Weekend Debate: Feel-Good Gaming

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Weekend Debate: Feel-Good Gaming

September: the saddest month of the year? Summer is over (not that it ever really begun here in London), school starts, workplaces are full of glum faces wallowing in post-holiday blues and, worst of all, the cricket season winds down. Misery, I tell thee.

But all this woe and despair makes it a great month to seek solace in video games. So, your weekend debate topic for today is as follows:

Which game do you turn to lift your spirits when the chips are down, and why?

Me? It’s tempting to give a nod to the relentlessly cheerful primary colours of last year’s brilliant Rayman Origins but in truth, when I want to hide away with a game and lock out the outside world (yes, it’s been one of those weeks) I prefer something a little deeper, darker and more immersive. As anyone who’s been spying on my PSN ID of late might know, recently that’s meant another play-through of Demon’s Souls. But something like the flawed-but-fabulous Far Cry 2 generally hits the spot too.

Your suggestions below please.

I’ve a great prize for the most thoughtful posts this week – 10 download codes for Anomaly: Warzone Earth, the fantastic indie action-strategy gem that hit the PS Store this week. Take a look at the trailer below or head over to Pawel’s recent post for more details.

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16 Author Replies

  • @ Fred Dutton
    I haven’t recieved the comic book code.
    Is there something wrong or aren’t they send out yet?

    • They should have been sent out. Have you checked your PMs on the forum? Let me know if not and I will chase.

  • when I feel down BF3 lifts my spirit up. Knifing a dude after a tiring and boring day puts a smile on my face. this is not creepy, right? :D

  • For old school I put in my PS2 Deus Ex and just return to my high school days and spent a few days just trying to find a new way around the missions of JC Denton.

    For modern I do enjoy hitting up Bioshock 2’s multiplayer or Arkham City. Batman geek and regarding Bioshock I just really love the multiplayer the plasmids give it a unique twist, running around as The Big Daddy really picks me up. Rapture is a great place to escape to.

  • How can you ignore Rayman Origins Fred? How can you??

    But I have to admit, when I have my spirits down I don’t usually grab Rayman either (that’s more of a tempting my girlfriend to play on the PS3 together game), but fire up LocoRoco or the first Patapon (2 and 3 are a bit darker). It’s the sheer hapinnes that shines from those games that does it, but also that awkward music that makes you instantly happy (and your family members instantly crazy)….

  • Renegade Ops because no matter what the weather, day, month or mood it always raises a smile with the humour, explosions and pure fun.

    That and the super beautiful visuals!

  • By the way, is it coincidence this question follows after a couple of days we kept negging about some absent games I won’t mention here? :D

    If so, don’t let it get you down Fred. Customers are king, and they now it so they act like spoiled brats sometimes, shooting the messenger in stead of the culprits.

    (So now, as I said in post 4, go play LocoRoco or Patapon and SING! It’ll make you happy, I promise!)

  • If you had asked me this question a few years ago I would have said Killer Instinct on the SNES.

    During the PSOne era it was Blood Omen Legacy of Kain.

    PS2 meant Freekstyle or SSX Tricky.

    Now though, I get the feeling I’m spoilt for choice, but in all honesty if I’m down and need a cheer up or relaxing game I tend to go with Fallout 3, wandering the wastelands listening to the soundtrack and just generally chilling out.

    But if I’m more in the “I’m depressed and want to blow things up” kind of mood, it has to be Borderlands, mindless fun has never been so much. . . ermmm fun! And even better? Borderlands 2 is less than a month away!

  • Sometimes I also play on my older PlayStation consoles like the PS1 and PS2 and play the heck outta the old classics such as Crash, Spyro and even racing games.

    But sometimes I use my PS3 and play on The Sims 3 and gotta it is a relaxing game for me and still use it as a screen saver. I cashed over $1million in cash without cheats and I’m not kidding.

  • My friend who owns a 360 says Walking Dead episode 3 and Counter Strike GO are awesome to sit and unwind with after a long hard day , just a shame they aint on the PlayStation store and a shame SCEE has no legitimate reason for not having them available.

  • Motorstorm RC is Hands down the Best VITA/Ps3 game this year…for a single Reason— It has the best TROPHY Set to excite the adrenaline junkies.
    It is affordable, yet has a Platinum trophy, not 1 but 2(PS3 + Vita)

    I’m just 2 Trophies short of PLATINUM..

    Lovin it!!

  • Im just trolling Fred but do admit im fuming about the walking dead being delayed in Europe

  • I love old school beat em ups like streets of rage and 3d fighting force. I hope Double dragon neon will be available on time at psn europe.

  • There was a period back in 2007-2008 where I was probably at my lowest with everything from my parents divorce dragging me down(which at any age is crushing) to a complete inability to motivate myself to do anything.

    I really felt that videogames were the only thing that could properly give a rest from everything. I picked up Super Mario Galaxy (don’t hate me playstation), Ratchet and Clank: TOD and LittleBigPlanet among others and immersed myself in the Pixar-esque worlds when I just needed to chill out. I don’t think I’ve ever valued gaming as much since that point as it allowed me to recuperate and deal with the real stuff that needed doing.

