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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 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 March 27, 2015
This is not your typical rock em, sock em, fight em shoot em type of game. In fact, I wouldn't even call this a game really. It's more a zen kind of casual, gosh I don't even know how to explain this game. It is almost like Yoga. You do it for relaxation. The graphics are beautiful and serene. And you just explore and interact with the elements in the game. Even the soundtracks are calm and soothing. You feel like you're floating in some kind of dream state when playing this game. It's called the Journey collection and it really is a wonderful journey.

They are very simple games, but there's just something about them that really compels you to want to keep playing. I spent hours on this game when I first got it. I highly recommend it.
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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 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 May 14, 2016
Great game and fun mini-games, this title should come with the PS3. I don't play console games, but this is the one everyone told me to get for my Netflix box (PS3), and they were right, it's beautiful and fun. Don't take my word for it though, just go read a proper review, everyone loves this game.

The product shipped quickly and arrived as described. No complaints!
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on November 7, 2017
To call this a collection of games would be an understatement, it's more of an experience. All three games feature subtle stories in them, each different and Astonishing in their own. The graphics in these games are also phenomenal, not only realistic but artisitic and the story telling adds to this. The unlockable features also add to the experience which in turn adds to extra replay value. And if all this wasn't enough, the trilogy also comes with several bonus features. While two of the games have pretty complex controls they're pretty easy to learn and it's worth it if you embrace it. I strongly recommend this game trilogy to anyone who hasn't tried it, if you get a chance to buy and play it go for it.
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on May 8, 2014
(No Spoilers) I got this game originally because pewdiepie played part of it, and it seemed so different from the typical games that I was intrigued. I then proceeded to download the demo on the PSN network and finished that. The game came to me on time with no problems. This disk actually comes with 3 games! Flow, Flower AND Journey. The company that made these games "thatgamecompany" produced these games and flow being the first. The point of these games is to have no communication and the player has to move around learning what to do next. These games will make you have a whirlwind of emotions from being happy one moment then being teary eyed another. I have played all three games but only "beat" Journey.
Flow is really confusing to control and hard to learn, so to be honest I have given up on that game for now. I even looked up how to play on youtube. Still no help.

As for Flower, it is really pretty and you are a petal blowing in the wind and depending on the flower, your tasks are slightly different. You collect petals from other flowers and make the grass greener. It is simple and cute.

Journey. Where do I begin. First off, if you did the demo version the data transfers over. Journey is defiantly the best of the three games. As you go through this game, you can collect scarf pieces that make your scarf longer. THIS WILL BE PROVEN HELPFUL THE LONGER SCARF YOU HAVE! If someone else is playing online, they can join up with you. This is someone you haven't met (in person) and at the end of the "journey" you are given the PSN of the people that were your companion. Having someone join you is helpful but not a necessity. Overall this gameplay is about and hour and a half. There are some small tricks that you will learn and to explore.

I think the price is great for three games and it was fun to explore each world. Also this game came with a code that got avatars but only one person can get it. Even if there are multiple people on a PS3. Explore the world and GET THIS GAME! :) You won't regret it.
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on February 22, 2015
Most overrated game of all time, yes, it's a fresh idea and they manage to make an interesting game based on very simple fundamentals and controls. The music was sometimes very nice, but at other times was so annoying that it caused a headache. I played Journey and I'm uninterested now to play the other two.
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on February 13, 2013
I bought this because I was looking for something that was not really a "game". Based on previous reviews, my expectations were high indeed. After playing it though, I'll agree with other reviewers..."Buy it on sale". It's not that it's bad, it just fills a different niche. Some players will love it and others will be bored quickly. My 10 yr old couldn't stop once he had started, but it was more like he was reading a book he really liked than the typical "Lego Indiana Jones" hyper-ness.

I was playing "007 Reloaded" (bought it on sale) the other day and got extremely frustrated (not with my abilities but with the way the segment was coded). So, before I threw the controller across the room, my son who was in the next room and heard my verbalization, suggested I try Journey. So, I popped out the 007 disk and inserted Journey. Within minutes of playing "Journey", I felt my self physically and more importantly mentally relax. When I couldn't quite figure something out, it wasn't frustrating because there is so much to explore and experience. There are visual hints, but there is no time limit so hurrying through won't help or hurt. One of the things I didn't discover until the second time through (there were areas I wanted to experience again), was that the "companions" that you'll find along your journey are other players online. You can see their screen names after the credits when you finish the journey. Some are very patient and helpful, and some will run right past you or pop into certain areas of the game. However, there is no real competition between you and the companion. It's more like they are there at the same place and time as you, experiencing the same stimulus. Sometimes there is an unseen bond, and sometimes not. Just like life. There are also "portals" that can take you to specific chapters of the journey in the blink of an eye. Hence, companions being with you during certain times, and not others.

Having purchased it, I like it enough that it won't be traded or sold. I've journeyed through 4 times now and I still think there might be a few other areas with hidden discoveries that the child in me want to see.

Overall, the whole experience reminds me of what Disney tries to give to it's park visitors. That is, a unique experience with lots of visual stimuli and a little bit of danger and excitement, all in a safe family friendly environment. The only thing that would make it better (and 5 stars from me) would be if you could have two players on the same console to experience the journey together.
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