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Wolf Kanno's Crazy Ramblings and Incoherent Statements

That Game Company Collection

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Haven't done a blog in ages and I wanted to talk about this without starting a thread.

So I picked up the That Game Company Collection set a while back and finally last December I played through it. I'm not going to bother discussing the cell phones style games cause... yeah... I'll simply focus on the Big 3 that everyone bought the set for.

flOw - Is and interesting game with some cool dynamics to it. It's pretty short but I'm a busy person and so this is actually a plus for the game in my book.The concept is cool but I wish the controls were a bit smoother, sometimes moving around felt like I was trying to make a semi turn on a dime, it just didn't happen. Some of the predators also felt a bit BS since they could crush you pretty easily and I felt like they got better invincibility frames than you did.

Overall, it was a neat concept that was marred by some technical flaws.

Flower - I played the demo of this ages ago and really liked it, I was really excited to finally play through the whole thing and frankly I spent a large portion of my time playing flOw debating on whether I should just shut down and start playing Flower instead.

I'm going to confess that Flower ultimately became my favorite of the three games, not necessarily because I feel its the best but because it was the game that surprised me the most. The game kind of has a very subtle artful story about it and watching it unfold with the different moods each new stage introduced made my jaw drop to the ground. I already knew I would like Journey, I didn't think I would like Flower as much and it ultimately became the game that stayed with me the longest after I had finished it. It still has some control issues since the game likes to try and railroad you in one direction and I did actually stumble upon a game ending bug by trying to fight the system but overall I was just really impressed and moved by the game. I still need to collect all the secret flowers for every stage but oh man this game was pretty awesome.

Journey - Is as awesome as I thought it would be, it has my favorite type of storytelling as well, one that focuses on showing you instead of telling you. The locations are breathtaking to behold and the games art direction is something else. As many people who have played the game will tell you, it's the multi-player aspect that catches you off guard the most but is so beautifully handled that it made even a misanthrope like myself feel good about it being there.

Journey ultimately represents what I feel video games can do as an art form, it tells a story and makes you feel through gameplay. The strongest moments in the game are not cutscenes or well written dialogue its riding down the sands with an unknown companion in the desert ruins, it's trying to work together to get past the dragons in the underground temple, its watching your poor character struggle to make it past the snowy mountain side as a raging blizzard slows you character down and the controller vibrates slowly telling you how hard they are struggling to make it to the top. Journey was an amazing experience and one I feel anyone who argues that games can be art should experience.

Overall, I was impressed with the games as a whole except the tiny misfit titles. My only real beef seems to be that I can't play the games off the disc. The disc wants to download the games to your hard drive and though Flower and Journey are awesome enough for me to consider this, I buy game discs to avoid this nonsense and the whole collection sort of reminded me about why I hate the direction Microsoft and Sony have taken with their game consoles by making them into less powerful PCs. I don't like using my hard drive to hold my games, I've already reached the limit of my PS3's memory and a good 70% of my hard drive is taken up with portions of my games being forcibly downloaded onto it so they play more smoothly. I'll take the load times so I can leave more memory for my save files, not so you can make the textures of the stages look 10% better.

That tangent aside, I would recommend the set to anyone who wants to experience something magical.
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  1. Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
    Have you tried Cloud at all? It was the first game they did if I remember right, but I think it's PC only. It's free to download. That one has always intrigued me just because I like these three a lot, but I keep forgetting to try playing it.

    Flower is probably my favorite of the three despite thinking that Journey is the better game overall. There was just something nice about getting back to the dorms after class or going home after work and being able to relax while playing Flower. It's also fun to just kind of craft the story of Flower in your head as you play along.
  2. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    You know, I just never get around to playing games on my PC. I use it so much for work or searching the web that I just never feel like gaming on it. Still, I might have to check the game out. I agree that Journey is probably the better game but Flower just surprised me more cause I didn't expect as much from it.
  3. Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
    I forgot to mention in my comment that I agree with the fact that I didn't expect much from Flower. I'm also bad with playing games on my PC. I get too distracted on my computer too easily and just end up never playing anything. If Cloud is anything like the other three, it should be worth experiencing though.