- Professor Oak
Ah, Red, you're back. Did you study the mating habits of the Wigglytuff?
Professor, we have to talk.
- Professor Oak
About the Poke'dex-
What kind of professor are you?
- Professor Oak
You know that level five poke'mon are really, really low, right?
- Professor Oak
And three of them is not a lot of Poke'mon for a world famous professor to have. At first I was like, "oh, wow, a Poke'mon!". It turns out there are lots and lots of Poke'mon.
- Professor Oak
What, you never saw a Rattata? They're everywhere. Level eights. Here, I got you twelve.
- Professor Oak
Why, the Poke'dex must have helped-
One awful level doesn't make for a terrible game. In fact, it's often quite the opposite. Many classics include at least one conniption-inducing section, presumably to level out the sheer awesomeness that is the rest of the game. Here's our tribute to 8 levels that almost made us give up on our favorites.
8. Turbo Tunnel (Battletoads)
Battletoads' infamous hoverbike run is the level even your older brother couldn't beat for you. Let's get something straight first, Battletoads ain't easy. Where other brawlers were content to let you spam the throw button, Battletoads demanded tight combos and well-placed huge-fisted punches. The game would never let you get comfortable, either, changing up game mechanics faster than most people change something that people change quickly. But there's hard, and then there's hard. And then there's Turbo Tunnel, a level designed with the sole purpose of getting controllers from one side of the room to the other at speeds upwards of 90 MPH.
Even if you somehow had the stones to make it to level 3 with all of your lives intact, all of that could be stripped away in twenty seconds by a few wrong twitches. Turbo Tunnel reminds gamers of the harsh reality that life just isn't fair, a truth most people use video games to escape from. Sure, there are YouTube videos of people playing it perfectly in one go, but there are YouTube videos of monkeys drinking their own pee, too. I don't know what point I'm trying to make. F**k the hoverbike level.
7. Meat Circus (Psychonauts)
(SPOILERS) Indie sleeper hit Psychonauts did a lot of things right: It was laugh-out-loud funny and endearingly weird, had some of the most original and mindbending level design in gaming, and featured a level inside the mind of a gigantic mutated lungfish named Linda. As a platformer, though, it left a little to be desired; the controls were just a little too clunky, the camera a little too imprecise. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the Meat Circus, a psychic amalgam of the minds of protagonist Razputin (raised in a carnival) and antagonist Coach Oleander (raised by a butcher).
The Meat Circus somehow makes meat, one of nature's best things, into an object of revulsion. Tasked with defending Oleander's inner child against mutated rabbit creatures, you're forced to endure repeatedly failing at platforming while listening to the little fat kid whine (Hearing "Ow!" and "That hurts!" bring my blood to a boil almost as quickly as "Hey, listen!"). Somehow, the Meat Circus managed to combine all of the most frustrating elements of video games: escort missions, rising water, relentless, high pitched voice overs, and endless boss battles. Plus, even the name is terrible: Meat Circus sounds like the name of a dirty magazine that I definitely don't own a few copies of.
Teamwork is the key to success, especially when team members have the ability to phase through walls or literally bend time and space. When superheroes get together and form a team, it usually results in a stronger whole, with the different powers complementing each other and helping eradicate the worst scum in the universe. However, sometimes the teams of multiple superheroes are terrible. This goes against all logic, but groups of super-powered individuals can suck either because the members are ridiculous, or ill-suited for one another, or because the team is nothing but a bunch of pets. Here are the 9 worst superhero teams of all-time.
The original X-Force was a Rob Liefield-created posse of loud muscular guys who thought coolness was determined by the number of pouches strewn across your massive build, with names like "Shatterstar" and "Warpath," led by King Pouch-Enthusiast, Cable. It sold tremendously well and helped to ruin superhero comic books for a little while. After a few different grim-n-gritty reboots, the series was given to the freewheeling team of Peter Milligan and Michael Allred, who promptly killed the whole team in an explosion and came up with their own. In their hands, X-Force became an spectacularly biting meta-commentary on the comic business, featuring a team of self-obsessed, dysfunctional, fame-addicted assholes whose sole purpose is to cause flashy carnage in order to sell merchandise, based on the whims of their managers and a fickle consuming public. Unpopular characters would be killed in the field, so each team members would do everything in their their power to stay relevant, at the expense of the team (one subplot centered around the token black character trying to prevent another black superhero from joining for fear that he'll be killed off as soon as he's no longer the minority, while another centered around two characters grudgingly striking up a gay love affair to drive up their popularity).
