Review: Flower (PSN)

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Just a heads-up: this is going to be brief. The less I say about Flower, the better. 

I don’t mean to imply that Flower’s a terrible game; that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s an undeniably wonderful experience — one rarely experienced in gaming — and perhaps the best case on the market for the PS3’s powerful (and pricy) hardware. But Flower is a game about discovery. It’s a game of unearthing secrets, discovering new freedoms and overcoming obstacles, and relishing the simple, seamless joy of flight.

Like all great games, Flower doesn’t relinquish all its nuances and secrets from the beginning. Without a single word in narration or dialog, the game gracefully communicates through brilliant images and living, breathing landscapes. It eschews ideas and concepts in favor of emotions and moods. The game’s developer, thatgamecompany, famously described Flower as a poem in videogame form. I would argue Flower is more like a series of oil paintings: beautiful from a distance, and impressive when examined up-close.

For those of you who like a brief, to-the-point evaluation: I love Flower. It earns my absolute highest recommendation. It’s a 10 out of 10, an A, an exploding GamePro-guy-head — whatever metrics you want to apply to it are irrelevant. It’s as simple as this: Flower is an essential experience, and an endangered species in game design. It’s worth your time and money. But most importantly — and I’m saying this from personal experience — Flower will linger in your thoughts for a very long time.

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