August 31, 2008

If you have an Xbox 360 and you don’t have Braid, go get it now. Not ready to spend the $15, which is more than worth it? Download the demo, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Braid is a completely novel platforming puzzle game in which you can control the flow of time, forwards and backwards. You only get one hit, but it doesn’t matter – if you get hit, just rewind time until before when you got hit.

Each world has a different way of controlling time, making for a plethora of unique and interesting puzzles. The first world has no special gimmick, time just goes forwards and backwards. The second world introduces objects which are immune to going back in time, so when you go forward, everything goes forward, but when you go backwards, those objects continue going forwards. And so on.

Braid only has about 3-5 hours of gameplay (or less, if you’re naturally really good at these time puzzles). It does have a little replay value in its time attack mode, where your goal is to beat certain levels under certain (real time) time limits. The hardest one is to beat the entire game in under 45 minutes, which is the final achievement for the game, worth the last 15 gamerscore points out of 200.

My review:

Gameplay: 10/10 — I wish I could give it a higher score

Plot: 5/10 — It’s a pretty simplistic “save the princess”, but with a twist; besides, it’s a puzzle game

Graphics: 10/10 — I’ve never seen a more beautiful platformer

Sound: 9/10 — The music is very pleasant, and the way it goes backwards when time goes backwards is awesome (and doesn’t sound like crap)

Overall: 10/10 — Gameplay trumps everything else

Braid is currently the highest rated Xbox Live Arcade game on Metacritic. But with a score of 93, it’s also the #8 Xbox 360 game of all-time. Pretty damn impressive for a game with a budget of a paltry $180,000. Now do yourself a favor and go download Braid.

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