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Mario Visits Braid

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-08-11 06:51:22

Turn on your 360 and buy Braid now.

I don't want anyone getting the impression that I'm dissing Mario; it's just that Braid pays homage to Mario in several ways, not the least of which is the Donkey Kong level above.

I do want everyone to get the impression that I'm dissing forum posters like the following (from NeoGAF):

braid is terrible - it's a stupid throwback game instead of something that innovates?

Braid is a retro platformer in presentation only. Its gameplay is a series of evolving temporal conundrums the likes of which have not been previously seen. Combine that with an evocative art direction, and a subtly profound narrative with a CRUSHER of a twist ending, and it's difficult to find many other games anywhere nearly as innovative. In a nutshell, it's this year's Portal in 2-D with the overt humor swapped out in exchange for poetic wistfulness. Yeah, you heard me - Portal.

Here's a poster from Gamefaqs:

World 6 is poor compared to the rest of the game, stupid need to be ridiculously precise with the stupid ring.

What this player failed to realize is that while you could use mad platformer timing skills to power through this puzzle, the proper method is a ridiculously simple and elegant solution requiring only logic and two easy button pushes. It's full of frustrating "WTF THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE" situations that yield intensely satisfying "OMG DUH I FIGURED IT OUT" moments. Remember Portal?

And from our own forums (not that I'm dissing you, Ny, but I do feel compelled to make the following counterpoint):

What I don't like is the precedent it's setting by being $15. This would've been a great purchase at $10.

Yeah, I don't like it either. But it still makes a great purchase at $15. Hell, in retrospect, if I had paid $20 I'd still feel like I got my money's worth. How much would you have paid for, y'know, Portal? Because that's 20 bucks on Steam. Many people are complaining about Braid's brevity in conjunction with its higher price point, but it's a better value in both quality and quantity than a movie ticket + large soda.

Finally, another GameFAQer who isn't particularly eloquent, but is nevertheless right on the money:

holy fucking shit, this game was amazing. EASILY the best thing on XBLA.

I concur. My review will be up shortly, and Braid is the first downloadable game I'm granting the elite S Rank.

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