The Angry Gamer 03.18.04 – NES Difficulty Mailbag

Well, last week, I asked you folks to join me in my ranting about difficult NES games. I got a bunch of emails, and here we have a few I’ve picked out.

The first game that almost every single email mentioned was one I had completely forgotten about. Why? Because I’m a f*cking idiot. I have no idea why it slipped my mind, especially since I used to play this one all the damn time:

“I don’t know about you, but I was never able to beat the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. I couldn’t even get past the 4th level. I tried cheating using an emulator and still couldn’t beat it. That game is frickin’ hard.”

– Dragons81

“The hardest game ever is the first Ninja Turtle game on the NES. I hate that f*ckin’ game! I could never get past the level after the water level. Level 4 I think. Ugh!”

– Ryan R.

Ah, yes, my friends. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The bane of many a young gamer’s existence, this action platformer drove us all nuts. The plot was simple enough; you’d control one of the four Turtles and try to rescue your pals. Pulling this off was another story; unlike the original cartoon, where Shredder’s goons were a bunch of clumsy fools, the game’s enemies were f*cking relentless. Mousers were everywhere, and the Foot Clan actually seemed to have real ninja training for a change. Not to mention that accursed water level, where you had to swim about and defuse a bunch of bombs to prevent the destruction of a dam. Electrified seaweed everywhere! Who the hell stocks a reservoir with that shit, anyway?! It’s a testament to the Foot Clan’s skills that they could successfully place those bombs. I think that dam deserved to be blown up.


[Mike Tyson’s] Punch-Out!! drove me crazy! That Tyson bammer would hit you with one punch and you’re toast!”

– Matt F.

Before Mike Tyson made a career out of assaulting women and biting off ears, he had his own kickass boxing game. Of course, trying to even make it to the “Dream Bout” was damn hard. And Super Macho Man, the sicko before Tyson? I think I only knocked that bastard out twice. I could never beat Tyson himself, nor could I beat his replacement, Mr. Dream (he was placed in the game after Tyson’s boxing career went down the shitter). It’s a good thing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! remains one of the best boxing games ever made, otherwise it would’ve gotten flushed.

Speaking of fighting…

“If the names alone can’t state my sadomasochistic passions, nothing will.
Battletoads and Double Dragon 3, but let us not forget their hell-spawned progeny Battletoads & Double Dragon.”

– Jon

The f*cking jetbikes. Everyone remembers that godforsaken level in Battletoads. And while previous Double Dragon titles were admirably tough, Double Dragon 3 just got plain ridiculous. Even the addition of a ninja to the playable character roster didn’t help. Worse yet, in 2-player mode, the game was exponentially tougher! Since you really need two players for the full Double Dragon experience, this was an unnecessary horror.

Now for horror of a different kind…

“I remember the Friday the 13th game. It was so ridiculously hard. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I didn’t find out until much later that there was more to do than chase off Jason. I haven’t played that since I found out that there was more to do. God, I must have rented that five times! What a waste.”

– Andy R.

Playing that game could turn someone into a Jason Voorhees-style killer themselves. Shit control. Shit graphics. Shit gameplay, as evidenced by the above letter. Your objectives were never made clear, and even if they were, they made no sense! I was always waiting for a panty-raid mission, but alas, it never came up.

Well, that’s enough for now. I’ll have to do more of these in the future…picking a different system each time. We shall see.