Since Braid was recently released on PC, now is a wonderful time to organize the discussion that took place last fall following the game’s initial release on XBLA. Organizing the dispersed conversation and criticism that surrounded Braid will allow those experiencing it for the first time to catch up and add their own thoughts, as well as encourage others to take a second look at the game with the added benefit that, ahem, a bit of critical distance affords.
Braid was initially received with far more aplomb than most other XBLA games. Jonathan Blow, the game’s creator, was already known for his bold claims about the unrealized potential of video games through his lectures on experimental design and the integration of story and mechanics. So Braid was expected, by some, to fulfill those claims and herald a new age in video game storytelling.
Braid’s gorgeous artwork was created by David Hellman and both it and the music (selected specifically by Jon Blow) create a unique presentation for the gameplay. Though the presentation was undoubtedly helpful in gaining the game recognition, it was not to be the focus of the discussion surrounding it.