PPM Top Ten:
Tough-as-Nails Games


In this era of controversy over video game violence and adult themes, let's take a moment to examine which types of games truly merit banning. No, not Sesame Street and Barney (Let's take a vote! -Jet), we're talkin' the heavy stuff: Games which are simply tough-as-nails for no apparent reason! Certain programmers and developers always seem keen on producing crazy impossible levels, instant-death mechanics, and gnarly boss fights. Sure, for crusty twenty-somethings like us this may be a hoot, but popping TMNT in an NES in on Christmas morning could stand to ruin any childhood. Sheesh! Here's our Top 10 Toughest Games available on all ranges of platforms.

top10-10 feb94-10 7th Saga by Enix

Gain all the EXP you want, it won't matter in this near-impossible turn-based RPG.

top10-9 feb94-9 Last Battle by SEGA

Beat up as many foes as you can in this early side-scrolling Sega Genesis title.

top10-8 feb94-8 Rogue by A.I. Designs

This PC dungeon crawler is fun until you learn death is permanent.

top10-7 feb94-7 Actraiser 2 by Enix

Slow movement, unfair controls, and tough enemies. Pretty to look at, though.

top10-6 feb94-6 Contra by Konami

You're a legend if you can get through this beast without the Konami code.

top10-5 feb94-5 Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts by Capcom

When the programmers themselves admit it's tough, it's tough.

top10-4 feb94-4 Lightening Force by Technosoft

This otherwise gorgeous title may just have redefined how hard shooters can be.

top10-3 feb94-3 Ninja Gaiden by Tecmo

Enemies pop back to life like mad! Those darn flying ninjas are a nightmare.

top10-2 feb94-2 Ghosts 'n Goblins by Capcom

Agh, the pain! Prepare to crumple to bones endless times on this NES cart.

top10-1    feb94-1

Battletoads by Rare

Everybody knew this was coming! Battletoads, a cart prized for pushing the NES to its graphics limitations too pushed many a-gamer off the brink. Level One is harmless enough - Just another whimsical beat 'em up staring some nasty frogmen. Then, out of nowhere, comes the dreaded Turbo Tunnel: A high-speed obstacle course requiring memorization, precise movement, and loads of luck. The difficulty plateaus at this point and refuses to let up, even if players manage to somehow pass through the tunnel with their shorts still dry. For this reason, we've anointed Battletoads the Undisputed King of Mean. Rare has lighted-up since displaying this apparent ire at NES owners, and newer entries in this series are doable.


[Article from the February 1994 Issue of PPM]