Before you read this list, I must give you a word of warning: all these games on this list must be approached with caution, as they contain unmistakable acts of deveoper's vengeance that will cause much nashing of teeth and shedding of tears. Only the very forgiving gamers should play these games without being quite prepared for what is inevitably awaiting them inside those virtual worlds of fun and frustration.

Everybody who owned a PS2 back in 2005 knew about Guitar Hero. It was the next big thing, and everyone with even a remote interest in music games wanted it. But one thing stood in the way of getting it: the price. The game came with a large guitar-shaped controller, which was entirely neccessary and very expensive. This one game cost a whopping $100, almost enough to buy a new Nintendo DS.

Now, some people might think that a music game must have some sort of specialized controller to be fun, but this has been proven wrong countless times (Rock Band Unplugged, anyone?). In this way, game developers force players to shell out big bucks to play their game, or not playit at all. How mean.

Rubber-band AI is similar to (but not quite the same) as cheating AI. It is a particular program used in some racing games that makes sure the race is as close as possible. This means that if you do well, so do your rivals. But if you do badly, they will do the same. This means that you can just walk around and explore the enviroments at your leasure before finally putting on a huge burst of speed just before you reach the finish line, and your rival won't even have time to react before you hit the finish.

There are so many things wrong with this, it's not even funny. First, putting this in a racing game is bad to begin with. But putting it in a Sonic the Hedgehog racing game is so evil that just watching someone play it is enough to make you faint. I can picture the creators of this game sitting in their dungeon, laughing with wicked glee and pondering how they can further punish their loyal fans.

Many games simply punish you for dieing by sending you back to the last checkpoint you touched (or the beginning of a level), and take away a life in the process. Rayman 2 has no lives, so you simply lose a bit of health and go back the the start of the last room you entered. Of course, this largely elimenates the possibility of the game being too difficult, so what can go wrong?

Well, Rayman 2 has a different and even more painful way of punishing you for this. Some levels in the game have little cutscenes that play just after you enter them. Once it is over, you gain control of your character and go about your business. But if you die, you must go back to the beginning of the level, and that means watching this same scene again. And again and again and again and again, until you do manage to win the level. After watching Li give Rayman the flying ability 10 times in a row, you will be weeping with pain and misery, begging for the old lives counter back.

Sonic Rush is a great game, but there is just one little (did I say little? I meant huge) flaw that puts a damper on all the fun and speed. Sonic Rush is the kind of Sonic game that puts an emphasis on fast action and raw speed. Paticularly the second one. You always have plenty of oppotunity to break loose on the loopy landscapes and high-flying ramps. And you'll have a blast with it too. At least, until you run into an enemy you couldn't even see.

You see, this game has a very bad tendancy to place unavoidable enemies straight in your path, putting a swift end to both your speed and your ring supply. This will frustrate even the most hardcore Sonic fan to tears, and creates an entirely new way to ruin a Sonic game.

Also the winner of the Most Despicable Use Of In-Game Advertising award, Shaun White Snowboarding took part in an act of revenge. You see, most people who bought SWS only got 80% of the game, because you could only get the last mountain if you bought the game at Target. This takes both advertising campaigns and Developer Revenge to a whole new level of naughtiness.

Freakin' Target.

Iron Man is not a good game, on any platform. It is a rare game that manages to be very open-ended, yet at the same time very linear. And on top of all the disappointing mediocrity is this little thing called a "difficulty spike". A difficulty spike is when a game goes from being too easy to controller-crackingly hard in an instant, without reason or warning. This is either a sign of very poor design, or mad programmers being stuck behind the wheel.

In Iron Man's case, the difficulty spike was put in place to punish the 1 million who bought this dreck. And just to make it worse, Sega played Iron Man up as if it were going to be the best liscenced game ever. I'll bet Mr. programmer is still laughing about this.

As bad as the previous entry was, Anubis II climbs to higher hights of suck. Everything that can both feasably, and unfeasably, go wrong is in full show here. But right now I'm going to discuss an unfeasable problem, one that was surely made on purpose.

The controls in Anubis II are so bad that getting anywhere in the game is based more on luck than skill. Your character has only two speeds: too fast and too slow. Plus, your wolf sometimes keeps on moving even after you release the control stick. This further breaks an already broken game, leaving no doubt that the sadists at UFO Interactive hate you and wish to punish you in every way they can.

Grinding has almost always been a staple of RPGs, but some games take their grinding way too far. Final Fantasy has absolutely no problem with throwing ridiculously overpowered bosses/enemies at you, forcing you to grind for hours just to get past them. Not only is this incredibly boring and monotonous, but it is a cheap way to make the game seem way, way longer than it actually is.

Challenging bosses can be a good thing. There is nothing more gratifying than finally taking down Bowser in the latest Mario game, or being able to say you beat Final Fantasy IV. But Prinny really took this too far, with a incredibly overpowered final boss that is sure to frustrate you into fits.

Either NIS America forgot that you can't grind in a platformer, or one of their numbers had a bone to pick with humanity.

The Resident Evil series is heralded for having some of the best survival horrer games in existence. It has very unique gameplay, and some very interesting play mechanics. Most are refreshingly unique, but some cross the line between challenging and frustrating. Getting far into the game, and then finding out you can't win because you used up every scrap of ammo in the house is one such thing.

This is one of the most sick, twisted ways to add challenge to a game I've ever seen. Having this happen even once is enough to make you never want to play the game again. Whoever thought up this must have had some huge problems at home.

You have been warned.

List by tgoldberg (07/01/2010)

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