Today's discussion thread is all about your personal achievements over hard challenges in videogames you managed to beat. Feel free to share your greatest gaming achievements ever experienced during all the time spent as a gamer. Let's start this thread by explaining my personal choices to begin with.
As you've probably guessed it since I've joined NeoGAF, I've said this several times now, but the Super Mario Galaxy games are my favorite Mario games of all time. Not only because of the awesome music and gameplay and all that, but also because of the scale of challenge these games had to offer at the time. But today, I'm going to talk more specifically about Super Mario Galaxy 2 which not only outshines ( in my very opinion, or maybe it's just because I first played the sequel before the original ) in every aspect the first game, but also surpassed it in terms of global difficulty.
Sure enough, once you beat the game the first time, you will have to beat again the final boss level this time playing with Luigi, and this is how you unlock Green Stars. Green Stars, unlike Normal Stars, are stars that are hidden in a very specific location throughout every single galaxy you visited. While some of them can quite be mind-numming to catch, the last stars can quickly turn out to be a pain in the ass. For these last stars, you have to be stupidly accurate into getting them, like that one star in that galaxy located in the final world where you have to use the Rock power-up to get through a maze and try not to fall off it, except that for this time you HAD to be so precise in where you eject from it in order to grab it.
After getting all the hidden 120 Green Stars, you thought this would be over and that you managed to beat the game. Well, since Nintendo didn't seem to appreciate that, they were probably like " nope ", this is where the second step to platinum the game comes in : you have to have 9999 Star Bits ( you read that right ) and deposit them to the Bank Toad in order to unlock the very last level in the entire game, the freaking Grandmaster Galaxy.
Trying to get the first star in the galaxy actually turns out to be OK, considering you have your life bar set as normal, but when you made sure to grab on your way the Comet Medal, this is when you'll unlock the very last star that is possible to obtain in the whole game, dubbed “ The Perfect Run “.
And obviously, this is when the name " Grandmaster Galaxy " starts to make total sense, you really have to be such ace into trying to beat the " Perfect Run " star by avoiding bombs, electric fences, lasers, and dozens of Hammer Bros, all this without taking one single hit or else you have to start until the beginning of the level.
I spent countless hours and attempts trying to nail my run through this ongoing batshit-painful level desperately going through all those annoying obstacles all without taking one hit, and holy shit this sure was some next level shit. At one point though, I managed to beat the whole level, and when I arrived on the galaxy where Rosalina was waiting for me to give me the final star, I made the biggest mistake you could possibly imagine... I went to see if there was anything under the platform, as I really wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing on anything there.
[ insert * it was at that moment, he knew, he fucked up * meme ]
So... I had to do the whole thing all over again. And finally, ( Spongebob narrator voice ) hours later, I finally beated the whole level again and grabbed once and for all the final star in the entire game. It was so epic and dragged on for hours and hours, but I did it. I was part of the very few percentage of people that platinum-ed 100% of the game. Even better, after I completed the final level, I received a letter with a photo offered with it from the actual developers on my Wii Message Board congratulating me for having completed the game, I was very happy about it.
Seriously, if ever Nintendo decides to port Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 over to Switch at some point ( this needs to happen as soon as possible ), I would gladly be up again for a challenge and try to see if after the last time I’ve played this game ( must have been like 3 years ago ), I paved room for any improvement and eventually end up surpassing my original performance.
Say whatever you want about it, but I honestly enjoyed a lot playing the crap out of Sonic Unleashed back on the Wii. Once again, I could spent countless hours talking about the other qualities of the game such as its fantastic soundtrack and cheesy good plot, but for now, I'm going to focus on the hardest aspect of the entire game I had to deal with during my past playthroughs with the game. And I'm talking about the final world inthe game, Eggmanland, and its final boss Dark Gaia.
( Keep in mind that I am talking about the Wii version of the game, as there are two completely different builds of the game that only share themes in common, I have yet to try the Xbox 360/PS3 version )
While most of the game overall offers a pretty balanced difficulty where it's neither hard or easy, the last world you have to go through to beat the game, Eggmanland, manages to offer a heavy break in tone regarding the challenge the game has to offer.
