Review by psufan102
"A Mindblowing Game"
Braid is a unique game. While screenshots of the game show what looks to be your typical platformer, this game is anything but typical, and is one of the most unique and enjoyable games I've had the pleasure of playing.
The story of Braid seems at first to be a spinoff of the original Mario games. Our protagonist Tim is searching for a princess, and a cute dinosaur at the end of each world tells us our princess is in another castle. But, the story goes much deeper than that, and especially after you finish the mindblowing last world. The best thing to do would be to play the game and draw your own conclusions about the story.
Let me start by saying that the music is absolutely gorgeous. There is simply no other adjective to describe it. The soft melodies always blend with the stages well, and there is nothing wrong. Sound effects are equally fine. They're nothing to write home about. You have a monster's roars, traditional platformer sounds like the boing off an enemy's head, and a bunny's cat-like screeching. Yes a bunny. The sound effects are fine, but nothing bad or exceptional to write about.
The graphics in this game are gorgeous as well, but are also practical. What do I mean by that? Well, even though every platform and environment is lusciously drawn, you always know what you can jump on and what is just a part of the background. Tim is well animated, and there are subtle graphical touches such as the blurring of the environment when reversing time. Another great thing about this graphical style is that the game remains good-looking, but it can easily be played on almost any PC.
Braid's gameplay is one of the most unique experiences in any game. It is a traditional platformer, but with time-control mechanics. For example, say you land in a bed of fiery spikes. Instead of restarting the level, you can just rewind time till before you made the bad leap. While this may sound simple, it becomes a clever concept to solve the puzzles scattered throughout the levels.
Speaking of the levels, let's talk about how they work. There are six worlds, each with a handful of levels. Now getting through these levels is easy; often you can just walk to the exit door with relatively no fuss. But, to unlock the last world, you must collect puzzle pieces that are within the levels. All of these puzzle pieces usually require an optional puzzle that must be done to obtain them. These puzzles range from simple exercises, to devilishly hard feats that are sometimes completed by sheer luck. But, they never feel cheap or unfair, and solving a puzzle after hours of trial and error is a great feeling.
To get the puzzle pieces Tim has a unique time control mechanic to rewinding time. There are also objects that interact differently within time. For example, green sparkled objects are invulnerable to your time changing, they never rewind. Each world introduces a new feature to the time changing mechanic. For example, in one world, Tim's movement controls the enemy's, and in another, Tim has a ring he can place to slow down time in one area.
My only complaint is that the game doesn't really tell you how certain objects interact with time. You must discover it on your own, which can seem annoying at first.
REPLAY VALUE: 5/10
After completing Braid, you are given the option to search for hidden stars within each world and given a speed tun mode. But, neither of these will hold your attention long.
Braid is well worth a purchase, especially when it is so value priced. I bought my retail copy new for 5$. A must buy.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/29/11
Game Release: Braid (US, 01/26/10)
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