck you heard about this game before you bought it.

*The environments were dull. Everyone raves about how beautiful this game is, but aside from the end of the desert area (the sliding part where the camera moves to a side view) it just didn't look impressive.

I donít know how you can say this. If you canít just sit in any of those areas and just take in the environments then you must be living life with blinders on. Itís interesting how the only part you liked was the one part of the game where they really say ďHey, look at how beautiful this area is!Ē The other areas look just as nice but donít prompt you to stare at them. I find this interesting.

*There was nothing to compel me to care about this character and the journey I was taking him on.

Who said you had to? Who the character is and where heís going and why are irrelevant. Itís all about the journey.

The story was nonexistent,

Wow, you donít get this game.

was nothing to the character I was controlling

You REALLY donít get this game.

there was no threat of failure

You really, REALLY donít get this game.

*The multiplayer was pointless. Having a second person around to help me solve the incredibly simplistic puzzles adds nothing to the game.

Obviously you donít appreciate being able to interact with another person in this type of format. Iíve played with folks who taught me new tricks and new areas and even helped me find a few hidden things and others who I just fooled around with, neither of us being in a hurry to do anything. Each person plays differently and itís interesting taking this in.

If anything, it was irritating because the other person was finishing what few moments of gameplay this title offers.

I will say that I played it the first time offline because of this one factor but thatís only because I wanted to do everything myself the first time so I knew all the gameís secrets myself. But once youíve done everything once, youíre not missing out if your partner does it for you the second timeÖif anything itís a nice time-saver.

Also, I don't understand how people are claiming that this game is in any way emotional or that it's a completely different experience playing with other people.

This is correct. You donít understand.
#3Hotel_SecurityPosted 3/25/2014 7:04:56 AM
Everything about this game just felt incomplete.

Because you donít get the game. Itís not about the gameplay or the characters or plot. If you canít play a game where this isnít the emphasis then this game isnít for you and I kinda wonder why you were interested in playing it in the first place. Didnít bother to do any research on this one? For goodness sake, read some bloody reviews or watch some videos.

except that it lasts for 2 hours

Totally by design. Itís got an old-school feel where you and a buddy could sit down and play a game like Contra or Jackal in co-op and beat the entire game in one sitting. It taps into that feeling but with more on interaction and less on achievement.

I'd love to hear some more detailed explanations about what makes everyone love this game.

The fact that you didnít already read some shows me how little research you did on the game and giving you my examples is pointless since youíve already decided you dislike the game and nothing I say will change that. This game wasnít for you and you should have never played it. Also, donít buy any further games from this developer in the future. That should help.

All I see so far is that it's an experience more than a game, that it's incredibly emotional, and that it's art, but nothing about why it is those things and what makes it a good game.

This is because you dislike the game and donít get it and it often drives people nuts when they dislike a game and see a bunch of other people who do like it. In fact, Iíve seen a number of these types of ďexplain to me why this game is goodĒ posts and theyíre often disguised as someone actually wanting answers but itís usually the TC just being frustrated that they bought a game they disliked and wanting to rip on it. I fail to see why this post is anything else.

Ever seen American Beauty? Thereís two types of folks who watched that movie. People who think in the mindset where they would ďgetĒ the movie and thus they like it and other people who donít think that way, donít ďgetĒ the movie, and thus donít like it. Thereís no in-between. You donít get the game and you never will. Accept it and move on.
#4HayateTokidoki(Topic Creator)Posted 3/25/2014 12:50:43 PM
Iím curious of what you heard about the game before you played it. Did you expect some rich adventure game? Did you get what the concept was? Did you know what previous games from this developer were like? If you were expecting this to be like a ďnormalĒ game then, of course you would be disappointed. If you were expecting this to just be a simplistic experience where the ďjourneyĒ is the most important part then maybe youíd like it moreÖbut itís too late for that.

