Journey ⚡Review

Journey Review Boxart

Platform Played On: PlayStation 3
Developer: Thatgamecompany
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: March 13, 2012

Just a small town girl… livin’ in a lonely world… she took the midnight train goin’ any-where! Ahem. I am sorry for that. My mind wanders quite easily lately. No, I’m not reviewing a song by the band named Journey, rather the artistic masterpiece video game titled Journey. I know. It’s not at all easy to get those things confused. Although, I could totally make a parody of the song Don’t Stop Believin’ that fits this game’s world… nah! At least… not right now in THIS post. Who knows what I’ll be babbling about in the future?

How Far I Got

Firstly, I did one full playthrough using no guides, and then I jumped around using the chapter select area to clean up all of the solo trophies (used a guide for those). Sadly, there aren’t many fellow cloth travelers online with this PS3 version these days. Due to this lack of other players, I didn’t have the patience to wait for partners to get the companion trophies. Speaking of lack of patience, I also changed the time settings on my PS3 so I could get the trophy for playing a week later immediately instead of waiting a whole week. What I won’t do for trophies… jeez.

Lightning Review

Uh… huh. I’m actually at loss for words with this game. How exactly do I describe how masterfully this gem does so much with so little (without ruining everything)? Hm. I’ll start at the start!

You assume control of a quirky humanoid cloth-like creature in a desert setting. Your only prompt is to stand up. After that, you really have no choice other than to walk towards a big mountain in the distance, with a nice shiny glowing thing at the summit. And that’s essentially the entire game goal! Walk and jump your way through various areas toward that loosely defined objective in the distance, shuddering in awe as it gets closer and cool stuff happens along your journey (aptly titled game, by the way). Also, you can pick up collectibles that make your scarf longer and jumping better.

Journey Review 1
There are no actual words on screen at any time. Story, playing with others, navigation, collectible accumulation… all that is conveyed through visual mechanisms and cues.

And damn, if you ever needed a video game to be the poster child for how video games are valid forms of art, this one is definitely the perfect candidate! The environments are stunning and fun to wander through. For example, the desert feels endless even though it essentially boils down to a series of small contained areas. I especially liked sliding around in the sand since it gave me some serious Lightning Returns vibes (sliding around the Dead Dunes with my shero was my favourite time wasters in that game). Oh and that beautiful soundtrack! The music is haunting and inspiring at all the right times, and apparently designed to change with the flow of the game. This entire game is just… an incredible artistic experience.

Journey Review 2
You need to call sentient pieces of cloth and cloth creatures to jump and solve puzzles. That sounds so weird, yet it’s so fun in practice!

And also quite short (even with some collectible hunting and trophy related objectives). You can easily make it to the end of the game in an hour or two, with or without the help of your fellow travelers. I feel like I missed out on a huge part of the game by not finding many companions during my journey(s). Sadly, I only encountered 3 other people during my several hours with this game. And in all 3 cases they weren’t with me long before disappearing. I can imagine figuring out how to communicate and work with other players without words adds some interesting moments.

My Overall Biased Opinion

Life is truly all about the journey, not reaching the destination, you know? We all know what awaits us at the end of the line, no matter what path we take to get there. Journey so perfectly captures this depressing yet inspiring truth of our existence. At the end of this gaming journey I was left with a powerful feeling that I’m still struggling to put into words. But then again, Journey had no words for its own experience either.

Journey Review 3
I can’t describe the experience, but I sure freaking felt the weight of it

Overall, check this game out if you appreciate the art behind games and want a short but emotional gaming experience. It’s probably best to check out the PS4 or PC versions if you want to get the most out of the game’s companion elements. The majority of what remains of the PS3 online community seems to have deserted Journey’s desert.


Memory Lane
SPOILERS AHEAD!!! You have been warned.

This section of my video game reviews is a way for me to remember my journey through a game. Major spoilers will be present here so please avoid this unless you’ve already played the game, or don’t have any plans to. Feel free to share any experiences you’ve had with this game in the comments area thingy below.

My Game Summary

Rise, my cloth friend! After some on basic screen prompts where I learned to play, I made my way through several desert themed zones: the starting area overworld (you can use the temples here to jump to other chapters once you’ve done a playthrough), a massive cloth bridge puzzle, a find the creatures in the desert and climb a tower area, and a fast-paced sliding through sand part that eventually put me underground. All the while, cutscenes with a weird godly-like humanoid creature and the showing of hieroglyphs about the world’s history (probably) are played between areas.

Journey Review 4
Something something…. desert… ruined city… mountain with glowing thing good for some reason…? The story is up to your own interpretation! Or just way over my head… that’s probably it.

The tunnel area is quite neat! As I made my way through it, the area took on underwater-like properties without any actual water… it’s hard to explain and seriously needs to be experienced for the full awesome effect. There were even cloth coral and cloth jellyfish! Eventually, I encountered hostile stone creatures. The game showed their hostility when a creature obliterates an innocent swarm of cloth. Aw 😦 The area concludes with a mad sliding dash to a the finish with two stone creatures in pursuit.

