Zero Punctuation: Heavy Rain

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Joa_Belgium:
I feel obligated to jump into this discussion and tell this so-called critic and his followers what Heavy Rain is really about. This video that does nothing more and nothing less than rants on an ingenious game is in my opinion a valuable waste of internet space and the biggest load of ass paint I have ever seen.

From the review of Arkham Asylum:
"Consider me a praiser by exception and that everything I don't mention is perfectly fine."

You seem to be confused about the meaning of the word "critic".

crit·ic
(krtk)
n.
1. One who forms and expresses judgments of the merits, faults, value, or truth of a matter.
2. One who specializes especially professionally in the evaluation and appreciation of literary or artistic works: a film critic; a dance critic.
3. One who tends to make harsh or carping judgments; a faultfinder.

A critic is not someone who effusively gushes about how great something is; that is what is known as a shill, or possibly a Gamespot employee.
A critic offers criticism of something, in this instance, a game. If you are criticizing him for not giving Quantic Dream a lavish bouquet filled with praise, then you are not a legitimate critic in any sense of the word.

If you didn't get the point of the emotional immersion in the story and the bond you create with the characters, you have failed to understand the point of Heavy Rain. Do take notice of the fact that the majority of the reviewers are giving this game 90 at least.

Well, that shows what you know. Argumentum ad populum is not a logical argument, it is a fallacy that assumes because a lot of people agree upon something, then it must be true.
I certainly like your use of phrases like "emotional immersion" that could have been lifted straight from a press release.

That says a lot about you and your "understanding" of the fact that these characters are supposed to be portrayed as real people with a life. But apparently, all you want are artificial characters with no realistic background that are always getting their heads blown off for no apparent reason.

The name of this website is The Escapist. Most gamers do not play video games so they can simulate doing shit that they could easily do in real life. No one wants to play a washing machine emulator and no one wants to play a masturbation simulator. My point being, at no point in the review did he really criticize the characters, so you are just doing a knee-jerk defense against a straw man. Well done, you!

So in conclusion: you have lost all credibility, Yahtzee, if you ever had any to begin with. The only thing missing is the spoiling of the Origami Killer's identity. That would have really been the finishing touch on this mountain of wannabe review crap.

Who are you to declare this? The almighty critic god? It is clear that you are not looking at this review or subject objectively, but throwing ad hominems at a well-known and respected game critic for not giving the game a tongue bath implies that you are not a credible witness in this case, and you are just leaping off a cliff to fanatically defend a game that has "emotional immersion".

Yes, this is my opinion and I'm not changing a single word. Feel free to ban me.

It is unlikely that anyone will ban you. It is HIGHLY likely that people will call you out, rightfully, as someone who doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.

grimlockfly:
-snip-

Theres just one problem with all that. Those aren't actually plot holes. A plot hole is a "hole" in the sequence of events that make up the story. Like counting to twenty-three, but skipping two, but not twelve or twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, or twenty-three.

A proper plot hole, to use the biggest example in the last few years, is the watchmen movie. The plot starts off with Ozymandias murdering the comedian to protect his plan to achieve world peace. Which gets Rorschach investigating, so on, so forth. Except there was nothing the comedian could've discovered. Then when the only possible explanation (ozy told him) only raises even more glaring questions (they barely know each-other, why wait to kill him, why tell him at all, etc), you have a plot hole.

The things you listed can be explained pretty easily in the context of the story.

But yea, the problem with (to use the most pretentious term possible) "dynamic endings" is after a certain point, one of them is going to stand out as the absolute best with the rest being comparatively shit. But in the case of heavy rain, the only way to get the most awesome ending would be to know about it beforehand. Which is like knowing bruce willis is dead in the sixth sense before watching it. You could use one of those "spoiler-free" walkthroughs, but then you're not concentrating on the story, you're concentrating on executing the correct sequence to get the awesome ending.

