Review: Pain

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The game has been out for some time. This downloadable title looks to bring an interesting concept to games: People in giant slingshots. There’s just one question. Are you ready for the Pain?

When you first download this game and dig a little into it, you’ll see that you don’t get everything that’s available. That’s right. This is a basic game with extras that can be bought later on. Extra costumes, different people to throw, and other various items to be purchased (rather cheaply), downloaded, and added to the game. Personally, I don’t really like it. If something is available when the game is released, it should come with the game. It just makes common sense. I don’t mind if they give you things later on to purchase, but releasing this stuff seperately upon launch? Rediculas.

Besides that minor gripe, my experience with the game has been pretty pleasent. It’s good old fashioned slapstick with some interesting uses of destructable environments and physics. Just about everything -short of the entire buildings themselves- is destructable. Glass breaks, boxes explode, even trains can get derailed. “But how do you destroy these things?”, you ask. Simple. You adjust your aim and slingshot (or ‘lob’, as your flight path will have an arch to it more often than not) your person towards it. In the air you can adjust your movement slightly, and even reach out to grab on to things or strike a pose for 1000 bonus points. Depending on the game mode, you get scored for various different reasons, gain trophies for completing certain tasks, etc. But the damage you can do is pretty impressive for such a small game. I think it was just shy of 400 MB’s? To put that into perspective, the Heavenly Sword Demo was around 900 MB’s. Yeah.

The amount of detail put into the city is impressive. The models are all fairly generic looking, but the number of things you can do in game is crazy. One time I shot myself into an underground subway, got hit by 3 exploding boxes, and ended up on the railroad tracks just in time to watch the train run me over. Obviously this game wasn’t meant to be realisitic looking, or else they would have gotten a lot of flack from parents. It’s cartoon-like style and bloodless graphics really help establish a fairly child friendly atmosphere. That’s not to say you should let your 6 year old play this game. However, if they happen to see you play it, it’s a safe bet that they won’t try to build a human-sized slingshot of their own.

The only really annoying part of the game is the voices of the people you throw. They all have 5 or 6 different sayings that they randomly go through while being flung. After a while, you’ll be VERY glad they gave you the option to mute your ragdoll ammunition. The soundtrack is typical of this kind of game: Hard guitar riffs. The sound effects are good enough, but nothing spectacular. If you’re careful, however, you’ll notice some sounds that change volume depending on your proximity to them. For example, if you enter the subway, you can hear a guy over the PA system announcing strange things like “Attention: I need a hug.”.

All in all this is a pretty good game. Is it worth the money? Perhaps. But don’t expect it to have much of a lifespan. It’s fun for a while, but I get the feeling it will get boring once you discover all the neat little tricks. Unless, of course, you are easily amused by destruction and chaos, or are an absolute point whore and have a competition going with a few friends.

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