PSN Review – Braid


Traditional platforming games, for the most part, are extremely simple: get from from point A to point B by hopping on platforms and enemies.  Braid, however, breathes new life into the genre by infusing it with difficult yet brilliant puzzles.  Xbox owners have enjoyed this gem since 2008, and now the title finally makes its PlayStation 3 debut.

Braid9In Braid, you play the role of Tim, a seemingly ordinary guy in a suit.  Tim’s quest, which seems at first like a run-of-the-mill save the princess story, becomes deeper and darker the more you read of it (there is no voice acting or cutscenes; almost all of the game’s plot is revealed through narrative passages between levels). Players looking for a cut-and-dried tale of good vs. evil will be put off by the game’s reluctance to give easy answers, even at its conclusion.

Throughout the game, you will progress through six unique worlds that are accessed via Tim’s home.  In these worlds, you are challenged to collect puzzle pieces strategically placed throughout each level.  This is no cakewalk, however; Braid’s levels are custom-tailored to make acquiring these pieces an extremely difficult but rewarding task.  The level layouts are ingenious; each platform matters, and there are no unnecessary parts to the levels.  Everything contributes to the level design and fits in perfectly.

You essentially can’t die in Braid, since you are able to reverse and fast forward time.  Holding down the rewind button causes the game to play in reverse; if you want to, you can actually rewind all the way back to the beginning of the level, and you can also control the speed of the rewind.  However, within the levels, you must make wise use of your time powers to acquire puzzle pieces.  Mastery of the time control mechanic is a must in order to complete the game.

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