PSN Review: Flower

I think it’s bordering on inarguable that the biggest strength of the PSN (besides it being free), is that it houses an ecclectic selection of unique, varied, and innovative downloadable game titles. From Wipeout HD to Echocrome, to Pixel Junk Eden, there’s something for everyone, and it’s usually top class stuff.

Continuing that tradition of excellence comes Flower, a beautiful, artistic, often times exhilerating yet calming creation from the folks that brought you flOw, thatgamecompany.

Flower is an easy game to review in a way, as it’s a very simple concept: You begin as a flower on the windowsil of a rather drab and dreary city apartment. Moving the camera over to the flower and pressing a button then whisks you away into what I can only imagine is the flower’s dream.

This dream world is filled with color and life, and you take control of a single petal, as it careens and soars across the valley, gathering other petals until there is a storm of multi-colored flower petals flowing behind you.

The result is beautiful and calming at the same time.

As you collect petals, the brown spots in the fields of grass begin to flush with color, from greens, to blues, to purples, and oranges and reds. When all the petals have been collected, and neighboring flowers bloomed, the whole world gets bathed with color and life, and you return to the windowsil, where another flower and it’s dreams await.

What makes this non-conventional gameplay setup work is the excellent use of the  controllers motion sensing capabilities.

You control the petal with nothing but tilting and moving the controller. The buttons on the controller can be held to increase the speed of the petal’s movement, but all control is handled by gesturing with the controller. The result is that it feels very natural, and more like an extension of yourself, than of the general detachment that can come from simply using the analog sticks for control.

I found the game to be a wonderful breath of fresh air in this industry full of me too shooters and mediocre licensed games.

I would be remiss to not mention the visuals as well. The game supports full 1080p output, so the graphics are crisp and sharp. The petals move very fluidly and naturally, and the overall worlds are simply gorgeous, from green plains, to windmill laden fields at sunset, to a nighttime romp through a farm area as your petals glow, radiating a brilliant light, Flower is one of the prettiest games you’ll see on your PS3. You can even press the select button, set your controller down, and be treated to a beautiful, moving screensaver.

I played it a bit before bed last night, and I have to say that it truly is one of the most relaxing, calming games I’ve played since, well, thatgamecompany’s other game, flOw.

I remember watching an interview with the creators of Flower, and they likened it to a poem. I scoffed at the pomposity of such a claim, but after playing the game for a few hours (it’s a short game, but the replay value is inherent in it’s beauty and ability to relax), and I found that the only way I can truly describe this game would be to call it “Poetry in Motion.” I stand corrected, thatgamecompany, and I will never scoff at your claims again.

My final verdict is:

BUY: If you want something different, beautiful, and relaxing, give this game a try. If you like to blow stuff up non-stop, look elsewhere.

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One Response to “PSN Review: Flower”

  1. namelessshe Says:

    Flower is gorgeous but it made me sleepy. Not a bad thing, it was very relaxing.

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