Braid Reviews

  • SashamorningSashamorning3,012,821
    11 Apr 2010 11 Apr 2010
    37 12 5
    I fell upon Braid purely by accident, browsing the XBLA Arcade. Intrigued, I picked up the demo, and was immediately amused by the Mario-esque nature of the first level... but realized that there was more. The watercolor designs in the background, the hypnotic music that seeped into my mind and added to the ambiance... the end of the first level at the castle...

    ...wasn't what I expected. I was hooked.

    To be fair, the demo doesn't do justice to the rest of the game. Braid is simple, yet intricate. It is a puzzle game trapped in time, and time is the very essence of the game. As the game progresses, new and different ways of manipulating time become available to you, and will affect how you view the game... and more.

    Braid is the epitome of the adage that the journey, not the destination, is the true prize. The goal of each world is to find 12 puzzle pieces, and then assemble them into a picture in order to unlock the next world. The early puzzles have easy solutions, but as the game progresses the curve is rather steep. There are solution guides out there, but as Jonathan Blow, the developer, says on his site (http://www.braid-game.com/walkthrough/walkthrough2.html):

    "Some of the puzzles will be hard. But when you manage to solve those hard puzzles, you will feel very good about it. The game will feel very rewarding. Don't rob yourself of that feeling by reading a walkthrough!"

    In short, Braid is an exquisite, magical, and indescribable experience that still haunts me. If I'm sounding cryptic, it's because I really can't describe it in any way that would do it justice. Like the Matrix, you really have to see it for yourself. Personally, I feel changed for the better having played it. I feel it is one of those rare experiences in gaming: one where the player leaves a changed person.

    11 of the 12 achievements are straightforward. Finish the game and you will earn them. The last achievement is a speed run through the game, and incredibly difficult even with guides.

    I truly hope that you will experience it for yourself. Highest possible rating.
    5.0
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    seema419haha that cracks me up. clear and concise, to the point... great review for an amazing game, and i do agree with the 5 stars.
    Posted by seema419 on 12 Apr 10 at 08:31
    SashamorningThanks! :-)
    Posted by Sashamorning on 12 Apr 10 at 09:08
    NINja277now THIS is a well written review about a persons experience playing Braid and not some bunch of BS scores in the form of a math problem to some arbitrary number like aerodynamos. I wouldve loved to finish that conversation cuz his review method is full of holes at best. <---end rant =P
    Posted by NINja277 on 26 Apr 10 at 00:58
  • Kaiser FlacoKaiser Flaco100,997
    09 Apr 2009
    28 3 1
    Immediately after finishing Braid for the first time, I was torn. Having just been fed a healthy spoonful of confusion and awe, I couldn’t decide whether it was pretentious or just too original for its own good. I spent the following days trawling through forums reading up on interpretations of Braid’s story and the many, many layers it presents, and it wasn’t until I found myself still troubled over it several days later that I realised that Braid was really something special.

    From the wonderfully-placed throwbacks to 2D platformers of yore, such as the Greeter telling you the “Princess” is in another castle (which it later plays on in World 4, where the Greeter can’t finish his speech due to time manipulation) to the fantastic art style scene through the game’s 6 worlds, Braid is the epitome of “indie” gaming. And never before has a game’s title been so deceptively apt – the way the game braids together various metaphors that can be applied to the Princess character, the layers it continually adds in terms of time manipulation in each world, the way the narrative tied itself in with the time manipulation methods seen during gameplay.

    At its surface, Braid might seem like just another platformer with a gimmick, glossed over with a colourful palette and a clichéd narrative. In fact, what confuses me most about Braid is why the demo tells the player that that’s exactly what Braid is, when it’s actually so much more. As the game goes on, simple puzzles turn into mind-benders, the backstory of the protagonist, Tim, is revealed in a way that evokes much empathy, with strangely suggestive overtones. The worlds steadily become more and more twisted, eventually devolving into darkened, ruined cities in World 6 from the lively, grassy hills of World 2. Each of the game’s worlds are given their own sense of inimitability, with each given its own time manipulation method, similarly-styled painterly backdrop and music that is, frankly, mind-blowing. It’s only when all these factors culminate into the single game-playing experience is it that they’re at their best, though. And it’s disappointing that some would miss out on an experience such as Braid simply due to cost (which is a doing of Microsoft, it should be noted).

