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So I have been lacking on my blogging lately. It's been 8 days since I last posted on here and I felt I should put something up, even if it is lackluster.

My life lately has been consumed partially by the Winter Olympics, as it's going on in my country. Not close enough for me to go see, but still fun to watch. It is fantastic for my other collecting love. See, I'm a video game collector only as a secondary hobby, it's not quite the top of my list, but has been pushing lately. My other love is game used/autographed sports memorabilia. I have been glued to not only the games, but to the ebay store of the 2010 Olympics.. watching.. waiting.. hoping that I can score something. As we speak I am counting down an hour to the next lot of items up. I am also counting down the three hours to the game used hockey pucks that are on. Bored yet? lol

So to this point I ask all of you, is video game collecting you primary hobby, or do you have something else that catches your fancy?

1- The game used/autographed sports goods
2- Video games

That's it for me in order. Once the games are over, I'll be fully back into the video gaming blog, so for the three people who are wondering where I've gone, I'm still here, just distracted.

And I leave you with a few thoughts....

You know you're a gamer when...

you play for hours, but the controls are so automatic for you that when someone asks what to push for jump, you actually have to think about it...

you consider playing MAG with someone a date

when something goes wrong, you try to remember when you last saved, but you realize that it's real life

when you and your buddies try to figure out if guitar hero/rockband actually has a story line

There it is, my lackluster update of my life, and pathetic excuse for a blog topic. lol

See you after the games!


Heavy Rain was promoted to be an interactive film experience, a game-movie where your choices in the game will truly change the outcome of the story.

Is this game truly as ground breaking as it was promised to be or did Quantic Dream bite off more then they could chew?

Press the more button and find out!

The first thing about Heavy Rain that stood out to me is the origami folding lesson you get during the installation of the game. It teaches you how to fold the signature origami figure (see poster) of the Origami Killer and keeps you busy during the lengthy installation procedure. Around the time you've completed your figure the game is ready to go. Because this game is so heavily story driven I will try to spoil as little as possible, so don't be afraid to read on ;)

Graphics
The visuals in Heavy Rain are amazing! 99% of the textures are extremely detailed and crisp and the facial animations are unprecedented. They really make you feel with your characters and they truly show and transfer their emotions through the screen.
The different area's in the game are very detailed and diverse, from a shopping mall and a police station to a virtual reality world on mars and a dirty garage.

Gameplay
Heavy Rain is a very unorthodox game, you don't really control your character but you "guide" him/her and interact with objects and people with quick time events and icons that show your options. For instance when you open a cabinet (by making a semi-circle with your right analog stick) you get a number of icons which show your options, moving your right analog stick up will make you reach for the painkillers, moving it left will make you take the bandages etc.
In action scenes you're not just using the right analog stick but also the shoulder and action buttons. You have to press the button on screen as fast as possible in these quick time events, like the way you do in God of War.
The main gameplay element that makes Heavy Rain special are the choices you have to make in conversations and actions. Will you respond calm or agressive towards your superior? Will you reason with the robber or will you shoot him? All these choices affect the game in a drastic manner. It can result in the death of main characters, missing out scenes and creating a whole different ending to the game. I have tested this by playing a chapter where you face a robber a few times and by making different choices I really did get different results, by slowly picking up a bottle on my way to the robber I got to knock him out before he could cause any harm. But when I replayed it and dropped the bottle the robber noticed me and I had to reason with him in order to not get shot. During this reasoning I could choose to be agressive towards him or compassionate which both resulted in a different ending of the scene.

Story
Heavy Rain is all about the story. Without spoiling too much I can see that it is an emotional thriller that really makes you question your ethics and behavior in the game. Every time you make a choice you will wonder if you did the right thing, especially in the scenes where you decide between life and death.
Thanks to the great voice acting (which is a little accented sometimes, but that didn't bother me) and the amazing facial features you really feel for the four main characters Ethan, Norman, Scott and Madison which makes it more gripping to see them succeed or fail in their goals.

Conclusion
For me personally Heavy Rain has been a hell of a ride and I will definately replay it a couple of times to see different endings, but I do realise that this game isn't made for the majority of gamers. With it's slow start, vast amount of cutscenes and indirect control over the characters this game is not the adrenaline thrill ride most MW2-lovers would dig.
But if you're up for a heavy emotional thriller that will suck you in and not let you go untill you've seen the end and you're not afraid to get used to the unorthodox controls Heavy Rain will be one of the best games you'll ever get to play!