Weekly

The Top 5: Most difficult games

Gamer Horizon decided to open old wounds (and some fresh ones too) and discuss the top 5 most difficult games. Let the rage commence!

Sean Mesler

Ever play a game that was so difficult that you wanted to throw your controller through the wall? Yeah you have. So have we, so this week Gamer Horizon presents the top 5 most difficult games. Let’s compare notes, shall we?

Ted -

5.  Mega Man 9: It’s not hard once you memorize it, but there’s so many death traps, long falls with spikes that must be deftly dodged, and bosses with inscrutable attack patterns, that for a moment I thought designers from 1989 had come back to torment me.

4. Castlevania 3: It wasn’t the fighting that made this game hard; it was the platforming. You could only jump a fixed distance, and once you jumped, you were committed. Try playing a game today and imagine that rule is in place. This is why I gravitated towards Grant the Thief as my support character; he got to break that rule.

3. Contra: The only reason Contra isn’t higher on my list is that you can do the code to get 30 lives. I mean, try beating it without the code. You can’t do it.

2. Battletoads: There’s a reason it’s a meme. This game cannot be beat without memorization. With limited continues, this game will test the limits of your patience. The first racing section level 3 is the first test of ultimate fortitude for all video gamers. All of them.

1. Ninja Gaiden: Every jump across every bottomless pit is designed to be unfair as possible. You learn to accept this. But for me, it’s Bloody Malth that’s the most unfair thing. A boss whose attacks basically cannot be dodged. The only way to beat him his to not get hit the entire level, then, with full health, run up and hit him as fast as you can. If you don’t lose the rhythm, you can win. It’s much much harder than it sounds.

Apparently Ninja Gaiden is a really hard game. I wouldn’t know because I don’t play “Ninja” games where the “Ninja” acts nothing like a Ninja.

Alex -

5. Street Fighter III: Third Strike – 90% of this game isn’t difficult… but when you got to Gill, the game just turned impossible. Nevermind the fact that he deals massive amounts of damage. Nevermind the fact that he has little to no recovery frames. But when you get knocked far enough, you’ll realize that all that hard work that you did pounding away at his life bar for the past 90 seconds is nullified by the fact that he recovers his entire life bar in front of your very eyes. B.S.

4. Ninja Gaiden (NES) – Forget Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox. Try beating Bloody Malth as he one-shots you every single time you fight him… and only then, we’ll talk. And yes, I beat him… after several weekends trying to do so.

3. Resident Evil 5Resident Evil 5 is not a particularly difficult game, but for a genre that limits the amount of bullets you have on a per encounter basis, they sure didn’t think about the possibility of playing with somebody online in their game and, after much failing on both players’ behalf, you wind up back in your own single player game without any of the bullets you had before the multiplayer game. This posed a problem for me, considering I was in an area where there were no bullets and I had to defeat a bunch of zombies to get to the next area. There was just no way you could knife a zombie while preventing two others from chomping at you in a fairly narrow corridor. I stopped playing the game then.

2. Milon’s Secret Castle – One of the games billed as one of the most difficult games on the NES. I, of course, didn’t believe it. Mostly it was due in part because it had no password or save system, but I’ll never forget how brutal this game could be.

1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown – There’s a reason why XCOM: Enemy Unknown is so damned difficult: The gameplay is supposed to evoke a sense of hopelessness in a time when aliens are invading the Earth and where alien technology has vastly overpowered Earth’s own. I’m glad I got it as a PlayStation Plus freebie, but the difficulty of the game is just too great to bear for me.

Both Alex and Chris have included XCOM: Enemy Unknown on their lists.

Chris -

5. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes for the Game Cube was a great game. I played Metroid Prime and loved it. When I started playing Metroid Prime 2, everything started off great but once I reached a certain point in the game, it just got difficult to find a certain object and I just gave up on the game. There were several other games I was also playing and they started taking up more and more time.

4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of the toughest games I have ever played. It’s fun, time consuming and the controller is difficult to put down. I’m still playing and don’t plan on giving up until I beat the game.

3. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney was a fun game to play for the Nintendo DS. It’s that game where you play as defense attorney Phoenix Wright who is tasked with protecting his clients and solving different crimes. Phoenix can look at evidence and decipher clues so his clients are found not guilty. Looking at all the clues and figuring out when and where to use them can get difficult but I prevailed and beat the game.

2. Rygar for the NES is one of the toughest games I ever played. You have to kill everything on screen in order to get enough points to get as many extra lives as possible. Once you do that and make it to the end, you’ll need all those extra lives to beat the final boss. Fortunately I managed to do just that and beat the game.

1. Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition for the PlayStation 3 is the toughest fighting game I played. I’m not into the fighting genre so playing this game on easy should have been relatively easy. I managed to get past all of the fighters in the game with minimal difficulty.  The problem came in when I had to fight the last boss. I kept playing and playing and just couldn’t do it. And seeing as how I’m not into fighting games, I just gave up. I didn’t see the point of playing anymore and gave the game back to Alex.

Chris got his butt kicked by Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.

Sean -

5. Mike Tyson’s Punchout. The whole of this game isn’t really tough. Learn the patterns and win. But to this day I have never beaten Mike Tyson and I don’t plan on it. Remember repetition and learning patterns and what turn off they are for me? Yeah, there you go.

4. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. This game wasn’t incredibly difficult except trying to get the Mile High Club achievement, which sadly I have not yet achieved. Remember what I said earlier about repetition? Well imagine my impatience on a level that is no longer than 60 seconds. Yes, I know many others have unlocked this but they posses much more patience and are far more masochistic tendencies than I–see Ari.

3. Stuntman. Yep, another Reflections game made me whimper away, tail between my legs, defeated. It also goes with the fact that I absolutely LOATHE repetition and doing something over and over again to learn the path/pattern is something that will aggravate me to no end. Stuntman‘s entire premise is based on this and it’s awful.

2. Driver 2. Few games have defeated me. Driver 2 is one of those games. A late game mission had me trying to race with a car up onto a winding, cliff-side road and no matter what I did, the car would run me off the cliff to my death. I must have tried it 100 times before I just put down the controller and removed the game forever.

1. Super Empire Strikes Back. This is probably my most shameful inclusion. I rented this from my local Blockbuster, popped it in and couldn’t get past the Wampa boss. I tried for hours and kept dying over and over and over. I got so mad that I ejected the game, threw it as hard as I could on the carpeted floor and managed to dislodge the cartridge inside the casing. I then returned it Blockbuster the same day, stating that I received it that way. I took home my new copy of the game and left in it’s case, unopened until it was due back at the store.

I’m still haunted by this boss fight in Super Empire Strikes Back. Eff this game.

Ari -

5. Shin Megami Tensei Digital Devil Saga – Forget about the insane dungeons filled with one-way doors, teleporters, elevators and traps, it was the combat that made Digital Devil Saga such a tough game. I remember one boss that completely brick-walled me about halfway through the first game. I had to completely change the way I was building my main character and grind for hours just to get through that one boss fight. …I wish I could remember exactly which boss it was. No, the wound runs too deep; best to forget.

4. Call of Duty 2 on Veteran – I don’t know why I felt compelled to keep playing after dying in one or two shots after barely peeking out from cover over and over again for hours. But I did. Some checkpoints left me stuck for days, but I kept going. I can still close my eyes and see the checkpoints.

3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on Veteran – I don’t think the game as a whole was as difficult as Call of Duty 2, but Mile High Club put it over the top. I spent about 5 or 6 hours on two separate days attempting this mission that was only about a minute long. After studying youtube videos and practicing over and over again, I finally did it, and literally jumped around my living room shouting—which for me is an unheard of show of emotion.

2. Ninja Gaiden on NES – To anyone that grew up in the 80s, this should be a no brainer. Between the bottomless pits and respawning enemies that love to appear just in time to knock you into the previously mentioned pits, well… let’s just say, there’s a reason I never finished it.

1. Beatmania IIDX and Pop’n Music – I hate to put a tie in the number one spot, but these two games fit into the same category. They are both music games that never achieved much popularity in the United States, but which contain some of the most difficult note charts in the history of music games. I’ll let the videos below tell the story. Watch them and never bother me about Through The Fire And Flames again.

So here is the list of frustration. What’s yours? Let us know in the comments because we like to bring up horrible experiences from our past.

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  • http://www.gamerhorizon.com/ Alex Inigo

    Totally surprised that Ted and I mentioned Bloody Malth. Jesus, that character is so cheap.

  • http://gamerhorizon.com/ Ari Margo

    The trick to XCOM: Enemy Unknown is to save constantly. CONSTANTLY. If you do that, it’s not that hard.

  • Jonatan

    Bloody Malth’s attacks could be dodged, you had jump from the broken pillar at the exact moment that he throws the bolt. The last boss, however, I’ve never managed to even get by the first stage of.