For a free, graphically weak indie game made by pretty much one guy, Iji is the best game I’ve played in a long time.
It reminds me of nothing less than Dark Souls (my favorite game of all time) as a side-scrolling shooter. The graphics that look like they’re from the early 90s didn’t make a good first impression but once I got into the game I realized how much depth and challenge the game had. There’s enough customization to justify actually calling it an rpg, and unlike in most games I feel legitimately torn over what stat to spend my level up on every single time. And I haven’t played any of the other difficulty settings yet but on Hard mode Iji is HARD.
The soundtrack deserves special mention, it’s an awesome hard rock soundtrack that constantly makes you feel engaged and pumped up to play. The sad fact of video games nowadays is that most of them actually design their music to be unobtrusive and barely noticeable, and as a result most game soundtracks are entirely forgettable. Iji harkens back to the old Mega Man or Castlevania days where the music is as an important part of the game as any other aspect.
And the game has REALLy good sound design aside from the music, which is something that has come to be very important to me in the past few years.
It’s got a really good story to, multiple paths through the game (lots of replay value) and a pacifist run that’s actually repeatedly acknowledged by the game (or so I’ve read, I’m not ready to try it yet).
The game is completely free and can be downloaded here: www.remar.se/daniel
so give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Or just check out some of the awesome music on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kalVyN0JomI