Braided, So Braided

We obtained Braid for the Xbox 360 the other day after being reminded it had been released for that platform when seeing it at a friend’s house. I’ve already played through the game a couple of times on my Mac, but was interested in seeing the graphics on our TV and in feeling how the game plays with a console controller rather than using the keyboard. Both aspects are pretty rewarding, really.

I guess the funny thing about playing a game like Braid for the third time has been just how transparently easy it is to play when you know what you’re doing. I think it’s a testament to how clever the game design is that it truly is the puzzles themselves that impede your progress, rather than too much fiddling around with jumps or other aspects of play (this may not hold for people without at least some familiarity with platformers).

So, in the end I blew through the game in a couple of hours. But now I see that the speedrun time to beat is 45 minutes and I really wonder how likely it is I could manage that. There’s one puzzle in particular (the one with the ring and the falling ladder, for what it’s worth) that I pretty much always fail to understand when I see it. Everything else I’m pretty confident about (though some are tricky). Getting through the whole thing in 45 minutes sounds hard.

On the other hand, it’s the last “Xbox achievement” for the game that I haven’t got (the game is pretty low on achievements, actually). I’ve never gotten all the achievements for a game, and that seems like it’d be a worthy thing to do – nor have I managed too many speedruns in my time (though I did a few obsessively in VVVVVV). On the other other hand, what the hell am I doing with my life that I’m contemplating the finer points of speed-runs and Xbox achievements? We were watching a video only this morning predicting a desolate future in which all aspects of life are “gamified” and assigned points (brushing your teeth, reading the back of the cereal box, etc.). Who am I trying to impress?

Oh God… I think it’s me…

21 October 2010
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