Flower (PS3) Review

*Sneeze*

As I wake up one bright spring morning, I come to an unpleasant realisation. I can’t open my eyes. I crash into different pieces of furniture as I walk blindly towards the kitchen sink to rinse my eyes. Before I know it, my nose starts running and my skin starts itching. I have a pollen allergy – and Sony still wants me to play Flower.

Now, I know what you’re saying. “Why do you buy a game that is about flowers if you’re so allergic to flowers that you hate even their digital form?” Well, let’s just leave the questions for the end, or we’ll never get through this.

I love the spring. The weather’s getting warmer, I can wear expensive sunglasses and you can say “I like your expensive sunglasses”. Unfortunately, the sunglasses are there for a reason, because as pretty as the flowers are, my body can’t stand them. So therefore one would think that Sony would take that into consideration when giving the green light to the excellent studio ThatGameCompany. Even if it is just polygons and pixels it reminds me of my allergy, and my allergy reminds me of bad times and the term “bad times” reminds me of the holocaust. Do you really wish for your products to be associated with the holocaust?

Apart from that grossly inapropriate comparison, I guess Flower is a good game for non-allergic people. I quite like the soothing feeling of soaring through the grass and collecting – God forbid – flowers. I must also admit I’ve grown fond of the music and the pretty visuals. I even quite like the overall message of the game which seems to be “take care of the little things” or “take care of the environment”. Now, I’m not an eco-freak like Jak from Jak 2 is. I like polluting little lakes and seeing the fish cadavers surface as much as the next guy, but I’m also aware that this message resonates with a lot of people. Like the fifteen people watching the Al Gore station.

The technicalities aren’t really that important in this game. Because this isn’t a game in the traditional sense of the word, it’s… [cliché] an experience [/cliché]. The most important thing is that the technicalities don’t get in the way of the experience, and they don’t. Controllers work well, and motion control does add some fun to the game. There’s no real challenge in completing the game, but again that’s a given and if you really went “There’s no challenge in the game!? Wow!” at this point you ought to be liquidated and have your assets sold to the highest bidder. There is some challenge in getting all the trophies, and discovering some of the easter eggs ThatGameCompany have planted out there. And for you people who wake up every morning, bang your head in the wall and scream “LIFE IS A CHALLENGE, AND I’M GONNA WIN EVERYTHINGZ!” only to defenestrate three years later, then sure this isn’t the game for you, but for the rest it ought to work just fine.

Except for us allergetics. Who have to be heavily sedated to play this game. For us that’s a real pain, and the SCEA office will therefore in three days time receive an angry letter, from yours truly, and a signed picture of me in profile attached to a (pretend) ticking time bomb. Because this country is founded on freedom of expression – and after all I’m just expressing myself – like the good people in ThatGameCompany did with flower and like a lot more developers ought to do.

Flower

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