Braid – The PS3 Attitude Review
Independent games tend to have either a love or hate relationship. They are often artistic representations of their creators that push innovation rather than heroic storylines featuring superior graphics. Simple yet elegant, these games invoke certain adoration among its players.
Braid happens to be one of these titles…
The brain child of independent game developer Jonathan Blow, Braid puts you in the shoes of Tim, a young man in search of a princess who has been captured by an evil monster. Through various tomes scattered across the six worlds, it is revealed that Tim had made a mistake regarding the princess and is attempting to rescue the damsel in distress.
There’s actually quite a lot of reading to be done. The fact that most of it comes at the beginning of each level, and in blocks of text, doesn’t make it easy to read either. Thankfully, it’s the gameplay that propels the game forward and not necessarily the story.
As you run, jump, and stomp your way through six different worlds, you are given the task of collecting puzzle pieces and arranging them in their proper order. With the completion of each of the five main levels, you are one step(ladder) closer to the princess.
Time is of the utmost importance in Braid as you are in direct control of it. Players have the ability to rewind it as far back as the beginning of the level. Each of the five levels introduces a new element involving time.
Objects shrouded in a green glow are immune to the time reversing effects. In one world your doppelganger will be doing much of the platforming. In another, you’ll have a magic ring that will slow down everything around you. Using these various techniques will be necessary if you wish to collect all the puzzle pieces and complete the game.
That being said, many of the puzzles are real head scratchers and will require much more than a simple rewind here or jump there. They’ll require you to think outside the box and even possibly the game. Seeing as you have to collect every last puzzle piece before you can tackle the final level, Braid requires a lot of patience and trial and error, especially in the later levels.
Thankfully, it’s impossible for Tim to die. If he’s hit by a goomba-like creature or falls into a pit of spikes, simply reverse time to a point in which you’re not in danger. Missed a timed jump? No problem, just hit the reverse button for a few seconds. It takes some adjusting to but you’ll get the hang of things as the game progresses.
Visually, Braid is an artist’s canvas filled with all the colors of the spectrum. The design is elegant and vibrant with backgrounds looking like they were taken directly from an oil painting. Accompany that with serene and organic tunes and you have an experience like no other. Even in reverse, the music creates a unique atmosphere, showing the amount of dedication that went into selecting the perfect tracks for each level.
Braid is one of those games that you need to play to appreciate it. Like all other games, it has its flaws but the unique and downright puzzling time aspects of the game are more then enough to give it a try. Throw in some fantastic Super Mario and Donkey Kong references and you have the complete package.