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The Game: Castlevania (NES)
The Level: Last area of the Grim Reaper stage
The Brick Wall: The hellacious corridor leading to the game’s toughest boss is one of the meanest hallways in gaming history. If you miraculously survive the onslaught of Medusa heads and Axe Knights with all your Holy Water intact, you can use it to simply annihilate the Reaper (see video.) 
Stuck-o-meter: High; this level will pulverize you, plain and simple. Your thumbs will weep blood.



The Game: Super Paper Mario (Wii)
The Level: Downtown of Crag
The Brick Wall: Hitting three blocks in a special order will open a door. The village elder insists you ask a very specific way - you actually have to type it in on a virtual keyboard. Nothing seems to work because the solution is to enter the same freaking word five times in a row like a nagging little bitch. Then, you have to write down a pattern 25 steps long so you know in what order to hit the blocks to open the door. 
Stuck-o-meter: Medium-High; this is a frustrating low point in an otherwise excellent game. The fact that the solution can be easily looked up online is no excuse for crappy puzzle design. Skip to 4:20 in this video to see the magic happen.



The Game: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)
The Level: Chapter 10: The Aquaduct (their misspelling, not ours!)
The Brick Wall: You killed the massive skeletal demon dragon, only to have your ass handed to you by a bunch of creepy little millipede bugs. Worse, they’re latching onto you, knocking you down… and the room is locked so there’s nowhere to go but the graveyard.
Stuck-o-meter: High; but then Ninja Gaiden is lamented by many a Ninja Dog for being too damn hard. Let this Master Ninja show you how it’s done.


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5 comments

  • JosefMotley - January 5, 2010 11:27 p.m.

    "but people who like Ico seem to thrive on that ‘wandering hopelessly lost’ feeling." - first time i've ever seen ico mentioned as anything less than classic. and i like it. i hate ico. so much.
  • plagueoftruth - December 9, 2009 2:29 a.m.

    A couple of levels worth mentioning: FINAL FANTASY XII - THE GREAT CRYSTAL. You travel from circular platform to circular platform to platform and it's very easy to get lost. To add insult to injury, your map is disabled. There are no save points so if you want to quit, you have to go all the way back to the beginning (good luck even doing that.) The level is filled with some of the toughest regular enemies in the game and the second major section has you activating crystals which you then have to backtrack to find which gates they open (and there's a timer running out) while you fight the enemies. I started this level one day before I had to go to work. Four hours before I had to go to work. I eventually had to go and left my PS2 on all day as to not lose my progress. Eventually I grabbed a pen and paper and started mapping the place out myself. FFXII is horribly punishing as it is (with a special boss battle that literally takes eight hours to defeat) but this level is ridiculous. SUPER MARIO GALAXY - LUIGI'S PURPLE COINS The purple coin levels are the biggest challenge in this game but when you play the game a second time as Luigi, you have to play the game's toughest level while having to deal with Luigi's sliding around everywhere. As this level is made of platforms which either start flipping or disappearing as soon as you touch them, it's pretty difficult. Added to that is the fact that you need to plan your path in a circle so that you have a way to get back to the star near where you start and this is probably the toughest level I've played in any Mario game.
  • ZombieAmmy - December 8, 2009 10:25 p.m.

    Omg. That god damn library level. I still remember wandering away from the cube and getting lost of over an hour with my brother. Good times.
  • AA95mp - August 31, 2009 12:33 p.m.

    what about spider man 2 when you have to destroy all the mirrors in mysterios appartment and if you go in front of them you get cloned and they gang up on you and there's no health around i only got through that part once.
  • AA95mp - August 31, 2009 11:51 a.m.

    first.

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