Welcome to my hell
There's always a few of them every year - moments in games that you'll remember forever. Perhaps you'll look back on the emotional plot points, enjoyable gaming stints with friends, or watching the end credits of your favorite game. But for me, the memories that really stick are the ones that drove me to near insanity. The toughest moments that had me trying to wring my controller until it busted, or the challenges that literally had me banging my head on a desk out of frustration.
Yes, these following slides are the most challenging gaming moments I attempted to overcome in 2014. These are the times when I (and many others) fought to win victory, and fell short more times than you can count. What did I have the most trouble with this year? Check out my most frustrating gaming moments, starting with...
Killing a Dragon in Dragon Age: Inquisition
Taking down mages, rogue templars, and demons is no sweat for the Inquisitor and his or her merry band of adventurers. It's when you encounter the game's ultimate predator that you need to bring your 'A' game. The giant, magic-spewing High Dragons are no pushovers. They don't just look intimidating as they circle the sky, lobbing fireballs from their gullets; if you aren't careful, a dragon can take you out before the fight's even started.
Once you get to a High Dragon's nest, you're going to have to face the ancient mother's spawn, which are about the size of a Qunari. So, not only are you facing down one of the most powerful and frightening creatures in the Dragon Age world - its babies are trying to bite your face off all the while. Only careful coordination between your party members to stun its individual appendages will lead you to victory. I was able to eventually kill the beast (after what seemed like the hundredth attempt), and the rare equipment and materials made it worth it, despite having to slay a mother and her children.
Earning a full set of Bloodshed armor in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
In previous Call of Duty games, going 25-and-0 during a multiplayer match was one of those things that just sort of happened. Everything seemed to come together, and I'd keep racking up kills like Rambo. Looking at the scoreboard at the end of the match was a nice pat on the back, but not much more. But in, Advanced Warfare, you get a reward for pulling off a perfect 25 kills with no deaths. You get a full set of unmistakably awesome, red Bloodshed armor if you pull it off, and I can never manage to earn it.
From my experience, getting that Bloodshed armor is totally impossible. It must be something about trying to complete the challenge with the reward in mind. Suddenly, nothing seems to go my way. There's too much pressure, and I seem to keep spawning in front of people who can instantly murder me. I choke, and it's over - maybe I can pull it off in the next match. Yeah, one more match. One more match and I'll finally get it.
Finishing Destiny's Vault of Glass on hard
Nevermind the fact that you're going to have to work out a three-to-four-hour playdate with five of your friends. If you and said friends hope to complete the hard version of the Vault of Glass, you're going to have to be perfectly coordinated and have near flawless execution. See, the thing about beating this hard mode is that, if anyone dies, you can't revive them. One little mistake by anyone means the attempt is now forfeit and you'll have to start all the way back at the last checkpoint.
On top of that, the Vault of Glass isn't as easy as it used to be. Recent patches have forced players to modify their strategies during the final encounter, and exploits (which I will fully admit to abusing) have been fixed. The only thing that'll get you through the Vault now is the utmost pinnacles of cooperation and skill. And with sections that force you to hold off waves of sacrificing Vex, Oracle nukes, and randomized Atheon teleports, the raid puts your teamwork, patience, and friendships to the test. I've personally spent hours stuck on the Templar fight because of one guy. He and I are no longer friends.
Beating Del Gonzo in Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
There are SPOILERS here for a game that you probably should probably never play. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z has one of the most frustrating, difficult, and obnoxious final bosses I've played in recent years. After an entire single-player campaign full of ridiculous difficulty spikes, the greatest offender shows up right at the end, in the form of the Aztec god Del Gonzo.
Facing the massive diety appears to be like any other giant boss encounter, and there really aren't many surprises - it's just hard as hell. First, Gonzo attempts to smash you with his hands and zap you with laser-firing bird minions. After that he'll send waves of elemental zombies to wreck your day. Each pattern requires more precision than anything in the rest of the game and the obscene damage he (and his minions) does means one mistake equals instant death. If you hate yourself enough to play this game, be prepared to start over a lot. Oh, and the entire fight takes about 20 minutes to get through and there are a whole bunch of unskippable cutscenes.
Getting the "A Mighty Doom" achievement / trophy in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
This particular achievement / trophy is the ultimate test of your ability to nurture the career of an Uruk then brutally murder him at his peak. To complete the challenge, you need to get an Uruk promoted to level 20, make him a Warchief, exploit his fears, and insta-kill that ugly spawn of Sauron. For your troubles, you'll earn yourself a powerful level 25 rune to shove into one of your weapons.
All of that might sound easy, but when it comes down to it, getting those pieces to fall into place and performing the perfect assassination is no walk in the park. You'll have to allow him to kill you until he moves all the way up the ranks. Then, after all that work, everything can go wrong during your climactic attempt at assassination. You might accidently eviscerate the wrong Uruk, miss a bow shot, or run into a gaggle of captains. Every skill you've learned in Shadow of Mordor comes into play here. Just hope that you have a little luck on your side.
Getting through those freaking Belfry locations in Dark Souls 2
Look, we can probably argue back and forth all day about whether certain Dark Souls 2 bosses are the hardest fights ever or total cake walks. Well, forget bosses. The most indisputably tough thing about Dark Souls 2 is getting past those god-forsaken, phantom-spawning Belfry Sol and Belfry Luna sections.
When you enter one of the Belfry Towers, you're greeted by a creepy little person who definitely needs psychiatric help. And after you attempt to conquer his domain, you'll probably need some mental help of your own. The following sections are filled with bell keeper phantoms - NPCs that are little more than a nuisance - but then the game throws invading players and NPC red phantoms at you. I don't care who you are. Fighting off two players plus NPCs is no easy feat. You better hope players happen to adhere to Dark Souls 2 etiquette - otherwise, it's hopeless.
What were your biggest challenges?
Were there insurmountable tasks that got you completely frustrated this year? Any bosses that just wouldn't give you a break? A puzzle you just couldn't solve? Let me know what tested your patience by leaving a comment below.
Want more from GamesRadar? Check out our list of the 25 best games of 2014.