That’s not a Cheat

By Shamus Posted Sunday Jan 4, 2009

Filed under: Video Games 170 comments

Dear Gamespot, 1Up, IGN, and the rest of you rotten crumbs,

When I Google for “Explodious 3 Cheats XBox” it’s because I want some cheat codes for Explodious 3 on the Xbox [360]. I’m not doing it for a fun romp around the web. I’m certainly not doing it because I have a copious supply of free time that I want to throw away. In fact, I’m usually in a rotten mood when I’m looking for cheats, so luring me to your website and then not giving me cheats is a foolish move on your part.

I know what cheats are. “Beat the game on ultra-hard in less than 5 minutes using only the B button to unlock the original Explodious costume” is not a cheat. It’s the very opposite of a cheat. It is yet another task I can’t do, which is a problem I already had in the first place. It’s an “unlockable”.

You know this. You know this is not a cheat. But you care about soaking up Google searches and page hits more than you care about your visitors, and so you seed your pages with the word “cheat”, when you know full well there aren’t any. Rather than wasting my time, why don’t you mention the lack of cheats in a review? Since you know there aren’t any, and you obviously know what a massive traffic draw cheat pages are, then it stands to reason that this is something that people want and aren’t getting. It could be argued that keeping them informed is your job. Perhaps drawing attention to the lack of cheats will correct the problem, thus ensuring that you aren’t standing there empty-handed when I show up on your doorstep looking for something.

Thank you for your time and please drown in a septic tank,


P.S. If you do find cheats for Explodious 3 please email me! Thanks!

Topic for discussion: One game you enjoyed, but had to shelve because you couldn’t beat it.


From The Archives:

170 thoughts on “That’s not a Cheat

  1. Nillo says:

    “Topic for discussion: One game you enjoyed, but had to shelve because you couldn't beat it.”

    I enjoyed La-Mulana until I had no idea where I was supposed to go anymore.

  2. scragar says:

    Silent Bomber for the PS1.
    Part of the way through the game there are a series of protect missions, I hate these, the first of them I can do, the second, I always fail, how can I protect those people if they don’t move, and the enemies attacking the shield are close by and all my attacks are explosives which harm the people I am to protect.

  3. DKellis says:


    By Room 18 I didn’t care about the cake anymore.

  4. kamagurka says:

    World of Warcraft.
    Seriously though, almost every strategy game I ever played, especially Starcraft.

  5. A Gould says:

    Donkey Kong 64 – my wife and I had a grand time finishing everything, finding the unlockables, etc. But we couldn’t beat the final boss, because it was just so horribly *stupidly* hard.

  6. Andrew says:

    I think this is one of those old Vs new players. In our day cheats were a way to make the game easier but now it means Hints, tips, unlockables et al.

  7. Primogenitor says:

    Psychonauts. The meat circus onwards is much harder than the rest of the game, with “do it in one go within the time limit, or die and go back to the beginning of the level” stuff.

  8. vdgmprgrmr says:

    Cave Story, Gish, STALKER (I was playing on Master difficulty with no crosshairs and the game was still too easy, but I couldn’t beat the fucking sarcophagus after fifty or so tries on Novice difficulty with crosshairs), Spelunky.

    It sucks so much that so many game developers today (mostly indies) can’t seem to get difficulty right. When you fail at a task, you’re supposed to feel like you screwed up, not like the game arbitrarily decided you should fail on that attempt. I have yet to find an indie game anywhere that is difficult but doesn’t feel like it’s cheating you.

    Seriously, we have commercial games that are mostly ripoffs of each other or Cool-new-old-game 28, but that have good difficulty, or we have interesting, fresh indie games (that I don’t have to pay for (except Gish)) that are like exercises in repetition and unnecessary frustration.

    Games should be fun, games should not make me feel cheated, or make me feel like I should be a robot, or make me all depressed that I like games but apparently suck at games, so I can’t play a lot of good games because they’re too freaking hard.

    Whoa, rant…

  9. Nixorbo says:

    Force Unleashed.

  10. Hal says:

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the original NES.

    Seriously, if you were 8 years old when that game was released, it’s like a slap to the face.

  11. Narkis says:

    Donkey Kong 64 for me too. Reached that ridiculous blast-from-the-past Super Mario VS Donkey Kong arcade, and gave up after a few months of horrible failures. I still try once or twice a year, with the same miserable results.

  12. MechaCrash says:

    I don’t know if this is a precise fit for your criteria, but MS Saga for PlayStation 2.

    I did manage to beat the game, because the actual main obligatory stuff can be done if you just put some thought into your tactics and mobile suit design. The optional stuff, however, can be pretty damn hard because you have to learn the enemy patterns. The side stuff in question consists of Mt. Trials, the Colosseum, the three Moon Bases (especially the third), and the post-game dungeon, Another G System.

    I did all the side stuff, but that post-game dungeon is brutal. The theme in there is fighting hugely powered up versions of the things you’ve been plowing through previously. Up until you have that point, it’s possible to wipe out random encounters in a single turn if you’re properly set up to do so. Not so in Another G System. Sure, you can still use your “I hit everybody RAR” attacks, but they don’t put the enemies down, and you have to finish them off next turn. Or you can spend that turn charging up to use a move that’s more likely to put them down in a single shot, but can only hit one guy at a time. I finally threw in the towel around the halfway point, because I just couldn’t beat Hell Sandrock and Hell Arms. They kept throwing out powerful area attacks and I didn’t really have an opening to attack, and since I was at the level cap with the best suits and equipment available, I couldn’t brute force it. So I had to stop.

  13. Heitor Moraes says:

    The Game:

    “Contra: Hard Corps” (Genesis)

    The (exquisite) Cheat:

    Play the japonese version.
    It has a lifebar. ;-)

  14. Rich says:

    “Gun” (PC) Even WITH cheats. Because I suck Gun sucks.

  15. StingRay says:

    I’m still willing to work at Mirror’s Edge, but the warehouse level that took me (literally) 34 tries to get through (and not the whole level, but just one tiny segment of it) nearly forced my hand.

    The only other game I’ve ever given up on due to difficulty was Driver 2 (I think, though it might have been Driver 1).

    The entire game had a nice, even difficulty curve, up until the last level. Then, all of a sudden, you’re trying to kidnap/save the President, and ever cop and Secret Service agent in the ENTIRE WORLD is teleported into the road that you have to race down.

    Not only that, but apparently the President would rather die than have his drink spilled, so if you get hit too hard, you fail and have to start over from the very beginning of the level.

    I attempted that level far more times than was healthy and finally gave up.

  16. Anaphyis says:

    Funny timing there Shamus.

    Dawn of War: Winter Assault. Played it today, failed at one especially obnoxious mission 4 times, looked for cheats and trainers and found zilch (at least for the current version) except google farming ad plagued sites.

  17. guy says:

    Most stratagy games, and fallout 1 may go this way if i can’t level up more.

  18. Heather says:

    Hmm, this happened to me a lot as a kid–in fact until my brother and I beat Metroid and the Super Mario Brother’s games (original Nintendo) we didn’t know you COULD beat a game (well, we did beat games on the Intelivision but those were different). The King’s Quest games, Zelda (original Nintendo), Pirates Cove (TI–stupid too hard dumb text adventure with a picture), well actually other than the few games we did beat we didn’t beat too many. Nowadays it is Harvest Moon, mostly because the kids saved over my almost beat game and I couldn’t be bothered to go back and redo to fully beat it–I did beat the first half, which is officially beat. And World of Goo has beat me–I am almost to the finish and have hit a level which WILL NOT let me beat it. Probably figure it out eventually.

  19. BarGamer says:

    Any of the last 3-4 missions on any Blizzard game. Without serious cheating, they’re impossible. Even WITH cheats, it’s a good hour of grinding.

  20. Johan says:

    Psychonauts and Morrowind.

    Even on the lowest difficulty setting possible, there were a lot of orcs in Morrowind who could take me down in like 3 hits.

  21. Wonderduck says:

    Re-Volt. Almost, but not quite.

    /now let’s see how many people know that one…
    //…and if any of them know how to play it on today’s computers.

  22. Hal says:

    Oooh, so here’s one that’s going to get me lynched: Fallout 2.

    Seriously, I spent 4 hours playing this game and never made it past the opening temple. Why? Everytime I entered, I got killed by scorpions. Didn’t matter if I made a sneaky skill-monkey or a brutish melee warrior, everybody died to the scorpions.

    I realize there has to be a way past this; it wouldn’t be a cult classic if this was all the game offered, but that tasty nougat is beyond my reach.

  23. Lebkin says:

    Final Fantasy X-2. I reached a boss fight where the boss caused more damage in a single hit than I had hit points. Checking FAQs about how to beat them, they involved five to six hours of grinding, min-maxing my stats, costumes and items to increase attack enough to kill him before he could use the power. It was the most gamey thing I’d ever seen. So I said screw it, and went and paid something more reasonable.

  24. Derek K. says:

    Wild Arms XF on the PSP.

    It was a fun little turn based strategy, and then all of sudden there was this odd stealth mission. Tried it 4-5 times, said “Yeah, that’s no fun” and stopped playing.

    Sadly, that was like the 5th mission.

  25. neolith says:

    Driver. Didn’t even make it through the darn tutorial without cheating.

  26. Deus Ex

    (Yes, the original.)

    My “cheat” involved getting my husband to walk me through parts of the game.

    Of course, my attempts to disable the LAMs with a flame-thrower is probably where things first started to go wrong for me.


  27. UtopiaV1 says:

    I don’t wanna sound like an ad here, but…

    Looking for cheats? has it all!!! If it ain’t there it doesn’t exist, just beware the copious amount of adverts and pop-ups…

    As for games I couldn’t complete, I remember FFVIII being in that ‘impossible zone’ where teeth-grinding and angry boredom meet. Too difficult for the sane…

    1. Adam Szazs says:

      This doesn’t really solve the problem. What Shamus means in his article is that most modern games, even many on the PC, don’t HAVE cheats anymore. (Other than digging around in the game files, which console gamers can’t do. >:[)

  28. Anaphyis says:

    @UtopiaV1: Huh? Wasn’t FFVIII the one with the Oblivion style difficulty system (i.e. the higher your level, the higher your enemies level) where the simple understanding of the junction system could break the game on disk one?

  29. Noumenon says:

    Phantasy Star II. I got lost in the next-to-last dungeon. I later played through the entire game again, and got stuck again.

    MechCommander. There’s a mission racing through a valley. Now that walkthroughs exist I am gonna buy this game and try it again.

    TMNT for the NES. The hallway with all the flying troopers, right before Shredder, who I never saw.

  30. Jeremiah says:

    Oooh, so here's one that's going to get me lynched: Fallout 2.

    Seriously, I spent 4 hours playing this game and never made it past the opening temple. Why? Everytime I entered, I got killed by scorpions. Didn't matter if I made a sneaky skill-monkey or a brutish melee warrior, everybody died to the scorpions.

