I'm not naturally a fan of difficult action games: I just don't have the reflexes for them. Even Sonic gives me a hard time. I still haven't got out of the Forest on Super Meat Boy.
And yet I beat this game. It took over four hours to reach the Game Complete screen, with over 2000 deaths and collecting just six trinkets (although I did have a half-hearted stab at Veni, Vidi, Vici), but I beat it. I've since gone back and collected eleven more (still not V,V,V!), with another two hours and 500 deaths.
So what made me push on through? A few things. There's the very dry sense of humour, for starters. The checkpoint system takes out a lot of the frustration: it's a painfully hard game, but it's also a very fair one. This is a retro game that has learnt from the modern era, removing needless hangovers like a finite life count. Not the only game to do so, of course, but I'd say that the checkpoints are friendlier than Meat Boy - and unlike I Wanna Be The Guy, there are no real "Screw You" moments.
The music deserves a special mention - often it's the driving force that keeps you playing, setting a tempo for Captain Viridian as he keeps trying to get through yet another test of hand and brain. I like chiptunes anyway, but the VVVVVV soundtrack's complexity and variety is something else. As with the game itself, it's retro with modern sensibilities.
Probably the biggest criticism I can make is of the controls, which are floaty as hell, and a leading cause of deaths. Overshooting is easy, correction tricky: Viridian zips forward like a racecar but turns like the Queen Mary. I understand that this is deliberate, but it's curious in a game that compensates for its difficulty as much as possible otherwise.
There's also the length, although as far as I'm concerned that's less of an issue. As I say, it took me just four hours to beat the core game, and I understand that's *long*. But if the game had been twice as long, maybe I'd never have finished it. I prefer my games short and sweet on the whole, and VVVVVV is certainly that (I got the game as part of a $10 donation to Humble Indie Bundle 3, so I have no qualms about value for money).
Still, if you're looking for a gateway into the land of Very Hard Platformers, this is a good place to start. It doesn't hate you. In fact, it loves you. That's why it has to kill you.