Clever, charming, mind-expanding, and beautiful!!
Ever since Braid released, I’ve wanted to buy it. Problem was that it was only for XBOX 360, and I do not have a 360. When I finally learned that it was available for PC, I knew that somehow I was going to wind up getting the game, and did! At first, I didn’t know if my PC would fit the technical requirements that Braid required, because the “Can You Run It?” website said I couldn’t play it, because I didn’t have the required processor. Funny thing is I found that my processor was just .02 GHZ over the recommended requirement and I took a risk. Turns out, my computer handled the game fine with no problem, so it was worth the risk. I got the CD-ROM version from Amazon.com for $5.49!!
When I first booted-up Braid, I felt instant satisfaction as the atmosphere and the wonderful, calming, and superb violin and piano music put me in a minor state of euphoria. The makers of this game really outdid themselves with the art style and finding music that suits the mood and tone of the game, both which gives the game an undeniable charm.
The concept of controlling time and not controlling time, but mostly controlling time, is absolutely a mind-expanding experience. The game plays like Super Mario, so it’s very easy to pick-up and play. The level designs are absolutely fresh, different, challenging and clever. The placement of how you get to the worlds is pretty neat, but the placement of pretty much the entire story line (before you get to the actual levels) is clever but yet it makes the story oblivious and completely avoidable. The story-line in the game didn’t really appeal to me, but the game isn’t purely about the story-line.
There are several problems that I have found with Braid. I did have some trouble getting used to the controls, as I was using the keyboard. I wish that there was a way to configure the controls on the keyboard to make it easier for players like me to play the game. After a while I was able to get a hold on things, as the controls were very responsive regardless. Sure I could have used a controller emulator, but it didn’t work for me strangely! I didn’t have anyone to show me how to get the controller emulator to work! I also didn’t want to spend money on a 360 controller for PC either, so it was keyboard only for me.
Another problem I have with Braid is that it’s short. Although the level designs are challenging, the shortness is still highly noticeable. I think that there could have been more levels put into the game. 5 worlds with over 60 puzzles just didn’t seem enough for me. Even after beating the game, unlocking a speed-run mode, there is still a sense of wanting more. Doing a speed-run over the same levels just doesn’t do it for me, considering that it’s not as enduring to do what I did before again – but within a time limit! I think that there could have been a harder mirror mode to make it feel different and more enduring for a little while longer.
Overall, I’ve found Braid to be a clever, charming, mind-expanding, and beautiful game. Although the game is a bit on the short side, there is no doubt that you’ll find yourself stuck for a couple of hours trying to figure out how to get a single puzzle piece! Braid isn’t the best platformer that I have played, nor is it really the best game, but it certainly is a great platformer that provides a unique experience. The game is cheap whether you download it or not, so there is no reason to miss out on the experience!