    I realize there has to be a way past this; it wouldn't be a cult classic if this was all the game offered, but that tasty nougat is beyond my reach.

    Did you, perhaps, install any patches/mods? I forget which it was, but I know one put scorpions in the first temple. Without it there were just ants, I think.

  31. Joe says:

    Regarding Fallout 2:

    Stab, move back as far as you can. The scorps/ants can’t move more than 2 spaces and then attack. As long as you have 7+ Action Points, you’ll beat the dungeon without taking any damage at all.

    As for the rest of the game, well, that’s another story.

  32. UtopiaV1 says:


    I don’t usually reply to people, so you’re very lucky… or something!

    FFVIII, I will agree, is very easy and doesn’t take too long… -IF- you have a guide on your lap, the internet open at, and a nerdy friend looking over your shoulder.

    I thought Shamus was talking about games that are difficult to complete without any outside help whatsoever, you know, like a good game with a decent learning curve is meant to be played. ¬_¬

  33. Fosse says:

    I hadn’t thought of the Nintendo’s TMNT fro a long time. You’re exactly right though, I never got past what I think is the second to last level, where you are at the airport at night and fight the weird guys who resemble rolly polly bugs..

    A few years ago I downloaded an emulator and got inside of the technodrome. Then the game crashed. I just have to believe I will never beat it.

    At least I had April’s support.

  34. Kiwipolish says:

    Final Fantasy Tactics. If you haven’t read a FAQ before you start the fights are brutal. The story seemed interesting, until I hit Wiegraf in his final encounter. Turns out if you haven’t built your character right he’s unbeatable… and if you save mid-way through the castle you can’t leave. I didn’t feel like starting the entire game over so I could learn to game the job system right.

  35. Vegedus says:

    I wanna be the Guy is the only one that springs to mind.

  36. Felblood says:

    I can’t beat the last stage of Sigma, in Megaman X4. The thought of having to go back and fight through all those other bosses, just to get to him, with only one energy tank, makes me so depressed, I can’t really consider actually playing the game. I love that boos fight, it’s just too far from the save point.

    I also can’t beat the last level of Starcraft: Broodwar. I try every year to see if I’ve gotten better, but I RTS so little anymore, that I usually find I’m worse than last year. I finished Reign of Chaos and Frozen Throne on normal mode, why is zerg9x, “Omega”, beyond my reach?

  37. Ohhh… Re-Volt. That was an incredible, marvelous game.

  38. Krellen says:

    I’m a bit bloody-minded, so I tend to bash through things until I finish them eventually. Gears of War nearly got this title, though; took me three hours to finally beat him, and it wasn’t a new strategy – I had the right idea on how to kill him, just not enough luck to pull it off. That sucked.

    There’s probably a pile of games from the NES era I never finished; off the top of my head, the original Ninja Gaiden is certainly one of them. I got to the end boss, but never managed to beat him. Then my parents made my brother and I sell our NES to my brother’s best friend because my brother basically skipped a day of school playing it. Even though I had paid for most of it and the fault wasn’t my own. I hate being the only oldest in the family.

  39. Jim says:

    I shelved Deus Ex for several years after I got stuck, and it wasn’t until last summer that I picked it back up and played through it (with significant help from GameFAQs).

    And there are probably dozens NES titles I owned or my friends owned that I never beat and still haven’t even with Emulation and Save States: Sky Kid, Super Pitfall, Legend of Zelda’s 2nd quest, Metroid (best ending), etc…

  40. Daemian Lucifer says: For all your cheating needs.

    The only game I had to cheat to finish it was thief 2.And I am ashamed of myself for that.

  41. There are several games I had to cheat in to beat bosses (the original Half-Life and the final boss, for instance), but the only one I can think of in which I had to cheat to take on -regular enemies- is Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

    I’m talking about those bastard paratroopers who never, ever miss when they shoot at you. At any distance. Even on the easiest difficulty setting.

    I can’t even recall why I felt so compelled to finish that game. Maybe because it was impossible?

  42. MRL says:

    Daemian has the right idea. Generally speaking, if a game has been out for a month or more and doesn’t have any cheats up at GameFAQs, there are no cheats to be found.

  43. Captain Kail says:

    Gun (on GameCube) was a game I had a blast playing, until the end, when I was fighting the final boss with TNT in a small cave.

    Also, the Lion King for the Sega Genesis. Oh my God. I don’t think that game actually has an ending.

  44. Count_Zero says:

    To be absolutely honest, I’ve come to the conclusion that games with Cheats are in the minority now instead of the majority. Take, for example, Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry – extremely popular 3rd person action games, and they’re fairly hard. There are also no cheats whatsoever for those games.

    Force Unleashed at least had cheats (particularly a level-skip cheat and a unlock all cut-scenes cheat.

  45. Dev Null says:

    Fallout 2 nearly got me as well. I tried making a sneaky character, and got to some of the early quests which were kill things in narrow little tunnels and got completely pasted. I tried making a charismatic talk-your-way-out-of-anything trader with enough of whatever that skill is that helps you avoid random outdoor encounters where you inexplicably fail to notice the badguys until you’re completely surrounded, but I didn’t seem to make perceptably more money and there wasn’t much better gear to buy in the first couple of quest hubs anyways. Then I made a melee monster and found the early stages of the game cake-easy, but by that point I was kinda burnt out on it, and a little bit disappointed at being forced into a single character mould. I got past this and went on in the game, but only just barely.

    In retrospect, I think I could have made either of the first two character concepts work by simply skipping huge swaths of the early quest zones, but a) I hate missing out on content, and b) I would have had to move on to long journeys through the wastelands being ambushed by tougher badguys even earlier, when I had crappy gear and fewer levels…

  46. Ben says:

    The only game I can recall not finishing due to difficulty was Forza Motorsport. I know that’s not quite the same type of game you’re all talking about, but the difficulty problem is slightly ridiculous. The game is a simulation, and a very good one, so there’s none of the rubber-band effect you get in Need For Speed games, and all the speeds throughout a race are reasonable and realistic. The problem is that towards the end of the game, the AI starts to do unreasonable things. They occasionally run into you, and for some reason it’s much easier for them to push your car around than vice versa. This is a minor irritation for most of the game, but the last series of races are endurance events. We’re talking dozens or hundreds of laps; races against evenly-matched competition for several hours. Being pushed off your line or off the track is an irritation, but it frequently causes damage to the car, and then your performance is down and you’ll find the rest of the race very difficult to win. The physics of this situation is perfectly realistic, but the occurrence is not.

    The game is supposed to be a realistic simulation; is it so much to ask that the AI act in a realistic way? In real racing, drivers hit each other often, and frequently end up off-track. They very rarely force each other off the track and directly into a horrible, fiery crash, though.

  47. Cthulhu says:

    I’ve actually never stopped playing a game because of the difficulty. I’ve been known to put one on hold and play something else, (I’m looking at you, Riven,) but the only time I actually shelve something is if I think it’s not worth my time.
    Funny enough, I’ve beaten everything I played that was made more than a few years ago… (eyes collection of terrible recent games)

  48. Alex says:

    I’ve beaten (and thoroughly enjoyed) Tactics, but I sympathize with Kiwipolish’s frustration with that damned Wiegraf fight. The final boss isn’t that hard. Some of the uber-difficult optional fights aren’t that awful. Even level-grinding to the point where you are 10 levels higher than you need to be at that point in the story isn’t much help. That is some seriously shoddy game design.

    Still, I’ll have to go with Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. It’s a really fun, exciting game, until you have to fight something. Or do one of those unforgiving quicktime events disguised as a “racing mini-game” or “boss fight”. I’ve lost count of the number of times where the game just halts, and gives the repeated impression that further progress is impossible. Then it’s left to collect dust for months at a time. By the time I reached the tag-team boss fight after another hellish chariot sequence, I’d had it.

    Now people are complaining that the new Prince of Persia is too easy. I am reminded of when these same people complained that The Sands of Time wasn’t God of War. So Ubisoft made “The Warrior Within”, which I hear was pretty much just… God of War. I’m really hoping for this new Prince, they don’t cave to the criticisms of those who couldn’t be farther removed from what makes their games great.

  49. McNutcase says:

    Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2. I tried to like it, and for most of the time I was playing the Sov campaign, my spam-jitsu was strong… and then they throw in a mission completely unlike any I’ve faced before, and I simply could not pull it off. I looked up walkthroughs, and couldn’t figure out how to follow their instructions. This was simply too much of a departure.

  50. Minion says:

    Kane and Lynch. My brother in law got it for me the year it came out because my husband and I are always dying for good co-op games. We made it to the part where you’re supposed to kill the guy in the truck before he runs over the daughter. And there it sits.

    I read online where it’s a much easier game to play with the AI. But, err, it’s a CO-OP game. It was designed (supposedly) to be a co-op game.

  51. Guus says:

    Earth 2150. That game is impossible. I never got past the third level, I got my ass handed to me every single time I tried to play it.
    Total Annihilation, a game that was berserkedly difficult in later levels.
    Commandos. If Earth is impossible, then Commandos is the most difficult puzzle in the universe designed by a psychotic demon.
    Final Fantasy Tactics, FF-X, FF-XII. All were to long and dragged out, and had boss fights that were too difficult if you didn’t spend ages levelling your characters.

  52. 183SETH183 says:

    Myst and The Dig. I played them before I was old enough to really get the drive to solve puzzles, and I really want to go back and beat them now.

    Any RTS. I always love them, but get too bogged down with details and end up making ‘perfect’ bases, but I sacrifice tactical position or useful units.

    Black and White. Sandbox games always are far too interesting to finish levels when I can just fool around. Especially when I can fool around with the powers of a god.

  53. Wilcroft says:

    Genji for PS3. I got it as a gift, and got most of the way through (Giant Crab FTW), but the lack of camera control meant that it was near-impossible to both dodge AND focus on the enemy. The entire game seems like you’re viewing it through CCTV footage. Annoying does not do it justice.

  54. LintMan says:

    More annoying that the “cheats that aren’t really cheats” are the generic cheat pages that sites like 1up put up for every game, which have absolutely no content on them at all. And the biggest fraud is the 1up “Superguides” – they link to these things as if they exist, and then when you follow it, you find out it’s just a placeholder stub.

    Privateer (an Elite clone by the Wing Commander poeple) is the game that pushed me over the edge. Multi-stage missions with no saves allowed so you get to replay the whole damn 30+ minute mission over if you fail on the last (and hardest) stage. The Wing Commander games were the same way and I fought through those, but I had just had enough.

    @DKellis: Portal? That was one of the very few games I was motivated to play through without cheating. Some of the puzzles were tricky to pull off, but they never got frustrating enough to trigger my “this is BS” alarm.

    @Primogenitor: I totally agree on Psychonauts. I really wanted to play the game through for its humor and quirky story, but I’m terrible at platformers and didn’t get very far at all.

