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Old 12-01-2010, 11:54 PM   #7
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Re: Please rate this review: Flower Second Opinion

Thanks for the responses guys.

Regarding whether this is a review, thought piece, or article: I've thought about this for a couple days now and I still consider it a review. While not a traditional review in the "story, graphics, sound, gameplay" sense, I still cover the major points - primarily graphics and gameplay. More importantly, though, it's a critical evaluation of the game. It summarizes my experience playing the game and my reaction to the game as a whole.

Regarding games without rules: I agree that a game by definition has rules, and even the simplest video games have rules by which the player must abide.

In case it wasn't clear, in no way did I mean that Flower does not have game elements. I do think that the game elements are not really innovative** and the things that make Flower a good experience and good art are not dependent on those game elements. In fact, the game elements occasionally get in the way.

Looking at the same point from a slightly different perspective, Kellee Santiago of That Game Company says that Flower is a game about finding balance between the urban and the natural. That may be true of the narrative components (debatable), but nothing that the player can do has anything to do with balancing anything! As the player, you're not trying to collect some flower petals but avoid collecting too many--you want to collect as many flower petals as possible. Finding balance is about equalizing opposing forces; there's no such task in the game.

Anyhow, sorry for getting off on a rant.

**The use of the motion control is well done, but that's more of an interface thing in how the user makes choices. I'm more concerned with what choices the user can make to begin with.
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