Originally released only in Japan on the PlayStation 2, Flower, Sun, and Rain for the DS marks the both the game's first English language release, and its first release outside of its native Japanese territory. Designed by Goichi Suda (Suda51) and developed by h.a.n.d. inc. (though the original PS2 game was developed by Suda's Grasshopper Manufacture), the game is a traditional style adventure game taking place on the fictional Lospass Island.
The DS version is published in Japan by Marvelous, In Europe by Rising Star Games and in the United States by Xseed Games
Whilst the game is quite different from Suda's more recent works ( killer7, No More Heroes) in terms of gameplay, there are still a few noticeable similarities between the games – such as a central location of the story being a strange hotel (the Flower, Sun, and Rain of the game's title), a character wearing a Lucha Libre mask, and the use of a distinctive visual presentation comparable to that of the other games.
Flower, Sun, and Rain sees players assuming the role of private detective Sumio Mondo, a “Searcher” with a talent for finding other people's lost and misplaced items (an ability particularly convenient in this kind of exploration and puzzle heavy type of game). Soon after arriving on Lospass Island, Mondo meets the enigmatic Peter, the man who enlisted his services on behalf of the Flower, Sun, and Rain hotel to assist in the foiling of a terrorist attack on an aeroplane. To accomplish this, Mondo sets about exploring the hotel, speaking to its offbeat inhabitants (among them the aforementioned Lucha Libre and a woman with a pet crocodile), finding items, solving puzzles, and traversing the rest of the island.
As Mondo becomes more involved with the lives and problems of the people he meets on the island, it soon becomes clear that, having gotten sidetracked helping them out, he doesn't have enough time to stop the terrorist bomb plot. Not to worry though: as it turns out, he is, quite fortunately, stuck in a Groundhog Day-esque time loop, and so must repeat the day over and over again - eventually, with luck, succeeding in his mission.
In order to make progress through the game, players must investigate by talking to people, searching the island and examining objects to find clues, which will in turn enable them to solve the numerous puzzles the game has to offer. To help with this, players can make use of Katharine, the computer contained in Mondo's ever-present briefcase. Utilising this computer, you are able to “ jack-in” to people and items, thereby extricating useful information. Using this in conjunction with the riddle laden Lospass Guide Book you receive early on in the game you are able to get past the largely numerical based conundrums thrown at you, and continue with your assignment.
DS Specific Extras
Flower, Sun, and Rain for the DS comprises the original PS2 game in its entirety, as well as including various additional elements unique to the DS version. Alongside the obligatory use of the second screen throughout the game (which functions as a map and a notepad for jotting down clues to puzzles, both of which are actually quite helpful in the course of the adventure), it also includes a bonus Travis Touchdown outfit which can be unlocked and worn by the main character.