I may actually be a bit upset at Iji. You see, I was all ready to load up an emulator and struggle through Flashback and Out of this World, having developed a hankering for a 2D action/adventure, but now I don’t think I need to. Iji captures that Delphine spirit perfectly and updates the gameplay with a beautiful skill system, lots of unique weapons, a hacking minigame that never feels like a minigame, and an intriguing storyline that apparently changes depending on how you play. Sadly, I’ve become obsessed with improving my skills and have wiped out everyone in sight, but I promise the second playthrough will be much different.
It’s a free download but there’s no installation, just a couple folders (complete with MP3 soundtrack) and an executable which makes the entry barrier nonexistent. And thanks to GlovePIE the keyboard controls are equally nonexistent. I started out using the Wii Remote but Iji uses quite a few buttons for weapon selection so I remapped it across the PlayStation 3 controller. The D-Pad is much less hand-cramping than the Wii Remote and the extra buttons mean I barely have to touch the keyboard. If I were a little more adept at programming I could even set the camera control to the analog stick and implement some motion controls.
There’s not a lot more to say that the YouTube video above doesn’t explain. At first sight you’ll either be intrigued or disinterested. I was intrigued and have found Iji to be as engrossing and compelling as any game I’ve played in several years. The fact that a single guy, Daniel Remar, made this proves that we’re still not to the point where hundreds of people and millions of dollars are required to make a deep, quality game.