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  • mjpilon 4:00 am on November 15, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Journey,   

    Re: early GOTY – I agree with the Journey love so far here… I can’t think of an experience I preferred this year although my memory isn’t what it used to be :p I will revisit this once I actually go through my list for our end of year awards…. we’re still doing that, right? 😉

    I always play GTA games despite the gameplay issues. They are certainly there and drive me crazy but unlike with other series, it doesn’t bother me as much. I suspect that the aethestics of the games are what keep me interested. I also usually stick to the story missions and avoid the useless sidemission stuff. That tends to keep my interest strong enough to beat the game before the open-world “there’s too much stuff to… oh screw it, I’m down with this” feelings set in.

    @bowlisimo Alan Wake was a game that I enjoyed presentation wise. Great job with the setting and the story. If you ignore the collectables and try to get through the woods as straight forward as possible, the gameplay doesn’t hinder as much as it would otherwise. Also, you definitely need to play the DLC to “finish” the story sadly…

  • ckim 9:58 pm on November 13, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Journey   

    @bowlisimo Not to jump on the bandwagon too hard, but Journey is my game of the year as well. And @bluesforbuddha‘s game of the year.

    In fact, who here who has played it isn’t putting Journey as their game of the year?

  • bowlisimo 9:07 pm on November 13, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Journey, ,   

    I found that interesting, but I can see it not being very useful if you’re looking for information. Jeff Gerstmann’s review on Giant Bomb is much more utilitarian. The one on Kotaku reads like one of those editorial pieces that you read a week or two later “Looking back on Black Ops 2” or whatever.

    Neither is better, it just depends on what you’re looking for. As someone who doesn’t plan on playing CoD, reading a review of the experience is more interesting, but that changes with the game. Right now, I’d rather read how broken the PC port of AC3 is or isn’t.

    @mjpilon Shit, I guess I need to play Spec Ops now. That description sounds like it fits Dragon Age 2 as well. Boring game, excellent story. It’s too bad, really.

    @cgrajko Welcome to the happiness club. It wears off, after a time, but you’ll never forget it. Journey is my GOTY.

  • unmanneddrone 7:46 am on November 12, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Journey   

    @cgrajko Now THERE is a contrast for the ages. Miami Hotline to Journey. Good heavens!

  • ckim 5:54 am on November 12, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Journey   

    I have no doubt that I will have a whole lot of thoughts to post on the subject in the not too distant future, but, for now, just this:

    I have played Journey, and it was remarkable. It has not been overhyped. Anyone who says it is breathtaking and beautiful is saying correct things. If video games are a religion, Journey is a prayer.

  • bowlisimo 3:42 pm on September 9, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Journey   

    Just a heads up for anyone who loved Journey as much as I did, http://thatgamecompany.com/fan-art/the-art-of-journey-pre-order/

  • bowlisimo 7:52 pm on April 11, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Journey   

    I would live inside the Journey soundtrack if I could. It just makes me want to go walk somewhere. Get that Austin Wintory guy some money.

    Yeah, not much going on lately, though your high brow book chat (that I mostly scrolled past, sorry) really made me want to finish The Count of Monte Cristo. I guess it’s as good a time as any, since I’m not really feeling like video games at the moment. I keep threatening to finish God of War, or start RE4, but… meh. And Fez is XBL only *fart noise*. I don’t really get the hype around that game either, Beige.

    How do you guys read so much anyway? Do you have a set reading time? I find my natural state is to not be reading. Don’t get me wrong, books are enjoyable, and I can get deeply immersed, but it takes a bit of work to get going. I guess you could say for me, reading has a high “activation energy” if you want to think about it in 8th grade chemistry terms.

  • Pete Davison 9:59 am on March 17, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: Journey   

    Journey: “The Weary Wanderer”

    A Spoiler-filled Squad discussion

    Post a comment on this thread with your thoughts about Thatgamecompany’s Journey, available now from the PSN store.

    Looking for past mission threads, including Mass Effect 3? Find them here.

    • Pete Davison 10:11 am on March 17, 2012 Permalink

      I played through Journey last night in one sitting. It was pretty magical, though I have no idea what went on. I like that, though — like Flower, the game encourages you to interpret it for yourself.

      I’ll leave it at that for the moment just to get discussion rolling — more in-depth thoughts later.

    • RedSwirl 4:28 pm on March 17, 2012 Permalink

      “Wow” is pretty much all I have to say after playing Journey.

      Well, that and for me it’s kind of this year’s Limbo. I mean this in that it shows an efficiency in game design and communication to the player that modern developers have forgotten.