I knew that everyone said the game was brilliant and a friend of mine says it's his favorite game of all time and that he's played it hundreds of times. I know about the developer's previous games, and I have heard over and over that Journey is "an experience," "a piece of art," etc. So "the journey is the most important part"? What exactly does that mean? That's my point. Everything I hear about this game is just vague artsy nonsense. Those things don't mean anything.

The point is the myriad of things you can do with just the few tools at your disposalÖyou can do some impressive flying tricks and soar high around various areas. Need more than this? Then I once again ask why the heck you heard about this game before you bought it.

So you can do all of these fancy tricks with a limited moveset. But what can you do with them aside from doing tricks? The puzzles are all incredibly simplistic, as is the platforming. You don't need to do anything beyond use the most basic functions the game provides you with. Also, I didn't actually buy it. I decided to play it on a friend's recommendation and downloaded it from his account to try it out.

I donít know how you can say this. If you canít just sit in any of those areas and just take in the environments then you must be living life with blinders on. Itís interesting how the only part you liked was the one part of the game where they really say ďHey, look at how beautiful this area is!Ē The other areas look just as nice but donít prompt you to stare at them. I find this interesting.

I can say it because it's true. The environments were not anything special. A bland desert landscape with a few generic-looking structures isn't breathtaking or beautiful. The same is true for an underground desert landscape and a snowy landscape. There just wasn't much to the game's environments. Compare Journey's environments to games like the latest Prince of Persia, the Baten Kaitos games, Enslaved, Shadow of the Colossus, the latest Tomb Raider... Those games have rich environments that are interesting to explore. Journey does not.

Who said you had to? Who the character is and where heís going and why are irrelevant. Itís all about the journey.
Wow, you donít get this game.
You REALLY donít get this game.
You really, REALLY donít get this game.


I realize I "don't get this game." That was the whole point of the post. And again, it's "all about the journey." What does that mean? This isn't a real answer to the question of what makes this game good. It doesn't mean anything. What is so important or exciting or interesting about this journey?

This is correct. You donít understand.

So since you're such a huge supporter of this game, you should be able to elaborate and perhaps explain what about a game with no characters, virtually no story, and next to nothing to do is emotional.
#5HayateTokidoki(Topic Creator)Posted 3/25/2014 1:04:17 PM
Because you donít get the game. Itís not about the gameplay or the characters or plot. If you canít play a game where this isnít the emphasis then this game isnít for you and I kinda wonder why you were interested in playing it in the first place. Didnít bother to do any research on this one? For goodness sake, read some bloody reviews or watch some videos.

Again, I played it on the recommendation of a friend who is obsessed with the game. And guess what! Like you, all he's ever been able to say is "it's about the journey," "it's an experience," "it's art," etc. And if a game isn't about anything that makes a game a game, what the heck is the point? I get that not every game is going to have a plot. I like fighting games and puzzle games, I thoroughly enjoyed Stretch Panic, the Monster Hunter series, LittleBigPlanet, the Mario series... And on the flip side, I like plenty of games that focus more on story and less on gameplay (many RPGs come to mind, as do games like Heavy Rain). The point is, you can't say this game isn't about gameplay, plot, or characters, because you're not left with much else.

Totally by design. Itís got an old-school feel where you and a buddy could sit down and play a game like Contra or Jackal in co-op and beat the entire game in one sitting. It taps into that feeling but with more on interaction and less on achievement.

I think you may have misinterpreted my point. I was saying that it lasted too long, not that it ONLY being two hours long was a problem. I actually appreciate when games don't pad their hour count. Again, I loved all 3 hours of Stretch Panic and thought it was worth $50. I'll take a 2-3 hour game that is unique and fun over a game that throws mandatory filler at you so it lasts for 20 hours.

The fact that you didnít already read some shows me how little research you did on the game and giving you my examples is pointless since youíve already decided you dislike the game and nothing I say will change that. This game wasnít for you and you should have never played it. Also, donít buy any further games from this developer in the future. That should help.

