Once you get past the early introductory areas, the pacing in Brave is pretty upbeat. You move from one environment to another in pretty rapid succession, and though they're all thematically predictable (forest, desert, fire, ice, and the like), at least they're diverse. Part of what makes this whirlwind tour so speedy is that very little time is spent wandering around. Most of the levels feel narrow with just one point-A-to-point-B objective at a time, designed with the apparent intent of funneling you into the next area with minimal fuss. Your next objective is also always clearly marked on the onscreen minimap, and you can hit the select button at any time for even more explicit direction from Grey Bear. All of this in-game assistance compounds the fact that Brave just isn't very difficult. The platforming never gets too involved, the combat is stripped down, the lives are infinite, and the checkpoints are numerous.
While a game's lack of challenge isn't an inherently bad thing, there's some out-of-the-blue bugginess that hurts the experience in Brave. On several occasions we experienced what looked like bizarre polygonal noise that would appear sporadically and block our perspective on the action, and it would eventually culminate in the game freezing altogether. This weirdness notwithstanding, Brave is still a pretty mediocre-looking game. There are occasionally some inspired art direction moments where you're faced with some uncharacteristically wide-open spaces, but most of the time the environments are pretty small in scope and short on detail. Brave and the other characters you'll encounter have been built with simple shapes in mind, which keeps them looking OK, but the whole chunky, faux-mystic vibe just makes the whole thing feel like a knockoff of Avalanche Software's Tak and the Power of Juju. The inconsistency of the voice work is a little bothersome too, with some characters playing it like they're supposed to be Cigar Store Indians, and others sounding like they got pulled from Anime Central Casting.
The biggest issue a game like Brave faces is relevance. The PlayStation 2, which will probably continue to see new releases for a while to come but has definitely already peaked in terms of quality games, is a console absolutely rife with games that do exactly what Brave does, and across the board, they do it better.