Editor’s note: Matthew has clearly faced some tough times in his life. Commiserate with his 10 Hardest Games of All Time list, and add your own in the comments…my own private tormentor was Zanac. -Demian

We all have those moments. Those times when we wanted to throw our controllers, scream at the top of our lungs, or kick our furniture. The times when these games reach out from the TV and kick you in the balls. We know we should stop playing, it’s what we tell ourselves — but that game won’t win this round.

So, inspired by the recent Mobcast where one of the topics was games that made you rage quit, I bring you the 10 hardest games of all times. If these games don’t make you rage quit, then you’re a game-playing robot from the future, my friend. And if so, I submit to your rule.


10. Shinobi (PS2)
Shinobi holds the distinction of being difficult for one simple, yet infuriating, reason: Your sword saps your health when you’re not killing bad guys. This gameplay mechanic isn’t so bad, as enemies are in abundance. It’s only when you get to the later levels where everything gets hellish. Enemies become harder and the levels themselves turn into exercises in platforming seppuku.

Yea, those dogs have swords in their mouths.



9. Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening (PS2)
Capcom decided to go back to Dante’s roots for the third game in the series, showing how the demon hunter became such a bad ass. Yet in doing so, they ratcheted up the difficulty. The Japanese Hard mode became the American Normal mode, and I just died a little inside. While the game is fun, the later parts are so excruciating that Capcom had to release a special edition that balanced the difficulty.

Dante wanted to play a rock ballad and call peace. It didn’t work out.



8. Mega Man 9 (XBLA, PSN, WiiWare)
The blue bomber’s return was an 8-bit homage to all of our childhoods, broken dreams and all. So it’s no surprise that Mega Man 9 is brutal. Chalk it up to the devious level design and superhard minibosses. The game also sports challenges that you can embark on if you’re a true masochist. Example: Beat the game five times in one day. That deserves a LOLWUT?!




7.Metal Slug 3 (Xbox, XBLA)

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGw6msUEMTs 560×340]

Enough said.



6.Contra: Hard Corps (Genesis)
Considered by many to be the hardest game in the series, Contra: Hard Corps shifted focus from the usual Contra formula and featured more bosses than usual. So when you’re not dealing with enemies from every side, you have to deal with six gigantic bosses in one stage, and we all know how Contra bosses rate. Somewhere on the scale between castration and Satan coming from your TV screen and punching you in the face.



5. Ikaruga (DC, GCN, XBLA)
Ikaruga is one of the greatest vertical shooters ever made. It’s also one of the most unforgiving bullet hell shooters ever made. If you don’t know what bullet hell is, it’s when the enemies shoot so many bullets at you that the screen is literally filled with projectiles. The result is you in a fetal position on the floor.


Here’s a video of a guy playing the game in 2 player co-op…by himself.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZEGyrEnXrk 560×340]

This guy is some kind of sorcerer.



4. Kid Icarus (NES)
Kid Icarus has the honor of being the franchise that Nintendo forgot it owned. After the NES game, the only other title to be released was the GB game, Of Myths of Monsters. Kid Icarus combines the weapon upgrade system of Metroid, adventure gameplay of Zelda, and platforming of Mario, while keeping its hernia-inducing difficulty. See, in the beginning of the game, you have to climb vertically to get to your first destination. If you fall, you die. Hey, land on that cloud just an inch from your target? You slip and die. Need that extra heart container? Costs too much, go back and farm enemies that have the flight patterns of crazed meerkats. If you can beat this game, send me an email and I will personally kiss your ass.





3. Ninja Gaiden (NES, SNES)
Ninja Gaiden has always been a difficult game, so its position is no surprise. Even in its modern incarnations it retains its memories, like your old grandfather who wont die and leave you the inheritance. Yet, what stands out in the original NES release is the fact that enemies will wait silently off-screen, only to strike the moment you jump over a gap:

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmkmlU1eBr8 560×340]

And the cutscenes are their own special kind of pain.



2. Battletoads (NES)
Battletoads was made by Rare and is probably the reason they now make cutesy collect-a-thons. This game was the hardest beat-em-up on the NES, thanks to levels that required split-second jumps and overwhelmed you with more enemies than I thought the NES could render. If anyone tells you they beat this game, they are a liar, because no one got past the hoverbike sequence.


The last thing you saw before taking this game back to the rental store.



1.Takeshi’s Challenge (Famicon)
Here it is people. The number one hardest game of all time, Takeshi’s Challenge. Created by comedian Takeshi Kitano, a notorious videogame hater, the game was designed to mess with your mind and screw with you on purpose. Bizarre actions were required to progress through the game: punching 20,000 times, singing into the Famicon microphone to get a great rating on karaoke, not touching the controls for an hour, and a side-scrolling stage where you had to dodge obstacles, but the up button on the d-pad didn’t work. The game is literal insanity in a cart, and any attempts to understand it will leave you like Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys, in a permanent time loop.


This is as normal as it gets.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vozRVi9dKk 560×340]


There you have it, Bitmobbers, the 10 hardest games of all time. Don’t agree? Let me know in the comments what games I left off and what your lists are.


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