With the Amusement Park finally open for business, it was time to put my season pass to good use and jump back into a world of PAIN. Despite some glaring setbacks in the original title, The Amusement Park expansion takes a firm step in the right direction, essentially representing everything that PAIN should have been out of the gate, and completely restores my faith in developer Idol Minds.
Idol Minds has loaded this new environment with six modes of play, including two new single player modes in Clown Toss and Hot n’ Cold as well as two new multiplayer modes in Trauma and Call Da Shot. As expected, gamers can take aim in the standard Amusement Park mode and just let loose in order to combo big scores and tons of injuries for your rag-doll character. However, if you’re looking for a taste of something new, you can head on over to the Clown Toss section and get your throw on.
Clown Toss works pretty similarly to Mime Toss. You’re catapulted through the air at your desired angle/power and must latch onto a clown before sending him flying into an exploding barrel. While this may sound highly repetitive as Mine Toss ultimately proved to be, I was pleasantly surprised with how entertaining this mode actually is. This can largely be attributed to the elements the guys over at Idol included within the field of play. For example, there was one point where I tossed the clown into one barrel, he ricocheted into yet another barrel, fell in front of the spinning space shuttle ride which tee’d the clown straight into the side of the volcano. Supplementing this is fact that with each exploding barrel, the user gains a “pimp slap” in order to slap the clown in any direction you’d like. After spending several hours clowning around, I jumped into the other lone mode, Hot n’ Cold.
Hot n’ Cold works a lot like you’d imagine it to. Your task is to find your way to a certain location, with the game aiding your progress by informing you if your character is close (hot) or far away (cold). The overall objective is to find a unique teddy bear that has been laid out somewhere within the environment. This becomes increasingly difficult once you realize there is a copious supply of decoy bears scattered about and you only get five launches to find your target. Unless you have a ton of patience and discipline, this mode will likely prove quite frustrating; however, give it some time and you’re going to eventually find your target. By now, I’m sure you’re tired of playing alone, so let’s see what the developers had in mind when it was time to throw a friend into the thick of things.
As with the original title, the multiplayer component proves instrumental in bolstering the game’s lasting appeal outside of the standard single player experience. Therefore, it’s imperative that the Amusement Park offers up the same challenging modes of play featured in its predecessor. For those looking for a little familiarity, you’re going to be able to continue the explosive fun in the appropriately named Fun With Explosives mode. Alternatively, those of you looking for a different spin on PAIN, however, we advise you to turn your attention to the TRAUMA mode.
TRAUMA is 100% identical to HORSE. The only difference being instead of spelling out HORSE, you’re spelling out TRAUMA (with the exception of the winner trying to spell TRAUMA instead of the other way around). While I’ll concede that this shouldn’t be classified as a new mode of play, when you’re throwing down letters and face plants at the park, you’re going to think you’re taking part in an entirely new way. However, those longing for that new car smell can check out Call Da Shot.
Call Da Shot is a gambler’s domain to the fullest extent of the phrase. Each player has the opportunity to create custom shots that other players must match. However, there is a spin to this mode. On top of just creating unique custom launches, players are also able to bet on if their opponent will be able to complete the challenge. For those that are old enough, you’re going to find that Call Da Shot is possibly the coolest replacement to Beer Pong yet.
PAIN Amusement Park has taken a decidedly average experience and turned it into one of the definite must own games on the PlayStation Network. While the inaugural title left a lot to be desired, this expansion has left this journalist more satisfied than watching the end result of Tati landing ass-first into a spinning foot.
-The Final Word-
The Amusement Park expansion helps elevate PAIN into the category of must-own PlayStation Network titles alongside the likes of Super Stardust HD and PixelJunk Monsters.