Thursday, September 19, 2013

First Impressions: Super Hexagon

Super Hexagon is quite possibly the hardest game I have ever played in my life.  Designed by Terry Cavenaugh of VVVVVV fame,  It's harder than VVVVVV.  It's harder than the hoverbikes level on Battletoads.  It's harder than TMNT.

But I think I figured out what to do.    A little background;  The game has three initial difficulty settings:  Hexagon, Hexagoner, and Hexagonest.  Also called 'hard, harder and hardest' difficulty settings.  So, the programmer knew that this game was hard.  So hard, he didn't bother to make an 'easy' or 'normal' setting.  And it is hard.

As far as I can tell, the goal is to last for 60 seconds on a given level.  Achievements are granted at 5 seconds, 10, 20 and so on.  Until recently, my record was 15 seconds on the easy level.  On a very rare occasion, I'd get about that far, but never any further.  But then I figured out a trick.

Oh, it's not a trick.  Not really.  That is to say, the trick is that I decided to play the game on harder difficulty.  I figured if it's nigh impossible on easy setting, what could the harder settings be like?  Well,  they're harder.  But not... so much harder.  Almost equal difficulty, really.  Hexagoner has more complex moves and Hexagonest has a faster pace.  And that is where the secret is. After playing for a few minutes on Hexagonest,  the easier setting seemed pretty slow in comparison.  My reaction time had adapted to the more difficult setting and I was able to get up to 25 seconds within a few rounds of play.

And then I turned the game off.  It was pretty satisfying to break through that wall.  But I just knew what would be behind it: Another goddamn wall.  So I turned the game off.  Live to fight another day.


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