Tucked away at the very back of the Barker Hangar at this year’s new and “improved” E3 was a small section dedicated to some upcoming indie games. From my little play time with a handful of these gems, I must say that some of them were miles more original and promising than most of the high profile games being displayed front and center on the show floor.
One of the indie titles that stood out the most was Braid, an odd (but completely engrossing) puzzle/action/platformer hybrid starring a guy in a business suit on a quest to save a princess in a wide variety of fantasy worlds. Most noticeably, the game sports some beautiful, hand-drawn 2D graphics that are displayed from a sorely missed and breathtaking Lode Runner-esque vantage point (translation: far away camera) that allows the player to see more of the game’s lush vistas.
In the game you must solve puzzles, fight beasts, and manipulate the game’s brilliant use of time (its effect on you changes in every level) to reach the goal on each side-scrolling level. And, honestly, although the game looks amazing (see what I mean in the gallery below), you really have to witness it all in motion; the animation is so smooth that each sprite takes on a life of its own.
Needless to say, I was more than excited to hear the recent news that Braid will be coming to XBLA in early 2008. With this and the awesome Rez HD and Ikaruga news, XBLA is looking better (and more refreshingly retro) each and every day.
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