  • Motorstorm RC is Hands down the Best VITA/Ps3 game this year…for a single Reason— It has the best TROPHY Set to excite the adrenaline junkies.
    It is affordable, yet has a Platinum trophy, not 1 but 2(PS3 + Vita)
    I’m just 2 Trophies short of PLATINUM..

    Will ANOMALY: WARZONE Earth be Free for PS+ or at least have a Discount??
    It looks Incredibly Edible just like my Avatar pic..

  • I love picking up the dual shock and playing Joe Danger!! Bright colours, snappy music and the challenge of trying to beat friends scores and my own trick combos means it’ll never get deleted from my hard drive!!

  • When the chips are down, I play poker in the Home casino ’cause I want to win them.

  • mw3 or bf3. great to relieve stress.

  • My go-to game for cheering myself up is probably TimeSplitters 2. The wonderful lunacy of it all, with so many ridiculous characters, each with silly / brilliantly awful puns to say always brings a smile to my face. Helps that it’s got possibly the best multiplayer ever too.

    Here’s a ridiculously bad joke based on your question:

    Who do you turn to lift your spirits when the chips are down?
    A Poker-geist.

  • For me it would have to be the PS One classic Crash Bandicoot. I have it downloaded on to my PS3.

    Its great for a chilled Sunday afternoon, easy going and stress free as I know each level inside and out.
    The controls are simple and the levels are fun, nothing dark or serious.

  • If I need a escape I tend to go for deep story based games, I never got into Skyrim and Fallout but Final Fantasy and even Heavy Rain help.

    If I need a release blowing stuff up or bashing things with swords is great and that tends to mean Devil May Cry or maybe Time Crisis.

    However I have suffered with depression in the past and recently found that Journey is the perfect therapeutic game, a great adventure , really immersive and it brings out emotions that over ride whatever you were feeling beforehand. And finally arriving at the summit and then being reborn is very uplifting and a great metaphor. The whole game could be a metaphor for depression and the whole thing becomes more enjoyable/easier with a companion.

  • It’s a hard question. My 4 games that make me feel would be Rayman Origins,Jak & Daxter the precursor leagcy,Ratchet & Clank 3, and Little Big Planet 2. But i picked LBP 2 because usually all the fun stuff you can do is always good. You can make Sackboy feel Happy Sad Angry and Scared and i usually always make him happy or if i’m being chased by something i would make him scared, If i get slapped by another Sackperson or Sackbot i would make him angry. But i love all the stuff you can create and make fun levels. I made two using the summer pack called The Beach Parts 1 & 2. I didn’t publish Part 2 yet because i want to wait until Part 1 gets some plays. But i do play Jak & Daxter a lot too when i’m sad because i love the adventure of the game and the areas of the game. The gameplay is great and the music is usually bright and cheery. So those are the two games i always go too when i’m sad.

  • @ Fred Dutton
    I never looked there (I never go there).
    But it was there. Thanks.

  • Heavy Rain because you realize that your lifes not as depressing as it could be

  • Uncharted 2 or 3 becose i love the way Nathan is making fun of Sully and i get to see places i will never visit ;)

  • These don’t necessarily lift spirits,but are a sample of games I can play no matter what mood i’m in.

    F Zero GX,by far the best racer i’ve ever played.No matter what,put that in front of me and i’ll play it.

    Yakuza (PS3) Always something to do,from wacky to quite serious.

    WWF/WCW vs NWO games by Aki Corp.So good,i’ll still be playing in 20 years time.
    If I had cash,I would ask for syn Sophia’s blessing to create a modern day version for digital platforms.The key would be a comprehensive player editor were any wrestler ever could be made.

  • for sure the BF3 is the only that you turn to to burnout steam but i have to say it become more of a daily thing for most gamers if not a must lol.

    one game really stand out for me which is saint row the third without a doubt is a funny and uplifting game, i cant put in words how funny this games is , truly amazing & i think the game is designed to be exactly that

  • Saints Row The Third …is the best to Feel-Good Game 4 sure ^

  • When I’m having a bad day i usually put my Borderlands disc in and then I immediately forget about everything and get lost in the Bazzilions of guns. And if I’m felling angry I use Berserk to get up close and punch my enemies in the face, that and the the humor always puts a smile on my lips :D

  • When i’m feeling down I normally prefer to play something that has cartoony graphics such as Ratchet and Clank, Jak & Daxter or Rayman Origins, the cartoony graphics make things feel less serious and therefore more relaxing

  • Game with good story that will let me forget about negative things…

    also apply to God of War series.

  • Red Faction Guerilla is satisfying silly if you approach it that way and has an offline multi player mode for just that. Meaty weapons, mindless destruction through Tanks and Mechs, swarms of aggressive enemies and rag doll physics.

  • For me, the choice is easy. If I’m down, I need an upliftng game, that works like a session of yoga. That game would be Flower, as far as I know, the only game that wards you for NOT playing.
    The simple joy of soaring through the grass, painting it colors, collecting pebbles, without any time pressure…. Nothing is more uplifting than that!

