|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. Its 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 games puzzles are well implemented additions.
The games 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, youll move back and forth across a lot of the same rooms. This quickly grows repetitive, until youre given the opportunity to venture further out into the island. Unfortunately, the protracted periods where youll 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 games audio is more pleasant. All text dialogue is accompanied by voice work delivered in warbled gibberish thats as entertaining as it is peculiar to listen to. The music consists of revamped instrumental classics.
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 theyre not enough to drown the entire experience. The sheer quirkiness of the games completely oddball story, unexpected humor, and downright weird character interactions is a rare treat. Though the games distinct personality easily outshines its major flaws, not everyone will be able to fully appreciate the mixed bag of delights it has to offer.
CCC Staff Contributor