Review by ccdude1445
"What life lacks. A relief lies in wait"
It would be so easy if I were to sit here and tell you this game is "awesome" over and over, it is an awe-inspiring ride that takes you not into some over-the-top environment filled with unbelievable detailed enemies but one into introspection, it gives you the chance to reflect on yourself and "move" with your own issues.
When it comes to de-stressing most(if not all) of this community turn to video games as a means of finding a way to sort out the issues of the day and for the most part the mind-bending/numbing action has been there to serve that purpose, be it in Platforming, Shooting, Strategy, Rpg...Etc., Yet rare has it been that there has been a "niche" that doesn't focus so much on solving the impossible puzzle or defeating the "big bad"...
Flower is one of those games that bends the idea of genre, it really isn't ANYTHING yet it serves as so much more than what can be seen, it's such an easy game to overlook that the sheer simplicity of it might even seem offensive to those on an outside glance. To say this game is underrated would be an understatement, this game isn't so much of a game as it is an experience.
The Premise of this game is basically that you're "wind" and you "bloom" flowers and collect petal's from them as you pass by and from there the game takes you on a journey for you to experience. It's an incredibly open game with very little barrier's, you aren't really forced to do anything, take your time.
In admittance when I first read about this game I fell under the same ideal that "who would want to play "wind"? I mean, it just sounds boring" and truthfully I walked into the game with the sense that I may have wasted my ten dollars...that is, until I actually got into the game.
This is not a game you play with the light's on or noise all around you, it's a game meant to relax you, a long-since forgotten skill that is lost in the world of high-octane thriller.
This is one that most will probably complain about and true enough the six-axis controller is a little frustrating(at first), it can take a little while before you just start to "flow" with the game and lose yourself into it.
To reiterate, the only reason one would have trouble with the controls in this game is if they're trying to play it like every other game, that is NOT how you play this game, you relax, lean in and lose yourself and suddenly(not surprisingly) the controls will WORK for you instead of against you.
It's simple, it has none, at least not in the strictest sense. This game provides an incredible amount of satisfaction in HOW you play and though the ideal is to achieve an end to the level there's no real reason to beyond an aesthetic effect. The gameplay is only a place-holder name for the experience of the game itself.
Here is an interesting concept, can a game with no dialogue, no direction and no real guide above you even HAVE a story? I think this is left to interpretation yet to me, there is. The way you move and flow with the world as you move from flower to flower, lighting up the night and blowing away the obstacles set for you.
More than this though the story itself is one more of introspection than a story told to you. I found that as I moved through the experience I moved through my own emotions, I thought about my own life and worked through my own issues, relating myself deeply into the experience.
In essence there IS a story yet it is more about learning not to "fight" the game and just sort of let go, the more you let go the closer you come to losing yourself in it.
At times annoying and at times completely engrossing. In all honesty the more I found myself immersed in this game the less I even noticed the game. Don't misunderstand it is utterly beautiful yet at the same time there are a number of repeating notes in one or two of the levels that can become incredibly repetitive if you turn your tv up too loud.
The best way to experience(and enjoy) the music is to keep your television to a somewhat low(tolerable) level, one where you can hear the soft undertones but one that doesn't "ring" in your ears.
It by no way takes away from the game, such a minor issue in repetitiveness pales in comparison as the more you get into the game the more the music just "adds" to what you feel deep down, especially on the last level.
Impressive to say the least yet completely subtle, somehow it manages to just "be there" without really making itself known and that's just on stereo. I can only imagine how impressive this experience would be with surround sound.
I rarely ever find myself actually enjoying a game this much. There are few out there that manage to achieve in simplicity what so many try in utter complexity. It's hard to really explain how beautiful this game really is without you actually playing it.
If you're looking for an experience and not the next Halo or Final Fantasy this will likely be the best ten dollars you'll ever spend.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/22/09
Game Release: flower (US, 02/12/09)
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