411 Games Top 5 3.28.14: Top 5 Most Difficult Games
Posted by Sean Garmer on 03.29.2014
From Ninja Gaiden Black and Battletoads to Ikaruga, Castlevania and more, the 411 staff counts down the top 5 most difficult video games of all-time!
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. Difficulty is certainly in the eye of the beholder when it comes to today's topic.
Dark Souls II came out recently, so I figured the Top 5 Most Difficult Games was an appropriate topic. I should note that these lists are comprised of games the staffers played, unless otherwise stated. So, don't be upset if your favorite hard game didn't make it on a list.
Gavin Napier (411 Games Zone Reviewer, Writer of The Contentious Ten in Wrestling Zone)
5. Sewer Shark - This game makes the list not because of clever level design, impressive enemy AI, or being forced to play through the game a second time to truly "beat" it. No, Sewer Shark makes the list for being an unplayable piece of garbage. The controls work (and I use that term loosely) like they were put together by an autistic kid with lobster claws for hands using only popsicle sticks and crazy glue....without the crazy glue. Sometimes the 90s were awesome. Sometimes they sucked. This is the latter.
4. Ninja Gaiden Black - Ninja Gaiden Black is what happens when a beloved franchise wants to extend a gigantic middle finger to its consumer base. Fans complained that Ninja Gaiden was a little too difficult...so Tecmo made Ninja Gaiden Black. It's kind of like Ninja Gaiden took steroids, trained with Mr. Miyagi, stole Chuck Norris' beard, and lived in the mountains for 20 years on a diet of cheap scotch and cigarettes. The boss fights are merciless. The best part? When you die (and you will die a lot) the game mocks you by asking if you want to lower the difficulty settings. It stops just short of blatantly calling you a pussy, but your ego will be damaged enough that you'll realize it.
3. I Wanna Be The Guy: The Movie: The Game - So it's Freeware. It never appeared on a console. Stop nitpicking. This game is both awesome and infuriating. It punishes gamers with a variety of impossible to predict ways to die. The game's premise is pretty simple - mash up a ton of awesome 8-bit games from years past and make them the setting for a nearly impossible to beat freeware game. Trial and error is the name of the game here, folks. If you've never played it, do yourself a favor and look it up. Then make sure no children are nearby while you invent new obscenities. Or invite them to play along and increase their vocabulary.
2. Battletoads - Hey, want a companion game to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Hey, want a fun, side scrolling beat-em-up like Double Dragon? Hey, want to get past the motorcycle speeder level? Well, eat shit. Not gonna happen unless you have a Game Genie. I'm sure some of you know somebody that will tell you they beat this game without a Game Genie. If you do, guard your valuables around that person because they're an abject liar.
1. Ghosts N Goblins - Whoever programmed this game is a son of a bitch. Beating this game should be one of the most satisfying experiences of any gamer's life. Instead, it's a punch in the face by a bully who's making out with your mom and has his hands down your sister's panties. Your reward is that you have to beat the game again, on a harder difficulty setting. Assholes.
John Cash (Reader Voice, Occasional Contributor to Four Player Co-op)
5. Sin & Punishment (N64 Japan only/Wii VC): This is pretty much the most lenient game on my list as far as how much damage you can take before losing a life. Like many Americans, I played this on the Wii's Virtual Console, and that damned "classic controller" was probably 2/3 of the problem. It may have just caught be by surprise, because the first hour of the game is manageable, but then it ramps up in difficulty to an insane degree and as someone who gets swamp hands when they play video games, me beating that game wasn't meant to be.
4. Kaizo Mario World (PC/Mac): In case you didn't know, there is a rather large community online devoted to ROM-hacking, basically editing the files of an existing video game into a custom version of the game, and the most hacked game by far is Super Mario World, and I think Kaizo Mario has a lot to do with that. Kaizo can be translated into English as "asshole", and this ROM-hack, made by the creator as a challenge to a friend, lives up to it in every sense of the term as we know it. It took me about 15 minutes to wuss out and start using emulator save states. If you like being frustrated, this is definitely something you should look up.