By the end of the Milligan/Allred run, the entire team (renamed "X-Statix," to be sufficiently x-treme) had been murdered several times over, and sales had dropped precipitously, despite the creative team giving the Marvel audience exactly what they apparently wanted. The reins were handed back to Liefield, because testosterone must flow.
Some people say, "if it's in the game, then it's fair." These people are jerks. Disregarding manners or sportsmanship, they take what should be an enjoyable game and turn it into a never-ending source of frustration. Here's our tribute to the seven cheapest moves you can pull.
Multiplayer games often require a degree of stealth, which is sometimes difficult when your opponents are literally in the same room as you. Imagine lining up a target in your sniper crosshairs when he suddenly has a psychic premonition and dives behind cover. Or having the entire enemy team throw you a surprise bullet party because they knew the location of that burnt-out jeep you happened to be looking at. Screen-peekers might as well be taking the game out of the system and stomping on it. Imagine if Nazis had been able to stare through the eyes of our boys back in WWII to deduce their location? We'd all be gaming in lederhosen right now. Do you like wearing comfortable pants? Yes? THEN WHY ARE YOU STARING AT MY SCREEN!?
Rushing is one of the most frustrating strategies out there. Popular in RTS games, the objective of "rushing" is to throw everything at your opponent right away, killing them with your pathetic low-level minions before they can build a defense. The obvious pro-rush argument is that both players could easily exploit the same strategy. But what's the point of an RTS game that's decided in the first 5 minutes? We buy these game to fill up the social lives we don't have. Slow down, man, the popular kids will still be partying in two hours, and they probably won't notice you staring longingly in through their window anyway. Spawn a few more zerglings and stay a while.
Article Disappointing Videogame Facts
The Wii series (Sports, Fit, Motion, etc.), which has spanned about 6 years, has sold approximately triple the entire Legend of Zelda series, which has spanned 25 years.
DLC (Downloadable Content) is, at its core, actually a really great idea: after completion of the full game, the developers can add content to extend the playability, while gamers pay to get the content. It's win-win. Except it never works out that way, and usually the content is worthless, overpriced, or something that should have been a feature to begin with. These are 8 of the most awful paid DLC in videogame history.
8) Battlefield 3 Ultimate Shortcut Bundle
DLC has somehow found a way to get more degrading and insulting over the years, and here's the latest evidence: The Ultimate Shortcut Bundle for Battlefield 3. What it does, essentially, is give you pretty much everything you would earn in the game, had you, ya know, actually played it for a while. But who has time to play a game? "When I buy a game, I want to pay extra money so I don't have to play it much!" thought everyone who paid for this.
The problem is two-fold: the people who actually legitimately spent a great deal of time to get all of the upgrades and weapons felt their achievements had been cheapened by the feature, and the people who paid for it a) are actual human beings who spent actual money they probably worked for at actual jobs to get this, and b) supported the idea that this is something that should be the norm. I can't wait for the day I'm able to buy a game, pay an extra $10, and skip right to the credits immediately.
7) The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion Horse Armor
Oblivion was an enormous game filled to the brim with great content but something was missing that would make the experience truly complete: horse armor. Before, your poor horses were naked. Naked! Can you believe that? Who ever heard of a naked horse?
The answer, of course, was "everyone, are you insane?" No one cared or probably even considered that their horses were nude and defenseless. Because they're horses. The inclusion of horse armor is fine in and of itself, but the idea of actually having to pay extra money for such a simple, useless item is horrible, although at least there'll be less fodder for the Tamriel glue merchant.