Impossible? Challenge Accepted! (Review: The Impossible Game on PSP)
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation Portable.
I think they named it that way on purpose. Really, I do. Have you ever been in a situation where someone makes a statement and all you can think about is “It’s not true; it can’t be true!”? The gauntlet has been dropped, the challenge made. After that, all that’s left is to prove them wrong. Well, FlukeDude, challenge accepted! I will beat your Impossible Game. Seriously, I will… just not today.
Have you ever watched those speed runs of Super Mario Bros where the player never really takes his hand off the forward button (does not apply to Bowser’s maze or going to warp portals). It’s amazing to think you can play an entire game with one button yet still feel entertained and challenged. A couple years back, the Gamma IV programming challenge had competitors making games in just such a fashion. One button games are perfect for the constant traveler who’s standing around on a bus or subway for her morning commute.
The Impossible Game comes with two choices: to jump, or not. Using this fantastically complex set of options, you must get your square from one end of the level to the other, avoiding spikes, raised blocks and black ground (maybe a pitfall?). When I first picked up the game, I got extremely frustrated, very quickly. Pressing the X button to jump makes sense, but the timing slips ever so slightly while jumping back to back. This usually leads to quick deaths. A revelation came to me after nearly throwing my PSP against the wall: simply hold down the damn button. Timing gets taken care of by the game. That first level became instantly easier. Note to self: check the tutorial first next time.
Even with this revelation, the game was not trivialized and it has no sympathy for mistakes made. One false move and it is back to the beginning of the level. This is incredibly irritating because, I want to listen to the damned song. As you progress through each level, you’ll notice the beat of the catchy trance music really fits with what you’re doing on screen (by design, of course). If you’re like me (who enjoys the music), you’ll have to beat the level to hear the end of it! I can’t tell if that’s incentive or just plain torture as I spent so much time between 30%-60% of the level completed.
For the not-so-masochistic, there is the ability to help train on levels by putting flags down that act as save points. In this mode, you’ll be stuck with elevator music, but have the opportunity to practice more challenging sections of a level, adding or removing flags to put together what you’ve learned. This strategy probably helps a lot, but personally I only tried it once. Instead, favouring the route of pain, I tried the levels from the beginning… over, and over, and over again. Also note that completing the level using flags does not unlock the next one – You’ll need to beat it start to finish.
From the main menu, players can browse their stats to see how little progress has been made in a given level (more taunting, I suspect), as well as a list of achievements. These range from beating levels correctly, to attempting a level 500 times in a single sitting. FlukeDude, I know you hate me, why do you have to rub it in? Achievements, you’re next; you and your little dog Toto too. At this point, I realize I’ve come across as nothing but frustrated, and yet it’s a frustration I’m going to keep going back to. Why? I want to listen to those damn songs and that gauntlet’s been dropped. Step aside frustration; I will beat this game into its rightful place.
Wanderson75 gives this game 4.5/5.0
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