Flower

Key events

When thatgamecompany sets out to make a game, one of its main goals is to make us feel something unusual. From flOw to Flower to its BAFTA-winning Journey, the studio founded by Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago has shown little interest in conveying a specific message or framing interactive metaphors and instead tailors its work to elicit a range of responses. For me, it's a goal it achieves time and again.

Flower, flOw, Escape Plan, Sound Shapes added to PS4 launch line-up

Top downloadable titles Flower, flOw, Escape Plan and Sound Shapes will all be available for download on PlayStation 4 at the console's launch.

Better yet, the quartet of titles will be completely free for existing owners regardless of the platform they were originally bought on, Sony announced via the EU PlayStation blog.

The PS4 editions will see some upgrades too - Flower now features 1080p 60FPS visuals, while PlayStation Vita title Escape Plan has re-worked controls to fit the DualShock 4 pad.

Read more

Journey Collector's Edition innards confirmed

Journey Collector's Edition innards confirmed

UPDATE: TGC reveals US release date, box art.

UPDATE: Journey Collector's Edition launches in the US on 28th August for $29.99, thatgamecompany has announced.

TGC worked with Sony Santa Monica Studio to create its first disc-based release. Release information for additional territories will be announced soon, it said. The game's US box art is above.

The complete set of bonus flOw, Flower and Journey content includes:

Read more

PS3 exclusive Journey Compilation spotted

PS3 exclusive Journey Compilation spotted

UPDATE: thatgamecompany confirms 3-title collection.

UPDATE: thatgamecompany has confirmed Journey Compilation as a three-title collection.

"Yes, the ‪#JourneyPS3‬ Collector's Edition is a thing, and it includes ‪#flOwPS3‬ and ‪#FlowerPS3‬, but we can't say anything more," read an update on the official thatgamecompany Twitter page.

The game is listed on PlayAsia as Journey (Collector's Edition), out in August 2012.

Read more

Heavy Rain demo on PSN Store today

Plus: Flower price pressed right down.

A demo for Heavy Rain is the biggest attraction on the PlayStation Store today. Sony's huge PS3 exclusive was reviewed earlier and now awaits only its launch on 26th February. But can it do the numbers?

PSN update: Flower tops the bill

PSN update: Flower tops the bill

MotorStorm! Resistance! Hasselhoff!

Pretty as a petal PSN game Flower heads the PlayStation Store weekly update today.

It's a bit short to cost GBP 6.29, but that's the price Sony's opted for, and we'd still recommend a purchase; soothing, delicate, serene. Read our full Flower review to find out more.

Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, a football-like sports/racing affair, is the other PSN game on offer. This costs GBP 7.99, but there's a free trial available.

Read more

Sony details spring PSN plans

Sony details spring PSN plans

Worms! Ragdoll Kung Fu! Diner Dash!

Sony plans to release Worms, Ragdoll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic, Diner Dash and many others on PlayStation Network this spring.

That's according to a Sony US press release outlining plans for "PSN Spring Fever", which was sent out yesterday.

However, the same list reproduced on the US PlayStation blog has a few amendments, notably the removal of Worms and Diner Dash. There's no explanation, so we've gone in search of one. We'll let you know.

Read more

Flower

Flower

Into flora.

In the words of developer thatgamecompany, Flower is a "videogame version of a poem, exploiting the tension between urban bustle and natural serenity", and while the brief, sensuous journey through the game's six levels is worthily conceived and executed, inviting interpretation, its high-minded origins also have the potential to derail it, albeit not in the eyes of "the audience of pretentious fawning fops that have turned the PS3 into the equivalent of a f***ing beatnik poetry bar", as one of our readers put it when we previewed the game in January. However, the result is pleasantly innocent and uplifting, and perhaps unexpectedly its best qualities are those of a very good videogame.

You control the wind, using the Sixaxis motion sensor to direct a petal on the breeze, or to gust forward by holding any of the face buttons. As the petal passes over nearby flowers, they bloom and release their own petals into its wake, which follow you across hills carpeted in swaying wild grass under gorgeous oceans of summer blue. Every new petal emits a calming strum or twinkling murmur into the gentle flow of background music and pivotal events are embroidered by the audible rush of wind.

Certain flowers are held in a translucent circle, and collecting all the petals in a group of these typically has an effect on their surroundings - spreading waves of vibrancy over sun-bleached meadows, for instance, or activating wind turbines and lighting beacons at nighttime. Besides collecting petals and admiring the scenery, you also gust through gullies on occasional, sympathetic rails, sweep through caves and soar from the crests of half-buried obelisks to ascend the walls of canyons and gather far-flung petals. This is how you make progress, moving between two or three significant areas in each level and restoring them by inviting their occupants to bloom, before floating into an end-of-level vortex that transports you home to a dusty windowsill in a city apartment, where your current level's flower is revitalised by the events you've portrayed in its imagination.

Read more

No word yet on Flower Euro price

But it's ten dollars in the US.

Sony has said that PSN title Flower will cost USD 9.99 when it's released in the US, but Sony UK has so far been unable to confirm pricing.

Flower

But is it game?

Before you even launch Flower you've read everything you're going to be told in words about how to play it: "Tilt Controller to Soar. Press Any Button to Blow. Relax, Enjoy." It might not be quite so concise as Pong's "Avoid Missing Ball for High Score", but Flower's instructions are still unusually succinct and, like those displayed on the side of Nolan Bushnell's arcade cabinet, they are given outside of the game experience, in the PlayStation 3 XMB.

FlOwer

Pretty PSN title from flOw creator.

Pretty PSN title from flOw creator.

SCEE working to get PSN titles ready

"It takes a while", Reeves points out.

SCEE boss David Reeves has said that all the PSN titles announced during Sony's American E3 press conference this week will come to PAL territories.