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18 Mar 2012
By Olninyo
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Playstation Staff

Journey: Mechanics and Meaning

11 Replies 1,089 Views Created 18-03-2012

I wrote something on Journey for my blog because it moved me, but also because it used some methodologies I studied for my dissertation really really well. 

I would love to know what the community thinks and start some debate. 

very minor spoilers: 

 

http://www.thepixelcrush.com/2012/03/pixel-pilgrim.html

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Re: Journey: Mechanics and Meaning

A review should be detailed with good points and bad points. When the game was at pre-launch phase; the reviews all sounded good and really positive, including yours, so when I decided to play Journey  for myself, it gave me the overwhelming feeling of emptiness, where I didn't gain no emotion from it, nor a feeling of accomplishment. I didn't like the music on Journey cos' it cuts out at various points and it's all violins and hardly any guitar, piano or panpipes that was previously present in Flower's soundtrack. I found the scenery to be dull and lifeless, there's only one colour than dominates the whole picture and your view of the mountain is obstructed by ten feet tall structures either side. The puzzles required a few unnecessary retries with the buttons being more complicated than flowers; The multiplayer consists of nothing either; which certainly doesn't warrant the soul called terms and conditions at the beginning. This is a game where the good points are also it's downside. I was expecting a relaxing game and all I got was a puzzle game where you have to solve things in order to progress.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/69344 - Please sign

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Re: Journey: Mechanics and Meaning


LarasAider wrote:

A review should be detailed with good points and bad points. When the game was at pre-launch phase; the reviews all sounded good and really positive, including yours, so when I decided to play Journey  for myself, it gave me the overwhelming feeling of emptiness, where I didn't gain no emotion from it, nor a feeling of accomplishment. I didn't like the music on Journey cos' it cuts out at various points and it's all violins and hardly any guitar, piano or panpipes that was previously present in Flower's soundtrack. I found the scenery to be dull and lifeless, there's only one colour than dominates the whole picture and your view of the mountain is obstructed by ten feet tall structures either side. The puzzles required a few unnecessary retries with the buttons being more complicated than flowers; The multiplayer consists of nothing either; which certainly doesn't warrant the soul called terms and conditions at the beginning. This is a game where the good points are also it's downside. I was expecting a relaxing game and all I got was a puzzle game where you have to solve things in order to progress.



Solid_Snake12345 wrote:

http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-3-General-Discussion/So-Journey-is-Out/m-p/153554...
Exactly.

You ruined the game on yourself by watching all of it already and then you state that it did not live up to your expectations? Of course it wouldn't and you can't really blame anybody but yourself for this. As for the visuals being monotone: DO NOT CLICK THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED IT! THE MAGIC OF THE GAME, AS WITH FLOWER, IS THE NEW EXPERIENCES!

 

Spoiler
Spoiler
_-Journey-PS3-_.jpg

Desert - The Mountain.jpg

Journey - Bridges.jpg

Journey - Cave Contrast.jpg


Journey Cave - Carpet.jpg
(colours are off slightly on this one, presumably because it was taken from a camera and not with a screen capture)


http://i.minus.com/iKG39HGma6wZe.gif


Edit: Two links didn't show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD1tkTQD708&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=BaDnuzc8msI#t=555s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaDnuzc8msI&feature=related

Sorry I couldn't find images for those specific parts unfortunately.

 

 But if you can look at those and even dare say the game is monotone then you surely must no understand the definition of the word. I'm sorry, but to say this is monotone because a significant portion is set in the desert (which has different colour schemes in every single location) is like say Flower is monotone because there is grass everywhere.

As for soundtracks (once again, only if you've finished the game)

Spoiler

 Can you really say they are not relaxing? On their own they obviously will not be as impressive as they are in the game so the emotion, although it is conveyed relatively well, is not as strong without the visuals.



Anyway, as for controls and puzzles, there is four buttons. X, O, Start and select. One of those is pause (start), another is to sit down (select) and the two buttons you actually play with are only X and O. It's hardly a much more complex control system than Flower when you only have one extra button to use.

As for your new complaint of the soundtrack being one note, can you really try to argue that there is only one instrument in Apothesis? In "I Was Born For This"? At the very least there is as much variation in instruments as there is in Flower: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT-xs4EVH4E in which the piano is the primary instrument whereas in Journey it's simply the violin.

