And then, the first and last game of the weekend, Braid. The downside of which is that I am obligated to find a way to review Braid. (The upside, obviously, is that it was a fantastic game, full of challenging and rewarding puzzles and a truly incredible (and incredibly presented!) climax to its story.)
The thing is, I don’t really want to say anything about it, because it is to be played, not told. So I’ll give you what you can see and what you can begin to intuit from the first two minutes of play, and then I’ll nod to myself and consider my job done. Have you ever played Super Mario Bros.? The one for the original Nintendo (also there was a somewhat different arcade version) with the walking mushroom people and the giant lizard who kidnapped Princess Peach? Along every meaningful angle from which you could consider SMB, this game is the response to that game. </wise nod>
 I had played a great deal of it before, and I also took a break in the middle before coming back to wrestle with the last few, ultra-hard levels. Ultimately, there were seven such that a walkthrough was involved in, and of those, I only felt like I should have figured out two of them. The rest involved knowledge I had somehow missed having or ideas that would never have crossed my mind to attempt.
 Annoyingly, on the XBox 360. Will I go back for my gamerscore? Probably not!
 I mean because I’m pretty lazy, but honestly, going back for gamerscore feels like missing 100% of the point of the game, too.
 Awesomely, my host had the walkthrough and doled out the hints gradually, so sometimes it really was just a hint.
 If this sounds like a candyass way to conduct my affairs, well, a) maybe it is at that, but b) it doesn’t change the fact that I would be robbing you of an experience you owe yourself. If you play video games and people don’t sidle away from you because of things you say at social gatherings, then trust me. Just play the game. The five or ten bucks that it will cost you is worth it, as is the hour or three of time you’ll spend.