Braid, Anniversary Edition Review – Gaming Nexus

May 24, 2024 by No Comments

I don’t know where I was or what made me watch Indie Game: The Movie, but I did years ago. I must have studied in college. I think some publisher, maybe Microsoft, decided to stream the movie, so see. The film follows three different – but equally important – video games: Fez, Super Meat Boy, and Braid. I had never played any of these titles, and had only heard of Super Meat Boy at the time of viewing. Fez and Braid became games I knew a lot about without ever playing. Peak became a bucket list game for me. One of the “greats” I will work towards at some point in my life. I have a stack of games like this, the ones I say I’ll get one day. Honestly, I could tackle four or five of these games before I die. Thankfully, Peak is now one of those games. I haven’t tried Fez yet. Maybe one day there will be an anniversary edition released that I can take a look at. As for the peak, well, that time is now.

While there are new additions to this anniversary version of Braid, I think much of the heart and soul has remained the same, for the better. You play as Tim. Tim is looking for a princess. Sound familiar? This isn’t the only Mario reference, or the last homage paid to his predecessors. Much of the story Brad is telling is left untold. Reading between the lines, or coming up with your own conclusions is still the rule here. You’ve done something, maybe something bad happened, and you’re trying to get the princess back and apologize. Tim also has the power of time travel. Death is never something to deal with in Brad, but something to learn from. There is also a commentary that you can follow while you play. I tried it, it felt like a DVD commentary that comes on a DVD. Great if you want to be the person who’s experienced everything in the word Braid, but great if you’re not interested. A great idea that I would love to see brought to other topics.

Creator Jonathan Blow may have created a great game, but he’s not without a few skeletons in the closet. Without giving too much away, he has said some things about covid that I don’t agree with, along with cryptocurrency being pushed on people. I did not struggle to separate the art from the artist. I can play Braid, and The Witness, Blow’s other very popular title, without ever hearing or learning about his idol. I share an opinion with him that isn’t mine, but I don’t feel compelled to listen to any comments about Brad, regardless of how much it might add to my enjoyment. It’s just me. I can see both sides, and find the one you land on acceptable. All I’ll say is, I think you should try to be as informed as possible about a situation. It’s hard to argue with Blu’s conclusions. Braid, and its second title, The Witness, are considered masterpieces and rightly so. Still, it should be addressed, and it’s important to inform yourself in order to reach your own conclusions.

Most of Peak is played in short platform levels where you move around trying to collect puzzle pieces in each zone. Once you collect all of them they create a picture, pushing you to the next zone. Rinse, again. I think the platforming here is top notch, something other games should strive for. I was surprised how often I found myself changing the time to correct a simple mistake I made a few minutes earlier. Braid Anniversary Edition includes newly added levels. The addition of levels, commentary, and redone art all look above and beyond what I expected. I went in with low expectations. A lot of remastered titles are coming out that have serious bugs, are discontinued, or just don’t work the way they’re intended. Not the case here, thankfully. It’s hard to get crazy in a game to work as intended.

Go ahead and take a look at Braid on Metacritic. It’s crazy how well received the peak was, and still is. Check out this anniversary edition, lots of similar positive thoughts. This updated version comes with even more. The ability to switch between that anniversary look, and the old-school retro feel of the original. There are extra levels, too, so if you’ve been itching for more bread, you’re in luck.

I talk about it a lot, but music is something that matters to me, when it’s done right. When the right music can elevate the mood, atmosphere and enjoyment of a game, Braid’s soundtrack is no different. Subtle, not overbearing in any way, and frankly, cool. This is the music I need when I sit down to write. Something that doesn’t distract from what I’m trying to do, but still adds to what I’m trying to accomplish. That is the peak.

The hand drawn art is fantastic too – really beautiful. It was something worth noting when you entered a new world. It’s hard not to be impressed. Every pixel was reworked for this version to create the best possible look. Take a look at these backgrounds the next time you find yourself playing, a pastel watercolor background is worth picking up.

Peak is playable without question. Having been through it myself, I feel like I can say that I regret not getting to it sooner. But, the last question I want to raise is, is there a need for an anniversary edition of Brad? Are more levels, a commentary, and redone art worth the price of entry? Yes. I’ve spent my entire time with Braid Anniversary Edition, and in a decade, I’ll play it again, with fresh enough eyes to have a great experience.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the manufacturer/company.

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