Braid, Its not about how much there is, but about how so little c
Braid is not your average game. It is the pinnacle of 2D platforming, 2D gaming, maybe even gaming period. It leaves an impression, one that will definitely stay with you for years to come, but most of all, it leaves you thinking. Days after you've beaten this game, your mind is still baffled by what you just experienced. How ingenious the puzzles were. How mind boggling the story was. The millions of ways you can interpret the dialogue, and how it pertains to the actions of Tim, the protagonist, or maybe I should say antagonist.
So how does this justify the high price point of 1200 Microsoft points?
Well, I think Ill start with the graphics or art direction. The game uses water paint backgrounds, that are just gorgeous, added with the kind of overlapping layouts that move as you move providing a certain effect giving you a sense of depth in just moving through a 2D area. Given the colors used within each world, it blends nicely and looks phenomenal.
The music is fantastic as well. It has a classical, mellow tone to it that soothes and creates a sort of atmosphere that really puts you in the game, and really makes the game sound unique. To my knowledge, the game really hits an original note with how the music is played out within the game. It brings out Tim's character. Gives you more of a sense on how the game has characterized him, and the sense that he is on a quest for something he believes is good.
The game mechanics is an even bigger piece to this game. It really makes the game of what it is. The controls are very simple, and react perfectly to what you do. So when you do all of the time bending ability's, it brings a whole new level to how you play, and think. It changes how you play a platformer completely.
When you first start out, you have the default ability to rewind time, which to begin with is really to just revive you when you die, or if you missed a jump and want to get back up real quick. Though the real magic to this ability is how you use it to interact with each world, to solve puzzles, and to gain each and every one of the 60 puzzle pieces you gain as you traverse through the game.
There are 6 worlds total, though you start out in world 2, which is the normal world that lets you get used to the game, and gives you some of the more basic puzzles, to help get your mind ready to take up the more challenging puzzles that lay ahead.
World 3 brings in the next mechanic for which will change how you bend time. You now have to use objects that are immune to your ability to rewind time. World 4 changes how things move, since the movable enemy's, and objects move according to your movement. So say you start moving right, then the enemy will move right also, and if you move left then they all start to rewind, and go left. Even the music reacts to how you move.
World 5 introduces your shadow clone. Ill explain it like this. When you rewind time, your shadow clone will then appear, and then start doing exactly the same thing that you had just did up until the point you rewound time. You can use this for many things such as grabbing keys, or distracting enemies.
Then there's world 6. In this place you now have possession of a ring. Where ever you set this ring, within a certain radius of the ring time slows down. I think its easy to see how this can manipulate the playing field, and can create a whole new way to start solving puzzles.
Now World 1 is the last level, which brings us a brilliant end to a brilliant game. It reveals a truth about Tim, and the princess in which Tim has saute to rescue, and protect. Though many believe this to be the ending, to be the whole game, to be the 3 - 5 hr game they payed 1200 Microsoft points for. Even though there is still 8 secret stars hidden through out the game, which reveals a hidden/alternate ending. Many just don't see the appeal, the worth, the masterpiece that this game is.
This game was never about how much they could fit. It wasn't about how they could extend the game to make it longer. What features could they put in, to make it last longer than it did. It was about the quality of what they put in the game. They didn't want nothing less than their best to be in this game. They wanted a game that you can look back upon in 5 years, and say how this game is a classic, and will never be forgotten. This game is definitely one of the best, if not the best game on the 360, and is definitely a contender of r game of the year.
Note: Ive seen arguments made on how this game can be done in 4 hrs, and isn't worth it since Geometry wars is only 800 points and lasts longer. Well that's like saying you would rather have Mario Party than Bioshock since, its cheaper and has more features, and replay value. Its about the experience you get with it. No matter if its Bioshock or Braid.