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The Goods Parts
Flower, Sun, and Rain for the Nintendo DS handheld gaming system has an amazingly interactive and engaging set of characters that pulled my mind into the story. Their bizarre behaviors coincide nicely with the abnormal events that occur in their lives and seem well-suited to the Ground Hog Day scenario they find themselves in. The game continually makes fun of its own faults and twisting plot, which threatens to meet itself coming around a corner several times.
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The Bad Parts
To class this video game as an adventure/action title is really stretching it a bit, walking around from place to place isn't as adventurous or action-filled as the developers thought. Around the hotel, down the road, and then back the way you came without any game direction to help can fill up thirty minutes easily. Once I knew where to go though, it only took me five minutes to get from place to place. The slow game pace as I play Flower, Sun, and Rain really decreased the entertainment I experienced while playing this game and I found myself taking frequent breaks.
The quick interactions of Sumio Mondo, the main protagonist in Flower, Sun, and Rain, with the other characters in the game really only serves as a reason to add a few fetch-quests with a ridiculous amount of continuous backtracking required in the game play. Grasshopper Manufacture did include a few puzzles that these interesting characters will provide you with, but these puzzles are too simple and easy to add much entertainment value for anyone but a kid.
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The Graphical Story
Flower, Sun, and Rain isn't going to win any prizes for visual beauty, its rather blocky and simple graphical presentation, which is average even for DS Nintendo titles, is average even for a DS title. The look and style of the graphical presentation does the job it was developed to do, but they sure didn't try to add any nice visual additions to the game.
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Sounds in the Game
The songs include on the sound track of Flower, Sun, and Rain sounded familiar, but the song-masters that worked with this game appear to have taken a few entertaining liberties with the final product. The music was paced nicely for the slow beat of the game play though and it helps create the atmosphere of the environments and immerse you in them at times.
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The Story Line
You play Sumio Mondo in Flower, Sun, and Rain as he attempts to unravel the hidden secrets of an isolated and mysterious island. You'll move around the island from location to location performing quests that often send you back the way you came and occasionally you undertake simple puzzles that are no challenge at all. You and the other characters are trapped in a Ground Hog Day scenario that seems you constantly repeat the same day, over and over. Eventually, the plot twists start to come at you at a greater pace during the middle part of the adventure, and these parts are the most entertaining parts of the game, but the ending will probably shock you.
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The developers of Flower, Sun, and Rain obviously understood the limits of the entertainment value they had built into this game because they put a lot of effort into putting content in that makes fun of the lack of engaging and satisfying game play they included with this title. The jogging and retrieving involved in the game play wasn't much fun, the included puzzles were lame, and the pace of the game was so slow, I could have written this story between quests.
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The Last Word
Flower, Sun, and Rain is an average DS Nintendo adventure-title with a few interesting plot twists and characters that will peak your interest and keep you entertained for a few hours, once you get beyond the slow beginning to the game. Beyond the two hour mark is where all the entertainment value of the plot takes place, so you have to be patient to really enjoy this title, and work your way through to the end of the story.