Created by: Ultimortal
Reviewed by: Zarley11
If you ask anyone who has been on the GMC for more than three years what their favourite action game created by Game Maker is, their answer probably will be Iji. This is one of the most replayable, most fun, most captivating game experiences ever created with Game Maker. This game pushes GMs limits to the max with its intense but simple graphics, overwhelming story, user friend interface, alternate endings, and memorable music. You can clearly see the efforts that Ultimortal put into this game, and no other GM related game is able to get the scores and ratings as he has. This doesn't have to be mentioned, but to anyone who is willing to try an emotional, story driven platform action/rpg: Iji will definitely impress you.
The story of Iji is very emotional, and and die-hard indie gamers will be impressed by what has been done. Yes, there are some flaws in how the game is told, but they are easily dismissed and actually easily to not even notice. The entire story is told both through in-game cut-scenes and still picture cut-scenes that intensify the experience and also gives its presentation the touch of a REAL independent game that could be sold commercially. Basically, Iji and her family is seen to be taking a tour around a research facility of such. Out of nowhere, glowing lights are seen in the atmosphere, and a massive beam of power strikes the planet. These beams seem to have decimated the planet, and the only human survivors is Iji. Why has she survived? It seems that the scientists have altered her being, as now she is a nano-cyborg. Iji's brother, Dan, finds a way to communicate with her via the telecom speakers that is placed all around the research facility. He tells Iji that the facility has been under a massive attack by an alien race calling themselves the 'Tasen'. He informs her that the only way to stop the Tasen from doing anything else is to state her argument with the Tasen Leader that is, coincidentally, in the facility somewhere. Iji takes up this task, picks up a nanogun that has been left by her bedside, and heads towards the level where the Tasen Leader may be. Because the story is so intense and is always changing, there is about 3-5 hours of non-repetitive gameplay. The feeling of wondering what's around the corner, or what might be happen as you progress further is very strong, and that's what makes this game very exciting to play.
It might take a bit of getting used to for the hardcore gamer that plays with the WASD to mouse controls. The character moves smoothly, and jumping, kicking and shooting feels almost second nature. The game is set up so that even the most novice players can sit next to their keyboard and start playing. Enemy AI is complete and they react to different situations when Iji is seen, or her fired weapon is heard. Some of the actions that the enemies do are completely stupid, like when next to a wall, they usually just go back and forth aimlessly. But overall, they are pretty smart, especially when it comes to the boss battles. Each boss is completely unique and comes with its own challenges. Different weapons deal damage to different enemies, and some don't even hurt the enemy one bit. There are about 10 weapons in the game, and all of them do something different. Collecting all the weapons in the game is not required, but it will help you a whole lot when it comes to harder enemies and challenging boss battles. You can even combine 2 weapons to create an even stronger weapon. To combine weapons, you need a high crack level.
The RPG elements of the game are integrated very well. Anytime you pick up blue nano orbs that are dropped from fallen enemies or found in crates, they are added to your level up meter. When your meter is full, Iji levels up and when you come in contact with a nano station, you can assign an upgrade to supporting attributes. Some of them are Strength, Crack, Tasen, Komato, Health, etc. Another interesting element in the game how you can 'crack' different objects in the game. Cracking an object is basically like hacking. You can crack locked doors, locked boxes, even crack into an enemy's personal nanofield. But cracking a enemy's nanofield is very challenging, because if you fail, they will spot you.
Every single effect, and all the background music and small tunes are what I think makes this game incredible. Most of the background music is created by HyperDuck Studios, a very talented music composition company that literally wrote the score for the game. The music, in one's opinion, is very important in a game, since it does invoke the situation, story and mood of the game. HyperDuck has delivered the music well, and because of their hard work, they are now known for their composed music in Iji. The sound effects in the game are also incredible. All the guns in the game sound really well, especially the game's special weapons. From explosions, to bullet cases dropping, all the way down to the the character and enemies' own voice effects, are all top notch.
The game's interface is very user-friendly. The HUD has been programmed very well, just like the main menu and the pause menu. The HUD shows all the guns that the player has created so far, as well as the player's current level, its health and its shield points, and all the assimilated attributes. This is a great way for the player to see what he needs to upgrade or what level he is, instead of constantly switching to different scenes and such. The main menu is also put together very well, as it has everything that a main menu should have. Now, the thing players may not even open or touch is the pause menu. In this menu, the player finds a map of the entire level he is currently on. There are two cursors, one that shows the players current position, and one that shows where the exit point is. There are also game options in this menu as well, and the option to save your progress.
You can truly tell that Ultimortal has put in a number of years work into this game, because the game is beautifully polished and touched up. The characters in the game are very likable, and the story drives the game. Unlike most indie games, this game displays how time consuming and hard it is to create a captivating game, with all the elements a great game should have. This is a great example to all independent game developers out there. This is, without a doubt, a "must play" game!
Edited by zarley11, 27 May 2010 - 10:00 PM.