I’ve been using my PS3 a lot lately, and not just as a very nice DVD player.
Like everyone else, I like Flower quite a bit. I suppose I should wax poetically about its agency, or its silent narrative, or whatever pseudo-academic buzzwords people are trying to impose on “the way we talk about games” so we can all feel smarter about our favorite button-mashing wish-fulfillment fantasies. Instead, I’ll just say it’s a game that fills me with much joy.
And that’s largely due to the sense of flight. Playing it, I was instantly reminded of how enjoyable the pure act of flying around pretty environments is, and how that’s been lost over the years as we all became bald space marines fighting for humanity and legal steroids on terra brown. Flight simulators became so complex that the mere act of taking off was a chore; getting to a point where you could just enjoy the virtual sensation of swooping around was nearly impossible.
I was also reminded of how many hardcore gamers missed out on Myst, because it was much cooler to hate it than to play it. Flower is a lot like Myst, at least in terms of presenting a sadly beautiful world with machinery. It has puzzles, in the sense of “Do X to trigger Y, then advance.”
And of course the final level of mind-blowingly wonderful, and a perfect example of something I really dig about games: visibly changing the world through your actions. Fable II has this, on a slightly smaller level, and so does Flower. (Da Blob is an even better example; I’ve not played the Wii version, but I played the student demo a lot on the PC.)
So I guess Flower is Myst meets Flight Unlimited, only with extra hot plant-on-plant action. The only negative: I wish it didn’t have a score, or at least it was used more sparingly and just gave you the sounds of the wind and the grass. Instead, the entire game sounds like a Yoga video. Maybe John Tesh can score the sequel.
Now Noby Noby Boy, or is it Nobi Nobi Boy? I have no clue what the fuck that is. I played it for a couple of hours, at least I think I played it. I walked around, pooped out a few sheep, grew to impossibly large sizes, ate my own ass, and made some futile attempt to read menus that were scrolling off the top of the screen.