    • mjpilon 3:20 am on March 18, 2012 Permalink

      My playthrough of Journey was an amazing experience the whole way through. I will definitely play it again just to see how it goes with a different companion. A couple of points:

      • This game is jaw-droppingly beautiful. The two scenes that stand out the most for me are the “sunset slide down” and the “final climb above the clouds”. I could have sat there for hours staring at my screen – Simply magical.
      • During the final climb up the snowy mountain, I was genuinely anxious and tense as my pace started to slow down. I started going “Come on, Come on” and pushing the analog stick up as hard as I could – I wanted SO badly to make it up to the peak that when I didn’t (before your spirit is revived or whatever actually happens…), I was truly affected by it. It is the 1st time in a while where I felt that way and this is even after I had started to suspect that the game would end with your death on the way up.
      • In general, the emotional reactions the game elicited surprised me. When you 1st encounter the dragon creatures in the underground, I literally jumped when it caught my co-op companion and tore his scarf in half, I completely didn’t expect that to happen. At the end of that scene, when you are sliding towards the goal with the two dragons literally chasing you, I was completely hooked in and actually yelled in excitement when I just got there just in time. The developers were able to create the perfect scene that had just the right amount of tension to actually make you feel like you might not make it. Just brillant.
      • I am amazed at how well the co-op mechanic works. I simply ran into another player during the 2nd “stage” and ended up played through the game together. The mechanics are simple enough that there isn’t a need for much communication between players other than the occasional pings. You just enjoy the ride together. I had a moment during the climb up the snowy mountain where my companion was spotted by the dragon and in his panic, ran over to where I was hiding. In doing so, I got knocked by the dragon and lost half my scarf which, up to that point, I had kept perfect and was quite long. I have not been that angry at co-op partner in a long time! I literally spend about 10 minutes pushing forward in the game with a sort-of “screw you man” sentiment towards my companion who was left almost running after me. Eventually, I settled down and we got through the rest together but man…. my emotional reaction was crazy!

      All in all, Journey was a beautiful 2 hours that truly wasn’t expecting to react to as strongly. I would love to hear about some of the other unique moments you all had because I’m sure there were as interesting as mine.

    • beige 1:43 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      Yeah, my take:

      • I bumbled around on level 1 for a while, just getting my feet… then in level 2 ran into another traveler totally accidentally when he appeared as a little red dot off in the distance running towards me. Crazy feeling “Hey, wait WHAT? I’m not alone in this?…”
      • Thought for about a level and a half that I was playing with an AI character, and was going on about how great the simulation of a real person on the other end was. Then I realized that the peeps I was making with my circle button were being reciprocated in kind as a kind of morse code. Me: Peep peep: Him: Peep peep. Let’s DO this.
      • Many times over the course of the adventure did I go back for my buddy. Once I realized that “stick together and your scarf recharges” mechanic it became a buddy cop movie. Every now and then I’d go off on my own to look for secrets or whatever and my older (wiser?) companion would catch up and start peeping randomly at me, which I took to mean “no, THIS way!” I found a bunch of hidden murals this way, just following around experienced people.
      • Kept my scarf right up until the point where the big dragon ambushes you in the snowfield. Surprised! Also angry, since I (correctly) guessed that there was an achievement tied to not losing it, but whatever.
      • Had some great “going back for your buddy” moments in the final climb. Sometimes I’d get ahead of him, sometimes the wind would blow me back and I’d see him come running at a good clip to make sure I was OK. “Peep?” “Peep peep.” It’s good bro, I’m ok. I’m ok. In the end we reached the summit together, covered in snow.
      • How about that feeling when you enter the final area?
      • Lynette’s theory on the ending: [SPOILARS]

      In the course of our travels I encountered 8 different people on PSN, all of whom I differentiated by the different character appearing over your head. Judging by the gestalt I was taking away from the murals, the wanderer represents a member of a long-dead society which had once been harmonious but which had been leveled into dust by war, pride, cataclysm… the ususal suspects. The ghosts of the ancients (angels?) and the bodies of the dead are the only thing that remained from that glorious time.

      The characters that appear on your chest and when you speak represent principles from that society or age. What those principles are, we’re not given to know as players. Make up your own mind for what your own sigil represented, but I say for my first playthrough my own principle was something like “resolve”, while my erstwhile companion represented “curiosity” or something. Make up your own mind.

      In the aftermath of the apocolypse, the souls of those who destroyed their home must make their way to the summit of the holy mountain as some kind of atonement so that they can move on to the next life. Your character is animated by one of these principles — we see it leave the mountaintop and fly down to the ground as a shining distant star at several points in the game. When you “wake up” this principle compels you to journey to the summit where your body will eventually be purified and released from its burden. Once this happens, the principle leaves to go animate another citizen, and you pass on.

