Look, we all know that this is basically just another Saw game, and given how bad the actual Saw game was, I understand why hopes were high for Heavy Rain, and why we'd want to give it a pass for its unoriginality. But I thought I'd take a moment to acknowledge just how similar the premises are. They're both stories about a crazed killer who kidnaps people and then creates elaborate traps inside crumbling edifices deep within America's post-industrial wastelands, designed to test how much a victim will sacrifice to save a life.
It's fair to say that I don't have the greatest confidence in David Cage's ability to create something that makes sense. Still, I decided to delve into Heavy Rain and see what he'd produced this time around. Now, four hours in, just having completed "The Bear" I'm ready with some initial comments—and these are just going to be plot things, since this isn't an official "review" of the game. Also, unless it gets really egregious I'm not going to comment on the awkward phrasing caused by the game's sometimes iffy translation.
By and large, the consensus regarding Sony's slowly expanding line of "Minis" software for the PlayStation Portable is that the games—mostly ports from the iPhone and other platforms—are sorely lacking in quality. Given the initial launch titles, it's not hard to see why: An overpriced Tetris port, mediocre fair like Brainpipe and Vempire, and downright terrible shovelware like Gameloft's Hero of Sparta were among the heavy hitters back in early October.
Been putting some time into 3D Dot Game Heroes on PlayStation 3. After logging a couple of hours on it, I think it's pretty clear to see that this thing will be a nuclear bomb of nostalgia for anyone who's old enough to remember The Legend of Zelda on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I mean, it was pretty clear that it was a Zelda homage from previews and early buzz, but putting the game through its paces, I really don't think it's an understatement to say that this is NES Zelda brought into 3D.
I'm in the middle of writing my review for the Wii's Fragile Dreams. It's a difficult piece to write, since on the one hand I find it to be a fairly refreshing effort conceptually, and quite unlike most of the other games available for the Wii. On the other hand, I have to be brutally frank in saying that it's extremely tedious and not much fun at all. Ideas and artistry only go so far...
I know that this post's title may make it seem like I'm taking a page from Espen Aarseth's 2005 article of a similar name and Roger Travis' 2008 response to it. Trust me when I say that I'm casting my net a little wider than the design vs. scholarship vs. play disciplinary debate... not that that debate is irrelevant, but I'm simply responding to a different exigency.
When I was writing my Heavy Rain review, there were a lot of specific things concerning the plot that I wanted to talk about, but couldn't due to the spoilerness. So those qualms are going to go here, safely hidden behind that big bold spoiler warning you see below. So, shall we?
(Warning: The rest of this post contains Heavy Rain spoilers)
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