Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of games. And of lot of those games are really, really hard games. Which is kinda too bad, because they’d be a lot more fun if they were a little easier. Or a lot easier. So, in lieu of Terrible Turdsday, here’s the first half of a list of games that aren’t turds, but do stink a little thanks to their ridiculous difficulty.
Note that these games are all games I own. There are probably other games which are harder than these. But I don’t own them, which more than likely means they’re not worth having in the first place. (ooh, zinger!)
10. F-Zero GX (GCN) – F-Zero games have always been hard. And that’s not really a problem. F-Zero X (N64) was highly challenging, but equally rewarding. I’m not sure why, but Nintendo decided to take it to the next level for the Gamecube version. Actually, it’s more like 20 levels higher. Honestly, I’ve never lost so many times at a racing game.
Now don’t get me wrong; I love this game. F-Zero is one of my top 3 favorite franchises of all time. The story mode on this one was just too hard. Plain and simple. And if this was a list about just hard games, it’d be a lot closer to the top. It is a very, very fun game. And thankfully, the computers don’t really cheat, as is common in many racing games (I’m lookin’ at you, Mariokart). The tracks are crazy hard, but crazy fun. The GP Mode is just about right, actually. It’s the story mode that’s insane. So there ya go.
9. Sonic Battle (GBA) – Sonic games are always appealing to me. Many times they get poor reviews, but I still enjoy them. And because they get poor reviews, they are often cheaper, which is nice because then I have more money for other games. Anyways, this game is kinda like Smash Bros. Distantly similar, but it has a few Smash Bros. flavors. Basically, you play as Sonic or Tails or whoever and you beat the crap out of people. If that’s not a great premise for a video game, then I don’t know what is.
In any case, the story mode is a sad excuse for a ‘story’, if nothing else, because of its extreme difficulty. Let’s say you play as Sonic. Ok, so some robot pops in and you have to beat him up to show him how tough you are. Ok, cool. Then, so the robot knows for sure that you’re tough, you have to fight him again. And it goes like that for the entire game. You fight someone, and then you fight them again. And the problem is that it’s not nearly as fun as Smash Bros., or even other fighting games for that matter. I used cheat codes and it was still difficult. Yikes.
In short, it’s fun for a few minutes. Or against friends. Otherwise, be prepared rip your hair out and throw your Game Boy across the room a few hundred times.
8. Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (NDS) – This is one of those cases that made me sad because it could have been so good if they would have done it right. And don’t get me wrong. It can be fun. But, as usual, the story mode is insanely difficult.
Despite the Mario name, this game was made by Square-Enix, the RPG company, not Nintendo. That may be part of the problem. In any case, the game relies on strictly stylus-controlled play, which is the first problem. I have nothing against stylus controls (Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass does it beautifully), but in a game like this, you really need button controls.
And don’t even get me started on the AI. Talk about ridiculous. In the later difficulties, be prepared to be blocked, pushed, and mopped all over the court. By Final Fantasy characters. Yeah. That’s dumb. Also, I beat the hardest team on the hardest difficulty, but the game says I never did. Therefore, it is a liar. In short, the game can be fun, but only against friends or on lower difficulties.
7. XIII (GCN) – XIII (as in Thirteen) is a comic book-styled first person shooter game. I’m not usually one for FPSs, but I really liked the style and I found it for cheap, so I gave it a go. I think it’s a cool game. As you can see to the right, I'm shooting Emeril in the face. But of course, the accursed story mode is ridiculously hard. Even on easy, some of the levels are insane. Maybe this is attributed to my lack of experience in FPS games. But I was pretty good at Perfect Dark and Goldeneye. So there.
One level in particular stands out. You have to creep around an enemy base and deactivate alarms, kill soldiers silently, and somehow make your way inside. It’s pretty crazy. Oh, and it takes about 15 minutes if you do it right, and if you’re fast. So be ready to start over about a bazillion times. I guess I just don’t have the patience for espionage. Good think I’m not a real sniper.
As always, the multiplayer can be fun, but the single player can get insanely hard.
6. Bionic Commando (NES) – Bionic Commando is a very, very fun game. Just don’t plan on beating it soon after you start. Like many NES games, it takes much practice and patience to figure out where to go.
For those who don’t know, you play as a soldier with a bionic arm which lets you grab ceilings, lights, etc. to move yourself around. As was also common in the NES era, you cannot jump. I’m guessing that giant metal arm has something to do with that.
The first part of the game is quite fun. The bosses aren’t too hard, and you can make your way around without too many continues. The problem comes later on. In the later levels, you have to make it through a certain number of areas without continuing. So if you get to that point with only 1 life, then you get 1 life to make it through. Ouch. Essentially, it takes a lot of time to get good enough to beat the game. If you’re not in grade school, you probably don’t have that kind of time.
So there you are, friends. Some hard games. Come back some other time and see the other half. I’ll try to get it up here a little sooner than a week. But then again, I have a lot of games to play, so… don’t hold your breath. Or do. I don’t care.
Currently Playing: Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Trauma Center: New Blood