Perhaps I was just bad at playing video games as a kid, but when I look back on my childhood and my forays into the depths of PlayStation's wonders (I sadly wasn't granted admission on the phantasmagoric Nintendo train) I never seemed to actually reach the conclusion of so many games. I could definitely do it with GTA: Vice City, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Rayman, but there were others that simply refused to even acknowledge the fact that I had two working thumbs.
Thankfully (mostly for my self-esteem) as I grew older I realized I wasn't alone when it came to some of the games that had me screaming into pillows and asking my dog for advice on how to beat a level — she was so wise.
So in order to share my pain with you —and I hope you'll do the same — I thought I'd introduce you to a few of my childhood games that brought me to the brink of madness. Let's do this.
4 Games Too Hard For Little Me
I had to get this one out of my system. I remember popping into GAME at the time when Driver had just come out in 1999 and purchasing it for my beautiful PlayStation. My dad, being a great fan of driving games, was delighted that I'd elected a more mature title as opposed to Crash Team Racing — he didn't understand how great that game was. So I popped in the disc, marveled at its amazing graphics and was then met with the tutorial...
The game's protagonist has to prove that he got skillz to a bunch of gangsters, so he's required to complete the following in a parking lot in order to win their trust: Burnout, Handbreak, 180, 360, Speed, Reverse 180, slalom, Break Test and a Lap. The catch is that all of this must be completed within a minute and the game doesn't tell you how or where these stunts should be completed. This was especially hard for the slalom and finding out which pillar you were supposed to start with.
I spent hours with this tutorial. Literally. For the life of me I just couldn't do it. I asked my dad, my mum, my sister, my neighbor, I even asked friends round to my house just so they'd help me; nothing. No one could beat the game's tutorial and I was forever teased by what lay outside of Driver's dank and depressing parking lot. Only last year did I return and manage to pass the tutorial and even then it was a chore! Was it worth it? Let's just say I YYEEEESS.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Oh boy. This game. The box art had me in seconds. "YOU'RE THE T-REX" it screamed! "ME?!?!" I gasped. It was an easy purchase to say the least.
But upon returning home I realized that you had to play as some other characters before the T-Rex became available. Despite this minor setback, I was more than willing to work my way up to it. It was T-Rex for Christ sake!
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is split into 4 sections each with its own playable character. You start off as a Compsognathus:
Afterwards you get to play with a hunter, a raptor and then the badass motherf****r. But yeah, I never got there. All I ever saw was the little shit above.
See The Lost World: Jurassic Park doesn't allow you to save until you beat every one of the compi's missions. Attempting to precisely control this dinosaur, in what I suppose was a platformer, was akin to trying to hold on to an ice cube in Hell while the devil repeatedly kneed you in the nuts.
Needless to say, all I ever saw of the game was this pathetic excuse for a dinosaur to be squashed, eaten or fall of some cliff, then whimper like a puppy and be thrown back to the starting area. Unlike Driver, I've never gone back to this game and I have zero plans to see that dinosaur ever again. Ever.
Mickey's Wild Adventure
Oh look, a Disney game! Oh look, it's handing me my ass! *cries*
I was a HUGE Disney fan as a kid. I'd recite all the lines, I knew every song, had my impressions down and I played every one of their damned games. Mickey's Wild Adventure was no exception. Thing is though, when compared with efforts of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, this was a decent platformer. But for a game that starred Disney's lovable and child-friendly mouse, it had no problem with forcing us to confront our inner demons as unrelenting rage poured from our eyeballs. Jesus...
In any case, Mickey started ruining family functions so I put that game away for good. I had such a good time with the PlayStation, can you tell?!
Tomb Raider made me question whether I should be a gamer. Lara Croft's adventure was a compelling one for sure...or so I've heard: I just couldn't hack it. I don't even recall the specific level that finally brought an end to my career as gaming's most badass woman (until the reboot that is), all I know is that I was in a cave, it was so dark and a tiger would randomly emerge from the blackness to send my childhood self into an absolute panic. After I yelled one too many times my mother decided that Spyro was perhaps a better option for me. I respected that decision and I still do.