Modern video games are often accused of holding the players' hand, but no one could accuse the games in the following gallery of such a thing. Here are 5 insanely difficult games that are so challenging, it's almost like they don't want you to complete them.
It's said that once you understand that death in Dark Souls is a crucial part of your experience and learning of the game, that everything else will fall into place. However, for many (including myself), learning that death was a gameplay mechanic didn't make it any easier for me whilst I was having several shades of excrement kicked out of me by increasingly large enemies.
2004's Ninja Gaiden was uncompromisingly difficult, with its boss battles among the most challenging in gaming history. It was so difficult, in fact, that it was re-released the following year under the title Ninja Gaiden Black, with an easy mode added for those who couldn't hack it the first time around.
Created by 21-year-old developer Droqen, Starseed Pilgrim doesn't hold your hand and walk you through its complicated premise. It doesn't even point you in the right direction. It simply places you in control of a diminutive, pixellated "gardener," tasked with laying down bricks in order to... erm...
See, the thing is, I've spent a reasonable amount of time playing Starseed Pilgrim, and I'm still not entirely sure why I'm laying down those bricks. Without knowing what the objective of the game is, I instead spend the majority of my time simply trying to escape the black ooze that looms ever closer towards me. It's an explorative game that doesn't give the player any hint as to what they are actually exploring.
Starseed Pilgrim's unforgiving difficulty isn't a result of its challenging gameplay but rather its vague premise, and this mystery has made it the most intriguing game of 2013 thus far.
Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts
I've mentioned this in several articles before, but I think it's worth mentioning again: my proudest achievement in gaming remains completing Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts. The game is gruelling from beginning to end, frequently introducing new enemies to the fold with attack patterns that you must swiftly learn, lest you want to be thrown all the way back to the beginning of the game thanks to its complete lack of save points.
If it wasn't already difficult enough, the real kicker comes when you finally defeat the final boss, only to be told that in order to get the "good" ending you must complete the game again. It's cruel, but it's also a testament to how good the game is that I bloody well went and did it.
Whereas the other games on this list are admired by many for their challenging difficulty level, Superman 64 is widely regarded as one of the worst games in history because of it, and for good reason.
Those who bought this Nintendo 64 stinker likely never made it past its tutorial level, which required players to cope with a broken control scheme in order to navigate their way through a series of hoops, whilst simultaneously being timed. Superman 64 was difficult in the worst sense of the word.
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