Looking like this will be 1200 points:
Those of you adding Microsoft points to your account for the upcoming releases of Braid and Castle Crashers this month might want to add a few more than the 800 a shot we're used to. According to the official Japanese Xbox 360 blog, August 6th's Braid will be setting gamers back 1200 Microsoft Points ($15), with Castle Crashes weighing in at 1800 Points ($22.50?) - the most expensive Live Arcade game yet. Note that these are Japanese prices, while also noting that they generally coincide with European and North American prices.
Braid is a puzzle-platformer, drawn in a painterly style, where the player manipulates the flow of time in strange and unusual ways. From a house in the city, journey to a series of worlds and solve puzzles to rescue an abducted princess. In each world, you have a different power to affect the way time behaves, and it is time's strangeness that creates the puzzles. The time behaviors include: the ability to rewind, objects that are immune to being rewound, time that is tied to space, parallel realities, time dilation, and perhaps more. Braid treats your time and attention as precious; there is no filler in this game. Every puzzle shows you something new and interesting about the game world.
- Forgiving yet challenging gameplay: Braid is a 2-D platform game where you can never die and never lose. Despite this, Braid is challenging—but the challenge is about solving puzzles, rather than forcing you to replay tricky jumps.
- Rich puzzle environment: Travel through a series of worlds searching for puzzle pieces, then solving puzzles by manipulating time: rewinding, creating parallel universes, setting up pockets of dilated time. The gameplay feels fresh and new; the puzzles are meant to inspire new ways of thinking.
- Aesthetic design: A painterly art style and lush, organic soundtrack complement the unique gameplay.
- Nonlinear story: A nonlinear fiction links the various worlds and provides real-world metaphors for your time manipulations; in turn, your time manipulations are projections of the real-world themes into playful "what-if" universes where consequences can be explored.
- Nonlinear gameplay: The game doesn't force you to solve puzzles in order to proceed. If you can't figure something out, just play onward and return to that puzzle later.
Braid is apparently coming out for PC and Xbox Live Arcade this spring, yet we have no topic for it. I haven't been watching it, but Jeff Gerstmann recently brought it up on Giant Bomb, and reminded me that I had heard of it. Gerstmann's quick preview makes it sound pretty neat - a Mario-throwback with with all kinds of time-control-based gameplay.
What really has me interested is that the art is being overseen (completely made?) by David Hellman, formerly of the web-comic A Lesson is Learned But the Damage is Irreversible. He's got a fantastically surreal style that seems to be really ingrained in this game. If the entirety of the game is as beautiful as everything else I've seen from Hellman, the visuals alone will be worth the cost of admission.
You can see news about the game at the Official Site, or read up on the art in this overview or go more in depth with Hellman's blog postings.
Edited by CokeCola, 14 January 2010 - 08:12 AM.