The Puzzles also are no more complex than Flowers. They are equally as straightforward and if you'd mind giving some examples of puzzles which were made difficult due to the control scheme (in spoiler tags, don't ruin it for those who haven't played it) than I'd be very interested.

I only use a quotation (which I actually used in response to you in another thread about Journey) for this because I believe that your post is pretty much a modified quote your using based upon that the poster did not link to a review in this thread.

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Re: Journey: Mechanics and Meaning


Solid_Snake12345 wrote:

LarasAider wrote:

A review should be detailed with good points and bad points. When the game was at pre-launch phase; the reviews all sounded good and really positive, including yours, so when I decided to play Journey  for myself, it gave me the overwhelming feeling of emptiness, where I didn't gain no emotion from it, nor a feeling of accomplishment. I didn't like the music on Journey cos' it cuts out at various points and it's all violins and hardly any guitar, piano or panpipes that was previously present in Flower's soundtrack. I found the scenery to be dull and lifeless, there's only one colour than dominates the whole picture and your view of the mountain is obstructed by ten feet tall structures either side. The puzzles required a few unnecessary retries with the buttons being more complicated than flowers; The multiplayer consists of nothing either; which certainly doesn't warrant the soul called terms and conditions at the beginning. This is a game where the good points are also it's downside. I was expecting a relaxing game and all I got was a puzzle game where you have to solve things in order to progress.



Solid_Snake12345 wrote:

http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-3-General-Discussion/So-Journey-is-Out/m-p/153554...
Exactly.

You ruined the game on yourself by watching all of it already and then you state that it did not live up to your expectations? Of course it wouldn't and you can't really blame anybody but yourself for this. As for the visuals being monotone: DO NOT CLICK THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED IT! THE MAGIC OF THE GAME, AS WITH FLOWER, IS THE NEW EXPERIENCES!

 

Spoiler
Spoiler
_-Journey-PS3-_.jpg

Desert - The Mountain.jpg

Journey - Bridges.jpg

Journey - Cave Contrast.jpg


Journey Cave - Carpet.jpg
(colours are off slightly on this one, presumably because it was taken from a camera and not with a screen capture)


http://i.minus.com/iKG39HGma6wZe.gif


Edit: Two links didn't show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD1tkTQD708&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=BaDnuzc8msI#t=555s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaDnuzc8msI&feature=related

Sorry I couldn't find images for those specific parts unfortunately.

 

 But if you can look at those and even dare say the game is monotone then you surely must no understand the definition of the word. I'm sorry, but to say this is monotone because a significant portion is set in the desert (which has different colour schemes in every single location) is like say Flower is monotone because there is grass everywhere.

As for soundtracks (once again, only if you've finished the game)

Spoiler

 Can you really say they are not relaxing? On their own they obviously will not be as impressive as they are in the game so the emotion, although it is conveyed relatively well, is not as strong without the visuals.



Anyway, as for controls and puzzles, there is four buttons. X, O, Start and select. One of those is pause (start), another is to sit down (select) and the two buttons you actually play with are only X and O. It's hardly a much more complex control system than Flower when you only have one extra button to use.

As for your new complaint of the soundtrack being one note, can you really try to argue that there is only one instrument in Apothesis? In "I Was Born For This"? At the very least there is as much variation in instruments as there is in Flower: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT-xs4EVH4E in which the piano is the primary instrument whereas in Journey it's simply the violin.

The Puzzles also are no more complex than Flowers. They are equally as straightforward and if you'd mind giving some examples of puzzles which were made difficult due to the control scheme (in spoiler tags, don't ruin it for those who haven't played it) than I'd be very interested.

I only use a quotation (which I actually used in response to you in another thread about Journey) for this because I believe that your post is pretty much a modified quote your using based upon that the poster did not link to a review in this thread.


 

The screenshots and links you've provided only strengthen my points entirely. That the violin does indeed dominate the soundtrack and that the colour scheme looks "monotonal" even though every pixel is colour shaded in various tones and highlights. A bit of variation in the soundtrack like indian music or tribal music would of been alright, some extra colour and the same controls as flower and it would of been a good game for all the family to enjoy. I did say though in my post that its good points are also the bad points to this game. I'm one of these people that likes to be emersed within the story and get a feel for the game, something which Journey failed to do for me. It's all about personal opinions really. I'm sure people look at Journey and think, What an amazing piece of art; looking all mesmerized and always giving a moral decription of the story. There's nothing wrong with that; but I look at the game aspects of it aswell and do some comparing. Everyone's perception of the game is different and I respect that, but what I found Journey to be is something completely unexpected and different. The game is somewhat unusual in nature, so I haven't found a word to decribe it yet. O.K. the word monotone may be the wrong word; but if you compare flower to Journey you'll know what I'm going on about and maybe you'll find a word for me to decribe the colour scheme.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/69344 - Please sign

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Re: Journey: Mechanics and Meaning


LarasAider wrote:
maybe you'll find a word for me to decribe the colour scheme.