The first world level, where you play as normal Sonic, is one such example. As you thought that beating the level wasn’t hard enough, getting the S-rank takes the challenge a mile further as you have to complete the level under 4 minutes and 30 seconds in order to get the S-rank, all you have to do really is just try and not fall into the lava at the start, grab the bars from the giant wheel at the right time, not let the mini-boss beat you up while you are running on the walls, and avoid falling off curvy paths while running full speed ahead by nailing your drifts ( acing your drifts takes a ridiculous amount of practice to be honest )... that’s one heck of a program, for sure !
But you think we are done here ? Think again, because I’ve kept the best for the end... the part where you have to beat Dark Gaia and its final form, Perfect Dark Gaia, while getting a S-rank.
My god this game went on a whole over level of hardness on this one, and playing with the Wii Remote didn’t help that much to be honest. The first part of the boss battle felt like playing Punch-Out !!, the second part you had to beat several time his main weakness ( his huge eyes ) by going through paths that are partly blocked by his arms, you had to be once again stupidly accurate while dodging, jumping, and drifting in order to get over the obstacles, especially when getting the S-rank, because the game never forgives you when you get hit or slowed down by Dark Gaia.
And the final part is arguably the worst one in the whole fight. At this moment, he evolves into his final form Perfect Dark Gaia, while Sonic goes Super Saiyan by transforming into Super Sonic. Like I said before, this paragraph will be about how the final part plays in the Wii/PS2 version, the final boss fight in the Xbox 360/PS3 versions differs greatly from the “ lower builds “ in terms of level structure.
To be able to give him hits, you have to collect enough rings in order to engage a boost and aim at one of his several eyes in order to make him more and more vulnerable. However, while collecting rings you have to avoid the boss’s claw attacks and go either endlessly going in the left or right direction in order to find a line of rings waiting to be collected. Obviously when you get hit, you lose rings, and therefore the chances of engaging a boost are suddenly decreasing. You really have to pay attention and keep into account his attack scheme if you count on beating this guy, rushing to get the S-rank makes it even more harder as you have little time to think and just act straightforward.
And when you finally boost forward one of his eyes, it doesn’t end here as you have to avoid at the same time while aiming for his eye huge meteorites that come from all directions in order to block you and send you right back to the normal section of the fight. No surprise here, the more eyes you end up beating, the more dangerous his claw attacks and meteorite projectiles starts to become, establishing a progressing scale of stress as you kill one eye after the other.
Finally, after you killed all his eyes, this is where the last one will start appear, and this is where the attack, if proven to be successful, will terminate for good the final boss. Dodging all the meteorites as there are more and more appearing on your way makes it so stressful you literally aren’t tolerated any form of mistake from your part, or else well... if you plan on just beating him, that’s not really that bad of a deal but if you planned on getting the S-rank... gotta have to restart from the very beginning, I’m afraid.
Fortunately though, I was lucky enough to beat the boss with an S-rank on my latest playthrough, damn this one was surely a tough nut to crack but it was worth it. However, regarding the actual game itself, I’ve never been able to 100%-complete the game as I didn’t have time to collect all the Sun and Moon medals before selling the game and the Wii U ( since it was backwards compatible, I’ve kept all my old Wii games to play on it ) to buy myself a Switch. If Sega does end up porting the game to Switch one day ( Very unlikely at this point but let me dream ! ), I hope this time to be able to platinum the whole game.
Before I end here, I would also like to deliver an honorable mention to one of the only games where I haven’t felt any satisfying sense of pride or whatsoever beating the hardest challenge out there : Super Smash Bros Brawl, and more specifically the story mode, the Subspace Emissary mode. Sure, playing through this mode isn't really that hard as most of the levels are kind of easy, but when it comes to get past through the final level of the mode, the Great Maze, man this turned out to be such a chore.
To be fair, this is the only part of the whole game I hated going through. I can't remember how long I've spent trying to get to the final boss Tabuu by having to work my way through the 40 rooms and battle all of the characters and bosses. But finding them can also be a chore, considering the map you have in-game only shows where you've been, and doesn't reveal where the character/boss battles are located until you've found all four Staging Areas. In the end, while I've managed to overcome the Great Maze and finally beat Tabuu, I've felt like this was the only thing I didn't enjoy in the whole game, the rest was pretty awesome.
These were my personal tidbits regarding my greatest gaming achievements, and what about you GAF ? Have you often experienced in a game a challenge so hard that you literally wanted to throw away your controller outside the window but for some reason, you just kept on going on and eventually managed to beat it Michael Jackson-style, feeling immensely prideful of all your hard labor and endless determination ?