Actually, what prompted this post to begin with was that I was unable to find any real explanations of what makes the game so amazing. I played it, didn't care for it, and came here thinking a board full of fans of the game should yield some insight. However, I came here and got nothing but "it's an experience," "it's art," "it's so emotional," "it's all about the journey," etc. Hence me saying "I'd love to hear some more detailed explanations of what makes everyone love this game."

And believe me, after playing this, I will steer clear of anything else done by this developer since, in my view, they aren't interested in making games.

This is because you dislike the game and donít get it and it often drives people nuts when they dislike a game and see a bunch of other people who do like it. In fact, Iíve seen a number of these types of ďexplain to me why this game is goodĒ posts and theyíre often disguised as someone actually wanting answers but itís usually the TC just being frustrated that they bought a game they disliked and wanting to rip on it. I fail to see why this post is anything else.

No. I dislike Halo and COD, but I understand why people who love shooters like them. I dislike GTA and I don't understand why anyone likes that, but it doesn't bother me that people do. I dislike Animal Crossing and similar games, but I don't care that others obsess over them. I don't care for this game and because of the massive hype around it, I am genuinely interested in what makes people like it so much.
#6HayateTokidoki(Topic Creator)Posted 3/25/2014 1:08:26 PM
Ever seen American Beauty? Thereís two types of folks who watched that movie. People who think in the mindset where they would ďgetĒ the movie and thus they like it and other people who donít think that way, donít ďgetĒ the movie, and thus donít like it. Thereís no in-between. You donít get the game and you never will. Accept it and move on.

I've never seen the movie, though I hear it's excellent.

I have no doubt that I will never like Journey because I didn't like it. I'm not the type of person who will dislike something and then have someone say something to me that suddenly makes me like it.

I'm just curious about the reasons for people liking the game, and the problem I keep running into is that no one seems to be able to explain why it's so good. In my opinion, when someone rants or raves about something, claiming it's absolutely awful or amazing, he should be able to explain why. If you hold any opinion very strongly, it should be easy to explain it. I strongly disliked Journey, and I can articulate why with very specific and detailed comments.

What I don't understand is why the massive number of obsessed fans this game has can't seem to put together a single meaningful thought about what makes this game so great.
#7Hotel_SecurityPosted 3/26/2014 10:42:49 AM
And if a game isn't about anything that makes a game a game, what the heck is the point?

Remember that part I said about how ďyou either get it or you donítĒ?

I get that not every game is going to have a plot.

And itís sad that many gamers MUST have some extensive plot to enjoy a game. Itís especially funny considering that video games are easily the worst medium for storytelling and consistently produce the worse plotlines in all mediaÖkids could get storylines that are SO much smarter, deeper and better-written yet they always seem to settle on gaming plots because apparently they donít know thereís better things out there.

The point is, you can't say this game isn't about gameplay, plot, or characters, because you're not left with much else.

And yet, for many, that ďnot much elseĒ is enough.

I was saying that it lasted too long

If this game was too long then every game is.

Again, I loved all 3 hours of Stretch Panic and thought it was worth $50.

No three-hour game is worth $50. In fact, most 100-hour games arenít worth $50. Why someone would buy a for a game at that price when itíll drop down to $30 within a few months is beyond me. I got Journey for less than $15 and it came packaged with the two other games from the same developer. I wouldnít have paid more for it.

Hence me saying "I'd love to hear some more detailed explanations of what makes everyone love this game."

And I guess my point was that if you have to ask for this then you will never get it. Itís like jazz musicÖif you like rap music, no explanation of why jazz music is good will ever convince you otherwise.
#8Hotel_SecurityPosted 3/26/2014 10:43:00 AM
And believe me, after playing this, I will steer clear of anything else done by this developer since, in my view, they aren't interested in making games.

Actually, theyíve gotten more ďgame-likeĒ with each entry. Journey at least had some collectibles and an unlockables and such. Their first game, Flow, was about floating in some primordial soup and enjoying the sitesÖand yet I may have had the most challenge in getting the trophies for that game.

