Today’s article is going to be a game made by our old and good friends at Nyu Media. We’re talking about a cute, cheerful, brightly-colored platformer with a laid-back story and easy controls. The overworld music is bright and peppy, the art is quite childish, and its style is a nice fit with the other doujin games that Nyu Media is bringing over to the English-speaking community. This game also has one more thing going for it.
This game, Eryi’s Action (already available on its website and also on Steam Greenlight (go vote for it)), hates you. It hates you, it hates life, and it hates the belief that you can someday beat it.
Eryi’s Action is a doujin game quite similar to cult classics such as Kaizo Mario World (the mod that hated you so much that it had to make another) and I Wanna Be The Guy. As such, going into this, you should expect to be killed. A lot. Eryi’s Action is (slightly) kinder in that you’re given infinite lives as well as checkpoints in the middle of stages, which frankly, is probably a really good idea on the part of the creator because having save points makes the frustration value of trying to complete a game that much less.
I wasn’t joking earlier about the art or the feel of the game at all, by the way. It’s quite cutesy and light-hearted looking. Even the iron pan that fell out of the ceiling when I was leaving the first screen didn’t deter me. Then I walked down into a slight dip on the next screen and immediately got killed. That’s when I realized that this game was a cruel, cruel beast of a thing.
What followed was a never-ending gauntlet of trying to complete the first stage despite mishaps such as invisible blocks, things that pop out of the ground, accidentally making it impossible to progress in the stage, and finally giving up because after reaching the end flag, a giant spiked nut fell from the sky and killed me during the auto-walk sequence.
Eryi’s Action does have a few extra tricks to the usual bag of “Fuck you” tricks that kill-you-every-time platformers bring out. For instance, you can actually pick things up and throw them (which resulted in one of my deaths because I accidentally threw a jump item over the top of the ledge I needed it for). It provides some variety to what you’re looking at as well as making it possible to flip off some of the game’s bullshit (like that falling nut at the end). The variety of traps is actually quite creative, with the ways the game will try to kill you not always being the same “oh look a hidden block over a pit” variety. The game also does a lot of deviation from the norm, including a Final Fantasy-styled battle, a racing segment, and other elements to break out of the “going to kill you horribly” platforming. Though, those sections are basically going to kill you horribly too.
If you’ve played these sorts of games before, I think you know the amount of satisfaction you feel within your heart when you finally clear a gauntlet of death and reach the first check point. If you haven’t played these types of games before, then you should know that there are few things more satisfying than getting past a ton of obstacles and seeing that checkpoint get saved. Even if it’s just by remembering where all the death is and honing reflexes, it’s quite satisfying.
And to that end, if you’ve ever wanted to just see what the fuss was about, you should get it. It’s difficult, but Nyu Media has done a good job with localizing it and bringing it over to these shores. It’s fun, the music is catchy, and art is nice and storybookish, and really it’s worth the money you’ll pay for it even if it’s just because you’ll be spending hours trying to complete it. It’s also nice enough to have a windowed and a full screen mode. If I had to file any complaints, it would be in the game’s overall length. The game isn’t terribly long at all, and frankly I would’ve liked to see another few levels involved.
And like it suggests on the site, if you don’t want to play it for yourself, buy it for someone else and don’t tell them a thing about it. Watch as they start it up, read that goofy storyline, and then immediately die a few moments after.
It’s the best.