The Game: Lair (PS3)
The Level: Out of the Ashes
The Brick Wall: A hopeless search for water in the desert followed by a battle with a spiderwasp who almost never shows his weak spot. According to internal Sony taxonomical charts, the spiderwasp is the direct descendent of the giant crab.
Stuck-o-meter: Low; if you’re this far into Lair, nothing can phase you. Not even a few levels later where you have to stop Loden from smashing the prison with boulders.
The Game: Battletoads in Battlemaniacs (SNES)
The Level: Speed bikes
The Brick Wall: Obstacles appear on the right side of the screen, flash three times, then come rushing at you. The graphics are completely useless, the only thing to do is memorize the pattern to survive. Extra minus points for the bursts of white noise that accompany each frantic leap of the bike.
Stuck-o-meter: High; five stages of this crap is enough to send even the biggest couch-potato blinking into the sunlight in search of something more meaningful.
The Game: Disney’s Aladdin (Genesis)
The Level: Rug Ride
The Brick Wall: Escaping the Cave of Wonders on a magic carpet ride could be the exhilarating highlight of the game, but instead Disney’s Aladdin serves up a double portion of ass on a platter. As the level progresses, it speeds up so there’s no time to think - rote memorization is the only way to make it through in one piece.
Stuck-o-meter: Low; once you die three times, it skips ahead to the next level anyway. The previous level, The Escape, was arguably a bigger timesink.