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on March 17, 2014
This game was one of the most moving experiences of my life, and that is a grand statement for an indie video game that only takes a couple hours to complete. It is simplicity itself; your little pilgrim character must traverse a vast landscape to reach a shining mountaintop of truth, always visible in the distance (unless you are below ground). You get paired up randomly with a maximum of one other online player at a time, with whom you cannot speak; you can only communicate through gestures and a simple, one-note cry that is both your name and your only vocabulary. Together you cross the wastes in search of symbols, which grant you the ability to fly for longer intervals with each symbol found, seeking a safe path to the mountaintop which beckons you onward.

The online interaction, being nonverbal and anonymous, was unique and engaging. The first time I played all the way through this game with one other player (which is not a given; you can lose or leave each other, just as in real life), I cried like a baby at the end. In the course of a few short hours I had created an emotional bond with a total stranger (who turned out to be, as best as I could gather, a girl in Japan). There are boards, for instance, where you are travelling through the freezing cold, and can only stay unharmed by huddling together for warmth. Brilliant. The gorgeous music, the haunting imagery and the simple storytelling all transcend language and deliver a game that is nothing short of a spiritual experience.

Sounds crazy? Yeah, when I read reviews like this before, I thought someone was off their meds, too. Then I took the journey. Try it and see if you can ever forget it. I know I never will.
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on November 28, 2017
Cool games with no guns or killing! Really relaxing. BUT when you put the disc in you can't are directed to go to XMB (I had no idea but googled it) and locate the install files right next to the GAME icon....the install icon only appears as you pass over it and will only show if you ease past the JOURNEY icon so select it quickly or if you miss go back and it will appear. THEN you can select which games to install then play with or without the disc. If you thought you could play without an internet connection you can't at least until you do the downloads. It was frustrating to select all 3 games plus bonus games and perform this action over and over. Other than that ...VERY few interactive games that are made to be relaxing and do not require a child's reflexes to play.
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on September 21, 2014
Journey, for me, was a magical experience. When I sit down a reflect on the games I've played since December last year, many of them fall into the "interactive movie" category. There's nothing wrong with that. The Last of Us, had me thinking about its themes long after I'd finished the game, and Arkham City is an excellent story that would hold up to any of the Batman stories in any other medium. But those games wouldn't lose all that much if they were translated into movies. In fact, without the constant repetition and restarts due to player deaths, The Last of Us might even make a better movie than it did a game.

Journey, however, is the kind of experience that only works as a game. The wonderful thing about it is that it's an incredibly accessible game. Using only the twin analog joysticks and two buttons, it's a game that eschews complexity, timing based controls, and high speed reflexes and hand-eye coordination for a contemplative travel through the virtual landscapes it renders and the emotional spaces it evokes. What's more, unlike hard-core games that require hour upon hour of slogging and skill mastery, Journey is relatively short, and if you have time to watch a movie, you will have time for Journey.

You control a traveler, rendered in simple fashion little more sophisticated than a stick figure. The start of the game has you contemplating a mountain far away, and it is understood (though the game never explicitly tells you) that you are going there. Along the way, you traverse a desert landscape, an underground cavern, underwater spaces, and a snowy tundra. You visit ruins, and encounter creatures, most of which help you, and perhaps, another traveler representing another player who is also making the same journey.

You can't die, though there are moments when you are threatened, even succumbing to those threats won't hurt your ability to finish the game. The other player who might travel with you can't help or hinder you in your travels. In fact, other than a couple of gestures, you can't even communicate with each other explicitly. Yet the nature of the game is such that mere presence still grants you camaraderie. The puzzles will never stump you for more than 10 minutes, if that. There are no difficulty levels, no ability to save or restore the game. At no point are you forced to move forward, and nothing shoots at you when you're having a contemplative moment or just enjoying the scenery.

If Journey was made into a movie, it would be flat, lacking the emotion it was designed to evoke. But by taking on the character in a virtual space, and providing the means for various forms of traversal, Journey managed to invoke in me feelings of exhilaration, as I slide down a sand dune or soar through the skies towards my goal. I felt fear, when a monster detected my presence (even though I knew I could not die), and came after me. And there were many many moments of wonder as I wandered through a new landscape, not knowing what would come, but enjoying the moments of beauty and solitude that came with making my way through the virtual spaces. The combination of the design, the music, the simplicity of the controls and the way the game teaches you what to do with just dialog and just a handful of on screen prompts in the first 15 minutes of play is nothing short of amazing.

I don't want to over-state the pleasures and the strength of Journey. I wouldn't go as far as to say that you should acquire a PS3 just for this game. (I'd say that for Uncharted 2) But it truly is a game that I think just about everyone should play just to understand why video games are art. Just as missing out on great books like A Wizard of Earthsea would be a great pity, I think missing out on Journey would also subtract from your life.

