Sunday, 13 September 2009

Review: Braid

Hello reader, let’s talk about a game.

Let’s talk about Braid.

Now, as far as I’m concerned I put this up with portal, because everyone loves both very deeply and I don’t know why. I remember hearing some stuff about this beautiful and possibly revolutionary game, so you have to forgive when I put the bar high. I’m not moving the bar, you are.

Now Braids a fun little game, its about.... Well... We’ll get to that in a moment. The game is a good old plat former where you jump on enemies to beat them, however the focus of braid is on time shifting puzzles. Its the sort of game where you have to actually think “OK, I’ll kill that guy now... but I might need him later.... Huh”. At any point in the game you can rewind, and there’s lots of little mechanics that make that useful, but also necessary.

Alot of puzzles are cleverly done, as for some of them you really do need to alter the way you’re thinking about the problem. By the time you’ve gotten through a few of the harder puzzles you’ll start to learn to take notice of everything around you. Although sometimes I feel it’s only a puzzle cause its using a game mechanic it hasn’t taught you how to use... and while I suppose it’s fair play its still kinda annoying, as any other game would try and teach you everything you can do right off the bat.

It’s a pretty short game, and yes... I disliked that. I suppose it’s something to do with the genre, too many puzzles and you’d be running out of ideas and just giving people the same problems over and over again... but like I’ve said before I like my games epically long... even if they’re so long I give up on the level before the end boss (and yes, Hohoho, I’ve done that more than once...). Not sure I’d pay £10 for it mind... I got it for like £3.30 on the weekend deal (Paid by a wonderful donator, she will get a nice plaque when the robots rise up and burn humanity). If you’re a serious fan of puzzle solving and want a very pretty game, you can’t really go wrong with braid. But for those other gamers out there... I dunno really... I’d never shell out £10 for anything like this... maybe you would?

Let’s put it like this, £10 for this:

Or £6 for this:

Oh yeah, you know what horse I’m betting on.

Anyway, let’s get to our favourite section, the story.

Huh.... I.... Does Braid even have a story? I don’t know? Maybe? Could just be a poem? In a clever disguise. Let’s get this out of way, I am very bad with surreal plots. I watch these ‘edgy’ films harbouring deeper meanings and see people gleefully go off about the emotions of rainbows, but it’s all Greek to me man. It goes like this:

Normal Person: A surreal moment happens that makes the audience think on a deeper subject, thus enriching their lives.
Me: A moment happens.

It’s like my brain can’t actually compute it, it has to make sense. If you see a butterfly falling down onto a flower, maybe you’ll think about birth or the beauty of life, I will think about the butterfly falling onto the flower and then wondering why were wasting time on an event that has nothing to do with the story. Now when something really crazy happens, the sort that’s so flipped out it can’t make any sense, I instantly try to make sense of it.

Braid is basically one long surreal moment. I won’t bother telling you any of it, just so that I don’t spoil anything for those of you who like to look deeply into things. As for me I basically came to the conclusion that it was about a drunken Irishmen who beats his wife and dreams of settling down with his perfect women instead.

Now here’s the mind blower, does that make me racist? Or the game racist?

(If the answer is me, I’m like... ¼ Irish, so I can get away with it)

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