Top 6 Most Frustrating Video Games
If you're anything like Art Attack, you've gotten so mad at a video game that you headbutted a hole in the wall while cursing the name of a fictional plumber. Or maybe you actually use the pills the nice doctor prescribed. Regardless, we do very poorly with game rage and always have.
In our youth, the NES and TV were surrounded by an array of pillows so that we could hurl the controller at them in our tiny little anger. There's no reasoning with someone like that after they've just squandered their last life, just as you can't explain to them that no, moving the controller sharply to the right does not make the character jump any further.
So if you're one of our ilk, you might want to avoid the following games...
Overall, Earthworm Jim is a hard game, but not so hard that you've never seen the ending. In fact, parts of it are downright simple and fun, but there is a level that is legendary for its sheer cussedness. The Tube Race was a nail-biting run through underwater caverns where every collision with the cave wall cracked your big glass submarine as well as usually sent it ricocheting off of another wall. You were up against a limited air supply, so simple caution was not going to do it. The only upside was that the level contained no boss to fight after tearing out all your hair just to get there. Well, it did, but it was just a goldfish in a bowl you kicked over.
Really, any of the 3D Mario games can go on this list, but SMG was the last one we played so it gets the honor. They still have not really found a perfect way to match the jumping puzzles from the 2D era with the free world exploration of the 3D. Combining it with the wonky gravitation abilities of Galaxy makes for some really impressive movements, but in the end you're always straining to see over Mario's shoulder as he hurtles oblivious into the void.
SSX 3 was the reason we bought a PS2. We had a chance to spend a wonderful drunken night snowboard racing through mountains and cityscapes with friends and were completely hooked. To be honest, that's the focus of the game, and maybe it's our fault for trying to find every last little secret that we got so frustrated. See, hidden in each level are these little snowflake-like trophies, and if you get them all something wonderful happens. We don't know what, but it had better be good because whoever covered a snowy landscape with white trophies and expected us to find them was a fiend from Satan's pit. You can't just peek into every nook and cranny one at a time until you find them all, either, since you can only snowboard downhill. That means endless repetition of the runs until you finally just give up.
Battletoads is what happens when you decide to rip off the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle not because they want to be rich, but because they want a trap to catch children in and make them cry. Battletoads starts out great, what with the big, cartoony toads whooping like it's a limited time offer. Then you come to a race stage that makes the one from Earthworm Jim look like freakin' Excitebike. There are 108 obstacles to dodge in slightly less than two minutes time, and the warning you get on each one is about as long as the period on the end of this sentence.
Oh, and they made you do it twice.
Most herald Shadow of the Colossus as a work of modern art, and they're right. It's an awe-inspiring game the likes of which you have never seen before. Plus, you climb giant monsters in order to stab them in the head. What's not to like?
First things first, game designers, your cut scenes and ending need two things: a skip button and a pause button. Some of us play video games after the two-year-old goes to bed, and sometimes she wakes up from a bad dream in the middle of your five-minute riding montage. We'd like to see it, please, and not just by resetting the game.
The second thing was they simply made climbing up the beasts a bit too realistic. You get a grip meter showing when your hand strength is waning and you're about to fall. And you will fall a lot. So basically you have a video game mocking you for being too weak to do awesome things like climb a living wall after you've already foregone those things to play a video game. What the hell?
Yes, this gets top spot. We actually got so mad at this thing that we were sent to our room despite the fact that we are a full-grown adult who had purchased the DVD in the first place with money from a real adult job.
The point of the game was to hit Voldemort's snake with spells before he ate you, something that we found impossible with both a regular DVD remote and the PS2 remote. The only reason we kept up with this stupid charade was that the first couple of discs had extras you unlocked by beating little games, and we were bound and determined we were going to see this stuff if we had to break every electronic in the house. Turned out there were no extras anyway. Dear Hollywood, just because something is a "kids' movie" doesn't mean you have to adorn the DVD with little extra games. Just give us the damn extras.
Get the Theater and Arts Newsletter
Exclusive discounts and announcements to Houston theater shows and art events