I bought Journey as part of a collector's edition. However, I will review the other two games on that disc (Flower, and Flow) separately. You can also purchase Journey directly from Sony as a download for $14.99. Highly recommended.
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on August 15, 2014
This isn't just some games. This is a collection of artwork.

Journey in particular is imaginative and artistic and beautiful and is awe worthy. There's not much replay value in that it is the same journey, replayed, but there is in that is is a very large world to explore with lots of unlock-ables and collectables. The music is enchanting and the simple artwork is elegant and mystical. The game really takes you out of this world and into it's own. It can relax, threaten, entice, worry, challenge, and inspire in minutes. As Journey is the main collection of this package, it is also the focal point and most interesting. There is no text or dialogue which lets you build your own theories on the happenstance and entrances you in the magic of the world.
There is multiplayer… in that another wanderer who joins at the same time will go through the level with you. It can get you through twice as faster, but if you are working on achievements it can be a little difficult. There is no way to communicate in multiplayer, but when you bump each other you recharge, and "calling" (holding O) can sometimes work as a communication aid. You will automatically connect to multiplayer if your PS3 is connected to the internet. There's no fear of trolling because all symbols and glyphs can still be gotten even if other players get them, and most players of this game are bonded by the magic and are pretty chill bros who are happy to work together with you.

Flow and Flower are not like journey in that there are happenings occurring or you follow a central plot. There is simply a goal to achieve and you do it. Flow and Flower also do not have any text or dialogue and will let you space out into the serenity.
Flower, in particular is a very relaxing experience with beautiful views, calm music, and magical petals. It's just plain pretty. But it's not just beautiful, it can be fun and even challenging to play through the levels.
Flow is less natural beautiful and more microscopic beautiful. The Flow creature has a very cool design and while the gameplay is repetitive, it can be fun and definitely a great way to space out and unwind after a long day.

For the cost, there's no reason to not buy and enjoy this trio of games. Unless you just really only play sports and shooters. This probably isn't for you (unless you and mary jane are good friends).
The only annoying thing is you have to install the three games and have the disk in to play them.

For: People who like cool art, cool music, or going on a silent adventure and experiencing the surreal. Definitely for all ages.
Not for: people with no patience or attention span. the game will get boring fast for you, sorry. Or, people who are just terribly baffled by tilting the controller to move.
Pros: Gorgeous, imaginative, interesting, relaxing, enticing.
Cons: Repetitive, lack of direction at times.
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on January 12, 2013
This game was unknown until some website mentioned that it was the game of the year (either for the website, or for the gaming community) and had won multiple awards. Having read some of the descriptions of the game, it sounded interesting enough, and the price was relatively cheap. Plus, it came with two "side" games also developed by That Game Company.

One side game, Flower, is deceptively simple. Just fly around using the six-axis controller and collect the petals of other flowers as you come into contact with them. That's it. That's the game. For something so simple, it is oddly fun. Who'd have thought that flying a petal to collect and "lead" other petals would be so fun?

The other side game, flOw, is similar in control scheme, that is, using the six-axis controller. This time, the gaming system is more complex. Imagine a 2D world, that has three dimensions. By this it is meant that the player moves along a 2D plane and eats orbs or eats the orbs of other floating critters. However, it is possible to move to another 2D plane three dimensionaly by moving either towards or away from the camera, either coming towards the surface, or going deeper down into the underwater world. The mechanics take a little to get used to, but the reward is great. This is also a multi-player game so friends can join in.

Then the belly of the beast. The actual game Journey itself is a masterpiece. It is a shock that all three of these games are made in conjunction with Santa Monica Studio, the very same that made the God of War series, yet there is no killing. There is only one "bad guy" (multiple of them at times, but still the same basic character). The game style is basic. Look, move, fly, and "call". That's it. Two joysticks (or one joystick and the six-axis) and two buttons. So that is easy to master. Even a 68 year old father who doesn't play video games mastered it quickly.
The graphics are great, perfect for the artistic style of the game, which is very unique. All the concepts are so unique, from the character design, to the populating critters that fly around, to the point of the game (enlightenment and rebirth). Even the lighting on the sand is so on point, it makes backs tingle with electricity. It is a tranquil game that shouldn't be as fun as it is because there is no blood, no guns, no explosions, no naked babes; all of which can be found to be very much a relief from the onslaught of destruction pervasive in gaming today.
Overall this is a stupendous game that will be played over and over. Try it and see.
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on November 25, 2012
First the game Flow, then Flower, and now Journey; I'm blown away by That Game Company's last creation. Most games are shoot em up, RPG with Dungeon quests, or linear Jump games where you collect points.