    @Anaphyis: Cheat Happens ( has a DoW:WA trainer available, but the latest version looks to be members-only. They seem to be a reputable site and keep up with the latest patches, but a lot is members-only, or only generally released for free after a waiting period. I use this site enough that it was worth giving them some money. Alternately, you can use a memory editor like artmoney or cheat engine to boost your resources (tip: the value is stored as a float).

  55. SolkaTruesilver says:

    Mario 1. never finished the bloody game. I finished Mario 2-3 (American’s 2 and 3)

    Errr… Lord of the Realm 2. Sadly, I was too young to fully understand the “good” strategies to adopt (Halbards + Archers was my motto), and I will never be able to take my chances back (NEVER), since it needs Windows 95 to run. i loved that game :(

    What else, what else…? Ultima 7. Then again, it was probably because I was young and foolish.

    Star Wars : Battleground. Never managed to win a bloody campaign. Oh, I can win about 4 battles ouf ot 7, but I bore too quickly of the repetition.

    Morrowind. But because I’ve been spoiled by Oblivion…

    THIEF. yhea, the Gold Version of Thief 1. I hate that game so much, because it’s so good, but so frustrating. Conflicting emotions, ya see? I hate conflicts, so I shelved the game. I think I’ll prefer Thief 2.. I prefer to steal from rich men rather than crypts.

  56. Sake says:

    I blame the achievement system crap for the lack of any useful cheats on modern console games. We can’t have invincibility/unlimited ammo/unlock character codes anymore so some Xbox live jackass can have his pointless e-penis measuring stick.

  57. illiterate says:

    @shamus — darn you, i looked

    i was 90% sure there was no such thing as Explodius, but I still had to check.

    as I’ve mentioned before, I loved FF3JP on my DS. LOVED IT. but i just didn’t want to go grind until i could beat the five end boss fights that you can’t save in between that is just nonsense.

  58. Moridin says:

    Silver. It has been few years since I last played it, and I came to a point where I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do next. After spending hours trying just that, I gave up and I haven’t played it since.(Silver is an rpg dating to previous millenium, for those of you who don’t know).

    But really, I haven’t finished many games. I just get bored at some point(usually more than half-way through) and stop playing. Later when I start wanting to play again, I usually find out that I have removed the game and saves with it.

  59. XCOM 2: Terror from the Deep was a game i’ve started about 20 times or so, and the only way I could get beyond about mid-game was to cheat. Note however that I kept playing; there are some games that are fun to play even if they’re insanely difficult.

    The criteria for when I break out a walkthrough or cheat is that I reach a point in the game when I stop having fun. I don’t think I’ve gotten through a single adventure game without referencing a walkthrough at least once. However, if the game is an FPS, I generally never need either cheats or walkthrough.

    As to misleading websites, I’m with the folks in support of GameFAQS, and add UHS as a gradual hint solution (albeit with a much smaller selection of games).

  60. Christian Groff says:

    Jak 3. I HATED it. Jak and Daxter was a fun unlockable romp, Jak 2 frustrated the **** out of me, and Jak 3 was boring as heck. It wasn’t as fun as Jak 2 where you could unlock crazy things. I even suffered through the stupid “fight your way through a million enemies” mission until I got to the end for the unlockable content. Jak 3, well, I played through a few missions then got bored and sent the piece of trailer trash back to the game store.

  61. Mayhem says:

    I hear ya. It’s like when I’m surfing car ads and I have to deal with all those morons who put “not this” and “not that” in them. “1984 Camaro. Not Mustang. Not Trans Am”

    WHY? If I’m not looking for those cars, I won’t be clicking on the damn link to yours anyway. Is there some reason you need the hits to your ad?

    Anyway.. Diablo 2. I got sick having getting killed by one boss and having to slog through half the game world to get back to him because Blizzard didn’t feel like puttng a real save game option in it.

  62. Arson55 says:

    Kiwipolish you thought that FFT was hard? I think that’s the first time I’ve heard that. It is one of my all-time favorite games, but my major complaint is that the game is simply too easy. There are so many spells and abilities that are broken beyond belief. And if you do get a handful of levels beyond the enemy, the set piece battles are simply pathetic. I never read any guides or anything for the game until I’d already beaten the game a handful of times.

    As for the Wiegraf fight, I had difficulty the first time through with him in his demon form. But ever since, I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten through without much difficulty, even to the point where I can get through the one-on-one fight as a bard, and as any competently designed warrior, the fight is nothing.

    As for my game that I enjoyed and couldn’t beat, I’m sad to say FFVIII. My party was designed entirely around Rinoa’s spellcasting, but during the last fight, she is one of the last characters to appear, and by that point, if a character dies, they disappear almost immediately, meaning that if she dies, I can’t revive her, and there goes the majority of my offense.

  63. Eric says:

    This is probably going to be a “well, duh” entry, but Ninja Gaidan: Black. After playing through the first level over two dozen times on the lowest difficulty setting and getting my ass handed to me every time, I gave up. I finally sold it back to GameStop when I got tired of seeing it on my shelf… like it was taunting me.

    Needless, I do not see the appeal of the Ninja Gaidan series.

  64. DaveH says:

    Bureaucracy, the text adventure by Infocom. I beat all of the others. All of them. But not this one.

  65. Spammy says:

    King Kong for the PC. This always makes me sad. The game was wonderful and atmopheric and immersive, but the Kong sections required button-presses that are too damn difficult to beat. Nothing made me more angry than to lift the giant pillar halfway up, mess up on by timing by less than just a bit, and fail the whole thing.

  66. On Diablo 2 bosses, the solution is to buy masaaaaaaany scrolls of town portal. You portal at the start of the fight, and then either dive out when you’re almost dead or die – either way you can repair/heal and dive back in – at which point you immediately open another town portal…

  67. =Dan says:


    Specifically I can’t beat GOW (the first one on XBOX 360), I can’t get past the “run to the vehicle in one minute” level. I die every time….I have never been good at dodging bullets.

    In general I suck at two game types 1) sneaking games. The thief series in particular. 2) RTS of any genre. I like to build up my civilizations/empires (love the Sid Meier series) but am inept at anticipating my opponents imminent attack.


  68. JB says:

    Xcom 2: Terror from the deep

    I love the Xcom series, but Tftd makes me give up every time. Especially those boat missions, when I finially manage to get through the deck level, and then there’s the cargo hold… I usually give up and flee and don’t come back to the game.

  69. Aergoth says:

    For a long time, it was Metroid Prime (the first one, metroids and phazon, and a few of the bosses had me stuck for a while…) and Starfox Adventures (honestly, you spend the ENTIRE GAME, getting better at not shooting things in space, and then you have to kill things in a fighter… EVIL!!!)

    presently? Hmmm… difficult one. Link’s crossbow training. In the sense that “beat” refers to getting gold on all the levels.
    Based purely on length? Chocobo’s Dungeon for the Wii. That game is so damned long (it’s an FF game. They are, I think, the baseline for long. The sidequests. And mcguffins, and the, do quests here until X happens.) and unforgiving (fail a dungeon, you not only get kicked out without your shiny stuff [read lewt and monies], but you get to go through a competly different arrangement of traps and monsters. EVIL!)
    On Sheer stupidity: I stopped playing the most recent metroid prime because they gave me a “kill everything” switch.

  70. Factoid says:

    Homeworld. I always get stuck either at the level where you have to traverse the radiation belts or the level right after that. Even with a money cheat I can’t ever seem to beat it.

    That is the most painful unfinished game because the story was so good and the game so beautiful.

  71. vdeogmer says:

    The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction did that to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the game from the very first time up until the very last mission. Unfortunately the last mission was just a complete brick wall in terms of difficulty curve, I could only get maybe halfway through before failing miserably. I just decided to ignore that last level and call the game over.

  72. wildweasel says:

    XIII – ’nuff said.

  73. Alastair says:

    Final Fantasy 10. Gnaaaahhhh. Gave up at the boss that turned your characters into a zombie so you couldn’t heal them, but then randomly cast a spell that caused instant death if you weren’t a zombie. Never could figure out how I was supposed to beat it.

    All the guides I read to beating the boss assumed you had done every single thing possible in the game up to that point, had found every single hidden item and had the ultimate characters of dooooom. I wanted a guide for the person that had played through the main plot and most of the side quests and hadn’t compulsively stolen something from every single enemy ever faced.

    Of course, no such guide exists. Which is unfortunate, because I was really into the plot. If only all that darned fighting hadn’t kept getting in the way.

    A lot of games I’ve played over the years have had what I call “Brick Wall Boss Syndrome”, where the difficulty level in the game is consistent up until you reach a boss (or part) that is suddenly waaaay harder than everything seen so far. Then your play experience stops dead, like you’ve hit a brick wall.

  74. Danath says:


    I always play my games on the absolute hardest difficulty possible, but eventually I got tired from being sniped instantly from across the map by a guy with an assault rifle through a half inch crack in the walls.

    Also constantly respawning enemies, I clear a building a dozen times and wonder why when I step out they somehow shoot me.

  75. You know, I honestly can’t think of any? I usually shelve games because they became tedious beyond belief, not because I couldn’t beat something. I just didn’t *want* to any more.

    Although I never did manage to defeat the Dahaka in the alternate ending of Warrior Within.

  76. Saint Rising says:

    Though I’m sure I’ll be criticised in forty paragraphs or less…

    I couldn’t finish Halo. Last level.
    I also couldn’t quite beat Malek in Knights of the Old Republic.

  77. Hal says:

    Aw, that’s a shame. RA2 is one of those games I still go back to over and over. I’m not sure where you got stuck, but the general secret to beating back the Allies is spamming anything with heavy armor, since otherwise you’ll get chewed up by Prism Tanks.

    As for other games I gave up on in frustration, Metroid Prime 3 on my Wii. I adore the control scheme for it (the best for an FPS on a console I’ve yet to see), but the game is ludicrously difficult. The part that stopped me isn’t far into the game.

    You’re at a point in the stage where you have to fend off an unending swarm of flying enemies while pulling three switches to move forward. The problem is that the enemies will “unswitch” the switches you’ve thrown if you leave them unattended. I had the difficulty that these enemies spawn faster than I could kill them and reset the switches faster than I can get between them. Seriously, Nintendo, what were you thinking?

  78. Nathaniel says:

    I’ve never had a problem with too-hard games, but one year I gave a friend Jak and Daxter 2, and he thinks to this day that I was trying to get him to commit suicide.

    He hated that game.

  79. Katy says:

    Portal — I got stuck in level 18. Not the first room, but the room at the end where you apparently have to absolutely correctly make several precision jumps in succession. I can’t manage it, and I feel my blood pressure going up every time I try.

