Flower Power

At the request of John I hit the PS3 Store to pick up Nobi Nobi (aka Stretchy Stretchy) Boy, the incredibly low price came as a bit of a surprise but I also remembered that Flower had slipped past me for a couple of weeks and decided to include it in my purchase which came to less than a tenner. Not bad. I still favour the PS3 Store for its real-money prices, a few thousand “microsoft points” just feels like more than a few quid.

Anyway, I digress, what I really wanted to talk about is Flower, with everyone on the PS3 seemingly ranting about either the flavour of the month version of CoD, Killzone or Resistance it might seem that Flower is somewhat misplaced. But there are plenty of us who there who thoroughly enjoy these “different” games and have more of a laugh in Katamari than any generic shooter.

Flower, at first, looks like an incredibly simple and somewhat stupid game. It adopts the impossible-to-fail gameplay mechanic of a truly casual, dare I say artistic, title which is something I’ve always welcomed. This mechanic, combined with incredibly simple controls, stunning music and stunning visuals caused Flower to literally entrance me within mere minutes of playing the game. Alas, it also entranced my partner who is playing as I pen this article.

With no direction and only a basic premise of the concept of the game garnered from preview articles, I was quickly enlightened to my goal. Flying from flower to flower was the obvious part and in doing this the single petal with which I started gradually built up into a whirling snake-like torrent of petals lifted from every flower I successfully breezed past.

Ares of the land are clearly less lush than others, appearing as brown patches in the first level. Flying to these and opening the flowers within them spawns more flowers which you must then open, once everything is open the area turns a vibrant green and, in later levels, a variety of colours that add a little extra to the visual experience. Many levels are dark and brooding, yet still beautiful, before you get to work. As you open flowers and change areas they become a stunning, vibrant blend of colours until the last area is changed and the level is complete.

You progress through a level in stages, which you unlock by restoring the vibrance to areas. A little variety is added with rock formations that change and move as you restore areas, sometimes opening like giant doors, and the game changes quite dramatically, culminating its dark brooding trend in sheer dissonance and despair from which you must restore the land, as you progress through the handful of levels.

It’s a truly different game, and well worth a look. One can only hope it receives some sort of additional content in the future because, thus far, I haven’t been compelled to replay it.

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