Chu Chu Rocket + Super Mario Bros + Prince of Persia = Braid

User Rating: 9 | Braid X360
Braid is expensive. There, I said it. But it's a wonderfully made game. If you were a Dreamcast fan, then you no doubt loved Chu Chu Rocket. The puzzles in Braid will remind you of those greatly. Braid also borrows many elements, occasionally jokingly, from the original Super Mario Bros. game. Also, the time controlling aspects are reminiscent of Prince of Persia.

The game contains 6 "worlds," with about 7 or 8 stages within most of them. In these stages, you've got your standard SMB side scrolling to get through the stages. You can pretty much run straight through the game if you want, but the beauty of Braid is in the puzzle pieces, and even the stars! Getting the puzzle pieces is a massive puzzle in itself, one that will make you miss the simplicity that was Myst so many years ago! In each world, you'll gain new abilities, which you'll have to integrate into your gameplay to accomplish your objectives.

The story to Braid is fairly simple, about a page of text before each world, but it's immersive. It also gets sorta trippy at the end, but I won't go there. Getting to the princess in the final castle (remind you of anything?) is your main objective, and it's pretty easy to accomplish if you don't worry about your side missions. Braid can take you anywhere from a half hour to 7 or 8 hours to complete, depending on just how much of a completionist you are.

Visually, Braid is incredible. The simplicity of the characters combining with the abstract art and subtle backgrounds creates a very visceral gaming experience, one that you'll remember for quite a while to come.

Overall, Braid is a great puzzle game. The $15 price tag will off set many (and already has []), but just do the math: this game is brand new, got rated a 9.5 by gamespot, but will only last less than 10 hours. So, brand new game: +$50; 9.5 rating: +$10; less than 10 hours: /4. ($50 + $10)/4=$15. Perfect, eh? Well, I will say that the value is no Orange Box, but if you've ever enjoyed a puzzle game, Braid is definitely the game for you!