Monday, 16 July 2012

I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden (Video Game Review)


For those of you not in the know, way back in mists of time in 2007 a man called Michael "Kayin" O'Reilly developed a game called I Wanna Be the Guy. It proved to be one of the hardest games ever made short of Kaizo Mario World, and perhaps even exceeding that due to the lack of save states. You were likely to die a good twenty times more often than in Conker’s Bad Fur Day and was the No.1 cause for tears of rage, hatred and blood for that year due to its obscene difficulty. Don’t quote me on that last bit.

Upon initially playing that game I thought that this must have been some mistake. That there must have been something wrong during its creation, that perhaps O’Reilly had been possessed by Beelzebub or it had escaped from eldritch dimension of horrifying deaths to our world. The sequel proves this wrong. O'Reilly is just extremely good at making video games worthy of being banned under the Geneva Convention. Somehow he managed to make this one even harder than the first.

Now some of you might be thinking this is exaggeration, that I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden is just a bit too difficult for someone who tends to play most games on Normal difficulty. To those people, here’s a simple answer:

I have yet to encounter anyone who has made it to the first stage of the map screen without being killed at least ten times. Yes, before you even reach the first level you’re going to die more often than you would in any normal title – and it only gets steadily harder from there. For one thing you’re going to be lucky if you can even land on opening area without dying the first time. Not since Dwarf Fortress, a game with the mantra “losing is fun”, has there been something with such a steep difficulty curve.

Really, that’s all that needs to be said – I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden is made from the ground up to be obscenely difficult, infesting your computer like the raw stuff of hell and driving you to bash your head against walls. It’s not even that it’s badly made, it’s well thought out and very well made, but every brain cell which went into this was put towards making it harder. There’s certainly nice elements to it, like its predecessor it manages to capture the same retro vibe of old titles. The music is fantastic. Each level reminded me of classic games such as the original Mega Man series and Super Mario, but you’re not going to notice that while screaming obscenities at the screen after dying for the thousandth time on the opening screen.

If you want to repeated torture yourself, it can be downloaded for free from here. It is not recommended for the light hearted.

I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden was developed by Michael O'Reilly.

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