It's happened to all of us. You're playing an incredible game when you stumble upon a level or mission that makes you frustrated or annoyed or possibly even question the fun of the game as a whole. For this week's Epic Fail Thursday, TheFeed would like to welcome you to our selection of the most Epic Fail Videogame Levels of all time. Take note, we tried to avoid levels in downright terrible games, since pretty much all the levels in bad games are fails. This list is comprised of levels or missions from the games that we hold dear, games that, aside from the mentioned levels, would be just about perfect.
Be sure to let us know what you think of our list? Did we miss any epic fail levels from your favorite games? Feel free to expand on our list in the comments section below.
Speeder Bike Race (Battletoads)
Okay, I understand that this game is infamously hard, but it's also a lot of fun - except these levels. You're moving so fast you hardly have time to react to the giant concrete blocks flying at your toad. the only warning you get is the block flashing on the right side of the screen moments before it tries to kill you, and by the time you're halfway through, there are so many blocks coming at you so fast one after the other, the blinking blocks blend into one solid block, defeating the purpose of the flashing block acting as a warning. Yes it's just as annoying as it sounds. Also, you have to duck under some of them. How in the hell do you duck on a speeder bike?
Any Flood Level (Halo 2 & Halo 3)
I know you like Halo. So do I, but the Flood levels in Halo 2 and 3 are among the most annoying, ugly, slimy and no-fun-to-play levels in any game ever. The AI sucks. Their tactics are repetitive and boring. The Flood’s backstory is cheesy and clichéd. I’ve never wished for a fast-forward button in gaming as much as I wanted during The Flood level in Halo 3. The Fail is epic.
The appearance of the Flood in the original Halo was one of the great plot-twistin’ jaw-droppin’, WTFAwesome! moments in gaming history, so the fall-into-disgrace of levels featuring these plant/mutant/alien things in the two Halo sequels is the most epic fail in gaming history. How annoying The Flood are to fight is easily overlookable in the first game—it’s just so awesome that they’re there at all—but by Halo 2, the appearance of the alien race is nothing but a perfunctory annoyance. By the time The Flood start popping out of pimples in Halo 3, they’re totally irrelevant, over-played, annoying and horrible.
Vijay F*#&ing Singh on Tiger Challenge (Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08)
This was the most frustrating thing in my life for two weeks straight. No matter how amazing my drive and approach shot were, Virtual Singh would put it a little further and a little closer. I could sink a double eagle on a par four thanks to a fortuitous cart path bounce and somehow Singh would come away with a zero for the hole. I can’t help but think the game is against me. And now every time I see the real Vijay on TV, I curse him and throw peanut butter at the screen.
Final Boss Battle (Bioshock)
While Bioshock was unequivocally one of the top games of 2007, many would argue that after starting with a breath-taking bang, the game ended with a groan-inducing whimper.
Specifically, the final confrontation with a jacked-out Frank Fontaine stands out as one of gaming’s most disappointing climaxes ever. As if a good percentage of players weren’t already put off by the game’s Empire Strikes Back revelation of the protagonist’s connection to Rapture (an Epic Fail in itself), they were subsequently treated to an uninspired, clichéd, and decidedly last-gen final boss battle. Fontaine’s attacks, clearly patterned and multi-phased, stand in stark contrast to the often unpredictable AI displayed by the Splicers and Big Daddies throughout the previous levels of the underwater dystopia and would feel more at home in a Mega Man game.
All we can ask is: why, Bioshock? Why?
Love’s Disappearance (Grand Theft Auto III)
After getting your hands very dirty for media mogul, Donald Love doing everything from smuggling drugs to sparking a city-wide gang war, you’d expect your final mission for the guy to be nothing short of explosive. Wrong. In Donald’s final mission you show up to his apartment, (and in a cut scene, you don’t actually get to do anything) look around and then the mission ends. Seriously, that’s it. Congratulations on a job well done. Let’s hope this little mystery is resolved when GTA IV comes out.
Green Grass And High Tides (Rock Band)
The Outlaws, let’s face it, are not a very popular band, and this song was pretty much a footnote to the 70’s. However, this swamp rock “classic” that punctuates the end of Rock Band is kind of an epic fail not because of what it is, but what it isn’t. This classic game deserves a classic finisher to wrap it all up. Where, oh where is “Freebird?” How about “Stairway To Heaven?” These are the songs that should be the final, big clinch of a last bang, not “Green Grass And High Tides.” And what’s up with the repetitive solos and such? The only complaint in what has been one of the great games of all time.
Junker Driving Levels (Gears of War)
We love Gears of War, but don’t put vehicles in a game that doesn’t need them. Secondly, don’t make the gun and driving mutually exclusive. Driving and shooting at the same time is great, but having to stop to fire... light? That’s lame. Add in swarms of enemies that come from all directions and you’ve got a recipe for fail.
Lakitu’s First Appearance (Super Mario Bros.)
As I recall, my first thought on Level 4-1 of Super Mario Bros. was something along the lines of, "F*** this stupid f***ing game and that g**d*** little cloud motherf***er!" I know, strong words for an 8-year old. I didn't know at the time, but that "GD little cloud MFer" was actually named Lakitu and his first level still stands as my single point of dread for the entirety of the Mario Bros. series. In all honesty, I cannot come up with a single other videogame character who comes close to being half as annoying as Lakitu. Maybe if they someday come out with a Tea-Time with Avril Lavigne game, Lakitu might find a reprieve, but until then:
Mr. Lakitu, FAIL'd!