Eryi's Action (PC)
Publisher: Nyu Media
Release Date: September 14, 2012
So, what's the game all about? You play as the titular Eryi, who is on a quest to find a watermelon she had stolen from her. It was taken by Farta, a fairy who enjoys nothing more than annoying Eryi and setting traps for her to fall into. She even claims to love Eryi, so I can't say I completely understand why she would set up spike traps and other dangers just to slow her progress. Oh, yes I can, I watched Mirai Nikki.
As for the game itself, you simply have to get Eryi to the end of each level and touch a flagpole, similar to level progression in Super Mario Bros. Of course there's more to it than that, as anything and everything is out there to kill you. You may be familiar with games like Impossible Mario and I Wanna Be The Guy, and you wouldn't be far from the truth assuming that this game is just as infuriatingly difficult. There are differences beyond the cutesy anime art, but we'll get to that a little later.
There are a gruelling twelve levels to manoeuvre through, each with their own themes, enemies and quirks. For example, the ice level doesn't allow you to step into water (else you freeze to death), were as the spooky forest has plenty of ghosts and... spike pits. They are all pretty short if you know what you're doing, but that's the point of the game. The first one, two, fifty times you play each level, you're going to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, then make more mistakes. It's a trial and error game at heart, but that also makes it apt speed run territory.
That said, it isn't entirely about trial and error, as there are a fair number of puzzles to solve as well. They'll stop you from progressing further until you solve them, but they force you to think about your surroundings and come to logical conclusions in order to overcome them. For example, when you touch the flagpole at the end of the level, you have to wait for the 'victory' walk before moving to the next level. One of the levels decides it'll place an enemy nearby, meaning that if you touch the flag to exit the level, you'll be hit and killed. The puzzles aren't incredibly difficult, but they provide enough of a detour from the move-die-move mentality of the rest of the game to stop you hurling your computer out the nearest window.
Eryi's Action also has boss fights, each guaranteed to help aid your balding process as you start tearing out your hair. Each of the first three bosses have a different approach to fighting, whether this is flying through the spike-filled skies in a race to the finish, or fighting in an RPG battle with two helpers. It's still an insta-kill should you be hit during these fights, which means you'll be whisked back to the start of the battle on the restart. Interestingly, Eryi's Action keeps track of the number of times you've died and displays it at each restart, shaming your platforming prowess before you get back into the game. While the boss fights are held separately from the main levels, this doesn't mean you're in for an easier time. Take this for example, a video of the first boss fight from yours truly:
As I mentioned briefly before, this game has some similarities with the notoriously devilish I Wanna Be The Guy. You can probably tell by the video above just what the game is going to be like with regards to difficulty, but I think this is worth elaborating on further. Sure, both games are very difficult, but Eryi's Action is just that little more forgiving. This may not seem like much, but believe me, it makes quite the difference. I Wanna Be The Guy is one of those games you'll play for five minutes yourself, then try your hardest to get others to play while you watch their reactions. With Eryi's Action there's enough direction, linearity and wavy green checkpoint flags to make you want to get just that little bit further. I haven't finished this game yet as I'm thoroughly stuck in the ice world, but I don't doubt I'll be heading back. Creeping slowly to each checkpoint is infinitely more appealing than wandering around blindly.
The music isn't going to make you scramble to get the original soundtrack, but it's certainly a pleasant one. Each level has its own theme, and it's not intrusive enough to rile you up as you try to progress. However, you'll come to loathe the jingle that plays as you die, but I feel this is one of those things that was just bound to happen in a game like this. It could be the calmest, sweetest melody in existence, but after five-hundred deaths it simply isn't going to sound good any more. The visuals are also very nice, with colourful and striking art to help each level stand out from the last. Again, nothing that will leave you stunned, but suitable and well-drawn nonetheless.
The $4.99 price is definitely a huge lure, and it might just be worth busting this out for a party or a 'Let's Play'. The game is available on the Eryi's Action website and Gamersgate, plus there's also a Steam Greenlight page if you want to see it on the digital distribution monster. Choose your poison!
So, is this worth your money? Yes, but it might mean you're going to hate yourself for doing so. Nyu Media claims that this is the game "you'll be dying to beat", but whether it is beaten through sheer determination or with a large blunt weapon, that's your call. If you like a little bit of masochism in your video game mechanics, this is going to be right up your alley.
6.0 - Alright: 6s may be slightly above average, or simply inoffensive. Fans of this genre will still thoroughly enjoy them, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.
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