"That a game can aspire to artistic importance as a visual experience, I accept. But for most gamers, video games represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic."
Games have been arguably considered expressions of art for a long time now. But every argument for this is matched by an argument against. One man's art is another man's trash, and another man's trash is one man's man. But art is subjective isn't it? Flower is certainly not trash by any means, but it could be fairly considered to be art. Argue against at your leisure below.
Flower is thatgamecompany's second of a planned three games for the PlayStation Network - the first being flOw - and like flOw it doesn't follow conventional gaming conventions. There are no guns, no macho heroes, no babes, no gore, but when a game is called Flower you'd be a fool to expect those things.
The story for Flower is rather abstract and implicit. Each level is a different flower's dream as it sits on a windowsill in a dreary grey apartment amongst the hubbub of a depressing industrialised city (think London on a rainy day). You assume the role of a petal and fly through beautiful meadows by tilting the sixaxis controller and pressing any button for a speed boost. It's simple stuff, but this control scheme is rather engaging as you get a real sense of flight while bracing the controller with both hands.
Throughout each dream you'll find other flowers whose petals will trail along with you on your journey with the ultimate goal of finding enough to bring about small explosions of colour and life to the game world. It's very similar to how Elika cleanses the fertile lands in the recent Prince of Persia. Another game Flower has more in common with is PixelJunk Eden - if you think about it, the gameplay objectives are almost identical.
As you progress through the game the colour you bring extends to the real world too but to say more would be to wade into spoiler territory. I will say, however, that the screenshots and videos you may've seen: they're from the first two levels; the rest of the game looks very different.
Flower is a surprisingly emotional game despite its simplicity. The environmental contrasts invoke moods of freedom and escapism which is only further enhanced by the subtle, light and dynamic music you play to. It's a great game to relax to or play in-between games. At about four to five hours long for under $16 it's high value, especially since the game is so easy to get into and replay.
Flower is magical. There really isn't another word to describe it. It's fresh, it's new, it's fun and it has a whole lot of heart. Don't pass on the opportunity to pick it up.
Rating: G Difficulty: Easy Learning Curve: 5 Min
||"This is one PSN title you need to pick up. "