Florence

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
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JaySevenZero
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Florence

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions of Florence for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder to all that where feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but self-editing (brevity) is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mainly reading. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: 413: Florence

Post by Jon Cheetham »

I have never been into slice of life or coming of age stuff when it comes to films, TV or graphic novels, but Florence really worked for me by packaging those themes into a nearly wordless puzzle game format.

It captured how I (and I think many people) remember periods of their lives - with no dialogue outside of the short phone calls from Florence's mum, the game is largely a series of images, but you experience moving through it with the puzzles and button presses. That's a pretty apt presentation of how you might recall something as images and experiences as opposed to exactly what was said. It all contributes to the universality of the themes the game wants to talk about.

Three word review: Love that soundtrack!

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Alex79uk
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Re: 413: Florence

Post by Alex79uk »

This game has a real melancholy feel about it, which I like. I find the subject fascinating. I can't put it in to words, but there is a feeling I get when thinking about past relationships, and this game absolutely nailed it. It's like a sense of regret and, well, melancholy, but that doesn't really describe it properly, but whatever that feeling is, this game provoked the exact same reaction from me.

I thought the experience was a little short and would have liked to have seen the relationship explored in slightly more depth, but I applaud anyone doing something different like this, and mobile is the perfect format. Also, what a lovely soundtrack.

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BearFishPie
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Re: 413: Florence

Post by BearFishPie »

This is a lovely reflective little piece, communicating much about the highs and lows of life and love in neat little brush strokes. As far as being a game is concerned you're not asked to do much, but nonetheless there are a myriad of elegant touches in here.

As an example, to represent dialogue between the two leads you're tasked with constructing a rudimentary jigsaw puzzle. For their tentative first exchanges you have to sift haltingly through a jumble of pieces, awkwardly constructing each abstracted sentence. Then, as they grow to understand one another, the puzzle pieces get chunkier and simpler to interlock; your ease of progress and the increasingly free-flowing nature of their chatter mirrored neatly. The game then smartly returns to this mechanism during the breakdown of their relationship, weaponising it into a verbal tug-of-war and tainting the joy it once gave.

And to echo the others here, the soundtrack is an absolute delight.

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NoMoreSpearows
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Re: 413: Florence

Post by NoMoreSpearows »

Maybe I'm being too analytical, but I can't tell what Florence wants the player to feel after finishing it.

Immediately, I thought it was against the concept of higher education. The game seems to suggest that Krish's pursuit of music at the unnamed academy is frustrating him as his pursuits change from "art for the sake of art" to "art for the sake of success." Florence's ability to sell her amateur works also suggests that that would be the primary takeaway, but if that were the case, why would there be so much of an emphasis on Florence encouraging Krish to attend in the first place? I guess it's a lesson that's meant to be learned after the fact (hence her not following a similar path), but it still bothers me for some reason.

There's also the ending to consider, where the game's underlying message of its last third or so, "it's okay to let go of people/relationships", is cast aside by forcing the player to include the one remaining photograph of Florence and Krish among her belongings when she leaves her job. I wanted so much to be able to close that box early, to have the choice to strengthen that idea even further, but instead the impact of the ending changed from a crash of sticking to my morals to a sad little "thud" of cardboard on cardboard.

I get what Florence is trying to do, and I can appreciate the effort that went into delivering its core message. I only wish I wasn't left wrestling with messages it may or may not have been trying to deliver in the first place.

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duskvstweak
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Re: 413: Florence

Post by duskvstweak »

I love the visual metaphors for relationships in Florence. The speech bubbles needing less pieces as the relationships strengthens and more common ground is found, the speech bubble's pieces getting sharper during fights, the need to decide what to keep and get rid of as the couple moves in together, the inability to keep the torn pages connected even though you know how they fit...

I think Florence shows how games can use mechanics to explore these deep and universal elements of life. Very little of what Florence does would work as a movie, because it's so unique to the medium.

Also, I cried at the end when the picture on the desk was found. So, Florence joins To the Moon and Telltale's Walking Dead Season One as games that have made me cry.

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Npiper12
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Re: 413: Florence

Post by Npiper12 »

Florence was on sale recently, and I had heard good things about it so I picked it up. I knew vaguely knew what it was about, but I didn’t expect that I would have to take a break halfway through because it was making me tear up.
Thanks in part to its lovely soundtrack and the cute and sweet art style, Florence aptly conveyed to me the feelings one feels throughout a relationship. In the hour or so it took to go through the game, I felt the joy and excitement of falling in love, the bittersweet half-smile of finding a picture together after the relationship is over, and everything in between.
While not the longest game, the music, the art, and the ways the game has you engage with the people and things in Florence's life did get me invested in her story. I was happy to see what she and Krish did together, and sad when they fell apart. I thought her return to her dream of becoming an artist as the final act was a great way to end the story - she was happy and successful on her own, doing what she loved - and it left me smiling past my earlier tears.

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