Yes. Anyone that’s read the Escapist this week, Destructoid in August last (or even back in 2008), or even just be a fan of 2D platformers will probably be aware of this game’s existence. Most will seethe with unfiltered rage at the slightest mention of it, others will roll their eyes and say “Oh… THAT game.”
You see, I Wanna Be The Guy (from here abbreviated to IWBTG), is a 2D platformer that is inspired by classic games from the late 80s and early 90s. Games that had no save points, were damn near impossible and required a lot of skill and memory to even get so far, let alone complete it. IWBTG is a tribute of sorts to that style of game – albeit with save points, unless you play on Impossible, which I REALLY wouldn’t recommend – in the way that it’s beatable, but damn near impossible to do so without dying a few times. And you will die. Lots. Anything you touch that isn’t solid ground can and will kill you at the slightest of grazes. And even that said ground can kill you if you’re not careful how you stand on it.
This game really wants you to hate it. It taunts you. It goads you. It throws things at you when you least expected it and that last half of a screen that took you 2 days to clear? Yeah, you forgot to shoot the Save Point, you have to do it again. But you end up loving it. Why? Because it makes you angry. Everyone’s got anger in them somewhere, at someone, at something or other. This game’s the best way to vent that anger without punching someone square in the face, although if your PC desk is near a wall, I’d make sure it’s padded if I were you, just to be on the safe side. There’s nothing like having a good shouting match with your screen and nobody on the receiving end to shout back at you, unless you count Guilty Gear music and the omnipresent Game Over screen as shouting.
If you liked your frustrating NES platformers that killed you for no reason other than “just because it can”, the likes of MegaMan, Ghosts and Goblins and Bionic Commando in particular, you’ll love the nostalgia trip on offer here. If you grew up in the modern-day era, PS1-onwards, I suggest giving it a go but I can guarantee you that you won’t like it’s off-the-charts difficulty (Medium’s the easiest and even that’s insanely hard) and original NES-inspired looks and music. However, I think there’s a part of this that everyone’ll love. From the trap level where the only way to get out is avoiding falling Tetris blocks and use them to get to a gap in the GUI tat takes you to the next section, to the pit of spikes with randomly-appearing platforms that you have to memorise the order of, it’s a real test of character and will to want to continue playing this game, just to see what other insane trap’s lying in wait on the next screen.
I Wanna Be The Guy can be downloaded from the official website.