dkirschner's Braid (PC)
| [February 2, 2012 12:50:42 PM]
| I "finished" Braid, aka, got bored and watched the ending on Youtube. Here's the thing about Braid. It's pretty. It's challenging. It's thoughtful. It takes typical 2D game mechanics and turns them on their heads. Each chapter has a particular spatio-temporal twist to it. There's a chapter with a wedding ring. When Tim drops the ring on the ground, everything near the ring sloooows down, allowing Tim to place the ring near quickly-closing doors to make them open slow enough for him to slide through. Stuff like that. I played another chapter tonight where moving right makes time go forward and moving left makes time go backward. I had some fun solving those levels and picking up some puzzle pieces.
I thank Mr. Blow for his innovation and ethical stance on video games and all that, but after playing Braid for a while, I got bored out of my mind. The time-space manipulation puzzles, while each was unique, were all about...manipulating time and space. I had fun playing around with the different mechanics, but where it lost me was getting the difficult-to-reach puzzle pieces. I lost interest. Fun to play with mechanics. Not fun to master them. I mean it's fun WHEN you master them, but I didn't feel like bothering any more with the process. Then when I found out at the end that I couldn't go to the last level until I collected each piece in each level, I turned to YouTube. The last chapter looked neat. I wish I didn't have to find all the puzzle pieces to get to it!
A couple things to take into consideration about my comments and my shelving Braid tonight:
(1) It's late and I'm tired and have had a headache for like 8 hours. I'm probably less patient than usual.
(2) I've been playing Portal 2 for the last week, which is a far superior puzzle game.
(3) I typically don't gush over puzzle, 2D, or platforming games. I bought Braid because it had awesome reviews and looked pretty. Same reason I buy most the puzzle, 2D, platform, or adventure games I buy, the genres I don't love the most. Machinarium comes to mind here. Pretty, interesting, too hard for me to bother with after a while.
Worth playing, even if I put it down prematurely.
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| [January 12, 2012 12:30:33 PM]
| So I've fallen behind on updating this. I was home for Christmas, and then there was the Steam winter sale where I played a bunch of random games for achievements, and then I came home and played even more random games. I'll just go through some memorable moments that I have had in the last month. And if this sounds weird, it's because I'm using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a voice-to-text program, that I just installed today. I'm learning how to use it and training it by dictating gamelogs.
I played Braid for the first time visiting P in the hospital. Z and I kept him company while he was recovering from appendicitis or food poisoning or something painful sounding. I brought him his laptop and we all played Braid for like four hours. It was a very collaborative effort. We were all giddy and playfully competitive from trying to solve puzzles first. We took turns at the controls.
This time I played Braid in the Chicago airport where I had a three-hour layover followed by a three-hour delay, and I was lucky enough to snipe a seat next to a power outlet, where I happily played Braid for a couple hours. The first thing that struck me was how pretty the hand-painted backgrounds were. I remembered them from last time. I also remembered the story about time and regret and saving the princess. Essentially it seemed to be about the game designer's relationship with his girlfriend.… Or ex-girlfriend. Regardless of the emo-ness of the story, I find it quite compelling. Like Mario, the Princess is always at a different castle when you reach the end of the level.
I also remember a lot of the puzzles and solutions from P's hospital extravaganza. However, I forgot a lot. I remember the bit about manipulating time. I remember the objects that are not affected by time reversal. I remember some of the puzzles where you have to slow down time so that objects unaffected by time interact in specific ways with objects that are affected by time. This particular level involved I think three doors and three keys or something. Actually, as I'm sitting here thinking about it, it's really hard to describe. So, the controls are basically left right jump and rewind time. When you rewind time everything moves backwards in time except certain colored objects, or sparkly objects or something. So some of the keys are sparkling and some of the doors are sparkling, which means that some keys can be reused and some doors can be reused when you rewind time. So you have to figure out in what sequence to use each key on the doors in order to make it down the hallway where there is a puzzle piece. The levels are somewhat nonlinear, and the puzzle pieces are scattered around in such a way that you have to come back to many levels later once you figured out tricks to get earlier puzzle pieces. We never really figured out the point of the puzzles because it paints a little picture of the story ( and they let you walk across them like a ledge) space and that's about it as far as we can tell.
There's not a lot to say, and I'm mostly just writing this to train Dragon, but those painted backgrounds are so pretty and stand out so vividly that playing the game feels like a dreamscape to me. I've got a few games to finish before I picked this one back up, but I look forward to getting back into it.
Oh my God, I just selected all and said copy and it selected all and then replaced all of it with the word copy. That was scary.
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dkirschner's Braid (PC)
Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored
GameLog started on: Tuesday 27 December, 2011
GameLog closed on: Thursday 2 February, 2012