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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
8.5
Visuals
9.0
Audio
8.0
Gameplay
8.5
Features
5.0
Replay
5.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation Network
PUBLISHER:
SCEA
DEVELOPER:
thatgamecompany
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
February 12, 2009
 Written by Matt Swider  on March 02, 2009

Review: flower power



flower is a straightforward, nearly objective-free PS3 download that offers an enjoyable trip through a virtual dreamland you can't get anywhere else. There are going to be substance-hungry gamers who find it a bore and be confused by all of the praise being bestowed on this imaginative game. However, everyone else who enjoys inventive game design will find it represents a soothing escape that's colorful and relaxing.

More than any other PS3 game, flower uses the PS3's SIXAXIS motion controls properly. You navigate as a single flower petal by tilting the controller like you're flying an airplane and by pressing one of the four face buttons to blow the wind. The reason that the very same motion controls work here and not in a game like Warhawk is because you don't have 31 other enemies gunning for you on your six. The pace is just right for the PS3's loose motion controls, which fit the game's experimental mantra quite nicely.



As you steer your flower petal through the air and above the blades of green grass, you come in close proximity to other ready-to-bloom flowers, each lending you one additional petal. Soon, a long flower petal trail forms behind your lead petal and more flowers buds spring up. That's the basic premise, with slight evolution in later stages in which darkness fills the 3D level until you spread color and cheer via the same flower petal collecting process.


Watching nature-filled levels in grayscale become lit with vibrant shades as your petal soars through the sky makes this game feel majestic. Blades of tall, monochrome grass bend as your petal approaches with the wind behind it, and soon the terrain becomes green with life. Likewise, objects like wind turbines and street lamps power on as you collect petals from the blue bulbs at their base and spread their eco-friendly electricity. Every time something significant like this happens, an accented violin or piano tone plays over top of the appropriate instrumental background music.

There's no HUD menu in flower, giving the game that full HD presentation that everyone seems to prefer. This works well for the look, but if you miss a single small flower petal that's key to continuing, it can be annoying trying to spot it from the sky. Also, at six levels, the entire game can be finished within one brief sitting, so not only is it experimental, but it's short.

Bottom Line
flower is one of the most simple-natured PlayStation Network games, so much so that it comes off as an experimental title rather than a full-fledged downloadable game. But, it's this type of game that differentiates the PS3 from anything on Xbox Live. This unconventional game movement is officially part of a growing trend on the PS3 and could be its key to success instead of a major "killer app" like Metal Gear Solid 4 or Killzone 2 as you'd expect.


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