DS Review: Flower, Sun and Rain

Suda 51 brings out another game that is flawed, but can the good outweigh the bad?

Flower, Sun and Rain is an intriguing mystery adventure, with challenging and thought provoking puzzles. The infamous Suda51 gives you a rich storyline with a wealth of bizarre outcomes. You play Sumio Mondo in this Groundhog Day-style storyline as a detective charged with locating and defusing a bomb. Finding the mystery to what is happening to him and his surroundings is necessary before he goes insane.

Flower, Sun and Rain for Nintendo DS Features:

A rich storyline with a wealth of bizarre outcomes to reoccurring events during
the game

Story and universe created by the infamous, award winning game designer Suda51; Classic, unpredictable and off-the-wall!

Challenging and thought provoking puzzles

Easy to play: All the actions are intuitive and performed by using the stylus only

All the same 3D characters and backgrounds as the fantastic PS2 version

Contains 18 mysterious scenarios

Exclusive features for the Nintendo DS version

Suda 51 is a legend and a genius. My personal favourite game of his was Killer 7 and while I enjoyed the great “No More Heroes”, unfortunately it was the censored European version that we were subjected to so I couldn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I wanted to. Each of these games were unique in their own way but both had a number of flaws that prevented it from reaching mainstream audiences.

Flower, Sun and Rain is another one of these games, just minus the action that the other two had. It’s more of a point and click detective game with some pretty tricky puzzles like unlocking a safe by searching high and low for the combination. I also see that a PS2 version is lurking somewhere but it must have bypassed me completely, because I seriously cannot remember it.

The game has the same standard ingenious story to it that any game by Suda 51 has had before it. Unfortunately the gameplay seems to lack any real punch to it and the feel of it feels incredibly old, I’d say around a decade old. You can move and do all your commands with the stylus but you can also use the d-pad and buttons. Trying to find clues like numbers to unlock the safes can be hard and elusive. Although you can keep putting in as many combinations as possible, even if you do have to re-enter the combination section of the game. It’s annoying and doesn’t feel as rewarding as past games by Suda 51.

The plot to a game like this is perhaps the most important part, so I won’t spoil it for those detective fans who want to delve into it. Fans of Suda 51’s games will see a few similarities to his past creations like characters who talk a unique kind of gibberish and a unique cast. Sure, the gameplay may be repetitive by nature with its fetch and carry, unlock pattern of it…but it’s got all the hallmarks of a Suda 51 title. The only problem is that it’s probably his weakest to date.

Visuals are impressive for a DS title, although they won’t win any prizes for them. They also lack that “Suda 51 effect” of looking unique. Dialogue itself is also a disappointment, the story is good enough but the actual talking is quite bad. The soundtrack is typical of this man’s games and fits well within it, it’s a shame that it’s probably the most memorable part of the entire game.

The Verdict

Suda 51 has taken an odd turn down the pathway of mystery/adventure instead of his usual action-style games like Killer 7 and NMH. Even if the most dedicated fan of his will be disappointed by this effort, as it lacks any real edge to it and most of all, isn’t all that much to play.