Flower (PSN title)

OK yes I bought Flower and even worse I bought it as one of those excuse titles, you all know the type of title i mean, "I got it for my girlfriend" or "I got it for my kids" or even "I got it to show off what an HD game can really look like". . . Waitaminute that's exactly it, that is what this game does, this game shows off exactly how good HD graphics can look.

Visually this is a stunning title, with top notch visuals throughout, the grass looks like grass, the petals look like petals and so on, you can honestly believe that the landscapes you're flying over could be real world locations. As a game however, there isn't a great deal of gameplay to it.

Like Flow from the same developer, Linger in Shadows and even Tori Emaki before it, Flower is a relaxing "game". You move the lead petal by simple manipulation of the sixaxis controller and you can control a burst of wind behind the whole bunch by holding down any of the four buttons and that's about it, there are no enemies to kill, no high speed chases, just the landscape shooting past as you fly overhead.

The best way to describe the actual gameplay on this title is likening it to a 3D version of snake, you start off with one dot, eat another dot to become 2 dots etc. except for the fact that the dots in question are actually flowers blooming on the ground that's exactly how this works, unlike snake though, you can choose to move away from the ground and explore the whole gameplay area from above, giving you a chance to take in the lush visuals.

There is music to Flower, but you hardly notice it, it's very quiet but the sounds get punctuated every time you collect a new flower, giving you the ability to play out some piano-based tunes, needless to say that all you can control is the tempo based on the speed of your collecting, but it's still a nice touch and adds a small amount of fun to the title.

If you have played and enjoyed flow, then Flower is the next step for you as it evolves on everything that was done in thatgamecompany's first title, the controls appear to be more responsive with Flower allowing you to rotate the camera very quickly behind the lead petal and thereby control the direction of travel, you can see that a lot of work has gone into the control system and thatgamecompany have really pulled out all the stops in making the sixaxis responsive to the slightest movement.

Flower has some easy to earn trophies for the trophy lovers out there too, some are as simple as play a level and wait ten minutes before playing another one or don't play the game for a week (I'm not sure that's a good message to send to the people who just purchased your game but hey it's their design), but then it has some harder trophies too, such as collect all 3 of the rare flowers in each level, these hidden flowers can be tricky to find and will really add playtime on to those of you going for all of the trophies.

Bottom line is, if you're fed up with what you've been playing lately and fancy a relaxing title then you could do a lot worse than Flower. . . even if it is your only excuse title.

This is a high score for this type of title and it's all been earned on the visuals and the smoothness of the controls.

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