TSA Staff: Game of the Year #3

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Flower. A ‘game’ that is barely even that. The words concept and experience provide a more accurate description of how to summarise this masterpiece. Whether it’s gushing over the initial screenshots or being totally overwhelmed by the sheer delightfullness of the game and it’s control-scheme, it was love at first sight. ThatGameCompany crafted a title to bring joy and serenity to gamers, and having received a 10/10 earlier this year it still stands tall amongst all of the years releases. Flower is one of a kind and it is TheSixthAxis’ third favourite game of 2009.

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We’re at the mid-point now but here is video number three:

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This video was produced and edited by David Howard.

Whilst trying to recover from their zen-like feeling, here’s what some the staff managed to mumble about Flower:

“Simply.  Beautiful.  Every element of ThatGameCompany’s Flower is simple but beautifully realised.  From the wordless menu that evolves throughout the game, to the stunning fields of gently waving grass, to the way the gameplay-triggered sounds compliment the background music to create the soundtrack, to the sixaxis controls that let you forget you are even holding a controller.  Flower even manages to tell its story, including the Empire Strikes Back-like dark middle section, without using the written word or spoken dialogue.  It has so much to give whether you are replaying a level for a quick gaming pick-me-up or post-FPS chillout, or you can spare a few hours to lose yourself in its warm embrace.  Never has a game conveyed such feelings of pure joy as it builds towards its glorious crescendo.  If you cannot find room in your heart for Flower you have a very cold heart indeed.” – Greg Aldridge

I tried to show someone Flower this past weekend, a non-gamer who I thought would appreciate the art style at least: the game was met with slight bewilderment and confusion, the control method passed off as unnecessary.  Flower can’t be demonstrated in a 5 minute slot, it can’t be rushed with a poor presentation of its qualities, and it can’t be summed up in a sentence – Flower, more so than any other game this year, needs to be experienced.  The player needs to be there from the very first petal in the barren field until the incredible climax in the jagged, barbed city, and only then can one appreciate the amazing sensation of completition.  Play it once, play it a hundred times, just play it.” – Nofi.

“Flower is, hands down, one of the greatest gaming experiences of all time. Ever. Never before has a game with so much simplicity left players feeling so rewarded. A tale with no words, no characters and no clear plot has ended up being one of the best, most emotional story-telling experiences of the generation, if not all. With it’s simple controls, perfect score and fluid mechanics, the game masks an incredibly complex engine, rendering beautiful fields with ease and slipping you into a state of mind so calming, anyone walking in on you would think you were high.” – Lorcan Henry

Tomorrow, we’ll be down to the final two. Who will it be?

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