Braid, Do I Love You or Hate You?

On one hand, you are a great game.  Amazing game mechanics, puzzles, and a mature and meaningful story and presentation that is as unique as the mechanics themselves.  Art, music, sound, writing, all are top notch.  A notch above, I might add, any game I’ve played made by any kind of business driven development house.

Sure, I could talk about how your difficulty curve is imperfect.  How I spent much time frustrated at a few puzzles for knowing what I needed to do, but not how to do it.  How I was forced, at one point, to hit up youtube for a solution (which, in the end, told me that I was doing exactly the right thing, just off by a tiny amount).  Of spending nearly an hour on one puzzle completely frustrated because I hadn’t yet discovered a mechanic that could’ve been introduced to me transparently through gameplay.

But that would be missing the point.

The point is you are so good, it makes me feel like an amateur.  Not the professional with nearly a decade of experience that I am.  You make me feel like everything I’ve done, everything I want to do, is in vain, because I will never make something as beautiful, or as full of depth and meaning.  I realize now that every idea I’ve ever had, every mechanic I’ve ever dreamed of including in a game, is nothing but evolutionary fluff compared to a true masterpiece.

Do I hate you?  Do I hate you for making me want to give up on all my dreams and ambitions?  To crawl under a rock and pretend that I never even tried, so as to minimize the trauma?

Do I love you?  Will you be the inspiration that leads me to create my own masterpiece?  Or at least, something I can be truly proud of and call my own?

I hope that it’s love, I fear that it’s hate.

4 thoughts on “Braid, Do I Love You or Hate You?

  1. chris

    Everything I have seen in relation to Braid screams “platformer” and as someone who has held an unabiding hatred of platformers since the super-nintendo days, when I determined that gaming could and should be more than such, I can’t bring myself to check it out, despite the praise that’s been heaped upon it.

    … that was a hell of a run-on sentence.

  2. ZekeDMS

    Braid has definitely disillusioned me for my future in trying to make games, I won’t lie there.

    I’m not sure anything involving platform style puzzling will ever stand up to this for, well, years. It’s just so brilliant, and every little piece is another piece of the grand story and metaphor at the end.

    Plus, how many games actually feel cathartic in such a way for the player? Man, I just got over three bad relationships from playing this game.

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