Review: Finger Flashing for PS3, PSP, PS Vita

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Title: Finger Flashing
Price: $5.99
System(s): PS Vita (Also playable on PS3, PSP)
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Publisher (Developer): GungHo Online Entertainment America (Affect)
ESRB Rating: N/A, I’d say it’s a good all-ages game.

I’m going to kick this review off right by confirming what you’re probably already thinking – Finger Flashing is weird. It also isn’t dirty, though the name is a bit suggestive. It’s one of the first PS1 Imports GungHo Online Entertainment America has decided to release on the North American PlayStation Store and is probably the most solid buy of the first lot of four. It’s based upon the children’s game Rock, Paper, Scissors, but builds upon it in such an interesting way that you’ll see rock, paper and scissor-shaped enemies advancing upon you as you go to sleep.

Rock, Paper, Scissor magic is the best magic

Believe it or not, a puzzle-action game like Finger Flashing actually has a story. Granted, the story mode is very light on it, but it’s there. A witch named Poi and her bazooka-carrying friend Cikke are going to graduate from the Rock-Paper-Scissors school of magic, when monsters invade. Coincidentally, all of the monsters look like the rock, paper and scissors hand signs. Poi or Cikke must walk the road to school, wiping out the monsters with magic/the bazooka to reach the graduation ceremony.

Though this is a Japanese game, Japanese language skills are not needed. The introductory menus are in English, so people will have no trouble picking which mode you want to play. Some story scenes are in Japanese, but odds are people are playing this for the oddly addictive puzzle mechanics and not the flimsy story.

Paper that enemy into oblivion!

I had no trouble figuring out Finger Flashing. The circle button corresponds to paper magic, the X to scissors and the square to rock. Pressing triangle allows a power-up to be used that will temporarily halt all on-screen enemies. Pressing the right shoulder button speeds up the pace at which enemies advance, while pressing the left shoulder button slows them down. It’s all very simple. Most helpful is a little rid on the left side of the screen that shows what level you’re at and also shows which monsters are advancing and in what row they’ll appear. The rock, paper and scissors monsters each have a certain color assigned to them and once you memorize which will show up, you’ll be able to consult that grid to make sure you’re ready for the marching baddies.

This proves more valuable in Finger Flashing than one would initially think. See, it is possible to chain together combos by sending off the right kind of Rock-Paper-Scissors magic. Say there’s a paper monster standing directly to the right of a rock monster. If I sent a paper attack spell at the rock monster, that monster would disappear, I’d get points and the paper monster would still be there. However, should I send a scissors spell out to defeat the paper monster, it would cause a combo because scissor would eliminate paper, but then paper would eliminate rock. I’d get more points and both monsters would disappear.

That’s what makes Finger Flashing so captivating. The longer you play, the more monsters appear and more opportunities for massive combos chains come up. There’s nothing more satisfying than wiping seven enemies off the face of the screen, just because I sent a rock spell at a scissors monster.

I also liked Finger Flashing‘s visuals. There are only three kinds of monsters and they all look alike. This is a good thing, because I unconsciously memorized the color and shape of each baddie and found after a half hour that I was going on instinct. I wasn’t even debating which button to push. The second I’d see a peach hand monster, the scissors would fly off. Purple peace-sign heading my way? Launch a rock.

Finger Flashing also has an assortment of gameplay modes, though they all play in a fairly similar manner. The Story mode follows Poi and Cikke as they try to reach the school and feels like an endless mode. I just kept proceeding forward, facing every wave. If I messed up, I had infinite continues that let me pick up at the level I left off and power through. Score Attack and Time play the same way, though with Score Attack giving you between one and five minutes to earn massive scores and Time Trial forces a player to complete a round before time runs out. There is also a multiplayer Battle mode where two people try to see who can survive the longest with the highest score, but I was unfortunately unable to test this mode.

You rock that Rock

I knew that Finger Flashing would be quirky going into the game. You can’t look at that name and concept and expect it to be normal. I just didn’t realize how good Finger Flashing would be. It’s a really fantastic puzzle game that not only keeps players thinking, but also leaves one wanting more. When I started up my Vita last night at 10:30pm, I didn’t mean to play Finger Flashing for an hour. I just wanted to see if I could transfer GungHo’s six PS1 Imports over to the handheld for portable play. Curiousity got the better of me and I was hooked. If you have a need for a quirky puzzle game that can only be solved with rock-paper-scissors magic, you can’t go wrong with Finger Flashing.

Site [Finger Flashing]

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