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  1. Game: Heavy Rain. Platform: PS3 exclusive. ArdillaVerde93's tagline: This... is... JAAAAAAAASOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!! "I love using motion controls for these Quick Time Events!" Before the game I'm gonna be talking about came out, saying that would've probably earned you a sound ass-kicking. Quick Time Events are cutscenes that require the player to perform certain button presses and/or movements in order to progress. Failure usually results in damage, or even death, to the player's character. Because of the usual suddenness of their appearance, which catches players, who put the controller down to watch what they think is a normal cutscene, off guard, they're commonly hated. So, what did developer Quantic Dream do? They made a game out of the parts of other games that people hate! That ballsy move is what brought us what turned out to be one of my favorite games. I speak, of course, of Heavy Rain. Heavy Rain is certainly an odd breed of game. As I said before, the gameplay is composed almost entirely of Quick Time Events, which can take some time to get used to. Once you've got the hang of it, though, it's quite innovative. At times, it can be a bit confusing, though, mainly during "The Bear," if you're looking for the "Kamikaze" Trophy. Not to mention, it'll twist your fingers into pretzels, mainly during "The Butterfly." If it becomes problematic, though, you can change the difficulty, so it's a non-issue. So, that's the controls out of the way. Heavy Rain stars 4 otherwise unconnected people, on the hunt for a killer, who, save for their alias, is unknown. The killer is simply known as "the Origami Killer," due to their victims being found with an origami figure. Each of the 4 characters has a storyline, and their own reasons for wanting to find this killer. Ethan Mars is an architect whose son was taken by the Origami Killer. Madison Paige is a journalist in search of the truth. Norman Jayden is an FBI agent who was assigned to the case. Finally, Scott Shelby is a private investigator who works with the families of the killer's victims. 4 characters doesn't mean 4 separate playthroughs, though; you play as all 4 at different points throughout the game. That doesn't mean that every playthrough is the same, though; not by a long shot. Throughout the game, you are faced with options. Your decisions actually have an impact on the game. Examples include... *Do you kill that man, or pistol whip him into unconsciousness and pretend you did? *Do you try reasoning with a religious maniac who thinks your friend is the son of Satan, or shoot him? Even the way you talk to people can make a difference in this game. It's that kind of innovation that immerses you in the game. Rather than feeling like you're playing a game, you feel like you're actually a part of it! Every choice you make could be the difference between life and death, sometimes literally. I can't explain too much of the storyline without spoilers, so I'll talk about the other aspects of the game. You probably know this already, but PS3 games are on Blu-Ray discs(which justified the PS3's ridiculously high price of around $500 at release, as Blu-Ray was, at the time, a new, and expensive, technology. For anyone who wants to know, mine, which I got a couple of years ago for Christmas, cost $120, but that was a Black Friday deal.), so they can hold inordinate amounts of data. Later games, such as Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and even some early games, like LittleBigPlanet, show that off quite well. Lush, striking graphics, immersive sound, and a wealth of content are all fairly commonplace on the polished black powerhouse. As for Heavy Rain? Well, you can certainly tell it's a next-gen game. The graphics are nice for an early PS3 game, and the soundtrack is absolutely breathtaking, and chilling at times. As far as content goes, there are several different endings to reward players for choosing different options, but, other than that, you pretty much just get the equivalent of DVD bonus features(concept art, making of, and trailers.). There's no postgame, unfortunately, but there's not really a need for one, since, no matter what ending you get, everything is wrapped up pretty nicely, story-wise. That's also why there's no sequel. A movie was in the works, but, as far as I know, it was scrapped. Basically, despite its innovations, Heavy Rain isn't flawless. You have to admit, though, making "Quick Time Event: The Game" was a risky move that, ironically, paid off pretty well. Even riskier was allowing the PlayStation Move controller(a set of 2 specialized motion controllers, used alongside a USB camera.) to be used, which, by the way, is a perfectly viable option. There were only a couple of times(such as the flashback level with young Scott, for example.) when I thought "this isn't working; if I wanna do this right, I'll have to switch to my DualShock 3(the standard controller that came with my system.)." Taking risks isn't something you see too often in this age of Call Of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, but Heavy Rain pulled it off with aplomb. By the way, I realize I'm a hypocrite for calling out COD and GTA for being repetitive, considering I'm obsessed with Pokémon, and I just spent a good portion of last night immersed in Saints Row: The Third. It's still a valid argument, though. Anyway, I'm quickly running out things to say here, so let's get to my rating. I give Heavy Rain 4 out of 5. It's full of thrills and suspense to keep you going until you get all of the endings, but, unless you're going for Trophies, the thrills don't last long. Oh, and, by the way, my tagline for this review is based on a meme involving one of the first levels of the game. Look up "Heavy Rain Jason," or "Press X To Jason," and you'll see what I mean. Memes aside, Heavy Rain is proof that you don't have to join the crowd to make a good game. I apologize for throwing around the word "innovative," but, other than "awesome," that's one of the best words to use to describe Heavy Rain. If you have a PS3, give serious consideration to this game. Get the Director's Cut version, if you can find it; it's not too expensive, to my knowledge, and it comes with a voucher for the soundtrack, and another one for DLC.
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