21 game levels that stopped you dead in your tracks

The Game: Rock Band
The Level: Green Grass and High Tides
The (Just Another) Brick (in the) Wall (part 26): Green Grass and High Tides is a tough but doable song up until about the 2/3 mark, when everything just goes to shit for the guitarist and drummer. All the singer can do is sit back and watch in anguish as The Outlaws’ hippie jam mojo undoes six minutes of hard work.
Stuck-o-meter: High; this song comes on toward the end of the Endless Setlist, so you have to knuckle down and keep pounding away at it or lose hours of progress.

The Game: Ico (PS2)
The Level: The Graveyard Area
The Brick Wall: This time, the sticking point is, literally, a wall. It would be easier to figure out that those rock-shaped bombs were explodey if they would actually freaking light when you hold fire up to them. Part glitch and part obtuse design, Ico’s graveyard wall has broken many an adventuresome spirit in half.
Stuck-o-meter: High; but people who like Ico seem to thrive on that ‘wandering hopelessly lost’ feeling.

The Game: God of War (PS2)
The Level: The Challenge of Hades
The Brick Wall: The spikes-and-stone-slabs timing puzzles, cheaply placed archers and pointless trial-and-error time wasters are enough to test the patience of the gods themselves. The flaming boulder hallway and spiky wall climb are especially diabolical. A better option might be to trip the swimming glitch, and frog-kick your way past the problem spots (see video).
Stuck-o-meter: Medium-High; a level this irritating in a game with lower overall production values would be fatal.

The Game: We Love Katamari (PS2)
The Level: CowBear 2nd challenge
The Brick Wall: Roll up all the bears without picking up a single cow. Sounds easy enough, except that you can’t roll more than two feet without hitting a cow.
Stuck-o-meter: Low; the game’s non-linear structure makes this level easy to ignore, if you’re so inclined. Why not try rolling up 1,000 paper cranes instead?

Special Mention: We couldn’t wrap up without giving a nod to Zelda’s Water Temples and Mario’s Ghost Houses. We couldn’t pick just one, so we’d like to honor them all. May their myriad mysteries stump gamers for generations to come!

Feb 28, 2008


We recommend