I love old school games…the side scrolling difficulty (especially when everything is shooting at you). Even on easy the games are difficult unless you have memorized projectile/enemy flight/shooting/fighting patterns. This leads to constant frustration for me, in fact I think the games on this list…I have never beaten the games once. It’s stressful haha.
So here is my list for my top 5 fav frustrating games:
5) Ghouls and Ghosts
And every other installment of this franchise. It’s timed, and you can only take two hits (apparently the enemies are made up of some type of superstrong acid because you dissolve into bones and then nothing upon the second touch) . And zombies are everywhere. but Arthur is manly, because even when he has no armor and is fighting in his underwear, he still manages to launch lances/whatever weapon you have at the moment from somewhere.
This game causes me (whenever I decide to play it) so much frustration…I’ve never gotten past the first level. I have yet to figure out the timing of it, and in all honesty, I don’t think I could sit down and play through it without wanting to throw something against a wall…or scream in frustration. And yet, occassionally it still pulls me back. There’s something fun and challenging about the whole two hits and your dead thing…I don’t know why I still torture myself with this game, because I know once I start playing it I’ll get sooooooo angry.
Oh my gosh. I love R-type. and by love I mean, I desperately want to hate it….so much. It’s so freaking freaking difficult. More than Ghouls n’ Ghosts, this game requires an epic amount of time to memorize flight paths and what not. Everything just flies at you. And it’s helpful that you get “the Force” (no disrespect to Star Wars…but the Force in R-Type totally owns the Star Wars “Force” simply because it is an indestructible spherical attachment to you ship…yeah eat that Death Star). It acts as a shield and a secondary weapons system. That’s just awesome. But still, even with the Force, victory will be hard pressed because things are flying at you from….well, everywhere. This game makes you memorize how all the enemies fire and fly so you won’t die thirty seconds after respawning.
Frick R-type I love to play you but you make me so frustrated.
How I loathe Battletoads. This is a game that’s just unforgivingly hard. It’s not necessary that you memorize attack patterns because this is just a beat-em up. So you don’t need to memorize things like where bullets are gonna go but seriously some of the stages are just insane. Like the third one when you have to jump and dodge walls on hoverbikes, then the stage gets faster and faster and then you die. and die. and die. and die. I’ve never ever gotten past the third stage and I haven’t played this game in a long long time. So I’d probably die even sooner.
If I had to pick one, I would say this is the one game that probably made me throw something. but it’s not number one soley for the fact that I haven’t played it in a while. I would probably enjoy it….until I got to the third stage. and died…and died…and died.
2) Tie between Metal Slug and Contra
They are part of the same genre but take two very very very different approaches. But for me both are equally frustrating.
If I had to seperate them, Contra would have to be the more serious one. The graphics were darker, and the whole game as a whole was darker. So you are basically fighting off an endless army of people and aliens. And along the way you get weapon power ups w/ unlimited ammo. But one hit and you are dead…and you lose the power up. And let me tell you, its easy to get hit in this game. There are just bullets flying everywhere.
Metal Slug is a game that doesn’t really take itself seriously. It has really bright colours and cartoony graphics which lead to really cartoony deaths. It’s awesome. As you proceed through a stage you rescue soldiers who leave you either extra bombs, different weapon power ups (w/limited ammo) or point items. You also have the ability to ride in a tank called a Slug (hence the name metal slug), these rideable machines were expanded in later Metal Slug games. But like Contra, you are being shot at from….everywhere. But both of these games despite their stupid difficulty are still so much fun to play.
And if I had a choice between these two, I would have to go with Metal Slug…just because of the bright cartoony graphics. That is always a win for me.
1) Gradius and Parodius
Oh my gosh, I hate you Gradius (and every other installment that I’ve played) and Parodius. You keep on drawing me in with your gameplay, and with the same gameplay you laugh and mock my lack of skills for Shmups (shoot-’em ups).
More than the R-9a “arrowhead” I would rather be piloting the Vic Viper (the Gradius flag ship) just because of the many many many insane power-ups you have. But like every game on this list (except for Battletoads), one or two hits (unless you have the shield and then it becomes 5 hits or so) and you die….losing all your power-ups and become freaking freaking slow. ….yes, speed is a power up in this game.
Like every other game on this list, I love Gradius. It plays well, and the difficulty….well I guess it was standard for this genre. Everything is just flying at you, and there are some ridiculous imagery for this game (Easter Island heads….in space shooting laser rings out of their mouths at you = amazing!)
Parodius is essentially the same game (both Gradius and Parodius are made by Konami) but a far more light hearted version and not just with the Vic Viper but also with a penguin, octopus and a robot plane….thing. It’s difficult and hilarious….and like Gradius, really frustrating sometimes. The enemies are no longer spaceships but animals and insects.
This guy here has the list of all the characters that appear in the Parodius games, plus a way better article on them.
There you have it my top 5 fav. games that cause me great great frustration. The games aren’t bad…they are well made, they are just really really hard. Either that or I just really really suck at playing these games.