    Delivered only through in-game books at the beginning of each world, Braid’s narrative is confusing and, to be honest, a hindrance for 90% of the game. It’s only upon reaching the final world, and the epilogue especially, do things begin to really make sense. Yet also make things even more confusing. The epilogue explains things in a way that will certainly need an internet forum analysis before you can come to your own conclusion on what it all means, but it’s the finals world’s method of playing things out that is possibly Braid’s most memorable moment. Without giving away too much, it brings things full circle, plays off the game’s own devices into directly tricking the player into thinking they know what it’s all about, then tears down all pre-conceptions right before your eyes. Absolutely ingenious, and worth paying the retail price for alone.

    Replayability is usually the main drawback of such indie games, but Braid proves to be an exception once again. Within most game worlds are stars, 8 in total, which can only be found through extremely far-fetched methods. It adds several hours of playtime to the package, and the pay-off is definitely worth it if you want the plot ‘explained’ a touch more. But that’s probably one for the die-hard fans only. With the Xbox 360’s achievements and online leaderboards Braid proves challenging even in the metagame, requiring a lot of skill and patience if going for the maximum 200GS, certainly not the norm with most XBLA titles.

    Braid has been confirmed for PC for some time now, and as of writing is expected in the February/March timeframe. Certainly, a PC release will open up Braid to new markets and allow more and more players experience the wonders it offers. If it manages a cheaper release than the one on XBLA (1200 pts is steep, it must be said), there’s nothing to stop every single PC owner out there giving it a try and relishing the magic.

    NB: I copied this from a write-up I did for another site, sorry for the length/if some parts aren't very relevant.
    5.0
  • AerodynamoAerodynamo168,796
    31 Dec 2008 04 Mar 2009
    34 10 16
    Braid
    1200 Microsoft Points


    About the Game (taken from www.braid-game.com)

    "Braid is a platform game in a painterly style where you manipulate the flow of time to solve puzzles. Every puzzle in braid is unique. There is no filler. Braid treats your time and attention as precious. Braid does everything it can to give you a mind-expanding experience. All Braid's gameplay is based on time manipulation. Journey into a world where time behaves strangely; observe, learn from, and then master these worlds."


    Gameplay ( 9 / 10 )

    As the pieced-together description above clearly states, Braid is based on time-manipulation. Holding down the triggers causes time to either slow down, reverse, or fast forward (only to the movements you make). There is no "mana" or "energy" bar- you can undo all of your mistakes, if you choose to, and go back to the beginning of the level. There are different speeds for controlling the flow of time, and even a special item you get halfway through the game which affects time within a proximity... But I'll leave that surprise to you. The description is also accurate in mentioning that every puzzle is unique... There was never a moment that I reached another puzzle and instantly knew what to do. Without becoming frustrating, the game will continue to challenge your ability to solve puzzles, as well as your timing. After all, for a game about time, you better have good timing and reflexes. It is possible to beat this game within a few hours, though completing it 100% is going to take a bit of time (sorry, I had to).


    Graphics ( 8.5 / 10 )

    While the graphics are nothing special, when combined with the overall feeling of the game, they definitely have emotional and visual impact on the player. As you manipulate time, the screen will grow colder or warmer, clouds will race back in an endless loop, grass blows backwards, and the sky dims or brightens. Don't be surprised when you find yourself fast-forwarding and rewinding for minutes at a time just to witness the stunning visual effects.


    Sound ( 8.5 / 10 )

    Upon loading the game, you'll be hit with a sound that will definitely hit home for this quirky game: the sound of burning. While the sound all makes sense, and especially for the last level and "boss" fights, tends to mesh with the mood of Braid, there isn't anything I notice that seems to be unique or original. You'll be glad to know that the repetitive music in Braid doesn't become obnoxious or annoying, and is actually quite catchy. To describe it in one word: relaxing.


    Replayability ( 7 / 10 )

    The one reason I would replay Braid would be to get the hidden stars, but there is no achievement for getting them. Other than that, even though I LOVED the story and LOVED the gameplay, I don't think I will go back to it more than the second time. It is a fun game, don't get me wrong, I'm just not the kind of person to play a single-player game over and over (especially for puzzles, since you find the solution and hardly ever forget).


