PAIN is developed by Idol Minds Digital Entertainment, responsible for many of the Cool Boarders series on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, and co-developed with SCE Studios San Diego. PAIN is published by Sony Computer Entertainment and exclusively available on the PlayStation Network, which can be seen as both a good and/or a bad thing. Ship loads of PAIN video game boxes on Walmart or Best Buy would have attracted unwanted attention from organization on a crusade against video games. Video games already dubbed “murder-simulation” could have had a new name added to them, called the “Pain-Simulation”.
The idea behind the whole concept of the game is simply to cause PAIN. This is done by causing destruction to the environment around you and in the process causing a lot of PAIN to your avatar. There are several modes in the game that players are free to explore at there own pace. Downtown is currently the only available theme in the game. Score over 1.5 million to unlock Aftermath, which is Downtown two weeks later and thus slightly different. The Amusement Park theme is being currently being developed and is soon to be available via the PSN.
Characters in PAIN include Jarvis, who is the only playable character available at first. Later on Ice Tea, The Dude, and ED ‘T-Bone’ Haulsten can be unlocked. Santa and Cookie are purchasable characters within the game with real world money. There are also a ninja, a pirate, and a cheerleader or a nurse coming soon to the PSN.
The controls and gameplay mechanisms in PAIN is as follows. The action button X is to launch you off the slingshot. The R3 is used to pull your self back or push yourself forward while on the slingshot. This mechanism greatly affects the amount of force with which you get propelled off the slingshot. The L3 (otherwise known as “Drift” in the game) and the D-Pad are the directional options that let you aim for whatever your heart desires. The R3 lets the player control the camera when in the air. The Select button resets the level. This makes everything in the level to be reset to its original state. The triangle button is to watch the reply of the recent launch. L1 is the reset launcher. This will get you back to your initial position on the slingshot any time during gameplay once you have launched.
Once you hit solid ground you can “Ooch” yourself onto more danger. This can be crucial in scoring more point and causing the much intended PAIN. The O button lets you grab almost any object on the level. This mechanism is very useful in grabbing moving or movable objects such as vehicles etc. The R2 gives you an aerial view of the level and can help show what potential danger is coming up next, especially on the roads.
You can use the R1 or R2 in combination with any one of the four action button to pose in air for additional style points. There are often very interesting sounds and dialogs from the characters as you do this.
The Single Player mode includes Paindemonium, Mime Toss, and Spank The Money. Paindemonium is all about unleashing “your creative chaos” on the city, Downtown. Downtown is currently the only available theme in the game. The Amusement Park theme is being currently being developed and is soon to be available via the PSN. In this mode there are no rules, no limits, just cause as much as mayhem as you possibly can, thus being a sandbox game.
Mime Toss has three difficulty setting, the Normal, Hard, and Painful. The idea behind this mode is quite simple, just grab on to the Mime floating in the air and launch him into glasses scatter throughout the level. The Mime is always floating in the middle of the scene and is doing a flying gesture with his hands. The harder the difficulties setting the difficult the locatation of the glasses to reach. Breaking enough glasses within the allotted time is the victory condition.
In Spank The Money just aim yourself at the moneys as they appear on the scene and crash into them. This gets harder as the game progresses as you will have to beat down two or more moneys in a single launch. This is where the Ooch and the Drift mechanism can aid in accomplishing your goals (more on that later). Also, the aerial view (R2) reveals the location of the moneys on the scene. This is a useful tool when the moneys are hidden or if you simply fail to spot them on the scene.
Then there is the Multi-Player mode and there are three modes under here. There is the Horse, Bowling, and Fun With Explosives. Under Horse, there are two difficulty settings and they are Paindemonium and Aftermath. There is support for up to four players in this mode. The deal is before the start of the game you pick any letter in the word “horse”. So player 1 hits a particular spot on the scene and then player 2 to has to hit the exact same spot to score be successful. The consequence of missing the target results in a letter from the word “horse. Getting all five letters means that you lose the game to the other player with the top score and most importantly, the least number of letters.
Bowling is all about destroying “the city to stop your opponent from scoring”. Last but not least, is Fun With Explosives. This mode is all about blowing up explosive crates that have been scattered across the level. The more crates you bump into, resulting in you being thrown off due to the force, scores you more points. There is again up to four player support in this mode as well. Each round gives each player two launches and the winner is the first person to win three rounds. The only competitive online feature is the leader boards that are exclusive to the painful mode.
The tutorial mode is at the very start of the game. It is unavoidable. It is known as the Crash Course. Here you will learn all the tricks to become a master in the art of PAIN. There is also the Community option which takes you to the PAIN website. There you will find the latest PAIN news straight form the developers behind the game. Learn about upcoming characters, modes, and themes there and of course here on N4G.
Lastly, there is the Trophy Room. All the unlockable in the game are represented here. There are tons of trophies, medal, characters, and stats to unlock. The single player and multi player is the where almost all the unlockable are. Some of the trophies include… grab the train, 1000th grab, 5000th Ooch, Pain score over 1.5 million, Mime thrown to hundred feet, earn gold in normal, earn gold in painful, hit 40 crate in one round, five strikes in a row, traveled 200 miles and so many more.
So, what genre is it?