I said last time in my Poker Night at the Inventory review that I was going to review more of the premium games I have in my Steam Library. For me, Poker Night was a very well done and the first premium game I had. So I bought more paid games after that and I got Braid for $2.75 during a sale and...well, I had mixed feelings. After revisiting it I can finally give my opinions on it, and man, do I have some problems with this game.
I will begin with the plot but I will make it vague so I won’t spoil anything. The protagonist Tim is looking for a princess he apparently had a close relationship to and he goes on a quest to rescue her. However the reason this story is so intriguing is the fact that before every set of levels there are storybooks lying around and you can read them. The stories are more like clues and they are very distant to boot. We find why the princess is missing and what Tim is actually like. But if you aren’t in the mood for a deep story, you can just skip them and have a simple rescue the lady plot.
And now on to the gameplay which I can safely classify as pretty damn good. The game is a side scrolling platformer with minor enemies there just because. I will admit that this game from the outside is very similar to Mario. You are after a princess, just like Mario. At the end of every world a grey dinosaur comes to Tim and says that the princess is in another castle, just like Mario. And this game is a 2-D platformer, just like Mario. But this is NOT the same as Mario. However, Braid’s Tim has a very sneaky trick under his belt. He’s a time thief. By pressing the SHIFT button (assuming you’re playing it on Steam), Tim will reverse time so your error will have never accrued. Died by an enemy? Reverse time and stomp on him. Miss a very important jump? Reverse time and try again. Want to manipulate the stage to solve a puzzle? Reverse time and press on. This is what makes Braid so different from other games because the time tinkering feature is so well implemented. This system makes puzzles clever and very creative. There are things like enemies to bounce on and locked door puzzles that use the time mechanic very well. On the other hand, you technically have no deaths, but trust me; soon I will tell you why this game is so hard.
The music in this game is totally awesome. I love the violin pieces so much and the small amount of piano is good, too.
However, the problems I have in the game start to arise in the puzzles. Every level has a few puzzle pieces to find and putting them all together will make a portrait. Holy ♥♥♥♥! These puzzle pieces become ♥♥♥♥ing annoying! All of the levels in the game are puzzle pieces either out of reach or requiring you do something really ♥♥♥♥ing specifically hard. It took me so ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ long to find a few puzzle pieces in the FIRST WORLD! I hate, hate, hate the puzzles.
OK, so putting my personal rage aside, the puzzle pieces make up the game and while you might want to go through the game without searching for them, then the game has no purpose. Levels in platformers like Mario and Kirby are different because they are lengthy levels with some optional collectables that are yours should you go out of your way for them. In this game however, levels are a quarter the size of most Mario levels and the puzzle pieces are just there because you feel like it is a must to get them. Not going for the puzzle peices with shorten the game alot and even if you DIDN’T know you would have to get them, they would still be there in the level, bugging you and saying “C’mon! Try to get me!”
Look, I tried as hard as I could to NOT trash this game, but the problem is there are dozens of other 2-D platformers that I would consider to be of better quality. I will still say this game is worth your time, but unless you are a challenge craver or a Sherlock Holmes for puzzles, this is a game you’re better off liking if you get it as part of a sale. The $10 price tag (or more I’m not sure) might be worth it if you like hard games, but if you aren’t buy it during some kind of a sale.