Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Flower Review (PSN)

If you work a steady, full-time job, chances are that you have had a really bad day at work. Once you get home, you just want to relax and forget about all the problems you had. For some, you will pick up your favorite book or watch a TV program. For others, you might decide to go for a run or hit some weights to relive all that tension. I really doubt people would pick up a Videogame to help them forget about their troubles. Well it seems that answer to that is here and it's called Flower.

The premise behind this half-game, half-interactive experience is that fairly vague at first. In the game, you play as the Wind and it's your goal to help bloom various locations from drab environments into scenic and peaceful ones.

In each of Flower's 6 stages, you begin as the wind with a single flower petal. With the use of the X Button and the motions of the PS3's Sixaxis controller, you 'lead' that single petal towards flowers located around you to blossom the flowers and to collect more petals.

As flowers bloom, you open up the environments. At the beginning of each stage, the levels all look desolate but as the flowers blossom, the grass becomes greener and the sky becomes clearer. As you progress through the stages, you'll eventually blossom all of the flowers turning the stage into the kind of place you'll want to spend an afternoon just relaxing.

Flower is a very linear game. There is no dying so you never have to worry about doing anything wrong. Often, the objective is simply to bloom all the flowers in a specific spot in order to progress. Flowers that haven't been bloomed have a glow and you'll be easily able to pick them out even from far away. The controls make moving around each stage a breeze. When Sony released the Sixaxis back in 2006, this should have been a pack-in title that would have shown why you need this feature.

In terms of graphics, the game is fairly simple with it's look but stunning none-the-less. There are very few outside particles in each stage. For the most part, you'll be simply collection flower petals and traveling through grass, but both look stunning in High-Definition. Even the 'outside' environments look really good and add to the game's feel.

With incredible looking visuals, the sound helps to compliment the experience even more. The game contains a great instrumental score that will often have you leaving it playing to give your home a more relaxing feel. The music shifts with the speed of your flower petals and works on multiple levels, especially in the later stages of the game which have a very different feel from the beginning.

Flower is not a long game. The six stages can be completed in about 1-3 hours depending on how much time you spend on each. There are a lot of tiny secrets hidden throughout the game which does add to some replayabilty, but chances are that once you've completed the game, you'll only go back to get some trophies. Even with that, this is a game that does exactly what it intended on doing, offering a different, yet unique experience. Only hard-core gamers looking for something to kill will not find anything here to enjoy. If you've had a hard day at work, I strongly suggest turning on your PS3, playing any of the 6 stages (except maybe stage 5 = spoiler) and watch your troubles fly away with the wind...even if it's only for a few moments.

No comments: