VVVVVV / Distractionware / PC
When it comes to indie games that make it big, it seems like they nearly all fall into one of three categories:
1) Platformer With A Tweest (pretentious overtones optional)
2) Novel one-trick-pony FIZZICKS-based concept
3) Stupidly hard platformer in the vein of I Wanna Be The Guy / Mario World ROM hacks
VVVVVV is firmly in category 3. Really, it might as well be the poster boy for it.
If you read other reviews, you'll see a lot of quotes about how the game is brutal, but you'll be "lovin' it with a stupid grin on your face the whole time!" See, no. Unless you're already part of the niche fanbase for masochistic perfectionist platformers, no, you won't. You'll question why you're even bothering to do this after about 10 or 15 minutes, then uninstall and regret whatever money you spent on it.
I understand this type of game has a cult fandom. It's fine with me that they like it. I just want to make clear that *no one else* is going to like this. It's not like, oh, THIS is the breakthrough Excruciating Platformer that will make me love Excruciating Platformers and finally understand what all those Mario ROM hackers are on about. You'll just get fed up with the ridiculous pixel-perfect demandingness and the intentionally sloppy and slidey control fairly quickly. I wish irresponsible reviewers would make note of this sort of thing instead of fellating it and blithely recommending it to everyone because it's "indie" and "neat." I also wish people would stop trying to charge money for these things.
Seriously, are overly hard platformers like the new hipster movement of gaming? People used to make games with ugly graphics, slidey sloppy control, and terrible difficulty balance in the 80s because standards were much lower and unless your name was Shigeru Miyamoto you probably couldn't do a whole lot better. Now we're doing it intentionally and its "rad." Like digging up box sets of shitty 80s cartoons and watching them "ironically" or something. Is that what's going on here? Is it skinny bearded fixie-riding striped-shirt guys playing games like VVVVVV? Serious question.
I guess the one redeeming quality is the good soundtrack (though overrated, sounds just like old demo scene music), but you don't have to put up with the game's bullshit to listen to it.
* Flash demo.
Apparently. Won't load for me. Maybe I need an Apple?