Ben   United States
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My lady is so purty.
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Played on PS3
Personal rating - MUST play. Do it now.
Traditional rating - 98/100

I'm going to get this out of the way up front: In my opinion, this is hands-down the best game from 2013, and one of the best games I have ever played. Stop reading this and go play it right now.

I will try my absolute hardest not to give anything away, but as with other story-based games, 99.99% of the enjoyment is in the journey, and having absolutely no idea what to expect next. I BEG you to just take my word on faith and go play it before you read or watch anything else about it. I mean it. Right now. Set aside 3 hours, close your door, put on some headphones or turn the volume up, and enjoy the ride.

If you're still reading, then here is what I thought: Never before have I seen a game so flawlessly accomplish every single thing it sets out to do. The control scheme works perfectly, the graphics are breathtaking, the story brought tears to my eyes, and the puzzles were just the right amount of tricky. The pacing of the game is definitely on the slow side, but just remember, the game is called "A Tale of Two Sons." It's telling you a story, and boy what a story it is.

It starts off with the younger brother (named Naiee) kneeling at his mother's grave, and then immediately cuts to a flashback where the mother is drowning in a lake, but Naiee is not strong enough to pull her into the boat. We see her slip beneath the surface, and fade into the darkness. Back in the present, the mother's spirit appears to Naiee and comforts him with a kiss, vanishing into thin air just as he reaches out to her. The peace of the moment is broken by Naiee's brother Nyaa calling for help. Turns out their father has come down with a serious illness, and it is up to the brothers to bring him to the doctor, and ultimately trek across a gorgeous, fantastical world straight out of a Grimm fairy tale.

This of course is where you, the player, step in. It is up to you to control both brothers at the same time, controlling their movements with one analog stick each, and making them interact with things by pressing and holding the trigger buttons. That's it, no jump, no inventory, no flashlight, no skills, no nothing. If you groaned when you read that, I completely understand. When I first heard about the control scheme and basic premise, I was immensely skeptical as well, but it is astounding how well everything works. This is essentially a single-player co-op game, and it just might be the most intuitive control schemes I have ever seen in a game.

The true cleverness of the controls goes much deeper than just giving you the ability to solve 2-person puzzles by yourself though. The real beauty of the control scheme is that as the two brothers are adventuring and exploring, you are quite literally the glue holding them together. You are pulled into this story world and tasked with being the relationship between the brothers. I didn't really put words to it until the game was over, but it is an unbelievably powerful gameplay mechanic, and it plays a monumental part in how involved you are with the story. Plus, it is used later on in the game in arguably one of the most meaningful and touching ways I have ever seen in any storytelling medium, let alone video games.

I am not at all ashamed to admit that this game made me cry, more than once, and for extended periods. No game has ever done that to me before. This is a monumentally important thing, and what it says to me is that video games can be art every single bit as much as any movie, book, painting, sculpture, or live performance. This is not just one of the most emotionally powerful video games I've ever experienced, it is one of the most emotionally powerful THINGS I have ever experienced.

It is worth mentioning that there is no understandable spoken dialog in the game at all. The characters speak a completely made-up language, and while the structure of the language itself is familiar, you will never know exactly what's being said. You can always understand based on context and body language, though. This is far from the first game to ever employ such a tactic, but it is pulled off so well throughout the entire game that there was never a spoken moment where I didn't fully understand what was going on.

It may seem like I'm gushing, but I'm really not. There are certainly a few things wrong with the game. For instance, other than a few little distractions and side-achievements, it is completely linear, so there is no replayability, and $15 for 3 hours of gameplay might seem expensive to some (it is worth every single penny). Also, sometimes it hurt my brain trying to control both brothers, but the game does a very good job of always lining them up to match the analog sticks. Nyaa is the left stick and is kept on the left side, and Naiee is the right stick and is kept on the right side. I found it instinctually easier to keep them that way the entire game anyway, so I hardly noticed the game's insistence on placing them that way during cutscene moments.