    I also am utterly sure I won’t “finish” Lego Star Wars. Oh, I’ll get through all the levels in story mode, but I’ll be surprised if I find more than a few of the minikits, or get True Jedi on all the levels. And some of the bonus levels will require a couple of hours of play with no way to save in the middle, so those won’t be finished either. But I’ll get my money’s worth out of the game anyway.

  80. Cuthalion says:

    Descent. Actually, I didn’t have to shelve it. I would just gabbagabbahey racerx bigred my way through. Back when they had cheats.

  81. Chargone says:

    ya know, it kinda amazes me that people found final fantasy 8 and 10 hard…

    i always considered them the easy ones.

    i mean, i played ’em both through, no guides or anything, no worries. [though in 8 saving over my old file in balamb when it’s guarded ? bad idea. and fighting adel was… interesting. turns out the trick to the whole game (is it still a spoiler even now?)

    is to just almost never use your magic. draw and junction it for big stat boosts, and use the GFs and limit breaks for when you need something more powerful than the standard attack, items or abilities for healing. crazy simple.

    10… i never had any problems that i remember, and i certainly didn’t go around compulsively stealing or anything. heck, i skipped most of the side quests. that whole zombie thing, the trick would be to leave at least one person as a zombie all the time and have lots of phoenix downs… assuming the enemy doesn’t have some big obvious weakness you can exploit [such as: heal the zombie! if the boss actually is an undead]
    or, wait… was that seymor in one of his many ‘I’m dead but i can kill you anyway’ forms? that one was pretty hard, comparatively. from memory it came down to proper application of the reflect spell.

    more on topic, games i’ve given up on:

    wild arms 3. after i reorginized my own personal snarl, i could no longer have two screens next to each other, one with the walk through, one with the game. which made it unplayable. because you’re told where to go Once, in a non-repeatable cut scene. useually the directions are very vague. and then you have to wander around the world mashing your ‘search’ button, because nothing’s on the map until you find it… and you CAN”T find it until the plot wants you to go there.

    this is really sad, as it was an awesome, awesome game.

    enchanted arms: you can run along that game’s main quest path and never divert to do Anything and be fine and awesome and rip through everything you encounter…

    then you meet the lord of earth, and have to fight him. he has respawning buddies, crazy high defense and health, and his attacks, while weak for one of the lords, is still pretty darn powerful. oh, and his buddies will die one hit, but if you don’t hit them right away, they’ll all hit you with a big attack. hello party wipe :S

    …. I’ve recently sold most of the games i got bored or stuck on, or finished and just wasn’t getting back to, and just wasn’t getting anything out of, so i’m having to go from memory here.

    oh, knights of the old republic 2 for the pc. not so much difficult as… errr… damaged?

    i’m sure there were plenty more.
    oh, and malek in KotOR? lightsaber throws. seriously, that and healing and you’re good to go. at least if i remember right.

    fear my rambly post of ramblyness.

  82. Dix says:

    Koudelka. :( It was beautiful and freaky but I couldn’t clear the boss. Of course that meant I could die and get the ‘bad’ ending…

  83. GeneralBob says:

    Finding cheat codes is a lot easier for older games. Reminds me of Jedi Outcast/Academy where I’d cheat kill everyone in a level and spawn my own baddies to make a “custom level.” It was pretty awesome.

    I’ve never actually been unable to beat a game, but Far Cry came pretty close. The final arena fight took a good weekend (it was such a relief to 1 hit Doyle afterward). I later tried it on realistic difficulty, gave up after 4 hours on the 3nd group of baddies >.<

  84. Sam says:

    So many games I’ve had to shelve because they got ridiculously difficult. The one I’ll mention that I’m guessing no one else has mentioned (because I just scrolled past them all without reading) is The Bard’s Tale for Xbox. That game was pretty fun and hilarious, but the enemies were far too cheap and there was no way to handle more than one at a time, so I just gave up on it after a few hours of struggling.

    Also, after many hours of frustratingly cheap deaths due to an absolutely horrific camera system, I gave up on Super Mario Galaxy after I’d reached maybe 40 stars. Yet for some insane reason I find myself wanting to play it again. I used a borrowed copy to get the first 40 stars. It’s as though I’m paying Nintendo $50 to torture me. I don’t get it.

  85. Retlor says:

    “Final Fantasy 10. Gnaaaahhhh. Gave up at the boss that turned your characters into a zombie so you couldn't heal them, but then randomly cast a spell that caused instant death if you weren't a zombie. Never could figure out how I was supposed to beat it.”

    The only way I ever managed to beat that one was by having all of the aeons ready to overdrive and lauching them to their deaths one after another. After that it was only a matter of striking as hard and as fast as I could.

    My game is Suikoden IV. I loved the game, but there were several points when it left you with no clue where you were supposed to be going. Factor in that sailing anywhere took WAY too long (about half an hour of real time to get from one side of the map to the other if you include random encounters), that it was very easy to miss the islands, and that even if you found an island, there was no guarentee that it was where you were supposed to go.

    Yeah, I never did finish it. I sure would like to some day.

  86. g. says:

    Man I totally forgot about Silver.
    What a good game, the sword-figting was the best and truly worthy of an action-rpg. I had to shelve it because I got so sick of the 4 second load screens between rooms.

  87. McNutcase says:

    It was the “stealth mission” crossed with “escort mission”. Probably embarrassingly early in the campaign, to be honest… the one where you have to use psychics and spies, and somehow drop one guy in an enemy base without alerting everyone… which is enough of a change from the previous “spam heavily armoured units and just roll over them with sheer weight of numbers” that I couldn’t do it. Since Red Alert 2 lacks one of the most useful features of the Myth series (a key combo that says “pretend I don’t suck, mark this mission as completed and let me have more story”), I was completely forestalled and couldn’t do a thing.

  88. James says:

    Stalker… I had played some shooters on the PS2 and both Xboxes, could complete Halo on Legendary, and thought ‘how hard could it be?’. When your AI run in and die straight away, and the enemy can shoot through some cover, as your first PC shooter, it was horrible. Never got past the first mission.

  89. Gargathor says:

    Crimson Skies for (IIRC) the X-box.

    I never got past the mission where you’re following the Navajo through the ravines on a timed run. I just don’t possess the skills. Sad, because it was a cool game.

  90. ehlijen says:

    Ecco the Dolphin on the Game Gear. After I while I just started trying to guess the password for the levels I hadn’t reached yet (even found most of them somehow), but I still never got to the last level, let alone beating it.

    Also, Trespasser. It was a game that tried to be revolutionary but ended up with such a bad interface that I just couldn’t react quickly enough to fight off the raptor that was spawned somewhere behind me because I just stepped over a trigger spot or something. It also claimed to have cheats but the one that was actually helpful (ok, there was one more that did work), if the god mode, was a fake. The game accepted it, but didn’t do anything about it.

  91. Hal says:

    Heh, just remembered a few more:

    Evil Genius. I loved this James Bond/Austin Powers themed management sim, but the final stage of the game is just silly. You’re under attack from the world’s armies so often that you almost never have enough staff left to keep your base operational. It’s craziness.

    Luigi’s Mansion. I finished this game, but it was crazy difficult due to a wonky control scheme. I only include it because it’s the only game that ever caused me to throw a controller in frustration. Let me recommend against that; when I did it, the controller bounced off the ground and hit me in the face. That was hard to explain when I was in the ER with a busted lip.

  92. MadTinkerer says:

    There are a lot of games I’ve “put to the side” because I’ve ended up not having the time to play them as much as I want (FF12, Disgaea 2, though later I went back and beat it), but there aren’t a whole lot of games I’ve given up because they were just too difficult.

    Dragon Quest 8 is one, though. I got pretty far in it, then ran up against Dhoulmagus. It is mathematically impossible to beat him without either the skill that lets you heal all of your heroes on the same turn or the item that lets you heal all of your heroes on the same turn, because of the attacks he uses. Having both really helps. That’s not the boss I gave up on, though. Dhoulmagus was worth beating because he’s like Darth Vader crossed with The Joker and is too awesome to not see what happens when you finally beat him. But I’m not going to go through the same crap (having to go back and track down some particular item on a whole different continent) for some stupid giant bird that doesn’t realize we’re the good guys. (Bear in mind that there are several boss fights in between the two bosses I mentioned and most bosses are fairly balanced and won’t cause too much hassle if you’re prepared. It’s just two very annoying bosses that ticked me off.)

    I never beat Ultima VII Part 1 because it’s too hard to find the plot in the open-ended world. I never beat Ultima VII Part 2 because I accidentally exploded some gunpowder barrels near a friendly character who was supposed to let me through an unbreakable door, and he understandably ran off, and I foolishly saved after I had done it. Because of the way the AI works (the place where he first waits for you isn’t part of his “normal routine” which he defaults to after he stops being afraid) I was boned after dozens of hours of playing. But it was my fault for saving when I clearly shouldn’t have.

    I almost gave up on Half Life 2 because it is literally impossible to keep a squad of friendly rebels alive through the two chapters where you team up with friendly rebels. In fact, even if you play it “perfectly” you’re going to say goodbye to at least three whole teams over those two chapters. Quick hint: quicksave regularly and be ready to hit the quickload button as soon as you hear a Combine soldier throwing a grenade. Don’t wait to see if your guys actually manage to get out of the way or not, just save yourself a few seconds of disappointment and hit the quickload key.

    Incidentally, don’t try to cheat and kill off all of the Striders. They will kill your guys but you can’t complete the game until the Striders blow up certain pathways for you. You simply have to suck it up and let your buddies bite the dust to get through. Apparently Valve retroactively felt my psychic wave of pure hatred pouring back through the space-time continuum when I figured this out (in fall 2007) because it is possible, though tricky in places, to keep everyone alive in HL2 Ep1.

    I just really don’t like allies being treated like ammunition, and it was nearly a dealbreaker. Certain mods put you in similar situations but “do it right”. See the Riot Act mod for exactly what I mean: allies with limited health, but more than enough to survive if the player tries to help them out. Also see Left 4 Dead which teams you up with three awesome AI characters instead of a bunch of weak idiots who are too eager to let you lead them to their deaths.

    Also: The Strider-killing-bomb in HL2 ep2 bounces off certain parts of Striders FAR TOO EASILY. Once I got the trick(run under the strider and shoot up for a guaranteed bomb-attachment), it wasn’t too difficult, but it’s really annoying when you actually hit the strider but it moves it’s leg in the way and the bomb harmlessly bounces off for the third time in a row. Consequently, I did cheat to win Ep2 the first time, killing five of the ten Striders with an Infinite Ammo cheat, though when I play through it again I usually don’t have to.

  93. Alex says:

    “Though I'm sure I'll be criticised in forty paragraphs or less…

    I couldn't finish Halo. Last level.”

    Oh man, that was always DEATH. I liked Halo, but Bungie has never been able to make a decent closing act.

