Braid – let’s use our brains!

May 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Posted in Game Reviews, Indie Games | Leave a comment
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These lamps are too weak, wait until I invent neon lights

Recently, I bought Braid. Steam was having a sale and I thought, “Well, I keep seeing it mentioned here and there, maybe I should try it out to see what all the fuss is about.”

I’m glad I did. Braid is a lot of fun and it really makes you think, “How do I do this?” I didn’t complete Braid in one sitting, I would complete a level every couple days.

Fuck, where did I put my sword

I’m not an avid gamer nor would I even really call myself a gamer. I like to play games, of course, but I don’t actually play all that much. I usually can’t stand more than an hour of playing yet I can watch something for a couple hours straight. I think it has something to do with not being able to immerse myself into the game as I can in movies and anime. Many games throw me off with poorly thought lines or horrible acting. That’s usually my main problem with games these days, everything looks nice, the game is actually fun and when I feel like I’m getting into it, bam, someone starts speaking and it’s so unbelievably awful I have to put my controller down, look at the scene with a disappointed shake, I turn my console off. Yes, that’s right, I don’t switch to a different game. I get so thrown off balance I actually turn the console off then and there, as if to say “You’ve let me down, console, shame on you, don’t do that again when I come back next time.” I know it’s not the console’s fault, but when the acting is so obviously bad, I just can’t bring myself to try or even want to get into it.

Though the acting can really kill the mood, that’s not my only problem with games. At times I come across games that seem to make something unnecessarily annoying for the sake of making it “difficult”. Why? I don’t know, just take a look at Ninja Gaiden. It’s not fun but it is frustrating. Now, look at Demon’s Souls, a game that does it right. It can be frustrating at times but Demon’s Souls is always fun. They actually made it hard while still making it fun. Braid is difficult but it’s still fun. The levels are short enough that you can easily complete the game within a couple hours of playing. I decided to just do a level every day or two. In the beginning, I got a bit confused and had to use a video walkthrough three or four times but after I got the hang of it, I’d take my time to try different things until I found the solution.

As you unlock new worlds more of the story is revealed, as you read, your perception of what happened becomes clearer. The author really tried to make it obscure and I doubt I have the whole picture but the picture he paints with his words seem simple enough to grasp. The ending tries to confuse you while giving you the key to the story, or so I thought. I don’t have a full understanding of exactly what happens between him and the girl but I feel like I’ve got the outline. Which is good enough, for a game’s story. It’s obscure enough to make you think while being clear enough for you to want to continue reading the story, and to finish the painting in your mind.

I’d recommend Braid to those who enjoy a challenging platformer. Those who don’t mind taking time to think through what they can do and what can be done.

Why are the spikes on fire? Don't you think that's overkill!

Overall: 9

Short enough levels that can take 5 minutes if you’ve got the answers or maybe an hour if you’re stuck. Feels very light, fun and the art direction is superb. The colors are brilliant.

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