Thank you for mentioning a frustration I've had before the game was released. Why couldn't they change the killer each time? The whodunnit element is set up so it's easy to find out who it is fairly early on. As for voice acting, the only one I really hated was Norman's voice, especially when he got angry.

Joa_Belgium:
I feel obligated to jump into this discussion and tell this so-called critic and his followers what Heavy Rain is really about. This video that does nothing more and nothing less than rants on an ingenious game is in my opinion a valuable waste of internet space and the biggest load of ass paint I have ever seen.

If you didn't get the point of the emotional immersion in the story and the bond you create with the characters, you have failed to understand the point of Heavy Rain. Do take notice of the fact that the majority of the reviewers are giving this game 90 at least. That says a lot about you and your "understanding" of the fact that these characters are supposed to be portrayed as real people with a life. But apparently, all you want are artificial characters with no realistic background that are always getting their heads blown off for no apparent reason.

So in conclusion: you have lost all credibility, Yahtzee, if you ever had any to begin with. The only thing missing is the spoiling of the Origami Killer's identity. That would have really been the finishing touch on this mountain of wannabe review crap.

Yes, this is my opinion and I'm not changing a single word. Feel free to ban me.

Oh, joy.

What characters were in this game exactly? Between the four protagonists, you could maybe muster up two dimensions between them. The Dad didn't have a personality until the first kid died, and even then it consisted of nothing more than "I'm sad" (yes, an understandable emotion, but like I said, it's the only trait that was applied to him, besides "devoted" after the second kid gets snatched. I guess he has the mutant power of gaining humanity after tragedy strikes); the Girl, well, Yahtzee pretty much summed up that she's only there to be exploited; the PI had the slightly interesting hook of having asthma, but that got dropped in favor of a twist that, even forgiving the huge narrative cheat (and it is a cheat, for those of you who know what it is), was dull and uninspired; FBI Guy had potential, but his side of the story amounted to a couple of cliches stapled together (good cop/bad cop on one hand, and the Hollywood version of drug-addict on the other, where the effects of said addiction is mere plot contrivance). These were about as artificial as characters get in any form of storytelling, existing only to recite the exact same tired lines as every bargain-basement TV movie.

And thank you for telling us all what Heavy Rain is really about. It's opened my eyes that we can bond with these dull people through shaving, brushing our teeth, and watching them walk into a wall for the 800th time while the camera and the controls decide whether or not to work properly. Personally, I'd rather have bonded with the character because they had some interesting quirk or were funny, or had some good cameraderie with the people around them, or were mysterious in some way, but I suppose that will have to do. I have seen the light!

All sarcasm aside: your holier-than-thou attitude towards the review is hilarious. Especially how you take the time to lecture us all on how great the game is, but really only sounding like David Cage's publicist. After all, it's hardly an either/or scenario between "emotionally immersive" vs. "heads blown off for no reason", as there are numerous games that can get the former without being pretentious swipes from bad films (see: Silent Hill 2, Psychonauts, Ico, Shenmue, Assassin's Creed, hell you can argue GTAIV, the Metal Gear series, or the Final Fantasy series all do this).

And you're certainly free to love Heavy Rain, no one here will stop you, but don't assume that those who don't are a bunch of plebians screaming 'EM0 F@G11!!1" at the thought of mature storytelling. :)

Joa_Belgium:
snip

Fanboy is pissed?

Let me just give you a quick summary of answers:

a)These are not serious reviews, but joke videos.
b)Real reviews mean jack shit. A game could recieve 100% from every reviewer in the world, but that does not mean it's good or that I have to like it. It just appeals to many people. See MW2.
c)I'd love to ban you simply for trying to come off as clever, acting as if the mods were very predictable by saying "feel free to ban me".

Keep your pants on, don't take a shit on my opinion as well, please. I love Heavy Rain. But as Yahtzee also stated, it's hardly a game - the term "interactive drama" the developers gave it fits it pretty nicely.

Brotherofwill:
Man I don't get Yatzhee sometimes. It's funny and he's a really great guy, but what's he exactly trying to get at?

