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 The Most Difficult Game You've Played to Completion

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PostSubject: The Most Difficult Game You've Played to Completion   Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:14 am

What's the most difficult game that you've started and finished without using cheats or save states? Keep in mind that difficult does not mean broken. Also, try to avoid simply citing higher difficulty levels in games.

It was a tough decision for me. My gut went first to Castelvania on the NES, but the first time I actually beat the game on a console was very, very recently. Before, I had beaten it on an emulator, but only though nanny-saving. And because I had beaten it on an emulator, I can't really count the console victory because I already had an intimate knowledge of the latter stages layouts, enemy placements and patters, and bosses.

So, I'm going to have to go with Mega Man 9 on the Wii, 360, and PS3 (360 in my case). Holy hell, that game was a kick in the teeth. I had been years since I had played a game like that and it showed me just how much easier games have gotten over the years.

When games started telling stories that mattered, their difficulty had to be toned down because playing sections hundreds of times breaks the flow.

Mega Man 9 has a story, but it's largely vestigial and the game has no qualms with drop kicking you in the teeth over and over and over again.

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Difficult Game You've Played to Completion   Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:20 am

I'm more of a contemporary gamer, having been a very small child during my days with the NES and Super NES, so I can't compare the classic games that defined the trope "Nintendo hard" very well, but...

For me, the hardest game I ever played to completion was Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. Yeah, a JRPG, but bear with me.

-like all SMT games, it's automatic game over if your main character dies. unlike in branch games like persona, there are no items you can purchase that protect him from instant death spells.

-You always start off at a lower level than the casual monsters you fight in random encounters, forcing you to leap from save-point to save-point and gradually grind (grinding, however, isn't hard because of the level gap)

-The only allies you will get are demons you recruit yourself or create via demonic fusions. Recruiting demons requires you to negotiate with them one on one, which isn't hard, but if you read a demon wrong, and piss it off, it gets a free attack on you AND you lose your combat turn.

-The combat was turn based and used a system called "Press Turn" (the same system that would be used with a bit less brutality in the Digital Devil Saga games) How it works is that for ever ally on your side of the field, you get a turn icon (you can have a maximum of four, including yourself) If you use a standard attack or spell, you use one icon and the next character gets to go. if you don't want to use a character, you can have the pass to use up half a turn icon.

That's all pretty straightforward, but this is also where the game gets very brutal very fast.

If you score a critical hit, or use a spell the enemy is weak to, you will only use half a turn icon, letting you as much as double the number of times you get to attack if you're clever. However, if you miss with a physical attack, or use an elemental attack that the enemy nulls, absorbs, or reflects, you consume two turn icons with your one action. Going into battle and just attacking randomly, which is what usually works in RPGs in general, will only set you on the path to a very fast death in nocturne.

All these rules apply to your enemies as well, and if you don't guard it jealously, they can and will mercilessly rape any weakness they can find, unlike in persona, having your weakness hit doesn't knock you over, so they get a half-turn move for ever attack. Even fighting the same garbage you've been killing for the past hour can suddenly turn fatal if you switch the wrong demon into your party.


- Some of the hardest boss fights in the history of JRPGs, granted it's the good kind of hard (that is to say, you need to use strategy, not that they're cheap) but often times you'll only be given one or two cryptic clues how to go about fighting them, and trying to cautiously feel out the most effective strategy to avoid being killed can be a very painful process.


-all the ways you can instantly be killed in the Persona games are here in Nocturne, as well as many that you won't find elsewhere. While you can switch magatamas to control your weakness/resistance to light and dark, there's not a lot you can do to prevent things like being turned to stone and shattered, or turned into a fly and crushed.




Yeah, this was the first MegaTen game I ever played... I had never met a JRPG that was actually hard before I met nocturne, and even after playing EVERY game in the series, it still holds the crown of being the hardest game in the series, and the hardest JRPG I've ever encountered.

Shoji Meguro was right to create the persona series. Even HE admitted that the main SMT games were getting so hard that only the series faithful could get into them, so he decided to make a branch series that was easier for casual gamers to get into.

