Flower, Sun and Rain is almost unplayable, it looks like someone has kicked the graphics into the DS with a muddy boot and I couldn’t possibly recommend playing it to anybody, yet at the same time it’s a game that everyone should go out of their way to experience. Let me explain.
In Flower, Sun and Rain you play as Sumio Mondo, a man sent to Lospass island to prevent a terrorist from blowing up a plane. It sounds pretty normal so far, however the game was designed by Suda51, the mind behind Killer7 and No More Heroes, so it’s batshit insane. The way Sumio tries to stop the attack is to solve really stupid code puzzles.
As you walk around the island there are several things to ‘jack in’ to. This is where the game first reveals its annoying nature. They way you jack into objects is to pick a random plug from a list of nine. There is no way to tell which plug you need so you have to try each plug in turn. It’s frustrating and stupid. Then once you have gained access to your subject, you have to enter a code. These are found in a guidebook in your inventory that you have to look around. It’s all very dull and there’s no real joy in cracking the code.
The gameplay, though, is irrelevent. It’s the atmosphere and great writing that draw people into Suda51 games, and Flower, Sun and Rain has those things in abundance. The writing, with it’s mix of surreal comedy and deadly serious metaphysical thoughts, brings forth comparisons to some of Huruki Murakami’s best books. It’s some of the most involved, funny and affecting writing in any game ever. It’s one of the few games that will make you laugh out loud while playing it, and every new encounter and conversation is a joy.
So it’s for the writing that you should seek this game out and savour it, but the gameplay will constantly frustrate and annoy you to the point of giving up. The only solution is to go around to Suda51’s house and then flail your fat limbs at him until he writes a novel.