    But I’d take that over the last level in Halo 3. Talk about “Brick-Wall-Difficulty-Curves”. You get the badly designed, slippery vehicle race-against-time from the first, but now with fields of tiles that explode without warning and leave unavoidable giant holes for me to accidentally drive through and fall to my death. It doesn’t help that they gave the hovercraft without brakes a jeep texture andARHGHAGHAGHAGHGASDJFDSJGDSoneone

    Not since I was a wee lad have I wished for a cheat that jettisons the game developers into the harsh, unforgiving vacuum of space. Wasn’t it great when losing in a video game was your own damn fault? I miss that…

  94. Eldiran says:

    @Retlor: Probably the first time I’ve ever heard of someone who’s played Suikoden. I didn’t really get anywhere into 4, because the seafaring aspect/plot/shortness of the protagonist’s pants bored/repelled me.

    BUT I am obligated to say, if you haven’t played Suikoden 1 or 2, you must do so now. They’re excellent and probably quite superior to their sequels. Also, you can actually tell where you’re supposed to go.

    As for Final Fantasy Tactics… yeah, that game can be hard. Though I’ve really only found that the early fight in Dorter and any fights with Weigraf are actually difficult. Maybe because I enjoy the game so much I actually have fun battling random encounters…

    But, if you ever get the chance to pick it up again, you should. And know that it gets much much easier the moment Orlandu joins your party.

  95. theonlymegumegu says:

    @Hal: I know exactly what you mean. Though I was actually able to beat TMNT, it was always a work of precision. It’s definitely a game w/ points where you have to reset if your performance is subpar and you just don’t have enough resources to make it. I had a total Love-Hate relationship with that game. I love the Angry Video Game Nerd episode about it.

    And my hard game comes from the same era: Castlevania III, though I beat it much later with the help of emulator and especially save states. I remember the first time I got to Dracula, I beat him and breathed a sigh of relief… only to discover he had a second form. After a grueling battle leaving me with a single hit point… I discover he has a third form. I think I just threw in the towel at that point and decided not to try it again O_o

  96. Pat says:

    I grew up with the sort of game that punishes you severely (Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, Atic Atac etc. etc.) so humiliation and failure have been constant companions during my gaming life.

    However, for recent games Mass Effect on the Xbox 360 has been my pet frustration. I rolled up a stealthy sniper and have befriended a couple of meat shields. However, the game keeps giving me cutscenes that lead into fights with me starting nose-to-nose with my opponent. Ergo, I get a pounding.

    I suppose I could re-roll a tank –the rest of the content looks pretty good and I love the conversation wheel. Maybe I will someday.

  97. MadTinkerer says:

    Some quick tips for games I’ve seen mentioned:

    FF8: It’s been ages since I’ve played it, but the ability that lets you turn an enemy into a card is your friend and you should always have Quetzacoatl junctioned to an active team member. Turning enemies into cards prevents them from giving you experience. The game seems “balanced” with the idea that you’ll use the card ability on enemies about half to a quarter of the time, so if you use it a lot from the beginning you’ll have a ton of cards for the card mini-game (which earns you good items if you play in tournaments or you can just sell all the cards for extra money). Then you just need to Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, and learn the abilities that let you combine lower-level spells into higher-level as soon as you can. Then junctioning those spells gives you plenty of stat-boosts.

    You can obsessively do that as much as you want, but you don’t have to do it much to make the game easier. Once you’re nicely ahead of the curve you can safely not-Card as many enemies as you like until you notice the difficulty getting tricky again and then you can switch back to harvesting spells and not-leveling-up until the difficulty becomes comfortable again. Harvesting higher-level spells becomes easier as you level-up, so the game actually helps you adjust the difficulty if you know how to. It’s also designed so that none of this requires any special optional quests or grinding(though that’s also there if you want it).

    It’s pretty easy: I figured it out myself without any FAQs, and this is essentially the reason Card is one of the first abilities you ever get.

    As for FF10, just focus on weapon-crafting and maybe do a couple side-quests (just a couple!) if you get stuck. I ploughed straight through the game and found the final bosses to be a good challenge. My brothers obsessively did all the optional quests and so the final bosses were too easy when they got there. I don’t remember how I dealt with the zombie-status-causing bosses, sorry. I do remember Seymour was very annoying more than once.

    If one particular room in Portal is making you pull your hair out, the noclip command is there for a reason(enable developer console first).

  98. Justin says:

    Man… I remember beating Megaman X4. Talk about a brutal difficulty spike! As soon as you get to General, it becomes less about the special weapons and more about split-second timing and hairs-breadth dodges.

    I have always regretted being unable to finish Half-Life 1 (and Opposing Force). I managed to get so far only to be stymied by monsters I simply lacked the firepower to kill. These were my first FPS’s ever, and I avoided them for years to come. I didn’t have the same fondness for Goldeneye because of it. Heck, it took an INCREDIBLE amount of peer-pressure to get me to play Halo. Now I love FPSs, but I don’t have HL1 anymore.

  99. Adam says:

    Odin Sphere. One of my favorite PS2 games ever, but it is plagued with horrible frame rates in the later levels that make it essentially unplayable.

    This is a shame, because it is a beautifully illustrated game and has a pretty neat story if you dig Norse mythology (or just like planting bushes that eat souls).

    Still worth buying, in spite of this. Just don’t expect to finish it.

  100. Neil D says:

    One of the Baldur’s Gate expansions (Sword Coast, I think). I can’t remember details but something about the final fight just kept kicking my ass, until I finally decided I really didn’t care that much just to see the ending. Very unusual for me.

    The first time through Fallout I gave up somewhere near the end because I kept getting one-shot chewed to pieces by enemies with miniguns. I think I must have made some bad leveling choices, or didn’t level enough, because when I went back to it later I made it through without too much difficulty.

  101. Eric says:

    Dude, Games don’t have cheats anymore. It sucks, I know. There’s a segment on g4 called cheat, but what’s the rub is they don’t show cheats, but rather show strategies to beating a level. I miss the days of putting in cheats, and just f***ing around in a game.

  102. Alden says:

    I second Rhykker’s mention of Black and White. I got into a situation where the enemy god send a pack of wolves towards one of my towns, and blocking their way and setting them on fire didn’t appear to do anything helpful.

    Not to mention the first level had a bit where you had to get your avatar critter to save some people from drowning (why you couldn’t do it with your floaty hand thing, I’m not sure) and when he did so, they continued drowning ON LAND. What?!

    Another one which annoyed me was Monsters’ Den: Book of Dread over on Kongregate. Cruised through it on “Beginner”. Tried on “Standard” and got stuck on the first level.

  103. bobisimo says:

    I got all of the way through Prince of Persia: Warrior Within – up to the final battle.

    I tried for about an hour and just couldn’t get past the fight. I went online to see if I could find some help and found out that I was destined for the “bad” ending because I didn’t get all the health power-ups along the way.

    I became so annoyed that little side bonuses were going to impact my ending that I quit on the spot.

    Even though I played every Prince of Persia title to date, and loved every Prince of Persia to date, this one included (aside from the annoyance) I ended up skipping the next one, The Two Thrones, because I still had a grudge against Warrior Within. :p

  104. J Greely says:

    One of my friends just couldn’t get through Dark Forces, but he loved to play it just for the joy of killing stormtroopers, so we added an “laportal” macro on his programmable keyboard that he could hit for a quick supply of ammo.

    Years later at work, I was typing into a console window on a Production server, and suddenly found myself looking at the word “laportal”. Apparently I’d inherited his old keyboard.


  105. Ben N. says:

    FF4, the PSX version. SO. MUCH. GRINDING.

    Also, Wild Arms XF. Grinding was out and out impossible, so each level was a boring puzzle I never figured out the solutions to.

  106. Rob Rogers says:

    No real games to mention; if I quit a game, it’s usually because of distraction or getting caught up in something else rather than getting completely stuck (I just don’t have a ton of time to finish games). But I feel your pain on the search engine thing. I’ve been trying to get to a walk-through for Lego Batman for the Nintendo DS (trying to find a secret or two to share with my son, who is playing through it with me) and keep ending up following links to some of the sites you mention, only to find that they don’t actually have walk-throughs, just mentions of them to increase their hits (or occasionally a link to a downloadable cheat guide I’m not desperate enough to pay for). Grr.

  107. Fizban says:

    “As for other games I gave up on in frustration, Metroid Prime 3 on my Wii. I adore the control scheme for it (the best for an FPS on a console I've yet to see), but the game is ludicrously difficult. The part that stopped me isn't far into the game.

    You're at a point in the stage where you have to fend off an unending swarm of flying enemies while pulling three switches to move forward. The problem is that the enemies will “unswitch” the switches you've thrown if you leave them unattended. I had the difficulty that these enemies spawn faster than I could kill them and reset the switches faster than I can get between them. Seriously, Nintendo, what were you thinking?”

    As the other poster above said, they give you the kill everything button: the solution to combat is always hypermode. I had trouble killing them quickly myself, but in general: keep a charge shot ready at all times, attack them as soon as they appear to distract them from the levers, randomly throw missiles in with rapid fire beam shots, and finish with hypermode if you can’t land anything else. I could rapid fire fast enough with my beam to kill most things before they could get more than a few rounds off, and used hypermode for everything else. If you can figure out the timing a rocket will one-shot the flying pirates once their armor’s gone, but I never could and just shot them to death.

    As for a game I couldn’t beat: Dune 2000. There are no cheats, and no way to actually gain an advantage over your enemy. They don’t actually use the money system, you can’t build multiple units or increase your production speed in any way, and they start with more stuff than you. The only way is to spend 3 hours literally filling your entire side of the map with tanks until you’ve beat their preset unit limits, and that’s assuming you can build enough to outpace their rate of killing you, which is once again, completely out of your control. I’ve apparently made it up to the second to last level a couple times, but the prospect of spending 2 hours building up my base from the bombed out ruin it becomes in the first 30 seconds and then spending the next 4 covering the field with tanks, only to barely kill off their units without actually killing a single building, does not appeal. Even the strategy guides I’ve read pretty much just say: rebuild, send units down this path, kill stuff.

  108. Just one thing I’d like to mention: the cheats section of game sites became the “cheats and secrets” section quite a while ago. It’s not just the place for codes any more.

    Still, all games should have cheats. Disgusting that whatever you’re playing doesn’t.


  109. Dr. Strangelove says:

    *&^%ing Myst. That is all.

  110. Chris Arndt says:

    I cannot defeat the first level in Tomb Raider: the last something game for PS1.

    There are games for my Atari 2600 I just could not seriously level climb at… like most of them.

    But X-Men: Next Dimension for PS2 is just crap.

  111. Von Krieger says:

    Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

    At a certain point somewhere in the middle of the game they start tossing a couple restrictions on your characters. I stopped playing once I found myself unable to damage the opposing party without having characters jailed.

  112. Hal says:

    By the way, not sure if it’s been said yet, but is pretty much your go to place for whatever walk-throughs, cheats, or “cheats” you might be looking for.

