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LIMBO Review (Limbo vs Braid)

August 4th, 2010 by

Well just got back from the Gold Coast, Warner Bros Movie World, DreamWorld, that nonsense etc.

Anyway I had a dabble with LIMBO when I got back yesterday…………….. Now before we get started there is something you should know about me, I am on some kind of existential free love vibe, ying yang thingy bob, Blimp blop knick knack Jesus Bing Bong, so please don’t be put off. High on life as you were…….

Regardless, I enjoyed this game immensely, my one regret is that I can’t gift it to somebody else. Yes, there is a little bit of value a issue here. BUT, that is in a way, is a good thing.

Let’s go back now and look at Braid, which in itself -for my mind- was a work of art. Strange that these words are more often bandied around for Arcade titles as opposed to full games (shame on you main stream grappling producers). I suppose the other key word here is “mainstream” as the game was a little easier than normal. However for somebody like me, full-time job, two kids it was very, very refreshing. I say this due to it’s put down and pick-upability. (not sure if that’s a word, but the scrabulising cheats on Words with Friends on the iPhone will find out)

Firstly, I think that the mainstream are generally moronic, it reminds me of the time Johnny Rotten replied to the comment that his music didn’t seem to appeal to the ‘man in the street’, he said ” I have met ‘the man in the street’ and he’s a c*%t” Second, now here lies the review-comparison, what Limbo does better for me is accept seemingly whole-heartedly what it is, a game. Braid did spend a while exploring, shall we say a more subliminal convergence- if that makes sense-.

boy on boat

...we're gonna need a bigger boat

So what is LIMBO?, well it’s a 2D platformer, not unlike say Little Big Planet. The difference here is not in the core but, in the delivery. The minimalist style of monochromatic artwork -yes artwork- is very uniquely different amongst today’s child-friendly colours or adult oriented artsy fartsy offerings. The main difference to Braid is that, it is easier in the sense that each puzzle is trial and error in the purest -today’s gaming diluted- sense.

Sometimes, with Braid I had worked out the puzzle early on, which then left the tedium of performance, yes, I do understand that this is what a lot of gaming is all about, the application of a series of consecutive button presses in the right order, however, not just a few of us are left in well er Limbo between quicktime events and Braid. I suppose that is what Braid was to an extent, once you had figured out the concept (the fun bit) it was then a matter of learning a QTE without the prompts. Ultimately however the key for me, was that with the minimalist style comes an overall minimalist ambiance…….no soundtrack, if like me you were born on earth, you have been programmed to respond to certain stimuli, and music most certainly is one of the cliched cornerstones in epicness (Words with Cheats). I do understand the artness (Word with chaeitng cntus- scrabulise that up your asre) of no music and, to be fair it added to the overall presentation however, in all things we must maintain balance, in short there was no yang, or ying, or whatever.  Braid offered a profound message and was complemented by a score that played to the theme of the game play.

“There is nothing as scary as an open door” “Curiosity killed the cat” we are inquisitive monkeys searching for a conscience that will torture us until we realise that there is nothing past our own mortality. From Braid’s point of view, our inquisitiveness has broken things we can’t unbreak. We can’t un-invent the bomb, that haunted our lives in the Cold War period. Braid re-enforced this message by offering an alternative to time itself but ultimately the inevitable realisation of curious George.

In contrast to this, Limbo for me was, thinking without thinking, escapism in the very best sense………………………..but we are going to die………….all of us ………….I would defy any thinking man or gamer for that matter to hold the belief that Limbo is a waste of money.

In short Limbo is a black and white 2D side scrolling platformer. It offers a fair amount of challenge depending on your familiarity with the genre. That said, the majority of repetition and physics puzzles shouldn’t be alien to most gamers. regardless of perspective. For those of you that don’t have the time for Gears on Insane then, this is the game that will inspire a feeling of accomplishment, repetition, trial and error included, without the actual annoyance of all that these bring.

I can't play out today, I'm a little tied up

For the core, a very well executed platform job. If you are that way inclined , it is very arty in it’s minimalist portrayal of of one boy’s struggle against adversity and some such shit. It is better than most, lets put it that way. Braid it is not, to compare the two is a little akin to the consternation that arises trying to compare PSN Plus with XBLA Gold,  so then, what is it? French version of Little Big Planet?, maybe-ish either way it is what it is, which is more than you can say for most games. For that reason alone it is worth a look. It’s a “smell my finger” winner, not life changing, but then what would change it?????? Life that is……….

p.s. you have to stand on the spider’s balls to get the achievements

This Community Content article was created by Adge1973, a member of our community. Community Content is your way of getting long-form writing and opinion out to the Midlife Gamer audience, an open platform to get something off your chest. For full guidelines on our editorial standards and how to create your own post, click here. The views expressed within are those of the author and not necessarily the opinions of the Midlife Gamer Staff.

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