    Pros:
    Amazing, mind-bending story
    Awesome game dynamics
    Relaxing and non-frustrating, yet challenging

    Cons:
    Timing for some things can come down to a twitch
    Short game length

    Recommendations:
    Explore and become enthralled with the amazing story telling


    Recap:

    Gameplay ( 9 / 10 )
    Graphics ( 8.5 / 10 )
    Sound ( 8.5 / 10 )
    Replayability ( 7 / 10 )


    Overall ( 8.25 / 10 )

    An award-winning game that really makes the time spent playing feel like an achievement in itself. Worth every single Microsoft point and minute spent on the game. Definitely provides a strong sense of accomplishment upon beating the game. The only thing giving this game a low score is the replayability, but who knows, if you're the kind of person who can read a book more than once and forgets the solutions to puzzles very fast, that score might not apply to you.
    4.0
  • Bomb Jack DKBomb Jack DK2,073,488
    13 Jun 2011 13 Jun 2011
    5 1 2
    GRAMMAR WARNING smile Translated from Danish to English using Google Translate

    Braid. It was a strange title for a game. It's probably a shoe game, and certainly not for me! ". If you think this way in advance, then you really miss one of this year's big game experience. For Braid is nothing less than a sensation in the puzzle genre and manages at once to innovate while preserving the classical virtues in the platform genre. And it is now a rarity!

    Eh, what? Merge?
    It should be no secret that both puzzle-platform game which has always been among my favorite genres. Through the years we have seen plenty of great games within either one or the other genre, but not since Interplay's Lost Vikings from 1992 I have seen the mixture of the two performed with such elegance as in Braid.

    In Braid, you control Tim, as the classical way to try to save his princess. This sounds enough like something you've heard before, but the story in Braid has many more layers than this and include more psychology and thoughtfulness than we are accustomed to. A little pocket philosophy must of course be room for, but the story is far from the focal point of Braid. The core of the game are puzzles and the game consists of 5 puzzles, each containing 12 pieces, which you must assemble at the game's various levels and finally put together in classic fashion. The first track is just a small taste of how to play the game, but then will go through the game's main tool - the ability to manipulate time. With the left stick steering is Tim, and with the A button jumps Mon X button is the game's most important and you keep this inside, start time moving backwards. Certain elements are not affected by this action, and thus can Tim instance jump down into a deep hole, pick a key up and then, using the X button, move backwards and get out of the hole again - now with key as at this circuit is not affected by time constraints. At the later tracks, many other objects and enemies that react the same way, but it requires much more thinking to figure out how on earth you can come up and grab a seemingly unattainable puzzle piece.

    Aha!
    Braid is thus largely a game for sharp minds and contains many difficult and well-designed puzzles. In contrast, eye-opening experience when you finally have seen through a puzzle, tremendous, and the kinds of experiences, many of the Braid.

    Later in the game you get is also possible to use a shadow character, which - when you rewind time - performing an exact copy of the actions (hop and skip, etc.) which you have just done. At these levels, it is cooperation between past and present actions that are the essential element and it works simply fantastic. Later you get the opportunity with the Y button to use a ring, which - when you put it on the ground - a circle in which everything takes place in turtle speed, and here are the pitches and the challenges really well thought out and again filled with eye-opening experiences . Without giving away too much offers Braid - once you have collected all 60 puzzle pieces - on yet another challenge. Not among the hardest but still containing what is the core of Braid, namely entertainment and challenge.

    Braid is a pure single player experience, and the only way you can compete against your friends are when you've completed the game where you have the opportunity to implement a so-called speed run on either the game or selected tracks to which the game's leaderboards attached. This causes the replay value, which traditionally would not be high in puzzle games, rising a degree or two.

    Graphically, Braid is also a small masterpiece. It feels most of all, as if you move around in beautiful, colorful paintings, and when animations, character and enemies are done with inspiration from some of the big platform classics, we've seen over time. Including includes the well-known carnivorous plant from Super Mario Bros. as a classic enemy and help as also a few quite challenging puzzles towards the end. Musically Braid is also an experience of the big with attractive, small melodies that fit perfectly to the game's visual expression, and all in all, Braid's wrapping the clear nicest we've seen to date on Xbox Live Arcade.

    Game of the Year?
    Braid comes in from the sidelines as a complete surprise and takes your breath away! It is without doubt among the best arcade games on Xbox 360 and one of the best puzzle games I've ever played. The only (very small) minus is the replay value, although after completing the game are challenged to clear runways at times. But this (and the price of 1200 800 MS Points) means nothing compared to the total experience you get playing Braid. With 5 areas, each with 12 puzzles of increasing difficulty, many of which will require that the small gray really be put on overtime, a different and fascinating history, picturesque and really nice graphics, nice catchy music and a gameplay of a quality which not often, do we now second weeks in a row is enriched with a true classic. Braid is candidate for Game of the Year 2008!

    10/10

    http://www.gamesector.dk/2008/08/11/braid/
    5.0
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