Sunday, March 4, 2012

Flower - Elegance At Its Finest


Thatgamecompany (also written as thatgamecompany) is an independent game company known for creating games that are unlike any other currently on the market, with the intent to influence players' emotions. Their first game, Flow (stylized as flOw), was incredibly well-received and is, as of this writing, currently on my list of games to obtain in the future. Their last game, Flower, also got high ratings, and is among one of my top favorite PSN games. The company currently has another game called Journey on its way soon, so as a lead-in I have decided to re-play Flower and give my opinion here. Returning to this game after a few years, it has yet to lose its place as an amazing work of art.

The story of the game is very simplistic, in that you are a potted flower dreaming by a windowsill. As it dreams, you are the wind guiding a flower petal as it picks up other petals from blooming flowers, forming a long trail of petals as you go forward. To move forward is very easy: all you have to do is hold down almost any button you like, and you can change your course at any time using the Sixaxis functionality of your PS3 Sixaxis or DualShock 3 controller, and all you need to do to bloom a flower is to touch it with your trail. This makes the game accessible to anyone who wishes to play.

If there are any words I can use to describe each level, "beautiful" is not enough. This game has quite possibly the best grass effects I have ever seen in a video game, even to this day. The music in each level helps set the tone of each dream, which helps to get the right emotion from you at any given time. For instance, when my trail ran into electricity during a later stage, I felt genuinely scared as I tried to avoid any petals getting shocked. The stages aren't all like this though, as all the others help you feel very calm and relaxed. As a bonus, there are also a few secret flowers hidden within each level, encouraging you to explore every field at your leisure.

Flower is a game that is very simple, yet elegant in its design. It is a game I find to be very soothing and relaxing, to where I believe it can possibly help people recover from something such intense warfare or heavy depression. This game is nothing short of artwork and to me stands high as an example of how a video game can be treated as such. I would recommend this game to absolutely anyone who owns a PS3, as it is something you will find yourself playing over and over again. If you play this and enjoy the soundtrack, you can also get it separately on PSN; this soundtrack alone is able to get a good feeling out of you and you will not want to let it go.

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