Review: Flower (PS4)
Flower is easily one of the last generations most thought provoking indie games, that is before thatgamecompany released what some may consider to be its spiritual successor in Journey. And somehow, Sony managed to get this game out in time for the official launch of the PlayStation 4 with a screaming Cross-Buy deal. While it’s essentially the exact same game as that of the PlayStation 3 and the newly minted Vita versions, this PlayStation 4 version is by far the king of the hill.
The first thing anyone who’s played (or not played) Flower before on PS3 or Vita will notice when they see the first flower petal take flight on PS4, and all that luscious grass swaying in your breeze, is how much more vibrant the colors look. I can’t wholeheartedly chalk this up the “the power of PlayStation 4”, but that sounds like a full-proof line of thinking for now. The visuals, however, are very impressive and demo worthy. Considering how impressed your guests might be by Flower as a game though, may determine if Flower is an appropriate game to demonstrate the potential beauty of next-gen consoles.
For me, the ultimate test of how much better the controls are with DualShock 4 was definitely trying to get one of the toughest trophies in the game. It in itself is a bit of a spoiler, but if you don’t want to know what to expect from the last level, then I advise you to skip the next paragraph.
The trophy challenges you to get to the city unscathed, meaning don’t touch the hot power lines while bringing light to the darkness in the final level. This is easier said than done, though doesn’t take more than a few stabs in the dark to achieve, but it’s still a doozy. I’m unhappy to report that I did not easily get this trophy even using DualShock 4, and that’s not the fault of the controls.
The motion controls of the DualShock 4 are more responsive than I had anticipated. Coupled with the 1080p graphics and a buttery 60 frames per second framerate, the flight controls in Flower are a welcome mat to the future of gaming on PlayStation 4. Gone is the uncertainty of knowing what you can or cannot do. Turning on a dime is very possible in Flower on PS4 by simply rocking the controller hard left or right while feathering the R2 button.
In classic Flower fashion, it doesn’t matter which button you press to propel your flower power forward, but because all buttons except L2/R2 are no longer pressure sensitive on DualShock 4, one will have press X repeatedly to tread softly versus lightly depressing the lower shoulder buttons like your trying to drive in a 5 MPH zone safely.
If you’ve played Flower on PS3 or even on Vita, there is no new content in the PS4 version. It is start to finish the same game. It does maintain its own trophy list which may compel any trophy collector’s out there to replay. Expect to find the same hidden blue flowers as before, of which there are plenty to discover in your efforts to open the hidden room. But there is one feature unique to the PS4 version that is attributed to the power and abilities built in to the PlayStation 4 console: Remote Play.
I’m only bringing this up because I thought going into Flower on PS4 that Remote Play would not be supported. It has been stated that not all titles will support it, especially those that require the PlayStation Camera to function (though why not since the Vita has a camera?). I thought for sure the motion controls of the DualShock 4 were the reason it would not be supported, and I’m pleased to say I was wrong. Not only does Flower support Remote Play, but the motion controls built into the Vita itself work. Not as good as the DualShock 4, but they work.
Overall, Flower is one of those pinnacle PlayStation titles that will remain a classic to the platform and that would have remained that way with or without having come to Vita and PS4. It alone is responsible for sparking a new way of designing indie games for consoles by thinking way outside the box and taking huge risks to be considered a game in the first place. It has levels, it gives the player a purpose, and it finishes nicely with a bottle of your favorite beverage.
A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Tight and responsive motion controls thanks to DualShock 4
- Crisp, vibrant landscapes made even more crisp and vibrant
- Smooth framerate
- Remote Play support with Vita motion controls
What I Dislike:
- No new content added to the PS4 version