  113. Mark says:

    But I'd take that over the last level in Halo 3. Talk about “Brick-Wall-Difficulty-Curves”. You get the badly designed, slippery vehicle race-against-time from the first, but now with fields of tiles that explode without warning and leave unavoidable giant holes for me to accidentally drive through and fall to my death.

    It’s been a little while since I played Halo 3, but as I recall there is some type of warning — I think that when an area of tiles ahead of you is going to explode, you’ll see a fireball burst up through it well before you actually reach them. With that knowledge you can easily avoid that patch of ground. My first time I had some trouble with the tunnel sections since if you went through the underground path you could get knocked off, but even so I loved that level. Of course I’m a big fan of escape sequences — I loved the one in the first Halo as well.

  114. Zaghadka says:

    Star Wars: Rogue Leader. I got up to this mission (5 or so) which was 10 minutes in an asteroid field playing hide-and-go-seek with TIE interceptors, followed by a fubar furball on the planet, in a low-mobility Y-Wing, and I just gave up. There was no way to skip the 10 minutes of boredom, and no way to gain enough experience with the 1 minute of murder without the 10 minute intermission. I just said “Well that’s really bad game design,” and shelved the thing.

    As a counterpoint, I also had to shelve Ikaruga, which has masterful game design, but is just freaking HARD.

  115. I feel your pain.

    And as for GameFAQ’s it’s ok, but it does not always cover all games, the most popular yeah but not the rest.

    I’ve had much worse luck, I’ve searched google for a cheat for a game (usually a command console cheat like godmode or health or similar) and several of the top hits are basically duds.

    They got a cheat page for the game, but that’s it, otherwise it’s blank, or if you are really lucky they get your anger level up higher by stating “We have no cheats for this game yet” AAAARGH!

    At times like that if I’m really pissed I usually report the link/site in question to Google feedback, telling them to try and tweak their system to push duds/false positives/fake positives/zero content pages way back on the search results.

    Cheats aren’t the only victim of empty placeholder pages, a lot of stuff you search for have pages like that sadly.

    Ideally a gaming site should not have a cheat page if they have no cheats for the game,
    they should not have a solutions or walkthrough page if they have none for that game,
    they should not have tricks and tips, or trainers, or guides, or trailer or image pages if there is nothing for that game.

    Likewise, having a non-content page for a game that is not out yet (or has been out yet but still no info on it) is just lame. I’ve seen non-content pages on some sites for games that have been out for many years.

    What the hell is the point of listing things, when you got no data for the listing in the first place?

    Imagine the same happening with game releases, the game is on two DVD’s, the second DVD has only the main game file the other has the game itself… Imagine the fun trying to play that game, that is how it feels searching for info sometimes.

    Google spits out some great sounding results, nice tasty morsels of the information that you want,
    only when you get there it turns out the tree is missing all the branches, leafs and actual morsels, and been dead for ages. Great!

    Obviously I shouldn’t complain too loudly. I did just realize my own site is partly guilty as well, but at least that is unintentionally. (a few 2nd level pages has some generic text when they should have described the subpages under it instead) but at least I should have no non-content pages, I got a review of Mass Effect and a Normalized Performance Rating of it in another part of the site, where I also got the NPR for GTA IV, BUT I have no empty GTA IV page, when/if I end up writing about GTA IV I’ll make the page then and only then.

    Only present content when you actually have it, why? Because if you present content ad it turns out you do not have it, those people will most likely never come back (or start to really resent you).
    Now, if you present content when you actually have content, people will enjoy it and explore more of the site (I certainly tend to do that if I like the content I found).

    It is not unlike brand loyalty (very important for game publishers, game developers, and franchises but websites and pretty much anything else as well).

    So in the case of you Shamus, the “duds” you run into at Gamespot, 1Up, and IGN, actually weakens their brand in your eyes, and by association, their brands are weakended in the eyes of all those that read your blog and this article (112 and counting), it should be in their best interest to avoid this.

    So why does this happen? Lazyness? Too much reliance on CMS (Content Management Systems) or site frameworks, automation but no oversight? Bad programmers?

    Maybe it’s time for a website review grading system? It should be harsh, manual/human reviewing, and a perfect score would be very hard to get, I doubt Google would be able to achieve a high ranking on that. But it would be a interesting project, I’m sure the perfect scoring websites would be very few indeed.

    And considering the amount of crappy ones it seems like an impossible task, but why not just start with the big “brand” sites and popular ones, that should be humanly possible right? It is a shame webdirectories don’t have this.

    I’m sure there ARE website rating sites out there but, I’ve never stumble across one.

  116. Telas says:

    Don’t hate me, bro…

    System Shock 2. I simply was not familiar with the “survival horror” genre, and kept looking for the gorram guns…

    Oh, and Raiders of the Lost Ark on the Atari 2600. Yeah, I’m that old.

  117. LexIcon says:

    I’ll throw my 2 cents in with Resistance 2. I might have said/complained about this before, but invisible fast enemies who kill you with one hit are not fun. EVER.

    Also, the new health system a la Call of Duty 4 is highly annoying. If two guys decide to shoot at you at once, you’re dead. No dodges, no almost dead, you’re just fried. Too bad, do it again stupid.

    I eventually just watched my brother beat it so I could see how it ended. The answer? Disappointingly.

  118. Tom says:

    To all those who got stuck on Room 18 in Portal – did you turn off the game’s funnelling option? I find that level’s all but impossible if you do that (if it’s the bit I’m thinking of, where you’ve got to do a series of rapid, altitude building jumps in a room with a toxic floor), which is annoying because at first glance it looks very suspiciously like one of those wuss-out options like autoaim that’ll ruin the game for you, and that everybody instinctively turns off after first installing and then forgets forever.

    As for games that I’ve shelved, the only big one I can really think of is Hitman: Contracts, and that wasn’t so much for difficulty as for it just, somehow, not being any fun. I quite enjoyed Hitman 2 but, for some reason, I could never get into any of the other titles in the franchise. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, though there was definitely an element of them feeling a little contrived, especially with the really obvious, amateurishly designed “accidents” in the latest one. That the developers very obviously caved in to objections about playing a real, ruthless hitman in the last couple of games and tried to only give you enemies that really deserved to die was also a real letdown after the searing, morally ambiguous plot of the second game, with the hitman’s having tried to quit the job and come to terms with his own nature, only to be forced back into the business again to save his friend and mentor.

    As for games shelved due to difficulty, I put Thief 2 away for a couple of years, not because it was too hard but because it took far too long to play even a single level properly, and I was studying at the time – I’ve since beaten it, though. The only game I’ve permanently shelved due to actual difficulty is Flying Corps – chiefly because I’m a stickler for accuracy in historical games and I can’t bring myself to play it without all the realism options turned on and, unfortunately, realistic WWI air combat, just like every other aspect of that war, is virtually unsurvivable.

    Oh, I also shelved Black & White, but I hesitate to classify that as “too difficult”, per se – it’s not so much that it’s too difficult, as that not only does it have no cheat codes, but the computer cheats! They built this wonderful, consistent, emergent engine and world, carefully taught you all the rules and restrictions, then promptly pitted you against enemies that broke all the rules and had no such restrictions. Enemies could operate outside their influence, didn’t have to constantly faff around keeping villagers alive with that indescribably annoying totem system (or perhaps they did, but a computer opponent isn’t hampered by this like a human one and so by default would have a huge advantage in not constantly being drawn away from the action to micromanage villages anyway), could use weapons and skills that not only you didn’t have, but never could, because they were scripted in – when the game’s premise is that all the various gods started in the same place subject to the same system, allowing them to cheat like this was even more of a slap in the face than it normally would be. It also contained annoying “puzzle” missions, where you’d be presented with some gigantic map full of possibilities, but built in such a way that there’s no possible tactic you can use to beat it without solving one particular, incredibly badly designed and not remotely enjoyable puzzle, again bypassing the emergent gameplay possibilities altogether. I also didn’t shelve that one, implying possible future completion; I got rid of it altogether.

  119. DM T. says:

    Thief 1 & 2 were great and were easier for me to do on Hard difficulty, don’t know why.

    As for my unfinished game, it has to be Silverfall. Shelved the game for being way too much repetitive and at some point even my interest in the game dropped completely.

    Nox was a 2D game that I shelved after a few days of purchasing it, I think it was lack of interesting story.

    Arx Fatalis was shelved at one point, since I got stuck at a certain point. I only took another swing at the game three years later and managed to finish it.

  120. Scourge says:

    To the Topic:

    Legand of Zelda: A link to the past. I enver ebat Ganon and so stopped playing for 3 months. Then I palyed it again and beat him in one go.

    Red Ninja: End of Honor.
    One boss, you need to hit the head, legs and body so that she drops keys, and you need to do it all in a time limit. Once you got the keys will a giant snake come and attack you which you ahve to kill too.

    One level: The Buddha temple construction site. In theory you had to jump through all of it perfectly, making no mistakes, or it is back to the beginning for you. Some platforms which you could use before too broke under your feet and then you couldn’t use them, meaning you needed to make risky jumps from one bar to the other and land exactly on the other bar. There was no hanging and pulling up. It was either Hit or Miss.

    Megaman X: I never beat Sigma. I got all upgrades, everything even the Ultra buster. But still no luck. Sigma was just to tough for me.

    @23: Easy 12 hour grinding. Equip berserker Costumes. Go to some rather easy foes. Tape the X button down and the analog stick upwards and let the PS run overnight, the enxt day you probably have reached level 95 or so and the berserker costume is the max level.

  121. @Saint Rising re:

    Malek? Seriously? Did you figure out the trick? Because I found that fight to be a joke–I’m not bragging, it’s just that once you figure out what to do, it’s no problem.


    You just have to stay away from him for long enough to kill all the jedi suspended in the cryochamber thingies (I used Throw Lightsaber). Once they’re all gone, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to take him down, he’s not much tougher than a single Dark Jedi Master and you have to fight hordes of THOSE just to GET to Malek.


  122. I also generally have better luck Googling for “walkthrough” rather than “cheats”. The walkthroughs usually will have the cheats somewhere, but I don’t get so many bad hits because walkthroughs apparently aren’t as popular.

    Either that, or the people who *make* walkthroughs don’t have quite so many tiny penis issues.

  123. Johan says:

    Oh, another one I never finished was X-Com. Partly, I suddenly got a glitch where the screen always moved too fast, making it nigh unplayable, but I had already basically given up by then since I had to save and reload like 5 times a terror mission just to keep from losing EVERYONE.

  124. Nathan says:

    I’m the kind of person who doesn’t really like cheats. I don’t understand the appeal. I play videogames for the game experience and the challenge just as much as the story, and using cheats seems like it is sidestepping one important part of the game in order to see another. If a game isn’t fun to play, then it should not be played. Using cheats to ignore the gameplay seems just seems like a weird compromise, if you ask me, since it defeats half the point of playing a game. If cheats are somehow necessary to enjoy a game, then that game is simply poorly designed from the beginning and should be ignored without regret.

