Let's face it: they just don't make games like they used to. Which is a good thing, because they used to make pretty bad games. One of the biggest changes in the world of vidcons is the gradual lessening of difficulty so they can be enjoyed by old people, toddlers and Wii owners. If you're sick of it and want a real challenge, these ten games will have you tearing your hair out in frustration.
Developed by independent Japanese company GR3 Project, La-Mulana is one of the trickiest games in recent memory. You play Professor Lemeza, a swashbuckling archaeologist who is exploring a gigantic tomb full of terrifying puzzles.This game is epic, and features some of the most disgusting puzzles in gaming history.
Fail, and you'll get shot in the face by a lightning bolt. How's that for fun?
The Nintendo Entertainment System was home to a ton of incredibly difficult games. One of the most legendary is Battletoads, designed by British studio Rareware.
The game had incredible graphics and a huge number of levels, but almost nobody saw them because it was also filled to the brim with insanely cheap deaths that required players to memorize gigantic sections of gameplay with split-second timing to survive.
Ghosts & Goblins
The original Japanese name of Capcom's Ghosts & Goblins was Makaimura, which translates literally to "Hell Village."
On the outside, it looks like just another run, jump, smash zombies game, but five minutes with it will have you throwing your controller in rage.
Protagonist Arthur can only be hit twice before dying, which usually sends him back to the very beginning of the (long) level.
If you get to the final boss and don't have the right weapon, you have to play the last level over and over until you get it. And if you do manage to beat him, you have to play the whole game over again to get the real ending. Only harder.
The genre known as "bullet hell" is one of the most punishing in all the world of games. These titles feature players piloting a single spaceship against insurmountable waves of enemies, all of whom spit hundreds if not thousands of shots all up in your grill.
Mushihime-sama Futari, created by Japanese studio Cave, is considered the hardest of these games ever, and even Adderall-fueled arcade maniacs can barely complete it.
Adventure games are notorious for cheapness, but classic Macintosh horror title Shadowgate pushes it to the limit.
As you traverse a haunted castle to defeat the Warlock Lord, you will die hundreds and hundreds of times. There are items in your inventory that if you even look at you will die.
It's absolutely ridiculous and has driven generations of gamers crazy.
When idiosyncratic Japanese celebrity Takeshi Kitano was approached to have his name put on a video game, the businessmen at Taito had no idea what they were getting into.
Kitano wanted to have a ton of control over the final product, and Takeshi's Challenge isn't only virtually impossible, it's completely bizarre.
Some of the crap that players have to do to beat it include not touch one of the controllers for an hour and "sing karaoke" into a tiny microphone. Kitano credited himself as "a man who hates videogames," and it shows.
It's odd that a licensed tie-in game to a comic book would be on this list, but the developers of Silver Surfer for the NES wanted to make it tough for you.
You need the Power Cosmic itself to survive in this cruel shooter – one touch from anything kills you, and you often can't tell what's an enemy and what's just part of the scenery. Oh, and the password system doesn't let you start where you left off.
Kaizo Mario World
When we think about the Super Mario Bros. games, we think "tough but fair." That's why the enterprising hackers behind Kaizo Mario World are so, so cruel.
Made from the Super Nintendo classic Super Mario World, this game delivers 14 levels of absolutely murderous platforming action. You need to use every single one of Mario's moves to get through these gauntlets of nightmarish jumps.
I Wanna Be The Guy
You don't have to be a professional to make a really hard game. The indie development trend known as "masocore" features bedroom programmers creating games that are so frustrating that they boggle the mind.
I Wanna Be The Guy is one of the first such games, and it still stands high in the pantheon.
On the surface, it's a simple Super Mario-alike, but it's got a very cruel sense of humor. The game's hardest difficulty has only been beaten by five people. In the world.
Free online game QWOP doesn't look like it'd be too hard – all you're doing is making a guy run down a track, and there are no obstacles or time limits. Surprise! It'll drive you to the point of insanity before you've managed to sprint five yards. The game uses four keys to control the runner's thighs and calves, making it a little bit like a puppet show in a devastating earthquake. Watch a hilarious video of the game with commentary here.