He keeps on complaining about lazy sequels, cookie-cutter bland adventures and an overall lack of originality, but then he doesn't do anything about it. He keeps on reviewing shitty, mainstream titles instead of maybe branching out a bit to show us some better games. He said that 'noone likes it when I'm being nice', but that's just not true. His Psychonauts review owned, I bet thousands of people picked that up and tried it because of his recommendation. I did. He just doesn't do anything about it. He has a viewership of millions, he really could pitch some new concepts at us instead of whining and repeating the same tripe.

So the pacing is off? I strongly disagree. In order for these 'visceral' moments to work, the pacing has to be balanced with high to low moments. Like in great movies, starting slow is often extremely helpfull because it makes the more accelerated bits seem more extreme. It's supposed to be a murder mistery like 'Misery' or 'Don't Look Now', it's always good to set these up in the frameworks of common lifes to get the necessary shock value later on. U2 was great, but the shoot-bang-bang formula will only work so well, and no single moment is able to stand out. Excessive action is really a problem in modern entertainment.

I loved the beginning of this game. You really don't know what to expect. It starts incredibly slow. Ridiculously slow. I sure as hell made some jokes about it, while I was playing it (like shake contoller after the peeing animation), but it still worked because it was new and set the frame works. My mother was interested in the game from watching the first 10 minutes, that says it all (and she's very hard to get interested in games). The only thing she's been interested in in this medium is The Last Guardian, because it resembles the imaginative.

I don't mind that he doesn't like it. Hell there are loads of things that I didn't like about it. Voice acting was extremely unbalanced, it relied on a fair share of clichees and the timing that the game is on can be iritating at times. But it was a breath of fresh air in the current releases. Atleast he can highlight that it does some new things, instead of giving people the impression that this is a Sims game.

If you really thought he was going to like this game, you haven't really been paying attention.

For starters, Yahtzee's complaining and pretensions to some kind of greater standards have always been something of a joke. He's always contradicted himself on what he claims to want, and and he's always been more fanboyish about the few things he does like than than genuinely able to explain what they're great. Psychonauts is a perfect example- the game was fun, but it was hardly deserving of being placed above many of the games that he's reviewed. Or how about Painkiller, one of the dumbest, most simplistic shooters of the decade? It's fine if you like that sort of thing, but don't come to me afterward pretending that you're too good for Halo.

Until the day where Yahztee gives a good review to a game that it isn't cool to give a good review to, like, say, Halo, I'll never consider him a serious critic.

Second, Yahtzee has never liked games that put story over gameplay. He's complained about quick time events. He's never been patient with games. What, exactly, made you think he'd like Heavy Rain? Even if I did take him seriously, and even if I didn't personally find the idea behind Heavy Rain to be incredibly dull, I still wouldn't have expected him to like it.

BloodSquirrel:
Or how about Painkiller, one of the dumbest, most simplistic shooters of the decade? It's fine if you like that sort of thing, but don't come to me afterward pretending that you're too good for Halo.

Until the day where Yahztee gives a good review to a game that it isn't cool to give a good review to, like, say, Halo, I'll never consider him a serious critic.

He didn't give Halo 3 a bad review, you know. He just said that the hype surronding it was empty. He was merely umipressed by the game, contrasting the pasting his true hates receive.

Your criterion for taking him seriously demands the occurance of a game not cool to give a good review to being worth giving a good review to. I'm not implying anything about the likelihood of that, but it's a weird prerequisite that demands such a cooincidence.

A1:

JaredXE:

A1:

delta46:
WAnk!
wank !
Wank!
Wank!

I'm glad that someone saw it was just a big quicktime event

Excuse me? At what point did Yahtzee actually describe the game as such?

I believe it's the part where he says the QTE's are the core, skin, seed and whole fucking apple tree of the game.

But that's because I payed attention.

I payed attention to that too. He never uses the words "a big quicktime event".

