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2008's Biggest Blips: Flower, Sun and Rain / The Silver Case

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: TBD / TBD
Release: TBD / TBD

The DS boasts an enviable spread of adventure games, and 2008 promises much for the genre. Courtesy of Grasshopper Manufacture, both Flower, Sun and Rain and The Silver Case will be appearing on the handheld in the coming months, and it's fair to say that both reek of awesomeness.

Flower, Sun and Rain puts the player in the shoes of Sumio Mondo, an assassin tasked with defusing a time bomb planted on a plane. Sumio initially fails his mission, only to wake the next morning and find that the explosion has yet to happen. Presented with a second chance to save the stricken plane and redeem himself, Sumio again fails, but wakes the next morning to find himself living the same day over and over, his hotel room becoming more and more warped as he slowly begins to lose his mind from the repetition.

Comparatively little has been revealed about the DS version of The Silver Case, a murder mystery title that originally appeared on the PlayStation back in 1999. Centered around a series of grisly murders, the game is played from two perspectives: that of a leading detective, and of a freelance writer investigating the affair. In the PlayStation original, the story was narrated entirely through a montage of 2D illustrations, 3D CG, live-action images, and motion graphics, but it's not yet known whether the DS version will adopt the same techniques (the presence of two screens would seem like the perfect excuse to mimic this, however).

While both titles are wildly inventive, we feel we should also contribute part of this preview to the man behind them. Here in the DS Fanboy dungeon, our admiration and respect for Goichi Suda knows no end. As the name behind the likes of Killer 7 and No More Heroes, Suda has proven time and again that the punk spirit is alive and well in videogames, and that there remains a place in gaming for the unconventional and the plain bizarre.

As much as it saddens us, Suda won't be making games forever, but we like to think that his eventual successor will keep the punk flame alive in game development by following:

DO feel free to compare the process of making your games to defecating.

DO pile on the geeks and freaks. Suda is an expert at this, as Flower, Sun and Rain looks set to demonstrate.

DO try and avoid selling very many copies of your game, even if it's completely awesome. Selling games in any great quantity is for those Establishment suckers at EA and Ubisoft. Stick it to The Man through your own low sales!

come across as an obnoxious, uncooperative ass in interviews -- think The Sex Pistols and Bill Grundy in 1976 (in a very unpunk fashion, we should warn you that that last link is NSFW). In truth, Suda actually fails to follow this particular rule, as he consistently comes across as the kind of affable, fun-loving fellow you'd quite like to go for a drink with, or at least become friends with over the internet, which could perhaps lead to you both becoming BFF IRL. AND ON THAT SUBJECT, GOICHI, WHY DO YOU NEVER ANSWER MY EMAILS?

DO NOT follow rules or guides -- they just, like, totally pigeonhole you. Except, y'know, this one.

Gallery: Flower, Sun, and Rain

FFIV Back Many infos

Promotional Consideration: Flower, Sun, and Reused Video

Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

As the official hub for the Flower, Sun, and Rain DS remake, the game's Japanese site embraces Goichi Suda's (and Grasshopper Manufacture's) hip presentation, its background shifting through a collection of blown-up and blurred screenshots. Even if you don't understand the Japanese characters strewn around its pages, it's evident that something very cool is taking place. The site added a television commercial to its list of updates late last week -- jump past the post break for the video and more.

Gallery: Flower, Sun, and Rain

Continue reading Promotional Consideration: Flower, Sun, and Reused Video

Flower, Sun, and Rain screens take us to exotic locales

The 3D art in the DS remake of Suda 51's PS2 adventure game Flower, Sun, and Rain is beyond rough. Suda's games are usually low-poly for stylistic reasons, but this goes beyond style and into "just unintentionally weird-looking." Of course, being a Suda game, all of the non-3D parts -- the maps, the puzzle screens, and even (especially) the typography -- look really damn cool. The maps and in-game guidebook mimic travel brochures, and the puzzles juxtapose realistic depictions of objects with pixel art.

We've updated our gallery with six new screens from the game. The source of these screens, French gaming site has "confirmed" this again for an American release, but only in that they said that it's coming out and didn't provide any attribution or evidence.

Gallery: Flower, Sun, and Rain

Flower, Sun, and screenshots

These new screens from Suda 51's Flower, Sun, and Rain pull you in, encouraging you to look again and again until you can stop the bomb from exploding in our gallery. No, wait; that's just ridiculous melodrama. They're only pictures, after all, not a repeat-o-tron. Despite the revamped PS2 title's upcoming March release (in Japan), we haven't been treated to many images from the game, so these are a nice treat. While the game is a little less shiny than the original, which had a strange, haunting quality to the look, the images are very true to the original characterization and feel of the game. Here's us crossing fingers for an English-language release.

Gallery: Flower, Sun, and Rain

Suda's other assassin game hitting Japan in March

No More Heroes wasn't the only Goichi Suda game to cause our pulses to race in the last few weeks. With its Groundhog Day-esque hook and all-too-topical tale of airborne terrorism, we're anxious to hear whether or not Flower, Sun, and Rain will ever leave Japan. It doesn't strike us as the most import-friendly title, so unless you're one of those forward-thinking types who took the time to learn kanji, a western release might just be our best only hope.

We know one thing, however: the game is scheduled to release in Japan on March 6th, and it has a shiny new official site to prove it. Poke around there, and you'll find a number of (tiny) new screens, character profiles for three of the game's fifteen primary characters (including protagonist and assassin Sumio Mondo), and a rundown on "Katherine," the suitcase-shaped instrument that Sumio carries to crack codes.

[Via Go Nintendo]

Another Suda 51 classic coming to DS

Flower, Sun, and Rain, an adventure game released in 2001 for the Playstation 2, is being remade for the DS, according to the latest Famitsu. It's one of the earlier works of Grasshopper Manufacture, headed by Suda 51, and has a lot in common with later works.

Like Killer 7 and No More Heroes, the protagonist of Flower, Sun, and Rain is an assassin. Sumio Mondo lives the same day over and over again until he can stop a bomb from exploding in an airport. To do this, he must also solve the problems of the people he interacts with during that repeating day. As time (fails to) pass, his hotel room starts changing to reflect his mental state.

With The Silver Case's remake being done with an eye for international release, can we expect the same of Flower, Sun, and Rain? (Will The Silver Case actually be released outside Japan?) Is Suda 51 attempting to remake his complete works for the DS? That would certainly be welcomed by Suda fans and adventure fans. We've posted the magazine scan after the break.

Continue reading Another Suda 51 classic coming to DS

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