To introduce you to the team we've put together here at Push Square, we asked each team member for two PS3 games they considered absolutely essential. Here, assistant editor Mike Mason tackles interdimensional portals and an indescribable PSN classic.
Portal 2 takes the innovative puzzle mechanic from the first outing contained within The Orange Box and expands it into a full adventure of a quality far superior than could ever have been imagined. Though it starts off in fairly pedestrian manner, part way through Portal 2 explodes into pure brilliance.
Free from the constraints of the Aperture Science test chambers – well, partially – what the game loses from the loosening of its puzzle focus is replaced with an exciting journey. Not only that, but it's one of the funniest games of recent years, leap frogging the smirk-worthy cruelty of the first game with a tight script and hilarious vocal performances from Stephen Merchant and Ellen McLain.
On top of its near-perfect story a substantial co-operative mode is included that mimics the difficulty of the original game more closely, rounding off a title that belongs in the game library of anybody be they first-person shooter fans, puzzle aficionados or comedy lovers.
Thatgamecompany's flower is a huge highlight of PlayStation Network. Unassuming and maybe even slightly dull looking from the outside, flower spreads its petals and blooms into a delightful bouquet within seconds of picking up the controller. Skating through the air as the wind, players snatch up petals from plant life, bringing the environment beneath to life and whirling up beautiful spirals of colour.
Motion control of the highest quality is featured, the breeze dipping and diving whenever the DualShock 3 is tilted. flower weaves its vague tale of nature as a harbinger of joy with a magic that few games replicate. Despite its short experience through fairly regulated stages, flower expresses a wonderful freedom through its combination of smooth controls and entrancing setting.