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Why did people like Journey? (The game, not the band)

Posted by tylerh1701, 20 December 2012 · 210 views

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Just curious, what's the appeal with this game? It's received nothing but praise, IGN gave it their PS3 Game of the Year Award. So, why does everyone like it? Feel free to be as spoilerish as necessary in your comments.

Posted Image

Just curious, what's the appeal with this game? It's received nothing but praise, IGN gave it their PS3 Game of the Year Award. So, why does everyone like it? Feel free to be as spoilerish as necessary in your comments.
Here is IGN's description as to why Journey won:

Journey is a special game. A really special game, in fact. It's truly that simple. Thatgamecompany has created a true tour de force for the PlayStation audience, with a game that takes only two hours or so to beat, but one that can either be replayed endlessly or set down and remembered fondly after a lone playthrough. The game is abstract and difficult to describe, yet immediately immersive and engaging. Mum's the word about what the game is ultimately trying to tell you--though it's clearly trying to tell you something--all that's certain is that it will impact you emotionally unlike just about any game you've ever played before. And you can take that to the bank.

That tells me basically nothing about the game. So I'd like to see if someone can do a better job than IGN of describing it's greatness.
Let's see... In one word: Moving.

To be more specific, it has great visuals, an excellent score(Grammy-nominated, I might add) and probably has the most unique form of multiplayer out there. There's also not any hand holding, which is always a plus in my book. By the end, you'll definitely feel something. It's hard to try and put into words, it's just one of those thing that you just have to experience. Which, coincidentally, is more of what this is than just a "game".
Long post because I feel the game was awesome! Some spoilers, sure. I won't use spoiler tag, warning! :)

I loved it. It was fun. It was different from normal games in a good way. The art and style were great. It was beautiful. The music was amazing, and not just because it was good, but it reflected what you were experiencing as the Journey progressed. Like tense music down in the caves with snakes floating about, or down-hill slide music, etc. The multiplayer was implemented in a very unique way, to positive results in my opinion. Hearing a 12-year old curse over the mic would ruin the feel of the game. The simplicity of the game was refreshing (move, jump, float, scarf recharge), while still not looking cheap. The scarf, its power and how it works, and the collectable words along to way to make it grow was neat. The story has no words and you are introduced to it through short clips from the white-robe ancestor as you progress your Journey, very unique. Hidden wall murals throughout the game give a little more hints to the story. The story is left to your own interpretation, while the themes are less vague.

The game is short, but in a good way that you can play it all in 1 sitting, multiple times, one of the themes of the game is multiple journeys, notice how each playthrough you have a different chirp symbol. Giving you the impression that each Journey is a new person. When it first came out, price at $15 vs game length was a hot topic like in Limbo, but I feel Journey is worth it. Besides, now it's on disc form, bundled with flower+flow+some other extras, and GS had it on sale for $15, and it's sure to get other sales/discounts now that retail got a hold of it.

The last "level" with the upbeat music/colors/environment was a nice reward. As you go through that level, you'll see comparisons to the Journey you just faced, bridge/slide down/going up tower/etc. The ending is really wide to interpretation, but as you play through, you should have noticed those stars coming from the mountain every new "level"-ish. Heavy spoilers: Personally, I think the ancient race found a source of power, the scarf/carpets, used it for good. Then used it for tearing down trees and creating cities, then fought each other over the power, to their own doom. As punishment, the survivors went up the Mountain to their place of creation as a resting place since they were doomed anyway. But the mountain still creates new life, so the ancestors guide the new life forms up the Mountain, through visions, for their Journey to "Heaven". As the race is not worthy of living in the world anymore, after what they did (they did create those floating snakes according to a mural, and used them to capture the opposing sides scarf/carpet/powers). That's my take-away, you could have experienced a different Journey ;)

My 1st playthrough I went it solo so I could explore at my own pace. It was great, I felt the hardships of the poor guy. On my 2nd play, I went online and the Journey is slightly different with a partner, easier if you work together. Walking up the snow huddled together had more meaning.

