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Journey | review | game | Lollipop


(SCEA for PlayStation Network)
By Mike Delano

Having my TV mounted on the wall usually just means that I get a crick in my neck after gaming too long with my head tilted back. Playing Journey, though, having it up there got me thinking of the sight my parents probably used to see quite often when they walked into the living room: My younger self, legs crossed on the rug, staring up with mouth agape at the glowing image on the CRT screen. Back then, I was likely in awe of Mega Man 3, but fast-forward 20 years and my wife gets an eyeful of the same sight watching me play Journey (full disclosure: I was sitting on the couch). From the creators of the similarly-affecting Flow and Flower, that the game instills a sense of wonder in the player should be no surprise. It's custom-built to satiate the gamer need to explore; to push against every boundary in the world to find its limits; to suss out solutions by way of intuition and trial and error rather than following explicit prompts. Guiding your silent, red-robed character to a far-off mountain while traveling through stunningly realized terrain, from dark, minimalist caverns to sparkling sand dunes, is the premise. But don't expect a big reveal at the end or some such resolution to justify your time spent; Journey doesn't use that well-worn gaming language. It's got its own methods of communication, and the sooner you open yourself up to its myriad charms, the sooner you'll get the message it's sending.


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