Get it NOW
The Bad: A few puzzles will frustarate you; speed runs are completely unfair...
Braid is the perfect Mario Zelda combo. It's got platforming, enemies, puzzles, time travel, a great story, and plenty of new concepts brought to the table. Jonathon Blow is seriously my hero.
The game stars Tim. He's looking for a princess, and must traverse seven worlds to find her. The story is a neat, open ended tale with Tim's very nature thrown into question at the close of the game. It really does take your initial impressions of the protagonist, and flip them upside down, making you go WTF???
The gameplay feels a bit mediocre at first, but you'll soon realize how wrong you were. Puzzles are completely skippable if you can't complete them, and you can actually just run through the entire game in twenty minutes. The catch is this... even though you can see "The princess is in another castle" (Har har) 6 times in 20 minutes, you'll need to go back and complete every single puzzle if you want to see the conclusion. This may seem daunting, especially because puzzles can get VERY frustrating late in the game. Don't give up, and don't get a walkthrough. Trust me: As long as you keep at it, you WILL complete every single puzzle, and it's VERY satisfying when you do. You'll be surprised at the abilities you can muster when you really think about each situation.
There are a few hiccups. Later puzzles (especially one of them REALLY late in the game) are frustrating to no end. There was one, in particular, that I literally spend 3 HOURS trying to complete. I eventually pulled it off, and In was VERY happy when I did. Also, I found the conclusion to be a right nasty piece of work. There's a speed run option for the extra 20 achievement points, but given the awful nature of later puzzles, you'll find that beating the game in 45 minutes is asking way too much of you.
The visuals are gorgeous, pastelle style areas, and they look kinda like Yoshi's Story, except far better. The music gets repetetive. It's mostly forgettable, but pleasant and folksy, nonetheless.
There's a lot to like about Braid. It's a purchase you won't regret if you love teasing your brain. It's a little pricy for my tastes, but completely worth it. Get it NOW.
- Josh Sumara