    There have been countless games that I have never completed, for some reason or another, but I have never stopped playing a game and wished for a cheat that would make the game easier… I mean, I have experimented with cheats from time to time, but I usually get more bored and frustrated with them than normal gameplay, and I always regret using them. I did use cheats in order to beat Warcraft II and Starcraft, but more out of laziness than frustration (and I ultimately regretted doing so). I had a lot more fun with Warcraft III, which I beat without cheating.

    Overall, I find cheats to be temptations that seem good at first glance but are ultimately a bad idea. I am glad that they are on the decline these days.

  125. Oh, I remembered the games I never finished because they were too much of a pain in the ass and no cheats I could discover: Might and Magic IV and VI (I think those were the numbers, it might have been V and VII, I just remember they were 2 apart), and Wizards and Warriors. Those games looked neat and played like a bucket of rusty nuts and bolts.

    I suspect there are others I’ve conveniently “forgotten” due to boredom-induced trauma.

  126. Zaxares says:

    Starcraft. I just plain SUCK at RTS games. I loved the story of Starcraft though, so I would play normally until the enemy came pouring in and I HAD to turn on the invincibility cheat to survive. After the wave was over, I’d turn it off again… then turn it back on when the next wave came in.

    Then there are the Command and Conquer games. Since none of them come with in-built cheats, I have to rely on trainers to beat them.

    EDIT: Oh, and Heroes of Might and Magic too. Maybe I just plain suck at STRATEGY games…

  127. beno says:

    A really old C64 game called Castle of Jasoom. I never had it when I had an actual C64; instead this was a game I came across on . Equivalent of a flash game by today’s standards, which is quite often what I want as a quick distraction. Castle of Jasoom has you running around a simple-graphic labyrinth where most rooms have some unique gameplay element you won’t find anywhere else. You have to collect keys and rings and beat up monsters and dodge teleport traps, but half the problem is working out what the items are for – and you’re on a time limit. Exploring the castle was fun, but working out how to fit all the pieces together was beyond me (though I’d still love to find out how to find out what little gameplay cookies remained…) Anyone ever finish it?

  128. Mayhem says:

    Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within. I would begin the game, fight a half dozen mooks, and start to get the hang of combat and then get owned by the first boss. Unfortunately I found no way to save at this point, so had to repeat the same unskippable 5 minute intro before I could try again. Five attempts and half an hour of my life later I decided it could go back to my friend and I was grateful to not have paid anything. Actually the original Sands of Time had the same effect on me when you fight against your father and three constantly respawning mooks, all of whom took about a quarter of your life off per blow.
    Never did manage to beat that part, though I did like the rest of the game.

  129. DM T. says:

    Another oldie for me, one that I never got to finish is:
    NetHack 3.x
    got to very high (deep) levels, but never got that Amulet of Yendor.
    Rogue is another game that I never finished and quit due to frustration and moved on to Larn, another Rogue-like game.

  130. Semerket says:

    I never beat Super Probotector/Contra on the SNES. Three lives and one single shot/touch of EVERYHING got you killed instantly.

  131. kamagurka says:

    I just remembered: Viewtiful Joe. Fun, quirky game, but way harder than my frustration threshold could take.

  132. Brad says:

    Resident Evil: Veronica X for the Playstation 2. I kept getting killed in the plane because of the lack of decent ammo and lousy camera angles. If they remade this game with the Resident Evil 4 style camera, I could probably beat it.

  133. pwiggi says:

    Hasn’t been mentioned yet, so…

    Xenogears. The final boss(es) are ridiculous without all the best gear for your Gears, and you have to *buy* Gear upgrades, so your level is irrelevant. I tried to grind the hours necessary to upgrade all of my equipment, but I eventually lost all interest. After the nose-dive in quality that the game and story take in disc 2, it just wasn’t worth the trouble.

  134. LintMan says:

    @Nathan: Why are you glad cheats are on the decline? If you don’t like them, don’t use them. How does having them available for use (by me) have any impact on you? Why do so many people who don’t like cheats have this mindset?

    You say you don’t understand what the appeal of cheats is. Here’s my take… I only have limited time to play games these days because I have a family, a career, and other interests as well. I have more games I want to play than I have time to spend, so any time I spend on a game that isn’t enjoyable, is time absolutely wasted.

    I’ve been playing video games for 30+ years and have “been there and done that”, and at this point, laboring to master the arbitrary challenges of some game provides no satisfaction to me.

    For me, the appeal of gaming is in the story, the graphics, the exploration, the coolness factor, and the fun. Anytime gameplay gets repetitive (such as grinding to level up, or replaying a level over and over to try to squeak by beating the boss) is immediately boring to me. Not fun. Not “challenging”. Just boring, wasted time. I could stop playing, but then I feel I wasted my money.

    Cheats allow me to skip over the boring stuff and keep the interesting stuff coming. You might say that makes the game shorter? Yes! In the same way that removing 100 blank pages from a novel would make it shorter.

  135. JT says:

    As a narrative-motivated gamer, I second the call for cheat codes in games that let the less-skilled among us actually see the end-game cutscene.

    Shelved unbeaten:
    LotR Return of the King, got less than halfway through it and was disgusted by the checkpoint spacing
    Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, never could beat even one whole campaign
    Halo 2, couldn’t beat the last “one hit with my hammer and you’re dead” ugly dude
    Gears of War 1, almost finished the 2nd Act (of 5) but gave up on the vehicle-driver-switching-to-turret-kill-the-bats nonsense
    Puzzle Quest, brick-wall-final-boss syndrome, could probably beat him if I leveled up as far as I’m allowed before attempting, but given the random nature of the boss’s actions, it’s debatable

    Needed cheat to beat the brick-wall-boss:
    Mechwarrior 4, just too much to handle with the Daishi & his buddies, and my lancemates were rubbish
    Half-Life 2: Ep 2, single-handedly taking out 10 striders with your magnet-ball-of-explodey while being shot at by pairs of hunters was my idea of impossible

  136. Jeff says:

    Hear hear. Cheats for those of us who don’t give a crap about the challenge anymore and just want to finish the blasted thing already.

    Also, in FO3, the ability to endlessly lob nukes everywhere with the MIRV and obliterate everything. Not really useful, just fun as all heck.

  137. Angie says:

    The original Ultima. [duck] I suck at vehicle sims, which is why I don’t play them. I got all the way through this nice little fantasy RPG, when suddenly I found myself in some sort of space shuttle trying to fly it out to wherever and dock it with a station, or whatever it was. With no instructions. o_O Now maybe someone who plays a lot of vehicle sims would’ve known what to do through their massive experience. I didn’t have a clue. I tried it three or four times, crashed every time, and gave up in disgust. I was this close to beating the game when they switched genres on me. I’ve been ticked off about that ever since.


  138. McNutcase says:

    I almost forgot. I ditched Far Cry before even getting out of the tutorial, because it put me in an impossible situation. When you’re doing “realism”, then the AI needs to be subject to it as well. Make sure that if I miss nine times out of ten because your weapons’ accuracy is rubbish, they do too, kthx.

    Pretty does go a long way… but not far enough to cover “the computer is a cheater”.

  139. Kaneohe says:

    The final fight in HL2: Ep2 seemed impossible at first, but then a friend of mine pointed out that you could just run down the hunters with your car. That made it much easier.

    As for games that are just too difficult to beat, I could not get through the original C&C. I reached this mission as the GDI where it gives you a few APCs and some mixed infantry, and you have to get to the other side of the map. Well, not only does that mean keeping your vehicles from crushing your infantry, and your grenadiers from firing anywhere near the rest of your troops, it also means somehow surviving all the Nod Forces on the map. By the end they were throwing tanks at me, I had no real counter, and I was just too frustrated to continue. Never did reinstall the game.

  140. Miako says:

    And a japanese game that starts with 7 (you were trying to get something like seven seals, or something like that. I took too long to find the right dungeons, and couldn’t kill the healer who got the sigil first).
    There have been games that I could have beaten with time, but just didn’t have it (baldur’s gate).
    currently working on Zak McKracken, so wish me luck!

  141. GamerDarling says:

    Zelda Link’s awakening for the game boy color. It was the second Zelda I’d ever played and the only one I actually owned as a kid. I got to the last part where you go inside the windfish and then could not figure out how to kill all of the nightmare shadows. I kept getting stuck on one that I couldn’t damage. =/ I finally gave up…Now I wonder if I even still have it cause thinking about it makes me want to go back and try it again..

  142. Luke Maciak says:

    GTA Vice City – at some point the only mission available to me had something to do with flying the small RC copter and installing explosives while dodging bullets and with a very tight time limit. I just couldn’t do it.

    GTA San Andreas was even worse – the DIAS gameplay just killed me.

    @Johan – Morrowind actually has lot’s of cheats. You can pretty much give yourself any item available in the game via the console. You can also generate free money and free soulgems with Golden Saint souls in them. Then your free money and free gems to the enchanter and create uber weapons and armor. It is actually possible to create a set of items that when combined will give you a constant effect Sanctuary of 100% which means no one will be able to hit you in meelee ever.

    There is wealth of information out there about how to use the console to do all of that stuff. :)

    @Kaneohe – Oh wow, I didn’t think about that. At some point I just ditched the car, and camped out near the base and I would concentrate on to running and gunning down the hunters while letting the Striders past. I would let them take a crack at the compound, as I picked off their escorts and then I would destroy them.

    I died many, many times in that battle and used the quicksave button a lot. In the end I persevered.

  143. Moridin says:

    Nethack is one for me, too. But then, apparently it’s practically impossible to beat if you know it inside out and impossible to beat if you don’t.

  144. locusts says:

    TMNT – NES
    Half Life 1, Fallout 2, and Lego Star Wars – PC

  145. Sungazer says:

    Golden Sun: The Lost Age
    Much more difficult than it’s predecessor and I eventually couldn’t figure out where to go in the main quest to beat it.

    BattleToads for the NES and SNES. TMNT and Ninja Gaiden for the NES as well.

    Starcraft; I just don’t seem to have the RTS mojo.

  146. Veylon says:

    TMNT for the NES. Surprisingly popular. Battletoads, too.

    Axis and Allies, the RTS from New Atari. Couldn’t beat that Allies level where all you have are a few paratroops.

    Last boss on Morrowind. I’ll have to look on GameFAQS.

    Couldn’t beat the last level of the original Starcraft.

    FFT is fun to screw around with with GameShark, though. The game was too easily broken, but fun. That Wiegraf fight, though… Ugh.

  147. Ferrous Buller says:

    I agree with Sake: Achievements killed the cheat code.

    One game you enjoyed, but had to shelve because you couldn't beat it.

