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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Game Play: Flower (PSN)

What gets me about Flower, the latest from Jenova "flOw" Chen (and naturally, a lot of other people), is the etymology of it all. To describe Flower, you'd need to talk about flOw, Rez, Flight Simulator and Pac-Man. And I don't even know how much that would cover it all.

Flower isn't so much fun as relaxing, so toss some Katamari Damarcy in there too for that "virtual stressball" thing. There's some logic and the most thinly cut concept of puzzle solving, but mostly in that "the rules takes some figuring out" Chen kind of way.

Which, for the record, is why I won't compare this game to Linger In Shadows - although others might. Flower actually does have a ruleset and a pretty standard concept of game mechanics, whereas Linger often seemed to hope you'd just mash buttons until the scene moved in the right direction. Linger might occupy its own interesting corner as part of the demoscene, but I wouldn't put it too close to Flower in a Venn diagram.

The only bad part of Flower is that it is kind of short. You can get through the main portion in a night, no problem. Course, I think we still have an unlock to do by going back through and completing more of the original levels. I don't know if we'll ever play Flower to that extent, but even playing it last night makes the $10 price tag seem pretty worthwhile.

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