Ball Crushingly Difficult Games
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Battletoads - Famicom and NES
This game will always be synonymous for motherfucking hard games and for good reason. The first two levels were like a knife through butter. But the next stage, is where the game decides to throw a huge brick wall to stop you on your tracks. In fact, they tried to make that point clear when walls were the true enemies of this game, with seemingly hundreds of them coming in rapid succession. Donald Trump would love it. To add insult to injury, the Japanese got an easier port than the rest of us. In a way, I guess it makes up for those condescending decisions the Japs made like not releasing the real Super Mario Bros 2 in the West, in the belief that only Japanese can handle its difficulty. Fucking racist bastards.
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee - PlayStation
The Oddworld games were really fun to play. But boy the first instalment practically gave you no room for error. Every jump you made had to be timed to perfection, every switch you pulled had to be in the correct order, every step you took had to be a sneaky one. For good measure, why didn't they let breathing be a punishable offence?
Art of Fighting 2 - NEOGEO
In fighting games, there's cheap ai, and then there's Art of Fighting 2. Where do you go from here when no amount of training can ever help you overcome the CPU? By giving them a taste of their own medicine. Against such a dirty player like that, sportsmanship can eff off. You fight cheapness using cheapness. I honestly haven't encountered anyone who's beaten this game 'fairly' where some degree of skill or mastery was involved, which speaks volumes of the developers complete lack of consideration on the part of the players.
Silver Surfer - Famicom and NES
Evaluating this game is like beating a dead horse and it seems what can be said about this game has already been said. Unlike The Nerd, I actually came very close to beating a level. But that's not saying much when there's five smelly shitholes to rip through and without the creampie. Similar to Battletoads, everything is out to get you, including your beloved rubber duckies. Not even horror games are this scary!
Neo-Geo AES Cartridge: Viewpoint - NEOGEO
One of my favourite shooters on the Neo Geo. Who knew that adjusting shoot em ups to isometric viewpoint could open up a floodgate of gameplay possibilities? The fact that I'm still amazed at how well put together the graphics and levels are stands as a testament to its timeless design. However, there's a double-edged sword to its innovations. The isometric view actually makes it difficult than normal to line up your shots. There's also far too much activity going on the screen than your brain is able to process.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl - PC Games
As long as you're in their sight, every bullet the enemy fires at you no matter where they're from is going to hit you. They have been blessed with auto-aim. The player on the other hand has to contend with massive recoil, bullet drop and bullet spread. I just love the whole contrast between the strait-jacket realism the player is strapped into with the superhuman freedom of the CPU. It's two different worlds on a collision course. There's probably a decent game in here, but it's simply lost inside a miasma of toxicity.
Castlevania: The Adventure - Game Boy
As much an annoying game to play as it is hard. Survival hinges on that whip. If you lose the ability to throw fireballs then your whip is pretty much as effective as a piece of string.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number - PC Games
You have to take on a much more cerebral approach this time around than going gung-ho like in the first game. It's a lot more akin to Oddworld's trial and error type of progression. But unlike Oddworld, with the camera so restricted to one spot, and due to how randomised it is, I have doubts you can plan a perfect assault even with hindsight. I'm not sure why anyone would bother with Hard Mode considering it's already rock hard with lock on to begin with. It's only going to make things needlessly difficult.
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening - PlayStation 2
I'm way more at home with Ninja Gaiden (2d and 3d) than I am with DMC. As hard as they may be, they're games I could actually get into, thanks to the smooth controls and good camera. Ryo moves as if you would like to move and slashes like you would slash in real life. Combat is way more natural and fluent in comparison to DMC's ineffectual rigid stances which are more for show than slicing and dicing. You also know there's something really wrong going on here when boss fights are longer than your typical ones in rpgs. They soak up such an absurd amount of damage that you're better off chopping down a tree using a knife. And if you fuck up on them, you are thrown right back to the beginning of the level.
Ghosts 'N Goblins - Famicom and NES
This game made me want to squeeze the life out of newborn babies. I actually made it very far in Super Ghouls n Ghosts and only decided to stop because I got bored of it. I found it to be a bit more forgiving game than this one which gave me such a brutal time. The airborne devil was my biggest nemesis of this game. The way it descends to attack you is so swift leaving you little opportunity to penetrate his ass with your lances. The fact that you're limited to one horizontal direction in which your weapon can travel makes the game more difficult than it really should be.
Haunted Castle (Akumajo Dracula) - Arcade
Wanna know what it's like playing Haunted Castle? Imagine playing the 8-bit Castlevanias but more cheaper and you're only allowed 2 hits before you're dead. That's basically the gist of it. Enemies can pop out from nowhere which demands Bruce Lee like reflexes from you otherwise it'll be another swift trip to the grave. The game's only saving grace is that it lets you know right off the bat that it's bloody impossible. Many hard games tend to ease you in then sucker punch you towards the end. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing all that hard effort gone to waste.
Shadow Man - Nintendo 64
Shadow Man has the dubious distinction for being the scariest game I've ever played during my teenage years. Its difficulty is a combination of many bad, lazy design choices. But most apparent are the controls. Survival horror games tend to hide behind its horror factor as a justification for poor tank controls. But this game wears it like a badge of honour. When you're cornered (which happens often) you can barely get out of harm's way. The rate of fire in your puny pistol is so low that it takes like 20 seconds just to down an ordinary enemy. Fear also has a way of really suppressing the inner courage in you too. So when I'm in the aforementioned scenarios, I simply become a deer caught in the headlights.
Counter-Strike - PC Games
No matter how good you are in multiplayer FPS in general, this game will still kick your ass. It is hardcore marksmanship to the max. Even the minutest details such as switching weapons and its weight can be the difference between life and death. There is no such thing as firefights since all confrontations boils down to is who can aim at the head and pull the trigger the quickest, which takes a mere split second from anyone who has played it long enough.
The Curse of Monkey Island - PC Games
Ah, 90s adventure games. The kind of games that would make even Sherlock Holmes blush, thanks to its stupid and obtuse puzzles. The first two games weren't so bad but the third game thought it would be a good idea to follow this tradition down to a tee. Which is a real shame because everything else was par excellence in this game.
The Longest Journey - PC Games
Same deal with Longest Journey. They've hit a home run with every facet of this game besides the gameplay. It's the type of game where those with common sense need not apply here. In fact, even those short of it should avoid, lest your sanity is endangered. I think I got to about half way through this game before I decided to call it quits, in fear of losing all my hair if I did make it to the end.
Project X - PC Games
I don't know how anyone could survive the relentless onslaught this game dishes out. Power ups are essential just for the simple luxury of standing a chance, the volcano level would be impossible without them. But since they're few and far between and you die so easily anyway, peashooting is practically all you'll be doing in this game.
The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare - Super famicom and SNES
They could not have thought of a better name for the title. This game drove me nuts. Even though I do think it's possible to get an A+ and kudos to those who did it, I just don't want to go through all that pain just for that extra bump. The Indiana Bart and Bart's Bloodstream sections are the biggest stumbling blocks for me and I've yet to find a way past them. Whenever I find a page of homework, I tend to pray that those two don't come up.
Youngins are complaining about how some games are very hard in this day and age? Mate, you lot have it good. Back in my day, we had to deal with some of the most broken and cheapest shit ever devised by maniacal minds. What does it say about today's generation when certain games tell gamers EXACTLY what to do, instead of letting them think for themselves? Games are becoming more pussified.