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Every so often, we come across a level in a game that is infuriatingly unpassable. In the early days of video gaming, this could have been chalked up to inexperienced level design. Yet despite the industry’s many advances, plenty of games still contain glaring points at which the player’s progress grinds utterly and completely to a halt. Whether the stoppage is due to poor design choices or thumb-wounding difficulty, it can last hours, days, weeks… or forever. Websites like CheatPlanet and GameFAQs serve as a last resort for getting through impossible spots, but even a great game’s spell is broken when its’ flow is interrupted thusly. If you’ve ever had your face flattened against the brick wall of idiotic game design, this article is for you.

The Game: Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox, PC, Mac)
The Level: The Library
The Brick Wall: Room after identical room with no sense of purpose or progress, just wave after wave of Flood (and the Monitor’s moronic humming.) Let the Covenant have the Index, for chrissakes.
Stuck-o-meter: Medium; The Library is more a test of will than anything else.

The Game: Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
The Level: Fifth Colossus
The Brick Wall: Trying to grab ahold of this flying colossus while balancing on pillars above a giant lake is a real challenge. Missing and falling into the water adds frustration; it’s a real time-waster trying to get back into position for another go.
Stuck-o-meter: Medium; once you’re finally on the big bird, finishing the job is a cinch.