Friday, April 17, 2009

Braid Review (PC)

Just finished the PC version of Braid, so here a quick little review. The 2D graphics are pretty cool, Braid does some great things with particles, color and light that give it a very dynamic quality, haven't seen anything quite like it. Music is pretty good too. The story is far out in the weird artsy territory, every now and then it seemed to make a little sense, but then it lost me again. The story doesn't really have any impact on the gameplay, so its no big deal, but a little more coherence would have been nice. The way it is it leaves a bad "Now what was that about?" taste in the mouth.

In terms of gameplay Braid is obviously quite innovative, it does quite a few things with its time travel mechanic that one hasn't seen before and for most part its successes and is great fun. However not all puzzles are fun to solve, quite a few result in a huge number of trial an error attemps as the game mechnics aren't always obvious. Another issue is that the time rewind mechanic isn't usable for 'undo' in some puzzles, which adds another layer of trial an error. The game is also pretty much puzzle-only, it doesn't waste any time with game'y levels in which you use already familiar mechanics, its pretty much a run from one puzzle to the next, which gives the game a bit of a stop&go feel, as no real gameplay flow will settle in. I would have prefered a bit more classical jump'n run action, which thanks to the endless rewind is great when when it actually happens. Speaking about time rewind, I would have prefered it if the game would allow dynamic rewind via the analog triggers, the way it is implemented you have to hold X for rewind and can toggle with the triggers between 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x speed, its very easy to overshoot the target that way. I missed a way to fast forward the game (outside of timerewind) as well, as there are quite a few puzzles where you have to stand on the spot and wait for an enemy, fast forward would have been welcome there. Overall however a pretty great little puzzle game with some pretty cool crazy ideas.

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