I have to be very careful when it comes to video games, because while I appreciate them as much as films and novels, I must also admit that I am not that good at them. A truly brilliant game may often not sit right with me due to my sheer incompetence at certain parts of it.
Even so, I realise a difficulty that challenges and rewards the players is a virtue in the gaming industry; it’s what sets it apart from all other entertainment. It’s a different story when the game loses its appeal as a result, or for any other reason makes the hard-fought struggle feel needless. If whole games are like this they’ll probably fail, but very often certain moments of frustration can find their way into individual levels without a bearing on the overall success.
I genuinely believe that this is a danger that even the best of games may face, and I hope I can convince you with these 10 examples from top releases over the years, along with why I believe their particular levels are enough to turn us into Nicholas Cage characters…
10. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic – The Star Forge
Most Star Wars fans will agree that KOTOR is one of the best, if not the number 1 game to use the licence, with an immersive story and setting to rival the films themselves. I am not here to deny that – I am here to put it to you that the final sequence of the game was one of extreme consternation. It was basically a scenario in which you, and your two allies of choice, must fight your way through an army of droids, troopers, Dark Jedi and Sith Apprentices, before a climactic duel with the evil Darth Malak.
Why It’s Annoying:
For such an immersive and well-constructed RPG, this epic climax is really the moment when the game engine’s limits are exposed. Depending on your level, it’s either a total curb stomp or a really awkward challenge. The final duel mostly requires you to run around a room zapping dead Jedi while Malak chases you in a Pythonesque fashion. It’s like if the fight in The Empire Strikes Back had featured Darth Vader chasing Luke around Cloud City to a sped-up rendition of The Imperial March.
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This article was first posted on January 27, 2013