I want to take the intern’s corner in a different direction this week. It’s time we all go back to our childhood and talk about the games we played religiously, but could never seam to beat. There are too many to describe in one blog post, but this list is going to cover the intern’s top five hardest games.
** To ensure variety, if a series of games punched our testes particularly hard we lumped them together.**
5. Devil May Cry Series
Devil May Cry fist came out on the Playstation 2. It introduced one of video game’s most memorable characters Dante. Dante was a foul mouthed, sword swinging, gun toting, magic casting, badass from hell who doesn’t care about anything. The DMC series is known for its notorious puzzles and teeth grinding boss battles.
No game of this series is more responsible for the destruction of gamer minds then Devil May Cry 3. DMC3 is the last game featuring Dante as the protagonist. It was launched on the Playstation 2 in 2005 to a symphonic harmony of nerd rage felt around the world. The primary antagonist for this game was Dante’s twin brother Virgil. He is one of the hardest bosses to defeat in video game history. Any player up to the challenge of DMC3 has to be prepared for the inevitable and self-inflicted blow to the head.
4. Ninja Gaiden Series
The Ninja Gaiden Series first arrived on the NES in 1988. The series has since launched a number of different games on multiple platforms. What makes the early side-scroller titles so hard are the numerous enemies, limited lives, and extreme boss battles. It often took players many a play-through to master the different bosses Ninja Gaiden put in their way.
Even today, Ninja Gaiden remains on the hard side. The release of Ninja Gaiden on the X-Box had many players scratching their heads in dismay. The 3D hack and slash, action kept the game exciting while the bosses and enemies kept it challenging. Figuring out how to beat a boss, often took hours of replay. Ninja Gaiden Sigma presented a whole new challenge to players with an increased difficulty mode. There is no doubt that this series has been a mind-killer for generations.
Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left Right, B, A, Start. If you know this code by heart, then in all likelihood it was because of the original Contra. Contra is a shooter that has become quite famous in the Americas upon its inception in 1987 on the NES. Players play as either one or two commandos fighting their way through the enemy ranks. What made this game so hard? You started with three lives, unless you knew the coveted Konami Code which gave you thirty. Bullets flew everywhere and the player had to jump over or duck them as they were incoming. Levels shift perspectives as they change, and the challenges faced increase in difficulty with each step.
Trying to play multiplayer in Contra requires both players to keep pace with one another. If one got left behind then they would die. Also if a player loses all of their own lives, they could steal their friend’s lives to stay in the game. Regardless of how hard it is, the game is fun. The controls are responsive, the levels are challenging, and the graphics are satisfying.
Just what can be said about Battletoads? It was originally released on the NES in 1991 to rival another form of butt-kicking reptiles known fondly as The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. First off, this game is FUN. The dramatic ways of killing your enemies and the hilarious expressions that come from the toads, keep the player laughing. The cheesy dialog between levels from the buxom villainess also keeps things light hearted enough. For the first two levels, people are subjected to nothing but easy game-play. But the further a player goes the harder it hits.
The third level in Battletoads holds one of the hardest events in video game history. Players must race through a tunnel at extremely high speed that gets faster and faster. One mistake and bam, the toad gets squashed against a solid rock wall or thrown into the ball-pit of doom. The game only increases in difficulty from each level after that. BT has no save feature, only three continues, and a checkpoint system that would oftentimes warp you back over the hardest parts in the level.
Multiplayer for Battletoads was the best part, granted most players would kill each other before the end of the first level.
1. Ghouls and Ghosts Series
The Ghouls and Ghosts Series is the bane of many players existence. The story follows King Arthur and his quest to rescue Guinevere from the Ghoul Relm. The addicting game-play, the well designed levels, and the comedic protagonist were ample enough to draw a players attention. However, what spawned from this formula is the hardest game of all time.
The entire series was hard but none would grind a players head into the pavement like Super Ghouls and Ghosts for the SNES. Just to see the ending of this game players must beat it twice. What makes the game so hard are the enemies and the control conventions. Arthur could double jump, had an infinite number of throwable lances, and armor that would break upon only one hit. There are very few power-ups, like a bow and scythe that deal damage to enemies in different ways; as well as armor and weapon upgrades for Arthur himself. A constant barrage of enemies in the most frustrating positions ensured that the player would be using many continues along the path. I would like to personally shake the hand of ever person who managed to get all the way through this game.
Honorable Mentions: These are all games that didn’t quite make the top five but are still hard as hell to beat.
Mega Man 9
Double Dragon 3
I’m curious what you guys think, so I am also posing this question to you:
What are your top 5 hardest games?