My Thoughts on Braid

Braid started off interestingly, with the dark shadow running through a background of skyscraper silhouettes. The graphics on the main character seemed very cool and I especially enjoyed that his hair and jacket blew in the wind as you run and jump. This beginning really did well with setting the tone for Tim’s ‘mysterious’ back-story, where he apparently betrayed a princess. This is where the Mario comparisons started to enter my mind. The books with background story were a pretty cool touch, though, and I got a heaven/hell sense with the coulds in comparison to the darkness of the first scene. Further the graphics of the grassy area and backgrounds were beautiful and the music was soothing.

 

The mechanics of the game were simple enough, but the game-play reminded me too much of Mario, to the point that it felt unoriginal. I did enjoy the shift function and found it quite innovative. It also fit the theme of a troubled past. As the game progressed, it was frustratingly similar to Mario, with the goombas, piranhas, and the ragdoll dinosaur that you met at the flag marking the end of each “World” (another Mario term). The rabbits were a more original feature (in my experience) and I liked the way the manipulation of time interacted with the glowing objects. I really began to excel with the way the game was played when shadows came into play and I thoroughly enjoyed the mental challenge it presented because it wasn’t a one-and-done system. For example if you mess up with the green keys, its over because they don’t move back in time.

 

My major problems were that the game was not immediately rewarding of good play, most of the levels could be skipped if you did not want to collect puzzle pieces, and that there was only one way to complete each level. The game was stimulating enough but without a perfect score, which I didn’t have the time/patience to achieve, you don’t see any reward for some of the harder things to do. There was also a lack of ability to interact with terrain, a feature that could have added a great deal of depth to the game. I suppose that I enjoyed it, overall, but I definitely don’t think it’s worth $10.

 

-Challenor

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Braid”

  1. Although I’m not an avid gamer, I too noticed the similarities between Braid and Super Mario Bros. And while both games at first appear to follow a strikingly similar narrative (man attempting to save a princess), Braid’s ending catapults it to an entirely different genre of game (and I would argue that the graphics, music, and game mechanics put it leagues above Mario as well). I think Braid is a feminist game. Although the player believes he/she is playing to ultimately “win” the Princess, no amount of gaming prowess or re-dos ever win her. In this way, Braid acknowledges the misogynistic themes found in many video game narratives and chooses not to support or emulate it. I don’t think Braid fits in the “female power” genre, because the Princess is entirely absent from gameplay and is only talked about in relation to men, but in contrasts to games like Super Mario Bros. where “winning” the game and “getting” the princess are synonymous, I think Braid represents a new era of feminist video games.

    Here’s an article that deciphers the misogyny in video game culture. I’m not in full agreement with the author here, but it’s a fine starting point. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/27/your-princess-is-in-another-castle-misogyny-entitlement-and-nerds.html

    1. Interesting! I don’t think I was going for the feminist angle there, but I see where you get it from. Without spoiling too much, I think the ending kind of swings that premise around, though. It’s definitely easier to see Braid as misogynist in light of the ending. We can talk more on a less public forum if u care to read the ending.

  2. Although I do agree that Braid has a striking similarity to the Super Mario Brothers series, I think that in some aspect, most platform games share this characteristic, as the Super Mario Bros. is the most well-known platform game. Also, unlike Mario Brothers, Braid requires more critical thinking and preparations in order to beat the level, which differentiates itself from Super Mario Brothers, as the latter mostly requires motor reflexes skills.

    I do agree, however, the game play itself is pretty similar to Super Mario Brothers. The game play consisted of typical jumping and collecting items, and having played the Mario series, I was able to quickly accustom myself to this game as well.

    Overall, I do agree that these two games are similar in the fundamental level, but I think that’s about as far as similarity goes.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s