Few games are perfect but even more frustrating than the bad games are the good games with especially bad parts. There's nothing worse than trucking along, having a good time, being engrossed in a story, immersed in an imaginary world and then hitting the brick wall of reality.
It's not so bad at first. Why would you be playing video games if you didn't enjoy at least an occasional challenge? Why, completing small challenges is where the dopamine comes from! In exchange for failing sometimes you get a sense of accomplishment.
But then there are those levels. You know the ones. THOSE levels. The levels that just leave you screaming in your head, "What were they thinking" when you fail for the eleventh time because a game tried to punch higher than its weight.
Then there are the ones designed to hurt. The ones where the developers clearly went out of their way to stress you out as much as possible because, as we all know, video developers are deranged sadists. It's how they blow off steam from all the labor exploitation.
Intentional or not, here are ten of "those levels" that, at the very least, bring gamers together in their shared loathing.
And we promise they're not all water levels.
10. Sand Bird Is Born - Super Mario Sunshine
Admittedly, there's no shortage of levels in Super Mario Sunshine that belong on this list. But Sand Bird Is Born holds a special, dark place in our hearts.
The level sees you trying to collect red coins on the back of a giant bird made of - you guessed it - sand. The challenge is trying to navigate a large, moving creature without falling off. The coins are precariously placed on the most narrow, most mobile parts of the bird, such as the tail, head, and tips of the wings.
But the real enemy in this level is the game's slippery physics. It doesn't take much for any movement of the bird to send Mario sliding. You'll often find yourself within arm's reach of a coin, only to slip and slide right into the sky below.
What's worse is the moment when the bird, for no reason at all (except to infuriate you), turns sideways. Sunshine's physics make this moment a nightmare. You can't trust your eyes - the point at which you slip isn't precise enough. It takes trial and error to find the sweet spot, forcing you to repeat the entire level for every error.
It's still so aggravating just thinking about it.