|System: PS3 (PSN)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Idol Minds||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEA (SONY)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 28, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Even though the single player modes are pretty fun, I have to say that my favorite part of Pain had to be the multiplayer modes. These modes are quite different from the single-player games, and make surprisingly interesting party games. I mean, nothing says "It's a party" like giant slingshots with hapless characters falling into increasingly painful situations, right? The first mode is Horse, and like you might expect, this mode entails some bitter one-on-one competition. Essentially Horse lets you pick a target and hit it with all your best moves. Then, once it is your opponent's turn, they will have to hit that same target, but try and pull off even sweeter moves to get a better score than you did. If you win, nothing happens. If you lose, you get a single letter from the word "Horse" added to your name. The first person to get enough letters to spell the whole word loses.
The next multiplayer mode is fun with explosives, which challenges you to hit as many explosive crates during a turn as possible. This mode is probably the best for social or familial get-togethers because turns are rather short, and watching your Pain character bounce from explosive to explosive is just hilarious. Bowling has you using your pain character as a human bowling ball. You can bowl over either mimes or bowling pins, and you can use all your fancy moves to try and get the much-coveted strike. However, this is multiplayer, and while you may be catapulting your way to a sure-strike, your opponent can do something dastardly like drop an explosive or a granny on you, hence derailing your perfect launch completely and making you very sad.
As for the look of this game, it's not the best looking PS3 game we've ever seen, but the graphics do it justice. The whole idea is to see your character interact with his environment in painful yet hilarious ways, and the graphics really achieve this. Although none of the falls are graphic in any way (the whole game is bloodless), you can still feel the pain every time your character takes a dive.
Another way where you can feel the pain in Pain is through the sound. Although the music is largely forgettable, the voice acting is not. Your character seems so excited to get hurt, and then when he does, he sounds like he is in total agony, but he also loves it. Honestly, pain in real life doesn't sound this good, but I must reiterate, no one is playing Pain for the realism. Pain is all about escapism and chucking people through slingshots. And the fact that your character sounds hilarious doing it is just that much better.
Honestly, Pain has been one of my most anticipated titles this year. Of course it can't compare to some of this year's bigger releases, but I am a girl of simple tastes. I thoroughly enjoyed Pain, chiefly because even though it has a simple premise, it creates memorable gameplay through very tight and precise controls, and some extremely interesting modes of play. So while you may be trying to get rid of some of the pain this holiday season, I invite you to let Pain in! You just may find that it earns a special place in your warm, evil, pain-inflicting heart!
CCC Freelance Writer