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Braid Anniversary Edition Review

Nintendo Switch by Hothead Games 0 text

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Time rewinding, brain bending!

"Braid Anniversary Edition" is a reinvigorated version of the classic indie game "Braid" originally released in 2008. This version, crafted by the original author Jonathan Blow in collaboration with Hothead Games, brings back the ingenious puzzle-platformer with enhanced visuals and additional commentary from the developers, offering a deeper dive into its creative process. The game cleverly uses time manipulation mechanics as its core puzzle element, set in a beautifully painted world that tells a story rich in metaphor and personal reflection. The game's story revolves around Tim, a man on a quest to rescue a princess, with each level revealing more about Tim's journey and his relationship with time and mistakes. Its narrative depth, combined with visually stunning updates, creates a compelling experience that remains as poignant today as it was over a decade ago.

Gameplay 9

The gameplay of "Braid Anniversary Edition" remains largely the same as its original, which is a testament to the timeless nature of its design. Players navigate through various worlds, solving puzzles by manipulating time to alter events and progress through the levels. The Anniversary Edition brings refined controls and some minor tweaks that improve the fluidity and responsiveness of the character's movements, making for a smoother gaming experience.

Each level of the game is designed as a standalone puzzle with a unique twist on time manipulation. These range from reversing time to creating parallel realities, challenging the player's perception and intellectual engagement. The puzzles are intricately designed, requiring players to think creatively and often revisit their strategies to solve them. This aspect of gameplay is both rewarding and frustrating, capturing a perfect balance that keeps players invested.

Graphics 8

Graphically, "Braid Anniversary Edition" has received a noticeable uplift. The original's painterly aesthetics have been enhanced with higher-resolution textures and improved lighting effects, making the game's environments more vivid and enticing. Each world has its distinct visual theme, which not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but also subtly complements the storytelling.

The animation remains fluid, and the enhanced character models retain their nostalgic charm while appearing sharper and more detailed. However, some might argue that the updates are not substantial enough to consider this a full remaster but rather an upscale that respects and preserves the original artwork.

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Storyline 9

The storyline of "Braid" is as enigmatic as it is brilliant. It is presented through books located at the beginning of each world, containing short passages that provide context and insight into Tim's quest and reflections. The Anniversary Edition adds developer commentary that can be accessed throughout the game, offering a deeper understanding of the narrative's nuances and the philosophical underpinnings of its themes.

The tale is open to interpretation, with themes of obsession, redemption, and the nature of reality woven into its narrative. This complexity is what makes "Braid" stand out as more than just a puzzle game; it is a profound commentary on life's irreversible nature and the consequences of our choices.

Multiplayer N/A

"Braid Anniversary Edition" does not feature a multiplayer component. The game's focus remains on its single-player experience, which is fully designed to cater to solo puzzle-solving exploration and introspection.

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Issues and Community Feedback

Feedback from the community has been generally positive, noting the game's faithful enhancement and the addition of insightful developer commentary. However, some players have reported minor bugs related to the game's audio occasionally desynchronizing or glitches in the animation transitions. These issues are relatively minor but noteworthy for those expecting a flawless playthrough.

Conclusion 8.5

"Braid Anniversary Edition" offers a beautiful, thoughtful, and challenging puzzle-platformer experience that respects its roots while enhancing its presentation for new and returning players. The game scores an 8.5/10 for its successful blend of intelligent gameplay, artistic graphics, and a deep, interpretive story. This edition is a must-play for fans of the original and newcomers alike, offering a timeless journey through its intricate puzzles and compelling narrative.

Pros and Cons

  • Enhanced visuals
  • Thought-provoking puzzles
  • Rich narrative
  • Minor technical issues
  • Limited new content

Player Quotes

"Time-bending puzzles have never looked so good!"

"Still the same great Braid but even more beautiful."

"A masterpiece refined, though not redefined."

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Please note that this review is based on the feedback and sentiments of players on various Reddit threads and does not represent the views of all players.