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The Top 7 - Fruitless Endeavors

Ever slogged away at a game for hours only to find that there's nothing waiting for you at the end of it? Or even worse, there is a reward but it's the gaming equivalent of a plate full of dry crackers after running a marathon?

We too have felt that pain, so here are our top 7 worst rewards in gaming. Starting with one of the best games of last year.

You've secured all 120 stars. You spent hours on Boo in a Box, even managing to get to a part of the level you shouldn't have been able to reach in your search for this hidden star, before you realised a shell would destroy all those mines around the shipwreck. Eureka! Or maybe that was just us...

But what a journey it is - that moving platform in the Battlestation and trying not to fall in Luigi's Purple Coins tested your gaming skills to the limit, but you did it.

And what do you get? A downloadable Super Mario Galaxy DS like the incredibly convincing fake video below would have us believe? No. We get to play the whole game again as Luigi to get the 121st star. You know, its-a-him. Great.

You know what? Though we love the game dearly and still believe it thoroughly deserves its 10/10 rating, we'll give that one a miss for the time being. Maybe in a few months. Or maybe never. Should have left him in the ghost house, if we're honest.

Here's that fake video. This really should have been the reward.

The secret garden
The secret garden is well documented on the internet. The only way to get to it is to climb up the outside of the temple that you start each new journey from. Of course, initially this is impossible as your grip meter is way too small to allow you to scale the vast walls without falling off.

And so you go lizard hunting. Beating Colossi and eating white lizard tails will increase your grip meter until finally you're in a position to attempt it. You fail miserably and so go find some more lizard tails. It's got to be worth it.

After a long, trying journey, you scale the wall. It's real! There's the secret garden. But… there's nothing to do in it. No, wait! There's fruit on the trees! It must be magical fruit. So you have Wanda shove the fruit eagerly into his gob and... it damages his health meter. Permanently.

And that's your reward. Forbidden fruit and what basically amounts to a pretty yet empty garden. How fortunate the rest of the game is so perfect – we can just about excuse this disappointment. Back to that Phalanx battle, then…

Justin Towell
Justin worked on the GamesRadar+ staff for 10 whole years. Imagine that. Now he is a contributor, specialising in racing games, retro, and Sanic.