And sorry if I come off as rude but it seems that you're just using your own preconceived idea as an interpretation of Yahtzee's words. One could just as easily say that Yahtzee means that QTEs are a very essential part of the game. This would seem to be an especially valid interpretation in light of the fact that he also indicates that QTE's are not the only part of the game.

I wonder if this is how cults get started.

Another over hyped game receives justice along with a "I liked it" between the lines... nice.

Fronzel:
He didn't give Halo 3 a bad review, you know. He just said that the hype surronding it was empty. He was merely umipressed by the game, contrasting the pasting his true hates receive.

Calling something mediocre and saying nothing good about it is giving it a bad review. He's given much worse, but it's still a bad review.

Fronzel:

Your criterion for taking him seriously demands the occurance of a game not cool to give a good review to being worth giving a good review to. I'm not implying anything about the likelihood of that, but it's a weird prerequisite that demands such a cooincidence.

Hardly.

There are plenty of games/movies/music that it's cool to hate that, nonetheless, sell very well. Somebody must like them. People who are expressing honest, independently derived opinions are bound to like some things that it's cool to hate, especially considering people's propensity to hate on things that they've never even bothered to experience for themselves en mass.

Never giving something higher praise than the nearest gaming forum will give it means that you're either incapable of developing your own opinions or just not being honest about them.

Wow judging by the comments he's really got up the arse of some Heavy Rain fans on this one.

Keep up the good work then.

And this was the game we were all urged to go and buy to make a point to game developers even without the console to play it?

I actually enjoyed this game, but like he said, there's a super happy ending and as far as I'm concerned, I got it. I didn't really want to go back and play the worse endings, I liked the characters too much for that. this game is great, definately go pick it up if you can. The characters are alot more likeable and relatable then many game characters in even some rpgs.

On the bit after 0:26, am I the only one who felt a little bit offended on behalf of the Escapist's very own Movie Critic, AKA Screw Attack's "The Game Overthinker"?

Say what you want about Heavy Rain, (though I do agree with just about everything Yahtzee has said), at least Heavy Rain is trying to make an interesting story and is putting story in front of everything else, and is trying to push the medium into an art form. Sure, a equal amount of gameplay and story would be appeciated, for god knows that this game controls like the original Resident Evil. However, if Heavy Rain flops, expect story to be left in some dumpster and every game to ever be made for the next decade to be only about space marines and things one would expect to see in a Michel Bay film.

Not G. Ivingname:
Say what you want about Heavy Rain, (though I do agree with just about everything Yahtzee has said), at least Heavy Rain is trying to make an interesting story and is putting story in front of everything else, and is trying to push the medium into an art form. Sure, a equal amount of gameplay and story would be appeciated, for god knows that this game controls like the original Resident Evil. However, if Heavy Rain flops, expect story to be left in some dumpster and every game to ever be made for the next decade to be only about space marines and things one would expect to see in a Michel Bay film.

Good. It will keep him the hell away from Transformers.

Can I just say I'm glad to see a first page that has everything BUT "LOL FIRST" or "GUD REVIEW MAN," Hence the lack of bans.

My question is... where does he stand? Is it bland and boring or is it worth the 5 hour wait and the 5 hour developing process (Indigo Prophecy came out in like 2004 or 5 right?). I'm not sure.

I thought Heavy Rain was a refreshing game. It's a step towards what is a fantastic and ambitious concept. Liked it more than I thought I would, and not as much as I hoped I would. I have a list of bothers that the review touched upon - and some it didn't. The inconsistency in voice acting and character models is my main gripe; some characters look fantastic whereas some just dont look "right" (Lauren anyone?). The plotholes people have been whinging about are indeed not nearly as much of a problem as the games deceptively linear story.

As for the subject of replayability - In fairness to David Cage, who directed the game, I read an interview recently in the Culture section of The Sunday Times where he said that ideally he'd only have gamers be allowed to play the game once and have to live with their decisions... While ultimately unrealistic I think this is a very interesting idea, especially considering the all-too-forgiving "moral choice" systems touted by so many games at the moment.

