By Nathan Grayson on July 17th, 2012 at 3:00 pm.
I Wanna Be The Guy: Gaiden killed me with a fish before I started the first level. It killed me again when I tried to start the first level. It killed me again before I touched solid ground in the first level. It killed me again with a sudden burst of fire when I tried to hop over a barrel in the first level. It killed me again when I tried to walk under a platform in the first level. It killed me again when I finally managed to leap on top of that platform. It killed me again when I tried to leap over a barrel – with the same fish as the time before I started the first level. That goddamn fish. It killed me again when I finally made it past the fish, only to be crushed by a platform mere centimeters away. It killed me again when I tried to leap between the platform and the fish. It killed me again when I made it past that part and a purple army man shot me. Then I gave up forever.
I Wanna Be The Guy: Gaiden is, of course, a pseudo-sequel to comically difficult Internet sensation I Wanna Be The Guy. So basically, it’s a platformer that takes sprites from your most fondly remembered games of yore and then mercilessly – and you may not have seen this one coming – kills you with them. At any given moment, anything in the world can and will defy physics, logic, and any other forces that might keep the universe in balance for the sole purpose of doing you grievous bodily harm. My headline was not hyperbole: this game hates you.
For most, then, it’s a novelty. Joy comes not from success (because hahahahaha, you think that’s actually possible), but from giggling at the fact that something so absurdly unfair can even exist. I know of people who’ve devoted countless blood, sweat, and tear-stained hours to conquering this series’ gleefully masochistic gauntlet of trial-and-error, but they also eat hardware stores for breakfast, play barefoot hopscotch on rows of shattered glass, and use Bing instead of Google. Bing! They are clearly not altogether there in the head.
Also, a quick word of warning: Gaiden’s still pretty glitchy. The restart key (which will quickly become your best friend) stopped working entirely for me a couple times, so I had to reboot the whole game. Honestly, though, that’s pretty much in line with I Wanna Be The Guy’s general “thwart players at every conceivable turn” philosophy, so maybe it was… intentional?
Oh, try setting a save file to easy mode. It’s quite the thing.