I wanna be the Guy

Creator: Kayin

Average Rating
6.7 / 10
Average Difficulty
42.5 / 100
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Adventure (27) Trap (20) Gimmick (2) Boss (14) Secrets (3) Special (1) Long (1) Story (3) Traps (2) Original (24) Guy (3) Different_Engine (1) Art (1) not_a_fangame (3)


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128 Reviews:

Great classic

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[32] Likes
Rating: 7.5 75       Difficulty: 40 40
Feb 8, 2015
Review updated (2020), let's make this thing a little cleaner. My rating is based on hard mode, because legend says it's the intended way for the game to be played. As always, the difficulty I choose only affects the difficulty rating.
I wanna be the Guy is the root of many fangames, and this is clearly seen. It's the root of the fangames with required secrets that are unreasonably hard to find (Dracula's path; fake walls). It's the root of the fangames with huge amounts of flying spikes at the same save. But it's also the root of the fangames with good, creative traps. And of the fangames with fake traps that make you flinch and then have a good laugh. It's the root of adventure and trap fangames, and it spawned elements from other fangame genres as well (Including needle-esque jumps and gimmicks). The good elements and the bad elements, this game has them all.
One thing that has been missing from most reviews, including mine, was an actual description of the game. In its heart, I wanna be the Guy is a tribute to old videogames. It's a non-linear adventure through fractions of universes from well-known franchises - but with cruel twists that make them much more hostile. The star of this adventure is the Kid, a kid that seems to be making a Superman cosplay - except that he has a gun. The Kid aims to become "The Guy", a position of power whose perks are never fully specified. In his adventure, the Kid finds out that nothing is as it seems. He discovers his fragility when he dies for the first time, and then his strength when he kills for the first time (I'm making this sound a lot grander than it actually is).
The Kid's journey is filled with hazards. From dreadful spikes to harmless-looking fruit, everything is a threat. A large portion of these hazards are presented in the form of "traps", hazards that specifically aim to kill you. In their best form, traps can be creative twists of the aforementioned references, baiting you into believing that you know what is coming - Only to make fun of you moments later. They can be unique, unpredictable and truly amusing. In their worst form, traps can be clusters of spikes that fly in your direction too quickly to be avoided if you don't know about them beforehand - An uninspired way of killing you that gets old, predictable and dull really quickly. I wanna be the Guy makes use of both kinds of traps, and the results vary with every stage. Naturally, the more dull traps a stage has, the worse it's going to be (And some stages have a LOT of dull traps).
I wanna be the Guy's platforming also features a couple of mechanics that alter the way you play the game - These would be called "gimmicks". From gimmicks that became common place, such as vine jumps and platforms, to elements that are unusual even by modern standards, such as the Arkanoid section, I wanna be the Guy is undoubtedly a game with a lot of variety, which is something I will never complain about - although this game does have some mechanics I simply despise.
Long story short, the platforming is a mixed bag. It has a lot of creativity and variety behind its mechanics, which is essential for every adventure game, but what truly dictates its quality through every stage is the game's core element - Its traps -, and those can vary greatly in their level of quality from one stage to another. Some sections of the game are ruined by traps, while others are enhanced by them.
The bosses, on the other hand, I'm much less fond of. Mecha Birdo is nice, actually, it might not look great but there's nothing bad about the fight itself, and while Mike Tyson is easy and repetitive, it's not the worst thing ever. The other bosses, however...Dracula is a RNG clownfiesta (In fact, he's the only boss in the game that allows you to complain about RNG) that often walls you. Kraidgief is way too slow-paced and forces you to step on something that looks like an attack to progress - which is super unintuitive, given the game we are playing; Mother Brain is really boring. It has way too much HP and you still have to go through a platforming-ish area before you can reach her. The length of the fight doesn't mesh well with the lack of variety in attacks, which results in a very dull boss; Bowser is way, WAY too boring, so boring it hurts. It's the worst boss of the game by far. It contains three unskippable cutscenes, and 66% of the fight has just as much gameplay as the cutscenes. The last phase is the only difficult part of the fight, which is a horrendous design choice; The dragon requires mashing if you don't want his fight to take a few hours, and he's just way too repetitive, it's like Kayin ran out of ideas when making him. He throws fire while moving up and down, then he takes enough damage, goes to the other side of the screen, and the same thing happens again over and over until you reach the chase sequence, which is probably the only part of the fight that might be enjoyable; And finally, The Guy comes to be some kind of saving grace. It's a well-made fight with two (Some people will say three) phases, with a good variety of attacks, even though I'm not a fan of some of them. I would never say that he compensates for the bad bosses, but it's still a nice fight.

