My review of Braid will be based on 4 categories: Performance, Gameplay, Graphics,
. As a summary, Braid is a very beautiful platformer which deconstructs the norms and standards of what is perceived as a videogame. It's a very simple game with simple mechanics and a simple premise but a memorable one nonetheless.Recommended for
- Casual players
- People who like implied and indirect storytelling
PerformanceVerdict: Amazing!Why you'll like it
: It's an indie game which caters to all
.Why you won't
: Your toaster of a PC can't even play this game. That's a very bad situation to be in my good man.
Performance shouldn't really be surprising, this being an indie game and all. Just like the other indies out there, it just provides the basic of the basics and the necessary components to run the game. Performance on a FX-6300 processor, R9 270 GPU, and 8GB of RAM in a 1080p resolution yields a constant 60 FPS which can drop down to 30 FPS in some very specific areas because of a weird performance issue with the game. Graphics options available
No bugs or crashes experienced during playthroughs but be wary that no game is bug-free. If by chance you encounter some bugs or crashes in your playthroughs, you can visit this link
for potential fixes and solutions.
GameplayVerdict: Amazing!Why you'll like it
: Gameplay that is very similar to the Mario series but with a time manipulation mechanic.Why you won't Purists of Mario might get a little angry over the fact that it looks very identical to Super Mario Bros. albeit in different skins. The creator has a very strong defense about that though and you'll know why he did it when you finish the game to the end.
Braid takes Mario's platforming and adds neat mechanics of it's own. What's amazing about this game is that it starts on the get go. No start menu, no tutorials screen, it just starts the game in a blazing inferno of a city and you're on your own from there. Tim, the silent protagonist, has the power to turn back time or move it forward though doing either affects him as well. Turning back time enables Tim to rewind the events prior to him making a mistake or his own death. For the sake of the story, the game has no game over screen and the only thing the player can do is to rewind time and try again. Moving time forward has little to no use on the first levels but becomes a crucial part of the game in the later worlds.
Tim basically moves through worlds with different settings and different time situations. For example: there are worlds where time moves backward so the player has to use Tim's time manipulation powers in reverse too. Sometimes you even have to map out your route and turn back time so you can pass the obstacle that's blocking you. There's another world where time only moves forward if you move forward. The worlds are just so well designed and well integrated into the time mechanics that it tops even the highest rated platformers out there in terms of level design.
The creator's choice of music for the game is amazing. There's happy feeling sounds and moody somber music, haunting compositions and heart pounding pieces. The BGM is well integrated into the levels and it's a joy to listen to it. Though licensed, the game itself wouldn't be as beautiful without the variety of music and the sounds itself tells a story of their own.
Puzzle pieces and stars litter the game as collectibles which reveal Tim's hidden past and future. Another one of the game's feature where the story is fleshed out through gameplay.
GraphicsVerdict: Amazing!Why you'll like it: A unique watercolor-style world where everything has that magical touch to it.Why you won't
: You prefer 3D models bashing at each other with the butts of their rifles inside destructible environments with unnecessary explosions all day long.
Braid has got one of the most unique art styles in the industry today. The combination of the colorful and varied backgrounds with post processing and particle effects is very pleasing to the eyes. Pair that with the amazing music that you can definitely hum to and you've got one hell of an experience.
StoryVerdict: Amazing!Why you'll like it: A combination of implied and indirect storytelling with a very unique but surprising ending.Why you won't
: You prefer direct storytelling because you have no time to decode and understand the underlying message.
The first time that you start Braid, you are greeted by a burning city and a constellation. From there on, you go to the central hub of different worlds which you can access via different doors inside a house. Each time you enter a world, you are welcomed by a line of books explaining Tim's connection with the "princess" and how they came to be. Braid's apporach to storytelling leans heavily on philosophical and moral themes rather than the fantastical one that's expected of platformers. The game blends storytelling and gameplay very well because of well placed visual cues, tone and mood of the music and environment, with the help of the implied backstory through the use of time manipulation.
And there you have it. Braid is a well done indie platformer that's visually pleasing to the eyes, beautiful sounding to the ears, and an atom bomb for your brain. Truly an experience for the senses.