If it's just a big quick time event the dosen't that make it an "Interactive Moive"?

Joa_Belgium:
I feel obligated to jump into this discussion and tell this so-called critic and his followers what Heavy Rain is really about. This video that does nothing more and nothing less than rants on an ingenious game is in my opinion a valuable waste of internet space and the biggest load of ass paint I have ever seen.

If you didn't get the point of the emotional immersion in the story and the bond you create with the characters, you have failed to understand the point of Heavy Rain. Do take notice of the fact that the majority of the reviewers are giving this game 90 at least. That says a lot about you and your "understanding" of the fact that these characters are supposed to be portrayed as real people with a life. But apparently, all you want are artificial characters with no realistic background that are always getting their heads blown off for no apparent reason.

So in conclusion: you have lost all credibility, Yahtzee, if you ever had any to begin with. The only thing missing is the spoiling of the Origami Killer's identity. That would have really been the finishing touch on this mountain of wannabe review crap.

Yes, this is my opinion and I'm not changing a single word. Feel free to ban me.

hahahahahahahaha
do you need a tissue?

wow, that might be the funniest Zero Punctuation episode I have ever seen. And I have seen them all.

Hilarious.

Not G. Ivingname:
However, if Heavy Rain flops, expect story to be left in some dumpster and every game to ever be made for the next decade to be only about space marines and things one would expect to see in a Michel Bay film.

This is a common sentiment. Too bad its utter crap. Heavy Rain is not the last hurrah of story. It might be the last hurrah of quantic dream, but story will always be a viable tool to set products apart from, well, halo.

Heavy Rain's problems are the same problems of indigo prophecy (other than the batshit insane second half), the illusion of interactivity is paper thin and it takes only one stray realization or repeated sequence to utterly shred it. Once gone, heavy rain / indigo prophecy becomes nothing but a really long movie on a malfunctioning DVD player with a weird remote.

Now, if bioshock had flopped, yea, story would've been done for.

phlegethonic:
snip

I was going to take him to task, but you beat me to it. Yatzhee has really gotten the fanboys' cocks in a knot over this one.

I don't have a PS3, but I'd heard the story was excellent, so I read a walkthrough. If Heavy Rain was a movie, it would be decent, but hardly groundbreaking. It's just like too many other serial-killer race-against time stories. It's not a bad example, but it doesn't hold a candle to something like Silence of the Lambs.

Hopeless Bastard:

A proper plot hole, to use the biggest example in the last few years, is the watchmen movie. The plot starts off with Ozymandias murdering the comedian to protect his plan to achieve world peace. Which gets Rorschach investigating, so on, so forth. Except there was nothing the comedian could've discovered. Then when the only possible explanation (ozy told him) only raises even more glaring questions (they barely know each-other, why wait to kill him, why tell him at all, etc), you have a plot hole.

I take it you never read the comic. The movie's biggest sin is that plot hole, because there was a ton of background material associated with it. In the novel, Ozymandius constructs a dead Elder Abomination and teleports it into the middle of New York using a reactor he'd been developing independently of Manhattan. The point was that Earth would believe a massive alien being had somehow intersected with our plane of reality, and the world powers would join together to make sure it couldn't happen again. The inspiration for the story was a Reagan quote "it would be great if there were otherworldly invaders, so humanity would be forced to work together..." Blaming it on Manhattan makes less sense(Manhattan is still alive-could the world do anything to him?) and makes Ozymandius more evil(and easier for audiences to hate him)by betraying a friend. The Comedian was hired by the government to find out where all the scientists that Ozymandius recruited had gone. Comedian saw the Abomination, and pretty much turned into a gibbering mess before he could tell his superiors. Ozymandius still deemed him enough of a risk to kill. Instead of a story that made sense, they kept Night Owl II's impotence scene.. Good decision there, Snyder.

And Ozymandius was never openly gay in the book. The most the comic says on the subject comes from Rorschach as he's digging through Ozymandius's files.

