Legend of Zelda (for its battery back-up)
tend to remember Zelda for the little things, like how it defined a brand-new
genre and spawned six excellent sequels. What tends to be forgotten was
that it was also the very first console game to allow saving via battery
back-up. The battery opened up a whole new world of complexity to games,
allowing RPGs and sophisticated strategy titles to be executed on dinky
game machines for the first time. If it wasn't for the little buggers,
we'd still be typing in long, hard-to-read passwords that never work. The
two-fold problem with batteries? Their price and the fact that they would
eventually run out (Nintendo often stated that battery-backed games would
last for five years before needing to replace the battery). Considering
the age of most NES games, a lot of Zelda games are probably lost by now.
Still haven't played it? Better hurry up!
reason that many of us toiled for countless hours to perfect our skills
at the excruciatingly difficult Battletoads is because it's just such a
darn good game. It was a mockery of those popular ninja turtles, and had
the graphics to carry the caricature convincingly. Whether you were rappelling
down a mine shaft, surfing down a dangerous river, or riding giant snakes
over a minefield, Battletoads threw some of the hardest challenges we've
ever experienced in a video game. Part of the reason is that there are
a myriad of opportunities for instant death; fall off a hill, crash into
a wall, set off a mine, etc. On top of all that, the game has a two-player
system where you can easily injure your teammate, entire levels that call
for lightning-fast reflexes and straight-up memorization and you've got
yourself one huge challenge. Don't believe us? Try it.
its cleverly disguised anti-communist cold war paranoia brought smiles
to our faces, Rush 'n Attack turned our mouths quickly into scowls at its
difficulty factor. Well, of course it's going to be hard when you parachute
into a heavily guarded enemy base with only a knife and your stylish beret.
Still, the fact that one bullet, one kick, or even one brush against an
enemy soldier meant instant loss of one of your three precious lives made
this game maddeningly difficult. Which isn't to say we didn't try -- the
mention of this game invariably brings memories of entire afternoons sacrificed
to beating even the very first level.
reason why Blaster Master is on this list isn't because it's a relentless
tooth-and-nail struggle, but rather due to its long, drawn out quest. Blaster
Master is a whole different beast; the game isn't always nerve-wracking,
but it is quite long, and features very difficult boss figures. Another
challenge is protecting yourself when you exit your tank and are a funny
little bigheaded guy, succeptible to the horrors the game world presents
without the protection of your trusty vehicle. Suffice it to say that if
you want to get your froggy friend back, you're in for a hell of a ride.