Sunday, November 23, 2008

Braid Extended Play

I may have been premature in saying I was done with Braid. I may also have been premature in saying it was a game about relationships. Apparently there is more to the game than just assembling all the puzzles and seeing the final level. Which is, I think, a shame. Sometimes games need to know when to keep their mouth shut.

Okay, so in the hub world there's a screen with a constellation, right? Apparently there's eight stars hidden in the game, and finding them all reveals the image of a chained princess in the sky in the hub world. Also, finding the last star involves doing something in the last level which... I don't know how to finish that sentence without spoilers, but as far as I'm concerned it ruins that level. And the rest of the game.

And then it turns out the whole game wasn't about relationships after all but was instead about the nuclear bomb.

Bollocks. Bollocks, I say. I am going to promptly forget I ever discovered this and I suggest you do too.

If you want to know more there's an FAQ here but you should be aware that:
(a) getting the stars is stupidly hard
(b) you can't do it if you've already finished the game - you'll have to start from scratch, and
(c) getting a single star can take up to two hours, and there are eight of them.

Thanks to Phrancq for the tip-off.


Jon said...

I prefer to think of getting the stars as an anti-achievement: it shows that one has missed the point (which was partly about letting go). It's a rare game that encourages you to stop playing.

(And really, the videos on youtube make it look far too painful to attempt).

SPLastic said...

I honestly don't find side-quest collectables all that fun anyway - one of my friends hunted down 90% of the flags in Assassin's Creed (but that may have been to satisfy his ego). I didn't find 10 total.

Played Braid on a friend's console - enjoyed it and would love to see a 3D adaption (even if it would ruin the visual charm).

Collectables really need to exist in games with an incentive other than "10 Gamerscore Unlocked" - Banjo Kazooie is a good example (play it, Greg!); the notes open doors. Donkey Kong 64 is a not so good example; hundreds of different collectables that only certain characters can collect.

GregT said...

Finding collectables can be its own reward, provided that there's a continuous ladder of progress, and some sort of way of looking back at how far you've come.

Much like Guitar Hero - there's absolutely no reward for gold starring every song on the lower difficulties, but it's inherently satisfying.

SPLastic said...

Maybe so - personally, such things haven't really captured my attention for long. Having said that, I do agree that collectables need to have a system to them, and I do like it when they mean something to the main game (rather than Super Mario's find one hundred coins and you'll get an almost useless life system).

mwc said...

I'm with Jon. I don't think the Princess is the atomic bomb, for one thing. But for another, the fact that the game almost explicitly punishes you for seeking out the stars, and the fact that it is essentially impossible to find them without going outside the game, make it seem like getting them is the wrong thing to do.

Switch said...

Haha I have to agree that the nuclear bomb thing is strange. I think they were trying a bit too hard to be deep... deep to the point of obtuseness. I'd have preferred it if they had just kept it about relationships. I have no inclination at all to collect the stars and didn't even know they existed until I read about all this long after I beat the game. ^^;