Tuesday, October 14, 2008
21 Hardest Nintendo Games
NES, SNES, GBA, DS, Wii, GC games all included. Enjoy!
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21. Jackal (NES)
20. Metal Slug 3
With its propensity for lobbing out insta-kill poisoned apples, the final mother brain boss in Metal Slug 3 is a graduate of the same school of evil as the Disney stepmothers.
Naturally, having survived helicopter attacks and close encounters of the bite-your-face-off kind, you'd be foolish for expecting SNK to just let you win at this final hour, but the random patterns of the golden delicious airstrikes make for a violent hike up in deaths.
19. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
18. Super Mario Galaxy
A walk in the most delightful astro-park for 119 stars, there is one particular challenge that almost put an end to our sanity. You probably know the one: Luigi's Purple Coins in the Toy Time Galaxy.
A field of panels stretch out beyond you. Touch one and it'll disappear. The conundrum? How to ooh, ahh, waa-hoo to the scattered 100 coins without destroying your route back to where the star appears.
17. Maximum Carnage (SNES)
16. Etrian Odyssey
15. Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
Aside from Neotank units and a smattering of new terrain features to cower behind, Advance Wars 2 wasn't much of a change.
So how could it destroy even the most experienced COs? Thrown in at the deep end, it was as if the developers saw this as a direct continuation of the original campaign (i.e. starts at the difficulty of that title's last mission and only grows harder).
14. Kuru Kuru Kururin
What does the title mean? It's the sound of your teeth grinding through your chin as yet another spinning stick journey through a don't-touch-the-walls maze ends with another loss.
13. Trauma Center: New Blood
12. Super Ghouls and Ghosts
Super Ghouls And Ghosts had to feature somewhere - it is, after all, a genuine hardcore SNES classic that'll happily send you and your heart-dotted boxer shorts to the pearly gates within your first 15 steps.
The GBA version features here for some chug-tastic slowdown that transforms the tricky kneejerk reactions into a task of Sisyphean pointlessness.
If the wolves, skeletons, knights, demons, bats and zombies don't get you, the framerate will.
11. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Castlevanias have us wailing through the night. However, we reckon the prize goes to Circle Of The Moon. A GBA launch title, the dark gothic graphics were designed before the GBA's contrast specs were known, leaving gamers with a black screen which only an intense light source could interpret.
10. Batman: Dark Tomorrow
9. Zack and Wiki
Descending into our gaming inferno, the uniting factors in most of these games are reaction times and finger dexterity. Not so here. Unlike the frantic experiences of previous pages, Zack and Wiki is all about calmly letting you dig a massive logical pitfall, and serenely watching you fling yourself in.
Using that old thought muscle of yours, you'll burn bridges and hack through second chances without even noticing. Then do it again. And again.
8. Guitar Hero 3
We can argue about the toughest song until the cows come home - the fact of the matter is Guitar Hero 3 is freakishly hard. 'Through The Fire And The Flames' on Expert is a moving walkway of rainbow tiddly-winks, spilt over a seven minute hell-slog, and Raining Blood has us spitting the stuff.
The whole descent into hell idea? Pinched from stage two of Battletoads. Not only is the toad's abseiling journey hard in itself - steel ravens can snip your cable in the blink of an eye - but reaching the bottom means facing stage three.
Turbo Tunnel is the stuff of agonizing legend - a journey through the densest network of insta-kill obstacles imaginable. Most galling? Despite the brutality, we still think it's one of NES's most original and underrated titles.
6. Super Mario Bros 2: The Lost Levels
And not that turnip yanking silliness Nintendo tried to feed the West, either. We're talking the real deal - the Japan-only sequel so hard that Nintendo were allegedly frightened it would collapse puny Western minds.
On the surface it may look like the original Super Mario Bros., but poison 1-up mushrooms, flying bloopers and gusts of wind that suffocate movement offer vast swear-volumes of evidence to the contrary.
5. Bart vs The Space Mutants
4. Gradius Galaxies
There's more than a smidgen of guilt in developer Mobile 21's decision to include a hints feature in their GBA take on Konami's space-shooter classic.
By offering exact routes for each section of the game, they were admitting that (as with all Gradius games) you just have to learn the set paths of every bullet in the game - all eight billion of them. While in space no one can hear you scream, sitting on a bus surrounded by old people is a different matter.
3. Contra 4
2. Mega Man and Bass
Like Contra, the trickiest Mega Man is open to debate. Victims of the original will claim it the hardest, but only because the experience was so horrible that it prevented them from playing another game since.
Modern times brought a modern enemy: this GBA reworking of Japan-only SNES title Mega Man And Forte, breaking you with both stilted platforming and entirely unfair health regeneration. Feel the GBA crumble like old paper.
1. F-Zero GX
Never have eight missions presented such grief - we'll see Rayman made the official Nintendo mascot before we complete the F-Zero Grand Prix story mission on Very Hard.