Flower might not be the game you'd buy a PS3 game for but it will be the game you'll be glad you'd bought a PS3.

User Rating: 9 | flower PS3
Every so often a game comes out, such as the recent Wii game Fragile, that go for a more artsy approach in terms of visuals, music and storyline but fall short in the gameplay. It seems the developers are fully aware of it but they think that the mystical artsy feel of all the other aspects make up for that. That pisses me off when they go to the trouble to make games beautiful in many aspects except the gameplay. Who said gameplay can't be art? Games like God of War and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 would be hailed as art.

Anyways, this guy named Jenova Chen comes into the indie gaming scene with his semi-hit among indie and hipster gamers with the game Flow. Flow was a cool concept, similar to the first stage in Spore if you've ever played that. You control an organism with the six axis and eat stuff. Yeah I know what you're thinking, one of thooooose games. But this isn't a review for Flow so i'll get back on subject. I wasn't a big fan of Mr. Chen's first game just because it was like what I described in the first paragraph. It had great music and a great art style but the gameplay just wasn't very appealing. Well, now he has created a new game exclusively to the Playstation 3 but will he redeem himself?

Flower doesn't sound like a game a heterosexual male would play so right off the bat are some indie points for not giving a f--- about naming it based on what will sell among them CoD brahs. However, Flower plays like a dream and it controls great. Like Flow you will be using the six axis controls so no buttons required for all those people who just hate mashing buttons. The control works really well and Flower was the first game I've played that really made great use of the six axis instead of leaving it as an afterthought. It controls a hell of a lot better then many Wii games I've played which is saying a lot because that console's based on that gimmicky controller.

Flower is presented pretty well. Typical indie fare though. No real options in the menu, just press start and the game pretty much starts. The storyline is pretty much just about bringing life and nature back to everything including fields, canyons and a city. Basic idea but it works well for this type of game.

In Flower you start off as one flower bud and the objective is to bloom all of the flowers you see, which usually follow a path, and then some of their buds will join you and soon enough you will be a massive group of flower buds floating along. The only button you will use is X which you just hold to keep your buds going. Sometimes there will be groups of flower buds out in the distance and you are free to go off the main path to get them because Flower grants you that kind of freedom despite being fairly linear. As you bloom more and more flowers the place you are in becomes more colorful. For example, once you bloom all of the flowers around a giant tree, that tree will bloom as well.

Flower's gameplay is extremely simple, and the game has virtually no challenge whatsoever. You read all about my complaining about this stuff with my opinion on artsy games being all flash no substance but Flower is a bit different. There is a distinct thrill to bringing the life back to the places you visit. You will have a blast doing this and the point I think Jenova had was to not create a challenging game but a relaxing, feel-good game experience. As you progress through the game nothing gets harder and you cannot die or anything like that. It has a great pace and a very satisfying conclusion.

The visuals in Flower are extremely impressive for being a $10 downloadable title. The attention to detail is very good and it moves at a very steady frame rate. The art style is very well done and the textures look great. It is all 3D too and for being a downloadable Playstation 3 game it sure looks almost parallel to full retail PS3 games which is damn impressive in its own right. I was extremely impressed by the visuals in Flower, a very pleasant surprise. I loved how much attention to detail there was especially in the color in everything and the light given off by a street light at night for example.

The music is another great aspect. As you bud flowers, it affects the pace of the music. In later levels when things are getting more intense with you budding all those flowers the music picks up and becomes beautiful and moving. The soundtrack for this game was recently released on the PS Store for $2.99. Two dollars and ninety nine cents. Download that s--- right now! The soundtrack is a bit better then the music featured in the game, because like i said how you kind of almost create the flow of the music in the game, will it's already done in the soundtrack and it sounds amazing. One of my favorite game soundtracks of all time.

This game is short and I hope you fully understand that and not let it affect your decision to buy it. Despite this, there is some replay to be found. I've gone back and redone levels I really liked and I really enjoyed doing that. This game doesn't really grow to old it seems and there always seems to be new little surprises. Though I think this game is nearly perfect, if you really do want a long game you may be disappointed when you complete this in like two hours.

Flower is a great game. Maybe the best Indie game you will ever play. It's relaxing, fun, great looking and sounding and just an altogether beautiful game. It may not appeal to everyone but for those it does appeal to will find a beautiful experience. Mr. Chen you've redeemed yourself.

gameplay- 8
graphics- 9
music- 10
replay value- 5
overall- 9