    Good lord, I’ve lost count of how many there have been! I’ll give you a far shorter list: Hard Games I Actually Muddled Through & Finished Despite the Unrelenting Kicks to My Groin They Provided – Mirror’s Edge.

  148. Chris Arndt says:

    And I don’t care for the word “shelf” because that implies I will get back to it eventually.

    I have shelved all of my Atari 2600 games, 99% of my Sega Genesis games, and most of my modern PC games, all of my old DOS games on floppies (dear God please don’t let the info degrade), and half of my Playstation 2 games.

    I will not play that Tomb Raider game again, nor will I try that X-Men Mutant Academy 3 game (which is what it is, let’s be honest).

    And that E.T. for Atari 2600? I’d rather burn it than play it.

  149. TSED says:

    “Oh, I remembered the games I never finished because they were too much of a pain in the ass and no cheats I could discover: Might and Magic IV and VI (I think those were the numbers, it might have been V and VII, I just remember they were 2 apart), and Wizards and Warriors. Those games looked neat and played like a bucket of rusty nuts and bolts.”

    Whaaaat? Might & Magic (specifically 4 through 7) are practically the reasons I am still a gamer. Admittedly, 7 was when the series was starting to slip, but it was still lots of fun. 4 + 5 are those epics that are forever entrenched in my memory. Though the road to Sandcaster is one I forever dread and will never figure out how some one w/o M&M 4 is supposed to beat. (4 + 5 could combine to form the World of Xeen, and you could move freely between the two). 6 was good but I never did manage to beat the end dungeon, just too many devils and not enough motivation (I like to go exploring and it totally derailed the plot as I found things and places I wasn’t supposed to until way later in the game so the storyline got garbled like a book in a blender).

    As for games that are too difficult:

    NES: TMNT. Has been mentioned a lot.
    FF8. The game was easy until the end. I could not figure out how to do the end boss castle and gave up. I only ever unlocked like 3 commands at most and my play style didn’t work well with that.
    Half Life 2: There is some part where you get chased on a mudskipper or whatever it’s called. I could not find the way out. At seemingly every turn there was a giant cement dam with no way to pass it. Screw that.
    Pitfall: The Mayan Legend. It came in a bundled game (along with one of my favourite games ever, Earthworm Jim) and had a similar play style. The difference? SO BLOODY HARD. I eventually got to a boss fight where you had to kill TWO LEOPARDS THAT COULD TURN TO STONE IF THEY WANTED. No. No. NO.
    Guitar Hero 3: Ha. I’m so glad Rockband came out. Goodbye GH, you are dead forever and ever.
    Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Mecha sonic and Robotnik. Were. FAIL. I should ask YouTube for that game’s ending some day, but Sonic’s kind of dead to me too.

    Some games I saw mentioned but I completed: Odin Sphere was playable on PS3, I never experienced slowdown. It was great and a surprisingly long game, but I am STILL amazed at how hard it was. I never play games on easy. That game shook my pride, alright.
    Final Fantasy Tactics: The first time I played, that demon thing pwnt me and I couldn’t go back out and grind or anything because of the castle. Don’t remember the name, assuming Wiegraf because some one else sad that. It’s not that he was ‘too hard’ it’s that once you got to him, if you were incapable of beating him your game was LOST FOREVER. Seriously. When I first start playing a game I get hooked on the story, then when the narrative slows down for me I go grind some and enjoy figuring out the rules. That absolutely failtastic ‘nope you can’t win ever’ scenario was devastating and I’d never stand for it these days.

  150. Zaghadka says:

    Oh, and BTW…

    “That’s not a cheat, it’s a SPACE STATION!”

    Couldn’t resist.

  151. Stranger says:

    Games too difficult for me to beat, shelved and gone back to time and time again without being beaten:

    TMNT (NES) – NEVER could make it through the Technodrome level. But I could do the Dam with ease.

    X-Com: UFO Defense (PC) and X-Com: TFTD (PC) – In the first one, simply never could manage to get a good start in the final mission. In the second I was completely unable to keep up with the difficulty curve which begins right around late March. And keeps climbing. Oh, and Chryssalids/Tentacluts are the spawn of the devil.

    Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (PS2) – Hit the first real challenge (The Matador) and thus a brick wall. Playing other games of the series, I’ll tell you this is a constant . . . learn how to play the game before reaching This One Boss or you will get your butt handed to you repeatedly.

    Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (PS2) – One platforming trouble about 60% of the way through the game which I just could not get through. It stopped being fun, but never stopped being an awesome game.

    Nethack (PC) – Amazing feat of programming. Never ever going to be able to beat it though. But that’s okay, I’m not alone.

    Shadowrun (SNES) – The volcano bottom level is completely horribly designed.

    Games which were horribly horribly hard which I eventually beat:

    Beautiful Katamari (XB360) – “Seadome” is badly balanced in order to get success. Very very tricky. I did eventually make it through.

    Tunnels of Doom (TI 94) – Ten floor random dungeon, on Hard . . . took me a while to do it without running out of time.

    Final Fantasy (NES) – Finally beating the Swamp Cave was worth it.

    Final Fantasy Tactics (PSX) – Yes. The Wiegraf Fight. And the Elmdor Fight for trying to get Genji equipment. Too bad the PSP remake has it impossible to get those.

    Final Fantasy X (PS2) – Seymour Flux be damned forever!

    Castlevania (NES) – Frankenstein’s Monster and the Grim Reaper can both join him.

  152. Cronus says:

    Someone mentioned Megaman, and I remember playing a couple of the old NES, SNES games and could never get through the last levels of Dr. Wily. There was always some kind of full screen pit that I could not figure out how to get past it. And after numerous attempts to get past the pit, (and falling to my death) I just got frustrated with the games in general and haven’t touched them since.

    I know that there was some kind of trick to get past it, but I never did figure it out. I wonder if the latest versions still have the full screen pits? :-)

  153. AlphabetFish says:

    Black & White. No matter what I did… my cow just got the bejeezus beaten out of him. Oh, and the one time I did pass the nefarious fourth level, my chimp threw a quest NPC into the sea (and he was a good chimp).

    I quit in frustration…

  154. Garci says:

    Call of Duty 4 on Veteran. What’s worse, I couldn’t get past Charlie Don’t Surf, difficult beyond my capabilities.

  155. Miako says:

    I know someone who beat Nethack, playing as something really fucking stupid. (He beat ADOM playing as a halfling merchant).

    I swear he does this just to prove how FUCKING GREAT he is at strategy.

    He wanted to work for a certain presidential candidate, so he asked the guy to “find something that you can beat me at” — ended up playing video games with him. Got royally screwed, but claims he learned something.

  156. Bryan says:

    Well, of course, any and all roguelikes I’ve played, but the big one:
    Megaman. I am 100% convinced that game is impossible. I went back and did it emulated, and there was a part towards the end I could not get through via quicksave and quickload.

  157. Miral says:

    GTA San Andreas is the only game in recent memory that I’ve shelved because I couldn’t get past a certain area (not even with cheats). (Plenty of other games have been shelved for other reasons, though.)

    I’m adopting the “vote with my wallet” approach to cheats. I regard the lack of cheats as an unforgivable sin, so I simply don’t buy any games that don’t have cheats. (I do tolerate third-party cheats, which means that pretty much all PC games are fair game, and most PS2 games since I have an ARMAX.) This is part of the reason why I haven’t gotten an X360 or a PS3, in fact — there aren’t any third-party cheat systems out for them yet and few to no games come with cheat codes of their own.

    I do try not to use cheats (it’s more satisfying that way), but I want to have the option there if I hit a particularly unforgiving bit of gameplay and I just want to get on with the story.

  158. MisterHalt says:

    Starlancer. You’re supposed to be part of a big military force, but you’re the one that has to complete every single bloody objective. I had to redo the mission where you defend your carrier against torpedo bombers like a dozen times because the friendly AI was too damn thick to intercept the torpedoes themselves. They barely even knew how to kill enemy fighters.
    The final straw came when I had to keep redoing a mission to destroy things on an asteroid, but before that my group had to escort two torpedo bombers there. When the requisite ambush took place before we got there, the friendly fighters were supposed to defend the torpedo bombers, yet one bomber died almost instantly, and then I died at the asteroid base. Restarted, both bombers died, I’m the one that gets yelled at, game gets the hell off my hard drive. I’m glad I only spent like 10 bucks on it, because it wasn’t even worth that. Bloody sick of games with Superman Syndrome (Basically making the player do every single objective regardless of how many friendly units are helping you).

  159. David says:

    You should visit console cheat codes. I think this can help you.

  160. Stringycustard says:

    Hmm. I have a few. The ones that come to mind are Baulder’s Gate 2, and Call of Cthullu. BG2 nailed me when I went into the mind-flayer’s spot (underdark) without a cleric or someway of getting “un-holded”. Reloading 23 times per room, just to get a chance to actually hit something *once* can get annoying. CoC was brilliant but nightmarishly difficult. Psychonauts almost ended up like that until I came back 2 months later and tried again a number of times (pain threshold must have been higher) to get past the meat circus. Glad I did.

    There were a bunch of other games I didn’t finish (Bioshock being the big one) cos my pc got stolen and so did all my saves. The bastards

  161. Nefrai says:

    Contra. All of them, but specifically Contra Hard Corps on Sega Genesis. I’m not sure I ever even got past level 4, sadly.

    My current frustration is Soldner-X, I downloaded on PS3. Reminds me of the R-Type days.

  162. Majora’a Mask. Fourth temple.

  163. SlothfulCobra says:

    Mega Man battle network 2 and 3. I will defeat you one day!

    Ironically, I beat number 4 in a week after renting it.

  164. rayen says:

    Home Alone for the Sega Genesis. Had less directions than dwarf fortess and never figured out how to actually stop the bad guys. fun game to mess with for a few minutes before i did something else though.

  165. Eljacko says:

    Ugh! Dead Rising, man. I loved that game and I loved those zombies but that game is freaking impossible! I mean seriously!

  166. Phantom says:

    Just use gamefaqs. If the game has been out at all and their aren’t cheats there, odds are the gamed dosen’t have cheats

  167. Dreadjaws says:

    Not sure if there ever was a videogame I shelved because it was too difficult. When there’s a part I can’t go through I get mad and leave it for a few hours, then try again and usually get it in the first try, when the rage is off and my mind is clear.

    The reason I stop playing games is… not quite easy to understand. I just stop playing them. Most of the time is not because I don’t like them (though that has happened a couple of times), but because I just stop and instead I go play some other game I’ve played dozens of times. I, for instance, stopped playing Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, despite the fact I really like that game, to replay Batman: Arkahm Asylum, Deus Ex and Champions Online.

    It’s likely I will either restart AC:B in a week or so and finish it without interruptions or I won’t touch it again for several months. I can’t explain this behavior.

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      Update: I still haven’t touched AC:B again. But I’ve replayed those other three games I mentioned several times since then.

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