Playing video games, when you think about it, is a very curious way to spend one’s cherished free time. I mean, at what other point, besides playing video games, would someone set aside some free time to voluntarily make themselves red with anger?
Playing video games, at its core, is meant to be about escapism. They invite us into a world, for longer than a film or TV show, and give us ultimate control. Video games allow us to live out our wildest fantasies, because how else could you steal a car, beat up a prostitute, take a hospital hostage and rob a bank without ending up in prison? By playing GTA 5, that’s how.
They allow us to step away from the constraints of reality and delve into a world completely of the imagination, and they take it one step further than other means of recreation by putting us in the hot seat and by giving us the keys to the kingdom success or the prison of failure, so that we can lose ourselves for hours and hours on end and come away with a sense of accomplishment that nothing, outside of reading a book, can offer.
But with this freedom and responsibility there comes a price. Some games really make you work for your rewards. Sometimes you play a game, and you get to a certain point, as we all have, when you think to yourself “okay, the people that made this game actually want me to fail this mission.”
Yes, they want you to fail. They want you to keep trying because they want you to feel like a god when you actually beat that last boss.
It might be argued that games have gotten easier as time as gone on. In days gone by, manufactures of arcade games would make their games so difficult, that it was almost impossible. Why? So that you would spend more money trying to best it!
The constraints of bygone days made games difficult too. There are checkpoints galore in modern games, but if you died right at the end of Sonic the Hedgehog, you were straight back to the start with not one golden ring to your name. Cartridges were indeed a cruel and unforgiving mistress!
With the PlayStation, you know, the original big grey PlayStation, the world was given a glimpse into the future of gaming. It was the first ever mainstream disk-playing games console, which offered revolutionary advantages like memory cards to save one’s progress and (for the time, obviously) state of the art, cutting edge graphics.
If television was the mother of the Baby Boomers and Generation X, and the Internet will be the mother of the generation that will grow up not knowing a world without social media, then the PlayStation will be known as the mother of my generation: those born around the early 1990s. Some of my earliest memories take place with a controller in my hand.
So many treasured memories exist within the PlayStation, but these memories are not all good. Some of them are tinged with hysterical frustration. The PlayStation offered us a whole new set of challenges.
Yes, we all love to be challenged. It’s extremely off-putting if a game is too easy. But some games take it way too far in an effort to test us. So what with, here are the 9 hardest PlayStation game levels of all time. Warning: this article may bring back some very, very angry memories.
9. Mission 25 – Well, Well, Well (Hogs of War)
A trend amongst many PlayStation 1 games was an intelligence-insultingly easy beginning, and a mind-numbingly difficult end, and this was the case with the step-child of the Worms franchise, Hogs of War.
Hogs of War was a quirky, silly game that revelled in its own ludicrousness and never took itself too seriously. However, in saying that it didn’t take itself too seriously, that isn’t to say that the levels towards the end weren’t incredibly difficult. This was a game that wanted you to lose a lot before you gave up and found a walkthrough on the internet. For those of you who have not played it, it works in much the same way as Worms, as in you as player one on the campaign of 25 missions get a set of pigs, and only one can move at a time, and you take your turn with each pig, using all sorts of weapons to destroy your opponents. You had to chance to promote your pigs to better ranks, meaning more weapons and more health. The better you did, the more promotion points you were allocated. Towards the end of the game, you were given in-level side missions in order to gain more promotion points. If you lost pigs too often, then they would re-set to the very basic ranking. If this happened too many times, and you were reduced to an army of pigs with basic ranks towards the end of the game, then completing it was actually impossible. So the true object was to win missions losing no pigs at all, which proved incredibly difficult towards the end of the game.
This was almost like a puzzle game instead of a war game. You had to think two, three or even four turns ahead before you planned your tactics out. It was a challenging game but one that never gets old.
The last level however, that just took the p***. The army of pigs controlled by the computer has way more health than you, more weapons than you and they are all better than yours. If you didn’t know how to take advantage of some iffy 2000-era AI, then it would be a long time before you managed to complete this game. If you were playing it around the time that it came out, and were going in blind, then it was an incredibly difficult mission, and was one that many people failed over and over again.
However, the reason as to why it only comes in at number 10 on this list is because there was a way you could abuse the AI and win fairly easily, but this method was only known to nerds like me who played it constantly. For casual players, it was knowledge less common. The mission started with one less powerful pig on the opposition team, and after you had two turns the rest of the enemy side would drop in. However, if you managed to kill that first pig in two turns (which was possible but very, very difficult) then you could actually win the mission before they even drop in.
That was a trick that practically no one knew however, and if one tried to play this mission as it should have been played, then it proved to be an extremely difficult level, and one that just about makes this list. (Obviously it goes without saying that some people will find certain levels more difficult than others, it’s all subjective!)