Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Hustle and flOw....

Tired of hearing about Britney Spears (today is her birthday) and wondering if people are talking about a Guy Ritchie movie? Here's something different for you to wrap your brain around.

Teaming up a non-loser segment of USC, Sony is not only bringing flOw to the PS3 on December 19th, but they are also going to release two more games from the same team.

flOw started out as a MFA thesis for Jenova Chen (how can you not want to play a game made by a person named Jenova?), a student at USC. The game caught the attention of Sony, and now they have not only picked it up, but they've brought a newly-formed developer group from USC (called "thatgamecompany") into the fold, enabling them to have access to the talent and resources of SCEA.

When I first saw pics of the game, I thought it was just going to be a stupid Geometry Wars rip-off, but it turns out the game is anything but a rip-off. When I first played flOw, I wasn't impressed. I thought it just wasn't engaging. Then I spent a little bit more time with it, and now I think it's excellent. The game is pretty interesting. Quite simply, you play an organism in the sea, trying to get bigger via eating. If anything, I guess you could call flOw "'Snake' for the new millennium." The sound is very soothing, and the controls are pretty intuitive. I think they will translate well to the Sixaxis controller. After a bit of playing you just kind of zone out, don't think about the controls, and just let the game take you away. I think flOw is something that'll be getting a lot of play time for me on days coming home from work.

Releasing flOw as a premium downloadable game makes sense to me, and I would completely advocate the purchase of it, but I still haven't heard how much it is supposed to cost. Hopefully Sony can keep their pricing lower than what's on Xbox Live (since neither company is willing to price their regular games at a decent level).

Games like Rez, flOw, Geometry Wars, and Every Extend (among many others) bring hope to gamers. Gamers who are weary from spending $60 on games that last them a few hours, games that don't control well, and games that plain suck. When you play a game like these, you know there is still creativity out there, and every once in a while publishers are willing to bring it to us.

Give the game a spin, you'll like it.

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