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In fact, the almost fear like awe parts of Journey inspired in me might very well rank as the most powerful moments of my entire life. Whether that is a compliment to Journey or a rather sad reflection of my life is another story. All I know for sure is, watching the breath-taking scenery and soaking in the wonderful ambient sounds and music evoked some of the most powerful emotions in me to date. In an almost ironic way, those magical landscapes in Journey were more larger than life than reality's own icons. I've seen the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, hiked down the dormant volcanoes and and across icebergs in Iceland, and while all of them were amazing and breathtaking, I feel like the impact of Journey was more profound and solid.
And perhaps more importantly, Journey may very well be the only game that brought me so close to tears through sheer awe. I've had tearjerkers, and diabolus ex machinas galore in other games that try to evoke the same emotion, but with Journey there's no need. There's simply this magical, heartbreakingly beautiful world that you slowly unravel that seems sometimes like it's painfully reigniting some foreign, nostalgic sense of wonder and elegance in your heart.
If all this seems like it's waxing poetic, well blame that on the limitations of the English language and my puny imagination. Journey is, in short, an experience like no other. And for me personally, one that will likely never be topped, forgotten, and recreated. It's a magical experience and only exists in that moment. Every single new playthrough will be different. I will never hear the exact same combination of music (triggered by your current actions in game), or again feel that first stupidly childish sense of glee when my online companion and I simultaneously discovered the same mural, instantly starting to frantically chirp at each other to get the others attention, or the sense of dread walking through the tunnels with the guardians, or the profound sense of fear and companionship as we trekked together up the final snowy mountain.
Playing Journey alone is also an experience, one that reinforces that sense of solitude and highlights the sheer vastness and grandeur of this long dead civilization and how tiny you seem in comparison.
There's a lot of things Journey is. But it'll be different for each person, as it should be.
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