Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Lost in the Music: The Unfinished Swan by Giant Sparrow Games.

Of all the games I have on my Ps3, I think the indie games that come from the PSN that are at the top of my favourite games lists. The games are often short, clocking in between 5-8 hours and for a 10-15 dollar game, that is pretty reasonable. These games are lighter on the graphics, but give more emphasis on the story which is great given how often triple A titles can skimp on story.

The Unfinished Swan is a prime example of style and story over substance. The game is very minimal in design and that is what makes this game so great. As a puzzle platformer, it always has you thinking out side the box for answers and when you think you have finally conquered the puzzle, they change things up having you relearn everything. It is utterly fantastic and promotes wonderful gameplay.

One of my favourite aspects of the game is how the story is told. During the game, you will often find golden letters and after hitting it with paint, a page will open up and one of the narrators reads the page. While this is somewhat of a norm in gaming, it is the tone in which the narrator speaks. It is much like how a mother would read to her small child just before putting them to sleep. This, in my opinion, was a great touch.

The meat of these indie games is how the music measures up. As I have often said, great music is usually instrumental to the success of indie games. If the gameplay won't hook you but the music does, then the composer did his job right. Of course the opposite can be said if the gameplay is good but the music is lacklustre which I am glad to say doesn't apply to The Unfinished Swan.

With The Unfinished Swan Soundtrack, it seemed Joel Corelitz took a step into a small child's book and drew inspiration from there as the music is very reflective of the environments in game. After listening to the album a few times, I think my favourite track of the entire album is the last track as it gives me a sense of accomplishment and epicness. The song is designed for the listener to feel like a giant, towering over all of creation, yet it also induces you into a dream like state. Given the nature if this song and where it plays, I consider it a success. The entire album is great, but this last song is just a few steps above.

The Unfinished Swan is a fantastic game and if you are a Ps3 Owner, you should pick it up. It's puzzle aspects will leave you thinking for a few minutes, but it won't leave you stumped for hours. If I can give it one tiny negative is that it is a bit on the easy side. You can't really “die” in the game, you only restart where you last stood, but given the protagonist is a young boy, it is understandable.

I highly suggest buying the game if you have the spare change. It is a great time waster and the perfect way to change up your gaming habits. As for the album, you can buy it off of Joel Corelitz site for 10 bucks and if you are a fan of the game, you will want this album.

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