PAIN: Amusement Park Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

PlayStation 3
Release date:
September 11, 2008
Idol Minds

PAIN: Amusement Park

A great idea in search of a game.

Review by James Cunningham (Email)
November 5th 2008

Ragdoll physics are fun. You can send a guy flying, watching him splat against the scenery as a contorted pile of limbs, all the while giggling like a voyeuristic psycho. It makes for decent, short-lived entertainment, but as a game it's a bit lacking. That's Pain's biggest problem, and the Amusement Park add-on doesn't fix enough of the core game's issues to be much more than a momentary diversion.

Pain is a good seed of a game idea, but it never had a chance to grow into anything more than a few minutes of fun.

As in the original game, the point of Pain: Amusement Park is to send Jarvis flying from a catapult and bounce him off as much of the scenery as possible, leaving a trail of devastation in his wake. The more objects he hits in a single throw, the bigger the bonus multiplier, but a slow moving camera makes targeting specific objects more difficult than necessary. On the plus side, the amusement park is much more active than Pain's original city level.

Uncle Jimmy's Fun Spot is filled with rapidly spinning rides that can send Jarvis flying. Added to the Ooch ability, which gives him a small nudge, and Jarvis can rack up a couple of million points per throw with a bit of practice. The problem is that the Ooch nudge is pretty weak, and more often than not leaves Jarvis lying within inches of an exploding barrel, unable to move after expending all his strength to adjust his momentum. A more helpful camera would have enabled better precision in aiming, but without it he was left angling slightly off target, and wasted all the Ooch boosts in a vain attempt to do something (anything!) useful.

Pain: Amusement Park tries to rise above "mildy amusing" with off-color humor that makes the gags in GTA seem like something out of the New Yorker, but it wears thin quickly. The extra single and multiplayer modes don't fare much better, and the comedy value of sending a guy groin-first into an alien anal-probe ride dies fast due to sheer repetition. Pain is a good seed of a game idea, but it never had a chance to grow into anything more than a few minutes of fun.

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