"Possible homosexual. Must investigate further."

1- Nice try with Heavy Rain to "change" what a video game is, but needs a bit more work. 2-Thanks to Yahtzee for doing what he does every week. 3-Ever consider going way back to old school games for some mini reviews? And by old school I don't mean Atari or ColecoVision.... because that would bring back lots of painful childhood memories...

Great video as always. I still think that if they marketed Heavy Rain as an interactive movie instead of a game people wouldn't have as big a problem with it.

"Weird black thing found dead. No one cares."

That was funny.

At least the game gets better.

Cheers! Excellent review, with quite the semi-spoiler. Though it doesn't surprise me that that detail stays the same. The creator/wannabe writer is horrible at making a plot.

Perfect review hahaha.

Exactly what I thought about the beginning. Fahrenheit's opening gripped you and pulled you in, heavy rain made it so you had to "stick it through" the shitty part of the game.

Glad to see that even through all the outrageous hype there is at least something decent buried in there. Still, I don't have a PS3, and I wouldn't be buying this game even if I did because of the pretentious attitude of David Cage. Contrary to popular belief he's not the first person to try and inject emotional content into a game.

The responses to ZP are always funny. You can tell people just fast forward to the end and get the last line and go "hurr hurr [insert last line here] very funny Yahtzee". The video length and just people's chances of watching the video right as it comes out show that people don't even watch the video before responding. What is the point? I think most people are not going to read your pathetic 1 line response.

Heck no one will even read my response so why am I bothering...?

Anyway, sounds like Heavy Rain is not for me, I'm glad when PS3 exclusives come out and suck. Makes me glad I have an Xbox 360. I just wish I could play God of War III, inFamous and Uncharted. Seems like they are the only 3 exclusives worth my time. Really come to think of it Xbox is just as bad. PC gaming for the win! Get most of the console games, with better graphics, modding etc, but that is a tale for another day.

game looks amazing and looking forward to picking up real soon after I beat FF 13 and God Of War 3

Heppenfeph:
Great video as always. I still think that if they marketed Heavy Rain as an interactive movie instead of a game people wouldn't have as big a problem with it.

I doubt it, to be honest. I think the gameplay mechanic is probably one of the stronger points of this title. My main disappointment with Heavy Rain was how absolutely shitty its plot and writing were. SamElliot'sMustache sums up my opinion of the plot very nicely. Marketing this game as an interactive movie would have drawn more attention to its story-telling component, and more people would have complained about the lack of quality in that department, rather than giving it a pass because the gameplay was good.

"Non-standard Game Over"?

I hesitate to ask, but is it possible that Yahtzee...is a fellow troper?

I'm glad to see someone come down from the "don't want to throw out any spoilers" pedestal long enough to give me an honest assessment of how it all ends up. Basically what this review told me is that it has absolutely zero replay value for me.

phlegethonic:
-snip-

My, my! Witty and logical, is that allowed?

Welcome to the Escapist.

I bought Heavy Rain at the full whack and it wasn't really worth it. I can see that it'd be great to play as a rental, but that's all. It takes about eight hours to complete it properly and it has zero replayability.

This is the first game in a while I've actually played before seeing the ZP review.
Not Yahtzee's funniest I must say.
The game definitely had a lot of flaws, but it more than made up for them in its uniqueness and how VERY engaging it was.
I think the criticisms of the dull parts of the game (going through characters mundane daily routines) are far overblown. You spend a very minute portion of the game actually doing stuff like that.
He does make a really good point about replayability though. You can get different outcomes, but really, the whole interest of the game is finding out who the killer is (which turned out to be a massive disappointment I must add).
For me the most disappointing thing was the ending that didn't make a whole lot of sense (mostly to do with who the killer was, and the plot holes it entailed).
Other than that it was a pretty rewarding experience. Sure the plot and characters are mostly over-baked stereotypes, but this is a video game we are talking about here...

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