I am genuinely interested in what makes people like it so much.

Well, Iím not one of those saying itís ďartĒ or that itís a ďlife-changing experienceĒ or any of that silliness. But to attempt to explain, itís definitely a different type of game where the emphasis is more on taking in the sites and just checking out each area as you go. And I really enjoyed the co-op since itís nameless, faceless, and involves no communicationÖtrying to get a guy to do what you want is almost a challenge in itself. And I normally never play online or in co-op but Journey makes this so simple (especially with how you just randomly run into someone) that itís hard not to like.

But I guess thatís the deal with JourneyÖfolks seem to have vastly different reasons for liking it and maybe thatís its strength.

Also, the ďplotĒ seems to get attention since fans seem to be blown away by plotlines that are open-ended and possibly metaphors to real life. The hype is similar to Braid which got attention since that ďplotĒ had an interesting twist and was also likely a metaphor for something. Part of this taps into how gamers seem strangely unaware that the plotlines in video games have mostly already been done in movies and books many times over. Thereís been hundreds of books, shows and movies that have their plots as metaphors for other things and are open to interpretation but thereís very few games that do this. So I guess when a game comes along and tries it, it gets a bit too much attention. Itís all part of how gamers donít seem aware of other forms of media outside of games so I wonder if itís the first time theyíve come across this type of thing. Strangely, both Braid and Journey barely have a plot at all and yet this is such a subject about them.

So my interest really isnít about the plot (though I do like the open-ended nature) but just playing through it a few times over a few days was nice.
#9conduitPosted 3/27/2014 3:22:41 AM
The story was nonexistent

This is not true at all, actually the story was probably my favourite part.

I disagree on your other points. I found the gameplay simplistic but surprisingly enjoyable to mess around with, the environments were cool and looked amazing to me, combined with the musical score they added a lot of mood/atmosphere to the game, and finding other players also added another dimension to the replayability of the game. interracting back and forth, trying to work out what kind of player they are, following them, or trying to get them to follow you, recharging eachothers scarves, etc.

but yeah, the best part imo is the story, I like the mystery, wonder and intrigue of trying to work out where I was and what was going on, trying to figure out the meaning behind the wall murals. it took me multiple playthroughs to interpret the entire story, and I'm sure there are still some things I'm not clear on. but I think the story requires the player to have an inquisitive nature and some creative imagination in order to appreciate.

my sister played this game and also said it had no story and she didn't know what anything meant and said it was all a bit pointless. her loss.
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~we are a part of the process, not instigators of its progress~
#10conduitPosted 3/27/2014 4:52:56 AM
HayateTokidoki posted...


I'm just curious about the reasons for people liking the game, and the problem I keep running into is that no one seems to be able to explain why it's so good. In my opinion, when someone rants or raves about something, claiming it's absolutely awful or amazing, he should be able to explain why. If you hold any opinion very strongly, it should be easy to explain it. I strongly disliked Journey, and I can articulate why with very specific and detailed comments.

What I don't understand is why the massive number of obsessed fans this game has can't seem to put together a single meaningful thought about what makes this game so great.


lol. tbh I get what you mean, but its just a fact of life that some things are difficult to explain with words, emotional experiences can be difficult to describe.

I can explain exactly why I love this game though. first aspect is really the ambience of the game, mood and atmosphere are extremely important for me, whether I'm appreciating music, film, art, etc, its all about the emotional impression. and I found the atmosphere of the game quite somber, melancholic and introspective. this comes accross through the gameplay, the magery, the music, the story etc.

the second aspect is the meaning. I'm fascinated by concepts and ideas so meaning is also important for me when appreciating music and art. deriving my own interpretation and understanding of the context, symbolism, themes, and ideas being portrayed is part of the enjoyment for me. the story-telling in the game is nuanced but pretty rich, and the subject matter itself is fascinating and mysterious.
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~we are a part of the process, not instigators of its progress~
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