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Rain - PSN - Out Now


Capwn
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I'm sure there has been a thread made for this but I can't find one anywhere. If there isn't that's mental. Anyway, I bought it and erm sort of got hooked into it and finished it in one play through (About 3 hours). It's basically another 'The Unfinished Swan/Papa and Yo' affair, another art house PSN game. The core gimmick here is that you play a character that can become invisible in certain areas though mechanically it's really just like running into shadows in a stealth game. Just looks cooler. There are some puzzles along the way but none are there to halt your progress for too long, like the recently released Brothers on the Xbox the game keeps pushing you forward. My favorite aspect of the game really was just navigating the environment rather than working out ways of getting past enemies. There was just something about the mystery of it all that kept me hooked, I'm still not sure what to make of the conclusion but it did feel anti climatic.

Whilst it seems quite arty and fresh you find yourself doing lots of old cliches such as pushing blocks around and also a cliche involving stepladders. Normally this would annoy me but there is just this really odd charm that oozes out of this game.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Completed this last night. It's a beautiful, delicate little game, which in it's own understated way, recalls memories of Ico's quiet grandeur.

Rain's quaint French town is obviously a very different backdrop to Ico's castle walls (although they're both framed in a similar manner), but the pervasive feeling of being in danger, and the focus on companionship rekindles memories of my time spent guiding Yorda to safety.

It's a simple game, and not even deceptively so. You walk, run, jump and have one action button, and that's it. The puzzles are so faint that they are ultimately little more than stumbling blocks. Yet in spite or maybe in part due to it's simplicity, it is a very comfortable game to play, with a very serene atmosphere, complimented by one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard for a game of this sort. The game uses this atmosphere well, in particular when The Unknown (your Nemesis like pursuer), gives chase.

Those looking for deep play mechanics will find little to get stuck into, but there's a good sense of pace, and the few tricks needed to progress through the world are well executed.

The game doesn't hang itself on a deep narrative, but you do become invested in seeing what becomes of the characters and the odd world you inhabit. The final two chapters (which are comfortably the most enjoyable), do give events context and resolution.

It's cliché, but Rain really is a game which offers more than the sum of it's parts. Much like how a simple snow globe can hold a special sort of appeal, even amongst so many more sophisticated digital trinkets, Rain's charms have an almost timeless appeal, and whilst it's very difficult to recommend it on any one thing, (although the soundtrack is outstanding), taken as a whole, Rain is a beautiful way to spend three and a bit hours, and I can honestly say that I'm keen to return to it, and just spend some time wandering amongst its peaceful streets.

Whilst I wouldn't choose to score it, the 7's it's been receiving seem to be a good indication of where to set your expectations. Although with games like this, Journey, Flower and others, I do truly believe that trying to pin some numerical value of worth to it, is an increasingly futile endeavour.

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