Sony had ThatGameCompany in a 3-game contract. Those 3 games are done, released, and staying on PS I'm sure, but I'm also looking forward to their next game. I'm sure it will be multi-platform, and another emotionally moving game, can't wait!
I finished Journey and thought it was a good game but not some life-altering event. People tend to latch onto any game they feel will get "games as art" label. The game is good but I suspect that its perception to those who aren't enthusiasts is what made reviewers and many gamers become so hyperbolic about it. I think The Walking Dead and Fez were more memorable experiences. I also don't understand the reaction to the mp. It's lack of verbal communication and quasi anonymity are innovations? Well to each their own.
I'd say the reason it's so awesome is that not once did I ever stop believing in our robed character! (I'm sorry, I had too :(...I never actually played the game :O)
That PS3 Game of the Year Award was a given... what else is on the PS3 this year that isn't on better systems?

I haven't played Journey and don't have any desire to... so I can't help you figure out why people like it. Sorry.
I can't add too much to the discussion, but I did actually just start playing this a couple days ago. I'm about an hour in and also wondering what the hype is. In fact, I find I don't even want to play it.

I remember when the game first game out there were mixed reviews about it, but for some reason it blew up in popularity just in the last month, snagging several game awards, including even coveted "Game of the YEAR" awards from multiple sites and venues. I just don't see it. I agree it has stunning art, animation, and music, but so far I just don't see much substance. I know these games are toted as being more of an "experience" than a game, but it should still be fun. I just haven't had any fun myself with the game thus far, despite it's very passionate and high level world.

I think it has more to do with Journey being something unlike anything else out there. It's entirely unique and I can't think of anything else even remotely like it other than some light comparisons that can be made to Ico & SotC.

I can agree that The Walking Dead is an overall better experience(but certainly not Fez), but that's a completely different game and I think it'd be a bit silly for someone to miss out on Journey b/c TWD is "better". That's another great thing about Journey though, so many people take away different things from it and have varying opinions - even moreso than most other games out there.

Lastly, I don't think anyone here said anything about the MP being innovative, it's more about how unique it is. Having those limitations forces you to use other means to figure things out and communicate, without actually being able to talk. It's a breath of fresh air.
grimace, this game always had lots of hype surrounding it - before, after & during release... I don't think it's getting THAT much more extra hype due to the awards it's taken home.

As for the mixed reviews, I'm not quite sure as to what you are referring to. If you check metacritic, it's sitting at 92 with 76 positive reviews, 0 mixed and 1 negative. Almost all reviewers have at least liked the game.

Admittedly, this game isn't for everyone(just like every other game out there). However, if I may make a suggestion, I think you'd be far more likely to like it if you play straight through in one sitting. I think that's the way TGC meant for Journey to be played.

sorry, i meant reviews and impressions from my friends and acquaintances, not professional reviews. There was lots of talk about the game in my network so I was referring to that. :P Public opinion I guess you could say.

Ok, gotcha. I wouldn't know as most of my friends don't play much outside of CoD. lol
It's nothing special or new, it's just really well executed and incredibly professional. Deserves all the praise, although the hippie talk gets really tiring after a while.
Thanks for the input guys.

During my 1.5 playthroughs, I found it a rather mundane experience. It looked really good, and did have a good atmosphere. But the gameplay was lacking (in that there wasn't a whole lot to do, a little bit of platforming and exploration and that's it).

What really gets me is the lauding of the multiplayer. I'm not so sure how beeping at a random stranger and helping each other bulid paths is supposed to be revolutionary. I never got engrossed into the ambiance or story, into my teammate, or anything else. It's a great looking game with middling gameplay, but to me, calling it GOTY is borderline asinine and a little bit insulting to the gaming industry.

That's just my 2 cents. I'm glad that others were able to enjoy it immensely, but I wasn't. But the constant lauding and "hippie talk" about the game have slowly embittered me on the game.