Braid Review

Braid is an artsy indie game that was released summer of 2008 on XBLA, since then it has been released on nearly every other platform and has received many prestigious awards. Does Braid offer any thing new? Is it worth all the hype? But most of all is it fun?

Story- In Braid you play as Tim and he is searching for the princess and not much else is revealed till later on. The story is essentially Mario with a cynical twist. Not much else can be said with out spoiling the whole game.

Gameplay- Braid is a puzzle platformer, the gameplay is a cross between Mario and Prince of Persia with some banjo kazooie collectables. It is pretty easy to see these elements plucked from those games and pays ode to them as well. For example at the end of every world there is a dinosaur who tells you the princess is in another castle or some variation. But that aside the the controls are clunky and the hit boxes on enemies feel out of place. There is no urgency in the level design while most puzzles are difficult there is no real need to solve any of them your player can just walk right to the end door and ignore the the puzzle pieces. While you need the puzzle pieces to complete the game you don't need them to get through 90% of the game, witch makes it feel like hassle and not some thing that is needed. The boss fights are sub par you can just spam the rewind and hit him over and over. Also some puzzles are more confusing than challenging and certain levels feel like re-skinned versions of older levels. Also the main problem is that your character is invincible if you die you rewind time and there is no limit on this power so death is welcomed cause it really is not a problem.

Graphics and Sound- Soundtrack is amazing a fits the games art perfect. While I am not a fan of the art I appreciate how well it fits the world and is executed great none the less. The world you are placed in does feel alive and is a work of art, every enemy and platform fits perfectly. The dinosaur is the coolest thing art wise in my opinion. But one thing that bugs me is the enemy sounds, the death sounds does not fit and the bunny enemy sounds like a dieing cat.

Final Grade 6.5- To be honest I do not find braid to be fun. I can see how one would enjoy it, but it just does not catch my interest. The puzzles are hard but there is no real driving reason to complete them. The controls are below par witch makes trying to beat Braid a chore instead of a fun experience. If your willing to look past the controls and enjoy tedious puzzles then by all means check out Braid. Its a cool concept and the twist is interesting but I feel most players will not find it to be fun.

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