WeView Verdict: Flower

Do you love the feeling of wind in your game?


It turns out I don’t know how to pick controversial games. Not even a little bit. My face actually fell a little yesterday when I opened up the forum thread for Flower and saw the harmony amongst those of you who decided to chip in your thoughts about the game. Then again, maybe you all love talking about great games.

It certainly seemed that way this week, with a good number of you happy to say how much you liked thatgamecompany’s unconventional PSN title. However, not everyone was completely in love with the title, and in fact asparagushunter reflected my own thoughts on the game closely, although it’s worth nothing they were mixed in with a lot of positivity.

First and foremost – If you’re like me, this game is NOT relaxing; I’m the sort of person that got annoyed when they missed a flower and got frustrated at the controls not being responsive enough to turn around. I had to play it a couple of times to overcome this, so be aware if you’re that sort of a gamer.

That is exactly the sort of gamer I am, as I shared last week. I don’t know what it is, I just have to go back and pick up every flower I see in what I perceive as the correct order. In fact there were a few others who brought up this point as well, which made me feel a little less like I have some weird, gaming specific OCD.

Next up we have the thoughts of three_leg_jake. These were, again, largely positive but he did manage to find one issue with the game that irritated him.

A great game, a welcome breath of fresh air in the gaming world of death and destruction. A welcome change of pace, great use of the six axis controller, and graphically and sonically beautiful. Only niggle is the electricity levels which I found grated against the overall feel of the game.

There really was a lot of love being thrown around for Flower this week, and we turn to simplebob next. Whilst praising the game they did find one element he though thatgamecompany had missed out on.

Flower is simply a unique PS3 experience. Relaxing, beautiful, technically brilliant, this is one game I always show to any non-gamer as an example of what can be done on a PS3. Yes, its short, yes theres no guns, leaderboards or killstreaks, but for those looking for something to break up the normal core gaming experience with a breath of fresh air this is the title to go for. It is probably the most accessible game there is, with easy, if slightly floaty, controls perfectly suited to the sixth axis. My biggest gripe is there has been no patch for Move support.

With the enhanced accuracy of Move’s motion sensing it would be, at the very least, an interesting addition to Flower. However, perhaps the precision would actually hinder the free flowing feel of the game that thatgamecompany obviously worked hard to cultivate, which may explain the lack of support.

Finally, lets turn to Kennykazey who had a lot to say about about the simple beauty of the game and how it made them feel.

What makes a good game? Is cutting-edge graphics with more pixels than you can shake a fanboy at? Is it an amazing score that gives you an eargasm every time? Or is it genre-defining gameplay and revolutionizing features? I’d say, it’s none of these things. It’s how well the game connects to the player.

Flower is a game unlike any other. It has sweet graphics, beautiful music and sound-effects as well as the best use of six-axis motion control so far. And although all this helps set the mood and feel of the game, what really makes Flower is the way it engulfs the player in the experience and makes him or her feel like a part of the game. Flower sets your mind to a blissfull state and touches you in a way that no other game does (!). I understand that not everyone will be able to see the beauty of this Flower, but those that do are in for a treat. No thorns, I promise.

Now it’s time to turn to the verdict. It will likely surprise no-one that out of thirteen people giving their verdict of Flower, all thirteen gave the game a verdict of Buy It. Saw that coming didn’t you?

14 Comments

  1. naughty bear next week :P

  2. You want controversial? What about Haze?

    • Agreed. Or how about tomatoes or cucumber. I hate them too.

    • I really liked Haze. It was destroyed by the media because it was put on a pedestal as a Halo killer (which it wasn’t), but it certainly didn’t deserve the pathetic coverage the gaming press gave it.

      • Agreed. The only thing I didn’t like about Haze was that it went on a bit too long. Still, well worth the 4.98 I spent on it :)

  3. Flower definitely isn’t for everyone but what game is. The likes of Journey, Flower, Flow, Limbo. All particular titles that might not resonate with certain personality types but thankfully they exist. From XBLA to PSN then a hop, skip and a jump to the likes of Steam and even iTunes, we now have four digital distribution channels for smaller devs to try something different and you can’t help but smile at the diversity we’re already seeing this generation.

    The fact that the future is going to have even more incredible stuff like this reminds me why the video-games industry is still very much alive.

  4. I was in the sticks for the weekend and didn’t get time to do a review so i’ll just give my example that shows how relaxing flower can be.

    About 18 months ago or so i had a personal experience in life which was really grinding me down. It was something i had no control over yet try as i might i couldn’t let it go. I would put on a movie or tv only to find that i had missed much of the movie through being pre-occupied with my own situation. It was the same with games, nothing appealed or was enough to distract me long enough to get some peace for my head.
    Then one day i loaded up flower… some time later i realised i hadn’t thought about my situation once while playing it and when i did think about it after playing for a while i found i had a more relaxed/philosophical attitude towards it. I can still recall the feeling of joy and relief at being able to push my problem aside for the first time in a while.
    I’m not saying flower will make you more philosophical but it definitely triggered my own healing at the time and i recommend anyone try playing it when they’re feeling a bit low. It’s not just for those occasions as it is simply a beautiful game to be enjoyed any time but i also think it would be well suited as a supplementary form of therapy in a hospital or recovery situation.
    Thank you thatgamecompany.

    • agreed. i have been suffering from serious illness for 8 years now and depression has been a big part of my life. but playing certain games does indeed lift my mood and flower is one off them.

    • It must have served as the perfect distraction. Something where you could let go of the day-to-day problems and switch your mind off and pop it on “idle” for a moment. It sounds idyllic. To be fair, I didn’t have any sort of crisis in my life but the same feeling of “what world?” happened every time I loaded the game. You really do forget about the things around you when you have your senses immersed in something so captivating.

  5. Haze would definitely be a controversial choice, hmmm, what else? MW2, Black Ops? Bayonetta, Far Cry 2! Yeah, Far Cry 2 had several good points, but also quite a few negatives. I think I could get stuck into that.

  6. I still frequently think about Flower, especially the unique credits section at the end.

  7. It’s just so fantastic that companies are now able to makes games like this, they would never have made it in previous generations due to it being disc only. Download games prove to be fantastic and more innovative than many AAA titles time and time again.

  8. never bought this but am tempted to give it a go actually looks good

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