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Flower, Sun, and Rain Review

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Developer: Suda51 Publisher: Xseed Games
Release Date: June 16, 2009 Available On: Nintendo DS

Imagine yourself at a beautiful resort. Got that? Okay. Wait…what’s that? Every day repeats itself? And you have to defuse a terrorist bomb before a plane explodes? Man…some resort. Luckily, you’re actually there on a job. You’re a “Searcher” (basically a freelance detective with no law enforcement affiliation) named Sumio Mondo, and your literal job description is “finding lost things”. With your trusty suitcase Catherine by your side, which gives you the ability to “jack” into certain people or objects in order to get more info to complete your mission, no mystery is unsolvable! Or is it?

Flower, Sun and Rain is…interesting to say the least. The game’s controls are ported well from it’s PS2 counterpart, using both the directional pad/buttons and the stylus equally, though if you want, it is possible to play the whole game with just the stylus (though quite difficult). The cutscenes are very long, and kinda make you wonder “when do I actually get to play?” In fact, the only time you get to “play” is when running around the various environments and jacking into the different NPC’s and mission-oriented objects. Finding where to go next is a bit confusing, but that’s why you have Catherine. Catherine is basically an all-in-one tool. “She” gives you the “jacking” ability, lets you keep notes, and stores valuable quest-related objectives for you. In other words, the game plays itself…you’re just there to help it along the way.

The dialogue is actually a bit on the creepy side, yet still has an oddball humor about it. At times you will be wondering “What are they friggin’ talking about?!”, while simultaneously chuckling. That will quickly be replaced by a confused look as you hear random possessed-sounding voices as two characters converse. Be careful when playing the game with headphones, the sound will easily freak you out. The music in the game goes nicely with the play style and setting, but can get rather annoying after about 10 minutes.

The cutscenes are actually some of the best I have seen on a DS game. Very fluid and a nice mix of real-action movies (that has nothing to do with the content of the game), and actual game graphics in movie form (really long and give you a decent amount of info, but not a gratuitous amount). For some reason, I keep being reminded of Virtua Fighter for the old arcade units. The third-person camera view works nicely and the environments are fairly well detailed. It’s not the best graphically, but it does a better job than some of the games I have played on the DS.

Flower, Sun and Rain is a nice port of the PS2 cult classic. The story is full of twists and turns and will more than likely keep any Suda51 (the game’s eccentric designer; also the designer of No More Heroes for Wii) fan on the edge of their seats, and any casual gamer wondering what drug they accidentally took. Possibly the weirdest game moment I have ever seen: there is a pink crocodile named Chris. As mentioned previously, I recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of Suda51 (Goichi Suda) or is just looking for an eccentric romp through a resort that seems to be straight out of Groundhog Day. As for the wandering consumer, save yourself the confusion. This game probably won’t be for you.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 6.5
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.6
Written by Evan Write a User Review