Review by imagine606
"An Amazing Spiritual Journey"
Don't Stop Believing on this Journey until you are able to Escape to that Wheel in the Sky. Okay, enough with the horrible puns based on the title of this game. While I don't think I can duplicate the mood of this game at all, this is a game that goes far beyond what humor can bring. This is one of those games that really gives you a special feeling that I really can't describe. By the time you're finished it really is something beyond just playing through a game.
Anyway, let's start from the top. When I downloaded this game I was thinking it would be a fun, atmospheric 3rd person type of adventure game. Given that I knew this was made by the same company that did Flower and fl0w. Both games I find to be fun, even though I haven't actually finished either one. One thing I knew above all was that these games both had very good atmosphere to them, so that was an expectation of mine as well.
The actual adventure of this game is nothing short of epic. While the game itself is very short, the actual adventure is done on such a grand scale. By the end of it (I won't spoil it) you realize that you've been on this huge, profound adventure. You start off in a barren desert, making your way up and down dunes until you come to what looks like some ruins. There is a large mountain in the background that you are making your way to. Along the way you find a lot of interesting things, like paths that you create to go up to great heights and similar things that help you to be able to soar up as you continue on your journey through landscapes like desert, giant buildings, and snow.
The atmosphere is where this game really blows me away. The landscapes are all huge, there is an almost eerie quiet to the game as well. Since there really isn't any story that is given with the game, it really gives the game a sense of mystery as you make your way along through the game. Everything is very open to interpretation as to what is actually happening, but the atmosphere really seems to give a lot of answers to me, but then again, that's just the basis for my interpretation.
This game is very easy to control. The most difficult part of the controls is just realizing the abilities you actually have with the controls. For instance, using some of the streamer/banner type of objects to help yourself to float up higher. There's some indication to it, but the fullest extent of what you can actually do is something that you really have to figure out yourself. However, that also is something that I see as a positive, as it keeps a touch of mystery in there. Other than that, the only things you need are the joystick, the X and the O. It's very simple to control this game.
The music and sound in this game is very well done. There isn't a lot of music, but there is some. Most of it is so subtle that you really don't notice it. The effects are kept to a minimum, but they are there, and while they're nothing special, they don't take anything away from the game either. As for the graphics, they're absolutely beautiful. They do a great job in helping to create the great atmosphere, as they are a blend of styles done to perfection.
The only negatives for this game really aren't anything that really bother me in this case. First off, the game is very short. It can probably be finished in safely under 2 hours. The other is that the game is very linear. While there are areas you can go off to in order to pick up secret items, as a whole it's pretty straight forward. However, in this instance it's done in a way as to where I really don't mind. With minimalist games like this they can really become a bit much if they're too long, and they've packed so much quality into it anyway. Personally I don't mind if a game is linear. While I like to do some exploring, it's not a make or break thing for me. This game had enough as to where it wasn't a problem for me.
Another interesting thing this game throws in is online interaction. I didn't even realize that it would be there until it actually happened. Other people playing the game can show up at times as a companion that you play along with. At first I thought it was a computer guide type of thing, but then I realized that the movements just didn't add up. I thought this was a very cool thing to throw in there, even though I'm someone who doesn't care for online play.
This is an unbelievable game. Don't let anything discourage you from buying this. By the time it's finished you realize that you've been on a true Journey.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/16/12
Game Release: Journey (US, 03/13/12)
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