      In short, the symbols are cyclical and eternal but the journey of the individual is temporal. Along the way the player tries as best as he can to understand the history of his people, but at the end it’s not really important whether you grok the facts behind the cataclysm. What is important is that your journey exemplifies what principle you bond with and take with you from the world up to the mountain. It’s this principle that ultimately bouys you up when your body fails transforming you into a state of grace.

      In some sense, I imagined that thousands of years of discrete individuals all bringing their knowledge and experiences with them from out of the desert with great humility back to “god” in the mountain ultimately redeems the civilization and brings it peace and enlightenment.

      That’s what I got from the game, anyway.

    • bowlisimo 6:18 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink

      My takeaway was mostly an emotional one, which surprised me. I found myself caring only slightly about understanding the narrative past a surface level, and getting completely lost in all of the moments with my companion instead.

      And that’s what I feel like really sets this game apart from something like Flower or Dear Esther, it’s the introduction of another traveler and all of the shared experience and emotion that comes with that. It’s handled in such an organic way, in the beginning it’s possible to not even know someone else is there until you crest a dune and see another scarfed face curiously staring at you. It’s jarring at first, like @beige described.

      But, it starts to feel very natural to travel with someone else. After experiencing the joy (real joy) of skimming along the desert with those flying carpets leading us, we just kind of stuck together and we didn’t *have* to which is one of the coolest things — that someone else chose to experience it with me. Limited communication, no prejudices, just taking things as they come, whether that was stopping to take in a beautiful vista, having them come back to get your or vise versa, or huddling together against the harsh wind and snow, weakly chirping, as if to say “I’m still here, come on, we can do this!”

      You actually do go on proper a journey too, it was not the lonesome exploration game I was expecting, though it does start out that way. There’s real danger and struggle along the way, and you push yourselves to the point of collapse. It’s also very clear right from the start where you need to go, just not necessarily why, but I feel that the why isn’t really important.

      To me, it was a mystical journey that I chose to undertake and share with another soul, and after all that, the elation of persevering and slowly walking off into the light with that very same soul had me come out of that game feeling like a million bucks.

      Beautiful, beautiful, amazing game.

    • bowlisimo 6:18 pm on April 2, 2012 Permalink

      Played through this again, it was a different experience two weeks later. Had a white robed guy just sort of instinctively guide me around to grab all of the achievements and hidden spots. Thought I lost him on the last level but when I got to the top he was waiting for me. ❤

      I've got my own omniscient white robe now, maybe I'll help someone else out one of these days.

      Didn't have nearly the same happiness high that I did the first time, but it's still a wonderful experience.

  • mjpilon 4:20 am on March 16, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Journey   

    Just finished Journey in one sitting……

    To echo @bluesforbuddha @tolkoto and @bowlisimo….. HOLY CRAP.

    I want to talk about this so much more but I guess we can wait until most of the Squad have gotten through it….. but note if you find a co-op buddy, follow @bowlisimo ‘s advice ABSOLUTELY

  • bowlisimo 6:01 pm on March 14, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Journey   

    @beige I hesitate to even tell you this, but don’t go it alone 100% in Journey, after a while, stick with someone you happen to run across. Trust me, it’s worth it. I’ll never forget my first journey, that’s how strong this game was for me. I smile when I think about it.

  • bowlisimo 2:40 am on March 14, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Journey   

    You mean aside from it being a stunning piece of art (oops, I said the “A” word)? Best use of silent player companion since… I dunno, Dark Souls.

    I don’t want to say anything else really. You need to experience it cold for yourself.

  • bowlisimo 2:27 am on March 14, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Journey   

    WOW! Journey is absolutely magical, guys! That was a very, very, very strong shared experience for me. Well done, That Game Company. Damn, that was good!

    Going to be hard to beat that, in my mind anyway. Shepard who?

    *Excuse me while I come down from this high*

  • bowlisimo 7:21 pm on March 1, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Journey   

    And if things weren’t looking up enough already, the blogs are saying Journey is wonderful. I hate to call these incontrollable shakes I’m getting “nerd chills” but…

    @impynickers French Rev would have been great too. Close enough though, eh? My next top choice was New Spain. Aztecs and Conquistadors. Hernan Cortes.

    Anyone taking bets on what historical figures we work with this time? Benjamin Franklin is totally an assassin.

  • unmanneddrone 12:13 pm on December 10, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Journey,   

    I think, if ever there was a safe bet in terms of quality and the inevitable unveiling, you couldn’t go past Uncharted. Quite excited for the desert locale. May there be an homage to the Last Crusade in there, some nod towards the valley of the Crescent Moon and a Nazi-esque expedition involving an antique Mark V tank. I also predict horse or camel-riding in this outing.

    EDIT: This was recently on GT TV, definitely an artsy romp the Squad would get into. May I present thatgamecompany’s follow-up to Flower, “Journey”.

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