With this description, the game sounds like a mixed bag - With some extreme positives and some extreme negatives, the likes of which I usually give a 5.0-6.9 to. So why is my rating so low? There are two main reasons: Iffy physics, and "Macromedia Fusion [...] has stopped working". Let's go through them:
- Let's make one thing clear. Having a different engine, or different physics, is NOT a negative point for a fangame, not on its own. But the game needs to be made while keeping these physics in mind. In I wanna be the Guy's case, the game only allows you to jump at two different heights, which does not mesh well with certain precise sections of the game. The more needle a fangame contains, the more the player will appreciate the Kid that can jump at 21 different heights from our newer engines. IWBTG is not a needle game, but when you can only jump at 2 heights, even trivial jumps such as diagonals start to feel uncomfortable (And IWBTG does have a couple of those).
- The main problem, however, is how often this game crashes. "Macromedia Fusion [...] has stopped working" is a message I have seen too many times during my playthrough. Kayin himself knew about these crashes - He made a trap out of the error message, after all - which means these errors were an issue even back then. So why did he never fix them? Apparently, you can "Run the game in compatibility for Windows 95 and run it as an administrator to stop crashing" - thanks, sonicdv -, but that doesn't excuse Kayin from allowing this to happen to begin with. Other issues with the engine include a number of glitches (Sometimes, The Kid does double jumps even when you pressed shift only once) - and it seems that lag was an issue for some people, so the issues just keep piling up.

Originally, I thought that these issues made the game completely unplayable (I.e. below 1.0), but while remaking this review I changed my mind. The crashes can be circumvented (Even if not thanks to Kayin), and even if I still dislike the experience I had, it doesn't compare to any other fangame I rated below 1.0. Still, my general opinion remains: The contents of I wanna be the Guy are a mixed bag, but the entire bag is sprinkled with bad physics and bugs, which makes the game a lot worse than it should be. Wouldn't recommend.

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Tagged as: Adventure Trap
[14] Likes
Rating: 1.9 19       Difficulty: 50 50
May 18, 2015
So this is it, the one that started it all, the sole reason this community exists (in many ways at least), and I could swear that Kayin never imagined to be the influence for more than 7,000 variations that have now evolved over time.

Still, the appreciation the community has over this puzzles me in a great way. The fangame variety has extended so much that a standardized engine is the one that all of us have got used to, but it wasn't like that in the beginning. This is the Genesis 1:1 of fangames and became the foundations for virtually everything that has been done today. The now infinitely iconic Megaman-esque character travelling through a Metroidvania scheme of traps, jokes, bosses, diverse platforming, spikes and delicious fruits exploring what is ultimately a massive tribute to the NES era has been immortalized through the visions of countless artists, so the complaints towards this baffle me:

1) "It is not a beginner-friendly game."
-It wasn't meant to be. it was meant to be a nail-biting, funny, homage experience memorable for its difficulty. Its creator is not quite that much of a fan of insanely difficult fangames. This was his peak. Of course, nothing is enough for us, but this was the reasonably standard game.

2) "The engine is different. Try making a gate jump; you will understand."
-Yes, and so does Boshy, and so does the immensely loved (and unfinished) I Wanna Kill the Guy, but no complaints in the latter. The engine later changed. Not that this game required gate jumps in the first place. It is an adventure game that depends both on your reflexes, memorization and sense of humor. Knowledge of classic hardcore games is not needed, but it gives a lot of added value to the overall experience.

3) "It has been improved over time."
-After 7,200+ attempts at the time (September 10th, 2018), what would you expect? If your preference are medleys, differences in design, needle games, gimmick games, etc., then it is not comparable. This is comparable to adventure games, and I have certainly seen improvement over time, but not that much. And this is definitely not in the lower quartile or quintile of fangames quality wise.

4) "It was infamously difficult because I first played the Hard/Very Hard mode."
-Blame yourself and not your ratings.

I highly respect this game and my appreciation for it extends fay beyond what it has created several years after. It is not the best fangame I will ever play, for sure, but the basics, foundations, gimmicks, jokes, tributes, song variety and adventure spirit is there. My difficulty rating is based on this being my very first fangame (I know many claim it isn't, but you won't get me out of that mindset), and no one that had this game as a first experience will say that this was a walk through the park. If this was your 100th fangame, you will be less than surprised. But your mentality will be reversed: you will be appreciating more the elements present in subsequent fangames when it was actually this that pioneered most of the elements you love now, improved or not.

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Tagged as: Adventure Trap Boss Original
[13] Likes
Rating: 7.7 77       Difficulty: 70 70
Sep 10, 2018
Run the game in compatibility for Windows 95 and run it as an administrator to stop crashing. You're welcome.

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[12] Likes
Rating: 7.4 74       Difficulty: 33 33
Sep 21, 2015
The original I wanna game which is bad and poopy. Kayin also doesn't like fangames so he is poopy too.

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Tagged as: Adventure Trap Original
[7] Likes
Rating: 4.0 40       Difficulty: 40 40
Oct 9, 2017