This game is both creative and a work of art plus the music score is brilliant. Like many, I thought it might be boring or not challenging. In the traditional sense of games, it is not what you would ever expect. You are paired with another anonymous player. No names are exchanged or words, you simply communicate by a series of chimes or chirps.

Most of us look for the goal or point in a game, so might miss the experience of this game. I challenge you, if you have read this far to buy the game and then "let go" to just exploring this world. There are symbols and glyphs to collect at each level, that will help the player earn the coveted White Robe. But you are not required to collect them, if you just want to experience the game and move through each scene until the end.

Now the part that is surreal about this game. You tend to develop a bond with the other player, you are Journeying with through the game. After a while you begin to help each other, play together, and stick together through the difficult areas of the game. Yes, there is endless dessert, but also a water tower, sliding sand gate area, a bridge you need to build to progress, and more. Towards the end of the game, when you and your companion "die" in the snow area, most players are genuinely moved.

Don't be fooled when you "die" in the snow area, there is more to game and you need to wait out a short period of darkness. Anyway, I won't give away any more about the game or experience. But I will tell you that many players have been moved to laughter, tears, and even feel a connection to a higher power. I've been playing video games since Pong and this is by far the best one yet. Rumor has it, That Game Company is working on another game for release. Can't wait to see if they can surpass Journey. It will not be easy to do.
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on July 1, 2017
You can complete this game in just over an hour and still not actually beat it. There is so much to this game that it would take weeks to finish every possible item in the trophy list. Very beautiful game. Graphics and music are great. If you want a game that don't involve elements of hack-n-slash, this is the game for your. There are risky areas and even special surprises. This is a wonderful game. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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on August 28, 2017
Where do I begin describing Journey? Unlike many games I have played in the past it is not a "game" in the normal sense of the word. More like interactive story of sorts where you explore a once prosperous nation whose influence of nature and technology was at the peak of their power when all at once it was stripped away. At least that is what I interpreted from the nonverbal story I observed while playing. The other "games" connected to it are more like artistic experiments like movie Fantasia was for Disney and does not follow any basic plot or reason for playing other than to discover different wonders of nature.
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on April 27, 2015
This is a very good collection. Flow is a good game, Flower very creative and refreshing. I am astounded by the beautiful landscapes but it does become boring but it still has good replay value. Eventually you start getting tired of flying around. Journey is the best game I have played. This game stands out so much. You can explore and fly. The beautiful landscapes are mesmerizing. The storytelling was simple yet poetic. What I love is the online gameplay where you join with other people walking the same journey you are making. This game reminds me of the Emilio Estevez movie The Way where complete strangers meet each other in the Camino de Santiago to find meaning and enlightenment in their lives.

It was nice to escape from the usual cut, slash, shoot'em up games. Don't get me wrong I will always love Metal Gear Solid games but we need more games like Journey and Flower. They add a new dimension to gaming that stirs your soul. This is the most deep game I have every played. Just buy this you will get your money worth and then some.
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on April 14, 2014
This is a must-have item for any Playstation 3 owner! Journey alone is worth the price, but Flower and Flow are worthwhile games to go along with it. Plus, there are a lot of little extras like the soundtrack and themes!

Flow: In the trademark thatgamecompany style, Flow keeps controls very simple and learning how to move around and figuring out what you are supposed to be doing is part of the experience. For the most part, you are just tilting the controller to move your little water creature around, which is a fun and interesting way to play! There are several different creatures to play as, and you progress through each stage with each of them until they get to their largest size and you take on a "boss" creature of sorts.

Flower: Help light up the environment one flower at a time with this very fun and simple game! You're free to just wander about, as you are basically controlling and moving as the wind. You brush flower petals by each other, which will cause them to release a petal and then there are more petals floating around in the breeze with you. It has great visuals and a great soundtrack, which seems to be a staple for the trio.

Journey: So much praise has been given to this game, and rightfully so! From the story to the music to the visuals, this is such a work of art. I really enjoyed the minimalist style of learning and storytelling in the game; it was still very easy to learn how to play and figure out what was going on in the game. The soundtrack is thematic, so as you progress through a stage the music will often change with the pace and accomplishments. The visuals are absolutely stunning and serene. I only wish there were a way to take screenshots, since I enjoy looking at the backgrounds, but it gives me incentive to play and see them again. You can wander around a decent distance, but there are restrictions and the wind will force you back into line if you try to go too far away. It can be completed within about two hours or so, once you are familiar with it, but you might take much longer the first time just to soak everything in and figure out where hidden symbols and/or glyphs are. If your console is connected to the internet, you will see random players (one at a time, max) appear and join you as you make your way through the game. It may seem strange that you have no control over that, but I believe that was intentional feature to tie-in with the metaphorical aspect of the game, which you will discover when you play!
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