Saturday, January 28, 2012

Real World Implifications: Heavy Rain

First I talked about Shadows of the Colossus (this game sucks) and now I'm going to talk about Heavy Rain (2010).  Like SotH, I haven't played this game but I found some of the themes mildly interesting.  Actually, I think I prefer Heavy Rain more purely because it's in the real-world and actually feels more relate able.  But that's just me.  ONCE AGAIN, THIS IS NOT A GAME REVIEW.  And I know David Cage is a conceited dick, don't need to remind me.  THIS IS SEGA-RELATED IF YOU JUST BEAR WITH ME FOR A SECOND.

A beautiful game...if you like crap olive/brown colors, that is.

In case you have no clue what this game's about, let me clue you into to the prelude: the game focuses on Ethan Mars, a family man with a wife and two sons.  One of his sons, Jason, gets lost in a mall and is struck by a car and killed.  Ethan leaps in the way as Jason is struck and is knocked into a coma for three months.  He awakes to find his life miserable, his wife left and he hardly gets along with his other son, Shaun.

Bonding time between a father and his son.

Then, as you may guess, Shaun is KIDNAPPED BY THE ORIGAMI KILLER.  OH SNAP!!  Not wanting to lose his other son, Ethan goes on a wild goose chase trying to save Shaun.  The Origami Killer kidnaps little boys (oh dear) and drowns them when the rain reaches six inches high.  There's four playable characters--Ethan the dad, Madison the photojournalist babe (reminds me of a white Alyx Vance for some reason), Jayden the FBI agent who looks like Neo from the Matrix, and Shelby, the fat detective (f*** yeah, I root for fat people).


The gameplay is entirely based on QTE's.  Just like Shenmue.  Whether or not it's fighting off bad guys, finding clues, or cooking eggs, it's all based on arbitrary button pressing.  Thankfully, it's not crap QTE's like in NFS: The Run.  The QTE interface is really neat--icons float around the screen--better than a flat image of the button you have to press.  You can tell the devs put a lot of time into the interface and it pays off.  Eventually, if you play your cards right, all the characters will converge on Shaun's location before he is drowned by the Origami Killer.

Like Shadows of the Colossus, this game is really dark and, in some places, really violent.  Plus it entirely cutscene-based so it's all about those QTE's which can get tedious or old after a while.  For that alone, it really makes me not want to play it.  But it also has its own intriguing parts which I'll mention now:


Ethan receives a bunch of tasks from the Origami Killer, written inside origami paper figurines.  For each goal he completes, he receives a hint on where Shaun's location is.  He has five goals.  If he completes all five, he's given the address to his exact location.  It's entirely possible for Ethan to skip one or more of these goals but that means fewer hints for him to use.  Here are the goals:

1. Drive five miles along a highway into oncoming traffic.  Channeling his inner NFS skills, he dodges traffic, construction workers, and cops...  Regardless of your ability to do the QTE's, Ethan won't crash, he'll just rub off the other cars.  Eventually, Ethan rolls his car after completing the task.  Then he must escape NFS: The Run style but rather than dodge a train, his car catches on fire.  The clue was inside the GPS all this time, rofl.

2. He visits an old warehouse and crawls through a narrow tunnel full of broken glass with only a match to light the way.  Then he must navigate through an electric fence to the second clue.  Shocking.

3. Eat a plate full of worms (sorry this ain't Fear Factor) In a decrepit old apartment, Ethan has five minutes to cut off his pinky finger in front of a webcam.  Find knives, saws, pliers, hot irons to cauterize the wound, etc. to help make it easier.  You don't see the cut but the game basically freaks out as you try to do this.  Ethan's reaction is anything but pleasant.

4. Ethan is provided with a handgun and must break into a man's apartment and execute him at gunpoint.  The man is apparently a drug dealer who sells crack to little kids.  Sure he's a bad man but...can you go through with taking another man's life?

5. The most fun of them all--Ethan is provided with a vial of poison that will kill him in an hour--enough time to save Shaun but that's it.  Can you go through with it?  Get this though...the poison isn't actually lethal though Ethan obviously thinks it does at first.

There's much more to the game than these trials.  Ethan runs from the cops and Jayden & Madison search for clues and get into fight sequences.  In the end, if you play your cards right, Ethan finds out who the Origami Killer is and...:

It's Shelby the fat detective (damn, and I really wanted to cheer for the fat one thinks they can win but I do!).  Here's the reason why he would do such a thing...When he was a kid, his brother drowned while his drunk father refused to help.  Therefore, Shelby has been searching for a father who would go to great lengths to save his son to compensate for the father who did nothing to help his brother.

I'm willing to bet that this is EXACTLY the same mindset that Sega has.  Think about it--Sega got jacked up, lost $1.5 billion and went third party.  They were the laughing stock of the game industry.  They lost EVERYTHING.  So Sega is very stingy on the games they will release.  They're looking for brave souls who are willing to drive off the cliff too just to make a couple of games.  You want Daytona 3, Shenmue 3--this is your only shot.  Willing to go through the trials of sticking it out in the game industry for years and years until Sega calls you up.  DO NOT DOUBT ME.

If Sega had to give me five trials, this is what they would be:

1. Play Fast & the Furious for six hours straight.
2. Visit the EA studios.  Shout about how much Need for Speed blows and how much better Daytona & OutRun are.  Run for dear life from angry employees and security.
3. Get schooled by a Signapore pro at Daytona USA multiplayer, therefore scarring your confidence for decades.
4. Light an old Daytona USA 2 cabinet on fire.
5. Delete this blog permanently with no traces remaining.

Man, I'm pissin' all over these "emotional" games.  If I want an emotional plot--how about I just play Daytona, or Scud Race, or OutRun.  You're a driver who's risking it all to come in first place.  The course is tough but it's a beautiful day.  You need to be optimistic through dark times.  So go away, all of you.  Enough of this crap.

White people.


  1. Good start to your post - but I had to skip some of it due to the potential spoilers! LOL - I just started playing this game recently, so I'll have to see if I can weigh in a bit more later on it.

  2. THANKS FOR SUBSCRIBING!!! Yeah, I assumed most people already played or didn't care about spoilers so you missed the good parts, lol.