Deiberate?

Considered?

 

I'm all out.

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Re: Journey: Mechanics and Meaning

You can't please everybody. Journey got superb reviews across the board, from the people that play and review video games for a living - yes, they sometimes get it wrong, but when all the main players are loving a game, it's generally because it's good.

LarasAider, I shall be ignoring your 'review'.

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Re: Journey: Mechanics and Meaning

I think the word for colour schemes like journey's that are unified by location is analogous colour. BLAM with the colour theory! It serves as a good way of distinguishing environments both visually and emotionally.

 

Its interesting reading such an eloquantly written dislike for journey. It sounds like LarasAider is the kind of thoughtful person who should totally love it.

 

 

I think peoples perception of value being tied to game length is becoming obselete. This game gave me a greater sense of companionship in 4 hours than I doubt Id get from 30 hours with mass effect.

 

 

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Re: Journey: Mechanics and Meaning


Olninyo wrote:

I think the word for colour schemes like journey's that are unified by location is analogous colour. BLAM with the colour theory! It serves as a good way of distinguishing environments both visually and emotionally.

 

Its interesting reading such an eloquently written dislike for journey. It sounds like LarasAider is the kind of thoughtful person who should totally love it.

 

 

I think peoples perception of value being tied to game length is becoming obsolete. This game gave me a greater sense of companionship in 4 hours than I doubt Id get from 30 hours with mass effect.

 

 


 

Your spot on with that note. The reason why I bought it is because I looked at the trailers, screenshots,  and with me previously playing on Flower. So I knew exactly what I was purchasing, When I played Journey, I was stunned by the game cos' it kinda left me with a negative feeling; mainly cos' I got stuck on it half way through in the blue room. That-Game-Company adding more controls than Flower. Flow and Flower were relaxing and Journey features such a massive change in game mechanics that it became a challenge, featuring elements of puzzle solving. The graphics is like marmite; You either love or hate it; at times I could tolerate it and other times I got bored with seeing the same layout and colour scheme. Throughout Journey the soundtrack fades way too much; which doesn't give you enough time to enjoy the soundtrack. 

 

So I have decided to have another go on Journey tomorrow cos' my opinion on this game is getting annoying for me and everyone else. Hopefully the initial shock and emptiness feeling would've disappeared with second playthrough. 

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Re: Journey: Mechanics and Meaning

Yeah i'd love to know what you think after a second playthrough. For me Journey is a game where its mechanics and design just sing, if you are experiencing it on a graphics and sound surface level then I feel you are missing something, as you said before. But if you enjoyed Flower then I'm sure you know how much ThatGameCompany tend to craft beyond initial impressions, and surface gloss.

 

While the broad graphical strokes seem simplistic at first, the detail thats in each stroke is where the beauty lies. the sand appears to be large dunes of block colour but as the sun catches each grain and the sand shifts beneath your feet the detail of each component is evident. This is just one example.

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Re: Journey: Mechanics and Meaning

[ Edited ]

O.K. I've managed to play through the game again and I can tell you; that there's certain elements I like:

  • The desert scene where the sun glistens, making the sand turn into a satin sheet of golden caramel.
  • The closing credits Soundtrack.
  • The struggle up the mountain face with wind blowing you downwards.
Spoiler
That game company should of placed this game in a jobcentre or a rehab centre cos' there are certain obstacles that you face through out your life similar to the ones you come across in this game. The game is still monotonal, but when light hits these parts, the sheer mesmerization kicks in and the colour comes to life. I couldn't experience this game like this on my first playthrough cos' I was forever getting stuck in certain parts of my Journey and geting me fustrated. I don't know whether if any of you guys played on something when frustrated and then you realise, it puts a whole negative feeling onto the whole game.  So I've been on 2 Journey's now and I'm beginning to like the game; but next time I might catch the bus... stuff walking.

 

If I get my views wrong... I will tell you. :smileyhappy: Anyway just wanted to share my experiences again and I'll stop rabbiting on about this game now... I promise :smileywink:

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