Flower, Sun, and Rain Review
Flower, Sun, and Rain box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Grasshopper Manufacture Studio / h.a.n.d. 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Marvelous Entertainment / XSeed 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jun. 16, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Moving Mondo around in third-person using the D-pad feels imprecise and awkward. Balancing this out, the new touch controls are a more accurate means of navigating the island and interacting with objects. It’s easier to go where you like by tapping the map on the touch screen and holding the stylus in the direction you want to move. Also, the stylus-based jacking-in system and dial turning input utilized in the game’s puzzles are well implemented additions.

Flower, Sun, and Rain screenshot

The game’s artistic direction is a fine fit for the odd story, but the minimalist visuals look like they were culled from the original PlayStation instead of the PS2. Characters are very blocky and environments are only slightly more detailed. Inside the hotel, you’ll move back and forth across a lot of the same rooms. This quickly grows repetitive, until you’re given the opportunity to venture further out into the island. Unfortunately, the protracted periods where you’ll hoof it around on the large island on foot give you lengthy opportunities to soak in the general lack of detail in the scenery, as you slowly cross expansive stretches of pixelated terrain. In comparison, the game’s audio is more pleasant. All text dialogue is accompanied by voice work delivered in warbled gibberish that’s as entertaining as it is peculiar to listen to. The music consists of revamped instrumental classics.

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Flower, Sun, and Rain suffers from an extremely dated presentation and a strict, not entirely likeable, code-based puzzle system. These elements gradually wear on the nerves, yet they’re not enough to drown the entire experience. The sheer quirkiness of the game’s completely oddball story, unexpected humor, and downright weird character interactions is a rare treat. Though the game’s distinct personality easily outshines its major flaws, not everyone will be able to fully appreciate the mixed bag of delights it has to offer.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.6
Graphics
Even with some interesting people and settings to check out, the super dated visuals are a drag.
3.6
Control
The D-pad movement doesn’t work well, but stylus controls are reasonably tight.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Funny garbled dialogue and interesting musical re-hashery is a good fit.
3.7

Play Value
Progressing through the 18 days worth of bizarre encounters is time consuming and worth doing for the overall strangeness of the story experience. The code-heavy puzzles aren’t nearly as compelling.

3.6
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Story and universe created by the infamous, award-winning game designer Suda51.
  • 18 mysterious scenarios contained within a rich storyline with a wealth of bizarre outcomes.
  • Touch Screen controls enhance the thought provoking puzzles with the use of the stylus.
  • 50 new puzzles exclusive to the Nintendo DS version.


  • Screenshots / Images
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