There are a good amount of new games to occupy your time with on your shiny new Playstation 4, but don’t cast aside the games that already existed in the last generation. Games like Trine, and of course, Flower are great games that shine particularly bright on the new consoles. Flower was originally released back in 2009 by famed developer thatgamecompany, who have since produced other amazing works like Journey and FlOw. This time, game developer Bluepoint Games, known for remastering old titles and making HD updates like the Shadow of the Colossus Collection and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, have been tasked with bringing Flower to the PS4.
For those that have somehow missed out on what Flower is, it is one of those games that doesn’t really feel like a game at all—something thatgamecompany succeeds greatly at. There’s no real boss, no real enemies, and no real story. That is, unless you read into all the blatantly apparent allegories that are around every turn. This is a classic tale about Man’s dirty industry against the beauty of nature. That’s how I see it, at least; there could be a different interpretation for each gamer, which is part of Flower‘s beauty.
So what is the game exactly? You control the wind with the SixAxis in the controller, and your entire goal is to guide flower petals around. Pressing one button makes the wind more powerful to move faster, but that’s all. You start with only one petal and must guide it around the level collecting other petals. There are certain petals you collect to progress through the level, but they are not hidden in secret locations, guarded by dangerous enemies, or blocked by difficult puzzles. They are sitting there like the other flowers to breeze through as you gather petals. This is probably making you wonder why this game is known for being so great if the premise is so simple.
Flower is one of those games that you need to experience yourself to fully understand its greatness. That’s not to say everyone will love this type of game, but you’ll be surprised by how enjoyable it actually is. You don’t sit down to play Flower with the intent to beat it and be done. That will cause you to miss out on what’s really important. Flower has the ability to invoke a sense of serenity while simultaneously mixing it with melancholy. You will feel very peaceful while playing this game, but you might also feel a little sad. It’s hard to explain why, but almost everyone does, and it’s the beauty of Flower.
Part of Flower’s undeniable beauty stems from the majestic visuals alone. The game looks absolutely gorgeous, relying heavily on a colorful presentation. Whether a sea of green where the wind creates waves in the rolling hills with streams of colorful flowers lining your path, or a majestic dark sky with deep colors swirling on the ground. Flower only has a few levels, but each one is enchanting in its own special way. Take those games that have beautiful background scenery, and put yourself in that scenery, because that’s what Flower is. A straightforward premise that has incredible scenery, and even if the scenery isn’t complex, its simplicity is one reason why it works so well.
The beautiful visuals, scenery, and calming gameplay help invoke that peaceful feel, but it wouldn’t be so effective without alluring music. Flower succeeds greatly on this front once again, by having a captivating orchestra that teases the line between serenity and melancholy as I stated before. The music can be straightforward or complex, but it always works. A smooth beautiful melody, a dark thundering power, or a rousing score to send shivers down your spine; Flower is certainly an emotional game, and the musical score is one of the leading factors for why it is.
The real question hasn’t been addressed yet, and that is: what’s the difference between the PS3 version and the PS4 one? Honestly? Nothing. The PS3 version runs at 1080p and 30fps, while the PS4 version runs at 1080p and 60fps. The difference between 30fps and 60fps is huge when it comes to a lot of games, but not Flower, because the game is so simple the difference in frame-rate is barely noticeable. Yes, look hard enough between two versions you may notice a difference here or there. The game looks a little more refined, but only having both versions side-by-side will you ever notice anything. The controls are a little tighter, which sounds silly in a game where tilting the controller is the only control. The DualShock 4 motion sensor seems to be better than the DualShock 3, and that could be the only reason. Once again, the difference is barely noticeable.
That leads me to the next big important question: should you buy it? Yes, absolutely you should, and here’s why. Those who already own the game on the PS3 can download it for free on the PS4, so why the hell not, right? You get to play it on the shiny new console and carry on the wonderful game that you so wisely purchased back in 2009. Those who were foolish enough to skip it on the PS3—the game costs only 7 USD now. That’s incredibly cheap for such an amazing game. Yes, Flower is short, you can beat it in an hour, but I guarantee you will come back to it time and time again.
Flower really put thatgamecompany on the map after their successful title FlOw, and as we all know, it lead to their latest, greatest title: Journey. This is another chance for you to experience the masterpiece of Flower. There are many people who throw this game aside as pointless and don’t really count it as a game at all. Flower displays greatly that not all games need to fit into the mainstream idea, and that indie games can compete against the big-budget ones. There is true beauty found in Flower if you give it the chance and let the creative world take over all your senses. Now, you are indeed given a second chance to pick it up. Don’t be foolish enough to miss out on it a second time.
This review is based off a retail copy of the Playstation 4 version developed by Bluepoint Games and distributed by Sony Computer Entertainment.
- Majestic Music
- Beautiful Visuals
- Nothing New