Monday, December 30, 2019

The Creature Columns: "Journey - The Most Emotional Video Game I Have Ever Played" By Tom "Creature" Jeffers

 Journey, from Thatgamecompany, might be one of the greatest gaming experiences I have ever had. This game is a work of aching beauty that almost feels like a journey towards spiritual edification. I know that seems an odd thing to say about a video game, but that is exactly the way Journey makes you feel. I have played games since the Atari 2600. I have even played the original Pong on the original machine so long ago. I am an avid PC gamer and play many MMO games. The point I wish to make here is that Journey is hands down the most emotional, moving, and powerful experience I have ever had in a virtual world. I am honestly a joyous wreck over it. It made me smile for hours. I rarely have an expressed emotional response over mass media. I do “cry” occasionally over film. While I did not openly cry when I finished Journey, I easily could have. The best way to describe it is the unrelenting sense of awe and utter joy the game brings. I am not certain how the developer managed this. I do not know if they used psychology or subliminal persuasion, but the game just leaves you with a feeling of rapturous wonder! The music is so beautiful that it carries you away to the land you are in.

 From time to time you encounter another solitary figure on his or her journey, and the sense of companionship that those meetings bring is sheer brilliance. You cannot talk or type but only communicate through single but varied musical tones. It works perfectly and calling to one another to solve a puzzle or at a discovery gives the game a sense of true companionship. It feels like the other entity you have encountered understands what you are seeking and the fellowship between the two of you is intimate and truly consuming. At the end of the game, every player that you journeyed with has his or her ID displayed in the credits. This game literally creates memories that will last for years or even a lifetime. I simply cannot explain it. Your traveling companion stays just long enough to be interesting and is not a constant presence. You spend much time in solitude. It is in this quiet time that you are truly immersed in the game. The landscapes are simplistic but jaw-dropping beautiful. The gameplay itself is so peaceful it would be an excellent choice to play before bedtime.
The sense of the spiritual must be on purpose in this game. I am Christian and I think of it in this way. You are on a journey in a strange land, you free other creatures, from time to time you meet others of your kind and you journey together, there are dangers and difficulties, you must persevere, and the ending……oh the ending is such an intense moment of rapturous beauty that I would not dare ruin it. You simply have to experience it to understand what I mean. Please understand that a person of any faith or no faith will be emotionally moved by this game as well. It seems to be designed to bring out these feelings of smallness and awe. 
Thatgamecompany has created a beautiful work of art with Journey. Sony distribution has ensured the possibility of a wide audience. In 2012, when the game was released it received well over 100 awards and was named “game of the year” by many. However, this little gem still seems to avoid the radar of many gamers. It is a different type of game, and the deepness of it is unlike anything I have ever seen. The game takes a few hours to complete depending on how you go about it, but it is the perfect length. It requires little if any skill to finish. If you play it, you will know. The replay value is excellent. For the relatively low purchase cost, you get a 10,000 dollar experience. As I close, I can say with confidence, that this game is a gift to gamers. I think adults will benefit more than younger kids because of the rest this title brings. The adult mind and those who think as I do, in symbols and allegory, will be emotionally devastated (in a good way) by this haunting and astonishing game. It is simply the most amazing gaming experience I have ever had.  May your scarf be long, but if it is not, it does not matter.

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Journey on Playstation 4





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