Anyone who's played a persona game can tell you they ain't a walk in the park as far as JRPGs go... and that's his idea of and EASY game. XD

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Difficult Game You've Played to Completion   Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:21 pm

I have to think about it in more detail, but off the top of my head, beating Metroid Fusion was a huge accomplishment for me. I had a lot of trouble with it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Difficult Game You've Played to Completion   Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:47 am

I'm very tempted to give this one to Devil May Cry 3. That one made me swear like a sailor. Nocturne (my RPG runner up) had nothing on that bastard -_-

But Touhou 6 and 7 (the only ones I've managed to beat XD) is a very, very close contender to DMC3. They both make standing in rain without getting wet look easy. >>
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Difficult Game You've Played to Completion   Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:25 pm

As a RPG fan: Demons Souls. The hardest RPG out there - period.
Depening on what class you play but no matter how good you're equipped in later stages 1 or 2 direct hits from even normal enemies kill you. You have to time your attacks, block, roll to the sides and you need strategy.
As example: at the beginning you are in a castle and you need to cross a bridge but it's guarded by a dragon.
If the fire hits you're dead - on the bridge are ~ 6 normal enemies.
Killing the dragon would take ~ 700 arrows with a normal bow - you can't carry around that much and you don't have the money in the first stage anyway so forget it.
What do you do? You piss off the dragon so it kills the enemies, then you take off all of your armor to run faster, time the right moment and run like a beaver on ecstasy over the bridge and hope to survive.
You can't save (game saves every few seconds by itself) so no going the pussy way and loading a savegame.
You fuck things up: bad for you.

No checkpoints in the level until you beat the boss there. You fought through the whole level and then kick the bucket in the boss fight? Bad for you - you have to go back to the start of the level, all enemies respawned and you have to redo everything.
You can discover shortcuts but you still have to walk a fucking long way, kill all enemies again and so on.
Getting enough souls to get skillpoints later gets hard as fuck.

The endbosses... don't even mention them. You come into the bosses room and just think "fuck you, I'm outta here...". If it's a giant knight where you're not even as big as his shoe, a witch who kills you if you even let your attention slip for one second or another human player as endboss (yes thats possible - hard as fuck) - they're ridiculous strong.

You can invite other players to help you with the end boss of a level but guess what? The game shouts "fuck you!" right into your face - you still have to beat the boss alone so no inviting friends to help you and then going on in the game - doesn't work.

The CI is close to being unfair cause yeah - even undead enemies have more brain than many enemies in other games.

If you die in this game you play on as a soul coming from the Nexus with only 50% of your health (you can't gain more - the healthbar shrinks to a max to 50% of your living health gauge - you can extend it to 75% and thats it afaik) - if you die in your soul form too then game over.
Get used to playing in your "dead state" - you're a soul most of the time anyway cause you die all the time.

Stones to get your body back are rare as fuck.

You can get one if you invade the world of another human player and kill him in his world (which is the most fun in the whole game).

If you're a casual player this game is unbeatable - even for experienced RPG freaks it's extremly hard. Some passages you do what feels like the 100ths time just to get killed again again again and again.

The first few levels are hard aas fuck and then you discover that it gets even harder later on - way harder to a point where you think it's not even beatable anymore.

This game is without a doubt the hardest I've ever played - and I played more in my 18 years of being a gamer than I can count.

But fuck it - it's also one of the best game I've ever played.
It's my love and my curse ~


Last edited by Azley on Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Difficult Game You've Played to Completion   Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:48 am

Devil May Cry is the hardest game I've ever played, but DMC3 is really easy and far better than DMC.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Difficult Game You've Played to Completion   Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:40 pm

I would like to change my answer to my own question from Mega Man 9 to Super Meat Boy on XBLA.

Good god, completing the normal and dark world (the only grounds for saying you beat the game, in my opinion) was the most harrowing experience I've ever had in gaming. But at least I know that from now on, if I'm ever doing poorly in a 2D side-scrolling platformer it's because it's poorly made.

Now, time to S-Rank this bitch...

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Difficult Game You've Played to Completion   Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:20 pm

Super Meat Boy.

I need to spread this, even though I haven't completed everything in the game yet, I did beat the end game boss.
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