PAIN PS3 PlayStation 3 1
Image: Push Square

The early days of the PS Store were drastically different from what we all know and love today; the plaza was, effectively, a web page in those very early PS3 days. But it represented an important period of experimentation for Sony, and its output in that inaugural era of digital downloads reflected as much.

One such game released exclusively on the PS Store – although eventually published physically, on Blu-ray, in Europe – was PAIN, from a developer named Idol Minds. The team would later rebrand itself as Deck Nine and go on to make Life Is Strange: True Colors, but its early PS Store effort couldn’t be more different.

Partially inspired by Burnout’s crash mode, your objective was to fling a human from a catapult and basically inflict as much, well, pain as possible. The title was truly bizarre: it included PlayStation characters like Fat Princess and Buzz, as well as cameos from the likes of George Takei and David Hasselhoff.

The game is officially 15 years old today, and the PS Store has changed a lot in that time. While most of those improvements are for the better, we do miss the spirit of early digital downloads like this; we miss the experimental aspect, when publishers were trying to figure out what worked in a new and emerging market.

Time for a sequel, we reckon.