  • As sad as it sounds, Flower is by a LONG way the most effective game when it comes to cheering me up!

    Just ten minutes of the game is enough to distract me from feeling blue.

  • For me this generation it has to be thrashing away at the drums on Rock Band, a great spirit lifter, away from the PS3 and its Football Manager

  • I replay Vagrant Story. I first played it during a very difficult time in my life, a time when I had difficulty making friends and my school-life was a non-stop barrage of bullying and ridicule.

    Vagrant Story was a wonderful respite from the hardships of being a teenager; its tropes of life sometimes being arduous and filled with doubt mirroring my own personal circumstances.

    The game helped me overcome what seemed like insurmountable challenges at the time.

    I replay it once a year as a way of reminding myself that, though I now have my dream job, a beautiful wife and a son on the way, to never forget that period when everything seemed impossible. Because it’s not. Everything can be survived with time, patience and voodoo magic.


  • I would say Escape Plan. :)
    It’s a cool and funny game. (I’ve got so many deaths with Lil)

    But it keeps me smile :P

  • There’s nothing like “Journey” to whisk me away from the hustle and bustle of my everyday life,Teleporting me to the peaceful and serene Vistas of another world…..

  • LBP2. Those little Sackthings always make me smile. Their smile is so funny and cute. Which gives me hope and i feel better.

  • Oh, the “cheer me up” game isn’t a constant. At first, games from the GTA series would play the role (pure mayhem, no restrictions and many, many explosions do cheer you up). Then Prototype came along (I don’t have to say why it was fun to play, now do I?). And now? Now, there is only war.

    Yup, you guessed right! Space Marine is my current “cheer me up” game. “Why?”, you ask? Is it because you slay hundreds of Orks? Is it because you are “a monster truck that walks like a man”? (bonus points if you know who I’m quoting)


    It’s because it reminds me that my life isn’t that bad. I don’t have to fear I’ll end up as a Tyranid’s supper. Or the next sacrifice to keep the Emperor ‘alive’. And that makes me feel a little bit better.

  • Tbh any fun game that i can invite my friends around and play. Games like fat princess, awesomenauts, and little big planet. These type of games just take your mind off everything and let you have fun aka mindless fun. But playing games alone for me doesn’t really cheer me up all that much.. but playing games with a few mates having a laugh with maybe a few drinks does it every time haha. well for me and my mates it does anyway.

  • Back in the day I used to play I-Ninja when I needed a boost. I think it was a combination of things really as to why.

    Similar to Rayman, it had nice vivid colours and varied environments as you progressed. It also had a light humorous atmosphere, and didn’t take itself very seriously. The controls were simple too, which is good for a person like me because I can never remember combos and just button bash. The best thing was it was a game I discovered purely by chance, bought it for dirt cheap on a gamble.

    Nowadays I tend to listen to music and play guitar more than game if I need a boost, but if its gaming I usually play Team Fortress 2. Again, I suppose its the colours and the humour that I enjoy.

  • Sonic Heroes no question. Nothing a little blue hedgehog can’t do, no matter how awful or cheesy the game. Always puts a smile on my face.

    • There’s been a fair few Sonic titles over the years that have actually made me pretty depressed, but this one is fair game. Enjoy your Anomaly code!

  • I just turn on Journey, or Flower. Put the headphones on, sit – or preferably lie – as close as possible to the TV, and the outside world can go to nuclear war for all I care.

  • Frist I would load up ps vita!

    Ps vita

    Uncharted Golden Abyss (platinum)
    motorstorm Rc (platinum) and even on ps3
    Resistance Burning Skies (platinum)
    Gravity Rush (platinum)

    Then Turn it off again!

    Secound the ps vita browser takes after the ps3 load laptop up goto tesco direct and buy some more chips, Jobs a fish sit back and wait and mostly chill the chips will be up in no time.

  • When the chips are down, nothing really beats the joy of tethering some fools to a plane and taking off in Just Cause 2. Or jumping off of a huge cliff while riding a motorcycle. Or crashing a speedboat into an enemy base. Or launching some enemies away by tethering them to some oxygen tanks and shooting them. Or… you know what, just as long as I’m playing Just Cause 2, I’m fine.

  • Bejeweled 2, endless mode, just popping diamonds till I feel relaxed.

  • Spot the miss placed U lol, I can`t help it

  • If I’m feeling sad or downright miserable, or even when I’m ill, I don’t want to play anything challenging – I just don’t have the necessary willpower. What I want is something relaxing, fun and emotionally uplifting.

    That’ll be Flower then.

    In my opinion, Flower is one of the best games I have on my PS3. It is the most beautiful video game I have ever seen, and it is a complete joy to play. No matter how many times I play it, the emotional journey that Flower takes me on is wonderful.

    Plus, as a UK resident, I love games that feature sunshine. Because, you know, we have to turn to the artificial sort over her…

  • nothing better than firing a few balls around the tables on Marvel Pinball to unwind. Bash those flippers!!!

  • manhunt on PS2 always hits the spot

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