3. Castle of Shikigami III (Arcade/PC/360 Japan only, Wii): "Manic shooter". "Danmaku". Bullet Hell. They are considered some of the hardest games available. I don't often take a chance on them, but if they get a certain reputation or a friend recommends it, I will give it a shot. I had problems with this game even on the lowest possible difficulty with the highest amount of continues. I don't pretend to be all that good at games, but you tend to think you can at LEAST beat a game on it's lowest difficulty. I've had this game for about four years now and I still haven't beat it.
2. Ikaruga (Arcade/DreamCast/GameCube/XBLA/Android/PC)
This is definitely the "reputation" kind of game where you just hear about it constantly until you just cave and seek it out. I was lucky enough to find a GameCube copy. It is extremely difficult, as advertised. Just getting used to the "flipping" mechanic, where you switch your aura color (between black or white) is a chore in itself, and then they start messing with your head as soon as you get used to that. Just search for a video of the final boss to find out just how insane this game is.
1. Silver Surfer (NES): This is the definition of "just playable enough". I, like many of my generation, remember seeing advertisements for the game, but didn't actually know of it's sinister gameplay until it was shown by the Angry Video Game Nerd. I saw his video and thought to myself, "Self, there's no way it can be that difficult." Well, I submit to you, the Top 5 audience, that this game really is that difficult. I was literally watching a YouTube playthrough WHILE PLAYING THE GAME to see how to get through some parts. You really do die to the slightest glance of a wall or bullet, it's ridiculous. I couldn't beat it, and I got so frustrated trying to that I'm pretty sure I'll never try again.
Robert Cooper (Music Zone Reviewer, Regular Contributor to "Cooperative Multiplayer" The Official 411 Games Podcast, Writer of Hammer of Doom News Report, 411 Podcast Contributor)
5. Battletoads: The reason why I put this all the way at the bottom of the list is because, well, I've never played it. I was looking for a final game to put on my list, and I figure there is no better choice. This game is notorious for being an uncle fucker to beat, and while I've not experienced it personally, I know its reputation.
4. Megaman X Street Fighter: This was the first time I played an old school Megaman game, and it beat the shit out of me. I sucked quite a bit of ass at it, and kept trying to play it and beat it for a month or so before finally forgetting about it until about now.
3. FTL: Faster Than Light: This wasn't a game I thought about as hard until I was research other people's lists to see if I could get a #5 and saw someone put FTL on the list. Upon further reflection, I realized that whoever the hell put that list on their last is right. I last played the game on Christmas, but before then, I had racked up a solid 30 hours of gameplay and only sniffed the final boss once, and of course, I was blown out of the sky. I even die sometimes on the third level because I run out of gas, or run into some Mantas or a fire that destroy my crew before I can upgrade my doors. This game is hard, but you'll never realized, unlike my final two games.
2. Castlevania: I think I can say that as a man who has become obsessed over this series over the past year or so, I've played a lot of Castlevania. Recently, I tried to jump into the NES area and start with the original game. Sure, I knew it was hard, but I didn't know it was THIS hard. The first level wasn't that bad, because I was familiar with it through playing Castlevania: Bloodlines, but after that, my assholes got destroyed by Medusa Heads in the second level. Sure, they have a pattern, and with time and patience, I can actually get to the end level, but then I get the shit kicked out of me by the Medusa boss. I'll be going back to this game sooner or later, and I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE!
1. Ninja Gaiden Black: This is the only game on this list that I have actually beaten, and I do use that fact when I want to impress a girl, well, one that likes games. This game is relentlessly hard even on the regular difficulty, basic enemies can skewer you if you're not careful, and the bosses are just a study in sadism at some points. I've recently started this game on hard mode, and while I have made it to the 3rd level, it did take me about 4 hours to finish the first level because I kept dying before the save point. If you want a difficult, yet rewarding experience, give this game a go; it's fun and addicting, but just like a drug habit, will come to bite you in the ass eventually.
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If you don't listen to the Official 411 Games Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer" you should! Right now, Stephen Randle is taking a little break from the podcast due to recently having a baby boy. Therefore, between Robert Cooper, Daniel Anderson, and I, we discuss the games we've played this week, the gaming news of the week, and just having a lot of fun too. Here is this week's episode…
Games Coming Out the Week of 03/30/14
Elder Scrolls Online (PC & MAC)
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC)