|System: PS3 (PSN)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: thatgamecompany||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEA (SONY)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 12, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
I was especially impressed with the different lighting effects used in Flower. Although there has been much dialogue about the significance (or lack thereof) of lighting effects in the current generation, Flower does a great job of using dramatic lighting to convey the different moods of every level. For instance, during the aforementioned level, which occurs at sunset, there are very long shadows, and the colors are very rich and deep in tone. But, during the first level, which takes place during the early afternoon, there are virtually no shadows, and the colors are very bright. Flower's ability to capture the different moods and colors through various lighting effects is definitely uncanny and sets this title apart, on a technical level, from anything I've ever seen.
But enough about the visuals, let's talk about the music. As a big fan of game music, I have to say that it takes a lot to impress me. However, the score in Flower, much like the game itself, is simplistic yet beautiful. Each level has unique orchestral melodies that blend tranquil piano with rich cello and other instruments that play very softly in the background. Still, it is not the background music by itself that is so impressive. It is your ability to interact with the music and essentially make your own score that makes this title so impressive.
As you collect different flower petals, a musical note will play. These notes are played on a variety of instruments, from a violin to synthesized vocals, and when they are played in tandem with the background music, they provide a very pleasant counter-melody. The rhythm and flow of this new component to the music is entirely up to you, and it will depend on how fast (or slow) you collect your flower petals. Creating new and interesting music using the flower petals was very engaging, and the soundtrack interaction added yet another level to this deeply immersive game.
Flower is definitely one of the most ambitious games of this generation, and your perception of it will depend on what you want from a game. If you are the type of person that thrives on adventure-based gameplay with plenty of action and things to destroy/shoot/jump on, then Flower may not be for you. But, if you don't mind taking some time out of your day to enjoy something completely different, with no real goal or objective, then Flower is definitely worth its $10 purchase price. With stunning visuals, a beautiful soundtrack, and relaxing gameplay, this title is one-of-a-kind and, as such, simply can't be missed!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor