Flower | A Different Outlook on Life | PS3 Review - Her Gaming World



Flower | A Different Outlook on Life | PS3 Review

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: ThatGameCompany
PS3 Review

Whenever I come across a game that gives me more than one message I usually take a step back and evaluate my life and my attitude towards it, I'm probably too hard on myself and torture myself over the direction of my life and how others see me, when I get like this I Usually immerse myself in a game, read a book or get out my anxiety box which is full of distractions that help me calm down a lot of the time, given it doesn't always work but I feel good knowing I have something in place to try to help. Back when I was solely playing PS3 my sister and her partner recommended a game that they themselves loved and knew I would love, this game being Flower, I was a bit dubious about it as it looked pretty simple and I thought I may get bored easily but this wasn't the case.

Flower is such a unique and eye-catching game, it's a pretty simplistic easy to follow game where you play as a little flowers in their plant pot who are daydreaming, you move your controller on to the ones you want to play as (each flower represents a level), whilst in the daydreams you're a petal making your way through different landscapes using the wind to push you along. Whilst floating along you interact with other flowers and collect petals making yourself grow into a bunch of beautiful petals making their way back to reality. When your petals touch flowers as you're moving along they will make the sound of music as well as turning the brown grass into fresh green grass that has come to life, but the further into the game you get the more obstacles you will get in your way which can often make you fail the level and send you back to the window with the other pots, when you fail your flower doesn't bloom but once you complete a level your flower blooms into a beautiful bright and happy flower.

Straight away Flower throws you into the sad reality of the life of a little plant, alone in a dirty city, seeing this sad little flower alone on the windowsill surrounded by a dull and dark environment made me feel so sad for the little flower. As someone who talks to their plants and gives them lots of light, I like to make sure that they're happy as sad as that sounds, after all, it's my responsibility to keep them alive! Whilst playing I sat there and thought, no wonder this little flower is daydreaming, it wants a happier and brighter life and it's sat wilting with no one but itself to interact with. When we see the flower go into its daydream we are taken to the first level, this level reflects on what the flower wants to escape to.

It's not happy being in the city and wants to fly through open fields and through the wind as a cute little petal collecting other petals along the way, you get the feeling that this open world is fresh and bustling with a healthy glow, flying towards other little flowers and helping them bloom then seeing the flower come out of this daydream was sad but because of this one day dream the little flower was no longer sad, it had bloomed and was standing upright much happier than before.

After finishing each level the window scenery changes and a new flower is added, a new flower represents a new level that you have to help the flowers get through each level focuses on a different aspect of what each flower is dreaming of, level 2 takes you to a dream world which is grey and your petal helps it come to life by touching other flowers and collecting petals, once you do this lots of colours start to appear and you can even move rocks and open canyons helping your flower get to the end of the level, to me it feels like the dreams these flowers are having show where the flowers originally came from and where they might have lived as each flower looks different.

Level 3 centers around wind, this flower daydreaming is much smaller than the previous two, it's clear that it's a hot summers day in the apartment the flowers are in and the little flower starts to dream about wanting wind to cool it down, this level takes place surrounded by a wind farm and your job is to collect all the petals near the base of the wind turbines to create wind which will power them. At times it felt as if I was hearing wind chimes which made the petals journey within level 3 that much more fulfilling, it made me feel very relaxed especially when I reached the end of the level and watched the sun go down.

By this point in the game I had a lot of feels, in fact it made me have a second look at how I treat the environment around me, you see we as humans aren't the only things that need love, care and respect there is so much more to this world we need to protect and help in order for us to keep a happy, clean and beautiful world and we take it for granted every day. Small things such as remembering to water your plant and give them sunlight can make a lot of difference, I know some joke about killing their plants but the great thing about plants is even if you do kill them you can help bring them back to life so don't throw them away!

When I moved on to level 4 and realised it was centered around the evening, I was looking forward to seeing how magical the environment would look under the starlit sky and fortunately the glow from the sun still going down helps you find the first lot of flowers once against the base of the wind turbines but the game moves you towards street lights and opens up the world of man a bit more, it seems a bit slower than level 3 as I would take in the environment a bit more the darker it got, with the darkness came a completely different feeling, almost like something dramatic was about to come after all this which is what we experience when we move onto.

Level 5 is when the dread set in for me, this poor little flower had a lot of emotions caused by the storm outside the window and this little flower wasn't dreaming, it was actually having a nightmare. It felt like all the happiness had been sucked out of this flower and we were feeling all of the emotions that it was feeling, it felt very heavy and as if there was no escape, to make matters worse this little flower had to try and avoid touching any steel as it was met with a violent shock, if you're shocked too many times you fail this level and have to try again, luckily the little petal is able to make it through. To me this level represents the destruction of man and what can happen when we harm the environment, it's like a shock to the system using electric shocking the petal but even if life is destroyed the game shows there is still hope for it to bloom again, which is what happens after the doom and gloom of this level.

This tiny petite little flower which represents level 6 takes you on the last journey of the game, it transports you to the city or what the little flower things the city looks like to it, you're still a little petal bringing life back to your surroundings and this time you are able to destroy the steel which shocked you in level 5. As you're flying along buildings start to loom over you and you can fly high to the top to get to the flowers you can interact with. This level feels a lot longer than the others you play through as you make your way back through each level you have played through and in doing so you turn the city where your apartment is into a beautiful bright and happy place, gone is the dark and gloomy window the flowers looked out of and instead its a happy environment for all 6 flowers to enjoy. The very last scene we see in this game is all 6 flowers next to each other and a photo of a plant pointing towards them, when you move the controller onto it you can go into this photo and it takes you to the end credits which I think is really clever.

The journey these little flowers take on to be is happy and healthy place always stuck with me, so much so that I had to purchase it for PS4 to play back through again as I originally played it on PS3 (it's exclusive to PlayStation). There are a lot of messages within this game, ones you can interpret yourself like I did, but the biggest thing I took from this is that we are killing our planet and we need to take a look at our actions, we have the opportunity to make a change even if it's as small as going around where you live and picking up litter, helping those who are disabled with the gardens, recycling, planting more trees etc. A happy environment does the world of good and this is coming from someone who can't stand clutter or rubbish around them, I have a whole different outlook and mindset when I'm in a clean and happy environment. 

The hardest thing about this game is having to use the controller like a move wand, it takes some getting used to but once you get the hang of it you're able to navigate a lot better rather than missing each flower you're aiming for when flying, this is a very calming experience and music is an important element to the game, each time you interact with a flower it will play a tune almost like they're interacting, this game is a 5/5 for me I love interactive games and this will always be one of my favourites. 

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