The only REAL complaint I have about the game is that some of the puzzles have tricky timing. There are some puzzles where you're holding R2 to grip onto a ledge and you have to point the analog stick in a direction, release R2 to launch, and then press R2 again to grip the new surface. It is very easy to mess up those R2 presses. I found it much easier to immediately re-press R2 after releasing, and the brother in question would simply grab the new surface as he came up to it.

The puzzles in general are very pleasant, feel very organic, and are all very satisfying. The solutions were not immediately apparent for many of them, but it never took very long before things started to click. New elements and ways of solving puzzles are slowly introduced along the way as well, so they do get fairly complex near the end of the game. Thankfully, even if you are stuck on a puzzle, the environments never open up TOO much, so you don't have to scour through a mansion looking for a switch or lever. The solution is always close, and always clever. In fact, there is one section in particular where the brothers are attached by a rope that had me smiling and laughing out loud.

That right there hits home on why this game is so important. Sad stories are easy. Funny stories are easy. What is NOT easy however, and what the greatest stories of all time have been able to hone in on, is the whole range of emotions. The rollercoaster, if you will. Throughout the course of this game I felt everything. I was sad, then hopeful, then annoyed, then happy, then cautious, then in awe, then nervous, then freaked-out, then disgusted, then horrified, then laughing, then heart-broken, and then hopeful again.

I can not stress enough how badly everyone needs to play this game. The graphics are gorgeous and fit the fairy-tale style perfectly, the music is touching and evocative, the controls are perhaps the most cleverly-done thing I've ever seen in a video game, and the story will pluck at your heartstrings even if you thought you didn't have any. Most so-called "emotional" games are very ham-fisted. They show you things and tell you how you should feel. This game is very subtle. It is never forceful and it is never pandering. I'm even hesitant to say that the game tells you a story or shows you things. The story is just there. Things are just there. YOU are just there, holding hands with the brothers, experiencing everything.

It is weird, it is harrowing, it is beautiful, and it is so perfectly put together that I'm going to beat myself up later for not giving it a 100. I'm pretty harsh on most games, but I honestly can not think of even one significant improvement that could be done.

I really could go on for 10 more pages about why I'll remember this game on my death bed, but all that really needs to be said is that I got it free with PS+, and then gladly paid full price for it.
Achievement Showcase
Perfect Games
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My Favorite Youtube Videos
Speech Jammer Gun Review (hilarious): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU9EGeMP5n4
Bohemian Rhapsody with Hand Farts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOyEw9bT8yQ
Einstein v. Stephen Hawking Rap Battle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn7-fVtT16k
Adult Swim - Too Many Cooks (wait for it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrGrOK8oZG8
Get Smart - Bathroom Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-AhUVGpGoU
Russkaja - Energia (Russian Turbo Polka): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVWfqOSdzs4
Achievement Showcase
Perfect Games
Avg. Game Completion Rate

Recent Activity

1.0 hrs on record
last played on May 25
2.0 hrs on record
last played on May 25
116 hrs on record
last played on May 24
Faultyolus Mar 22 @ 2:57am 
Hey Ben, If you are free this weekend shall we see if we can finish up Resident Evil 5?
Faultyolus Mar 2 @ 8:39am 
Something I would expect to see in Resident Evil
Faultyolus Mar 2 @ 8:38am 
LOL that horse is freaky
GreyGoo Jan 17 @ 9:53am 
Damn awesome review on Brothers ATOTS's DrBrogbo thanks for that bro. You have a way with words. Bravo.
Faultyolus Dec 24, 2017 @ 6:51am 
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…….*♥♥☺♣♥♫♥♥♫♥☺♥♫ ♥♣☺♥♥*…
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 (¸,·´ (¸*♥Merry Christmas &
          Happy New Year ♥〃´`)
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whitemexican Dec 19, 2017 @ 2:44pm 
Wishing you a joyous festivus