Here’s a little review for Heavy Rain if anyone’s interested in playing it (Spoiler Free at face value).
I finished Heavy Rain over the weekend (completely finished). It’s not a traditional action game, more like an old school adventure game or pick-a-path adventure. Remember Dragon’s Lair? Just like that but with more drama and nekid people.
All I can say is don’t read any spoilers. If you find out whodunnit before you play the game, it completely derails the tension and mystery.
Great story – great endings (all 18 of them!). For the first time in awhile, I actually felt bad for the characters when they failed at something.
Four main characters to play through offer a lot of variety in pacing.
Tons of unique animations (3000+?).
Solid “real world” environment art and lighting, with great water FX.
A fitting soundtrack / theme.
Fantastic interface, clean and simple! The ARI gadget is really sweet. I want one.
Poor use of the interface. The button combinations are based on reflex, not memory. There’s no “remembering” to achieving the corrected combinations, only how fast you recognize the action and complete it before time runs out.
The majority of moving your character and actions is done with the right analog stick. Most games use the left stick. I kept finding myself shoving the wrong stick.
Also, the character moves in relation to the TV screen. At one moment, you’ll be moving the character to the left side (so they walk forward). Then the camera changes so you’re walking to the right. If you’re still holding your stick to the left, this will cause the character to turn around and walk back where you came. (Once you start walking in a direction, you can let go of the stick.)
There’s no way to skip the 300+ cutscenes. You have to sit through each and every second, even if you’ve already seen it 10x.
There’s a lot of red-herrings that never get addressed when the real story is revealed. And the story takes awhile to start — I spent the first hour doing some boring things before any action.
Character history is sparse at the beginning. You’re not quite sure what everyone’s (public) background is. Skim through the Instruction Manual and read the fake advertisements for a slightly better idea before you start the game.
Having to do completely mundane things, like making your son a microwave dinner or changing a diaper (I kid you not!) …there’s even a trophy for being an expert at baby handling.
It takes 10-15 hours to finish. There’s no penalty for playing it on easy, so do yourself a favor and pick that option! Increasing the difficulty only increases the complexity of button combinations and axis-motion you have to do. With that in mind, the best way to hold the controller is with your right thumb resting between the X and O buttons. Let it jump back and forth to the right stick.
Getting the Platinum Trophy isn’t as difficult as other games. After you win the game, you can go back to previous chapters to start a different story branch and achieve other endings. To save hours of replaying, do the following during your first play through:
(I’ve tried to make this as spoiler-free as possible)
In chapter 10, don’t interrupt the teenager at Hassan’s Shop.
In chapter 29, after the red box is pushed into position, don’t make Madison or Ethan leave.
In chapter 32, at the Typewriter Shop remove all fingerprints (7+).
In chapter 42, after the Nightclub kiss and forgive, then don’t run.
In chapter 43, don’t wake Lauren.
In chapter 44, don’t get the pills.
In chapter 51, jump out the first window.
In chapter 52, get onto the conveyor belt and let Jayden lose.
Also, complete all trials the serial killer gives you.
If you follow those suggestions, you’ll only have to go back to chapter 42 to get all other endings. If you don’t, you’ll have to go back to chapter 10 (which can add several more hours). Unfortunately, the game doesn’t show you what trophies you won until loading the next chapter.