Believe it or not, but we’re not all the same (#truestory). We all have various difficulties in games we can handle. For example, I’m absolutely terrible at the Souls games. Well, I lie, I played Demon’s Souls and it kicked my ass and that was that. Sold it. Never to be returned to again, and therefore I will very likely never play Bloodborne or any games related to the series. The fact that it punishes you and laughs in your face is just not for me.
There are however games I found much harder than Demon’s Souls in my younger days, which could also mean that I’ve built up a tolerance to the amount of punishment I’m willing to take in my older years. Unlike these days I’d sit it out and battle away at beating whatever the obstacle might have been. The first game that comes to mind is Battletoads. That game had ‘bastard’ written all over it. And it’s sneaky about it too. The first level will have you believe that you can kick ass. Seeing the toads fists and feet balloon as you pummel some poor enemy will have most gamers smiling from ear-to-ear, thinking that they’re in for something doable. Then you’re tasked at making your way down the Wookie Hole. It’s here where you find out whether the buddy next to you (Player 2) is actually friend or foe. Instead of killing a pesky crow your buddy will make short work of you instead, by “accident”. Lastly it’s on to the Hover Bikes whereby you’ll ultimately end up dying, because your dick of a friend will steal all your lives anyway. It’s a repetition I’ve relived for years, and play it now and it’s not changed. It’s exceptionally tough and I know of two people (people I know personally) that ever finished the game.
Games back then would not send you back to the beginning of the stage either. Nope, you’d have to restart from scratch once all your continues had run dry. A game considered tough by many was Contra and, because it was the first NES game I ever owned, I finished it with the limited three lives, and as many continues, numerous times. When you have only so much to play you make the most of it. But there’s a game that takes top honours as my most difficult game I’ve ever played, and it might just surprise you.
F-Zero GX is easily the game that’s been the cause of most my grey hair, and loss thereof. It seems I have this love hate relationship with games that has you believing that “it’s easy”. Move on to the extreme difficulty, which you have to play if you want to unlock all that’s there, and it’s futuristic hell. Unlike Wipeout and other hovercraft games you die when your ship leaves the track. To master each league, of which there are four in F-Zero GX, you have to finish it without dying once, while fending off competitors, boosting and keeping your eyes on the shield levels (which depletes when boosting or being hit by rivals). To date I’ve only completed the first league in extreme mode, but I’ve given up on the rest. As much as I’m in love with racing games, the futuristic hovercraft racing titles in particular, I’m just not a sucker for this kind of punishment. Though, the fact that I tried so hard proves otherwise.
So, what game do you believe is the toughest game you’ve ever played? What kicked your backside and laughed in your face and had you crying man tears? It does not have to be something that conforms to what the masses say is a ‘tough game’. It could be a game you personally found tough.