Journey Review 5.png
Run!! The consequence for getting caught is a chunk outta your scarf.

Time to elevate, man! To climb the temple tower thingy in the next area I had to raise the level of this magical light stuff that allows for infinite jump (again, mimicking the properties of water without being water… so cool). At the top of the temple tower, my little cloth creature had an epiphany moment of sorts with the big godly-like being standing next to it and all the hieroglyphs visible. Then it’s off to the freezing mountain top area with newfound resolve, I think.

Journey Review 6
I dunno what’s happening, but it seemed like an important spiritual awakening.

The next area is quite chilling. I made my way through a blizzard, using cover whenever the winds pick up. After an area with more stone creatures to avoid, I was left pushing my exhausted cloth friend forward through a blizzard (with lightning… ZOMG). My character eventually collapses and appears to have frozen to death. Luckily, a row of the god-like beings seem to resurrect the lil’ guy and then I’m sent flying off to the happiest most majestic area of the game.

Journey Review 7
So… cold… This is also rare footage of the 1 of 3 companions I encountered. They… didn’t make it far. Oh and I’m the one with the huge scarf. Not bragging, just sayin’.

The beautiful sunny paradise near the summit of the mountain was so awesome! I basically jumped my way to the top and took in the lovely scenery. Lots of nice indescribable happy feelz here! At the summit you enter the light that was coming off the mountain. So the objective you’ve been wandering towards for the whole game. The screen fades white, cuts to a lit up monument thingy in the snow, and then the credits rolled while the spirit of my character made it’s way back to the beginning. Definitely some resurrection themes there. After that, I cleaned up some solo trophies and called it a game.

Journey Review 8
Life isn’t all about the drama and heartache. You have to hold onto those happy moments too! That’s the lesson I felt here.

Favourite Story Moment

Walking into the endless light at the end of the journey. So many epic vibes!

Favourite Ability/Item/Weapon

The White Robe outfit I got for collecting all of the scarf-lengthening symbols. It makes my character look so god-like plus recharges the scarf jump faster.

Journey Review 9
That’s called Transcendence, baby!

Favourite “Oh S@#%” Moment

I’ll never forget watching helplessly as that innocent swarm of cloth got obliterated by the stone creature in the tunnels, all to teach me those stone creatures are bad. RIP, little guys.

Favourite Zone/Level/Area

Ah! This is a hard one for this particular game. The areas are so well done and triggered various feelings of awe for different reasons. I’m going to give a slight nod to the descent area where you slide down the sands into the tunnels. Very fun!

Journey Review 10
Sand surfing is superb.

Favourite Character

In the temple ascent area, a huge cloth creature pops out after you’ve raised the light levels a few times. The trophy guide I was following called it a dragon so…. yes, this is my favourite cloth character in the game.

Most Tedious Gameplay Moment

Wandering around in the open desert area. There was a trophy for rescuing all the cloth creatures and I kept losing my bearings and wandering lost.

Most Awkward Social Moment

There’s a trophy for meditating with another player for 20 seconds (use the select button to sit together for said length of time). I tried really hard to convey I wanted to do that with one of my three companions… but they just left me sitting there as they wandered off. Dude… why u no understand?? Sigh.


Final Stats

PlayStation Trophies: 10/14

Gold PlayStation TrophyJourney Trophy 1 - Gold - Transendence
Bronze PlayStation TrophyJourney Trophy 1 - Bronze - TrialsJourney Trophy 2 - Bronze - RebirthJourney Trophy 3 - Bronze - MirageJourney Trophy 4 - Bronze - ExploreJourney Trophy 5 - Bronze - AncestorsJourney Trophy 6 - Bronze - AdventureJourney Trophy 7 - Bronze - ThresholdJourney Trophy 8 - Bronze - HistoryJourney Trophy 9 - Bronze - Return

Thanks for reading!

If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!

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Published by

LightningEllen

I'm a wannabe writer and an avid video gamer with a slight (okay, maybe extreme) Amiibo addiction. I'm from the coastal province of Nova Scotia in Canada, eh. When I'm not gaming, I have a steady job thing I have to go to. It pays for the gaming thing though. :)

9 thoughts on “Journey ⚡Review”

  1. Journey is such an amazing game! I’m so jealous— I wish I could play it again but I don’t have a PlayStation anymore. You should check out Abzu! It’s like Journey but underwater. Very similar art style and wandering gameplay. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think it’s coming to the PC soon if you have one of those! I have Abzu but haven’t got around to playing yet… I need to fix that soon. Backlog struggles. You know how it goes, haha.

      Like

  2. Journey’s had a great and wonderful reputation, and it seems to be a lot of things that I look for in games. I still find myself unmotivated to seek it out, and I don’t entirely know why. Perhaps the idea of paying for something that, wonderful as it is, is only a couple hours long doesn’t quite match up for me. I don’t know.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yeah, I need to play this when it arrives on the PC. That’s this year at some point, I believe. I’m keeping myself busy with ABZU in the meantime.

    That and staring forlornly into the middle-distance. I’m getting good at that.

    Liked by 1 person

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