Greetings! This is our weekly GameSided Roundtable featu..."/> Greetings! This is our weekly GameSided Roundtable featu..."/> Greetings! This is our weekly GameSided Roundtable featu..."/>

GameSided Roundtable: Our Hardest Moments In Gaming

1 of 2

Greetings! This is our weekly GameSided Roundtable feature, where our writers converge to provide their opinions, wishes, statements or critical thought on one general topic centered around video games. Sometimes it can be funny, sometimes it can be serious. Contemporary, classic; we hope to cover a wide variety of things in this segment as a group. If you wish to submit an idea for a GameSided Roundtable discussion topic, you can leave the editor an email at: We’ll totally give you (and your Twitter account, if applicable) a shoutout!

This week’s topic: “What is the most difficult gaming challenge you have proudly overcome?”

Georgina Young (Twitter)

“What is the most difficult gaming challenge you have proudly overcome?”

When I first read this statement, it was so vague that 100 million things started rushing through my head. I thought about how growing up below the poverty line we didn’t really have a lot of money for toys and things like the other kids. My sister and I were playing the Sega Megadrive way past its sell by date (which is possibly why I’m so obsessed), or how I didn’t get a PS2 until I was already an adult.

Then I thought of all the anger and furor that has been created lately by white knights, Anita Sarkeesian and #GamerGate about how women are being pushed away from video games and the male dominated industry. How largely uncontroversial Jenn Frank felt pushed out of the industry when she wasn’t even a large part of it.

And then I finally thought, “Nah, completing Sonic 2’s Death Egg Zone as a child.” 2 bosses, no rings! That stuff was tough.

Rebekah Valentine (Twitter)

When I was a kid, my next door neighbor had a copy of Donkey Kong 64. I used to go over there every weekend and we’d take turns overcoming the challenges K. Rool set before the five Kongs. DK64 is a challenging game–between some really awkward controls , a timed last level, and having to beat classic Donkey Kong on an arcade machine in Frantic Factory in order to access that last level, I’m amazed we made it as far as we did. But my greatest triumph was in Crystal Cave, when Lanky has to race that stupid beetle down the slide.

The Beetle Race first appears in Angry Aztec. Tiny Kong must race an insanely obnoxious beetle down a twisting slide. Not only must she beat the beetle in the race itself, but she must also collect 50 coins as she slides down. This is complicated by the fact that the beetle knocks coins away every time you make contact with her, the track has tons of unprotected ledges you can go careening off of if you’re not careful, and the beetle gets a running head start. It took us hours to beat her in Angry Aztec, and when she appeared in Crystal Cave I threw a controller. But, after hours of listening to that obnoxious beetle’s high-pitched, maniacal laughter, I finally did it.

When I reached her again in my replay of DK64 as an adult, I decided I could probably skip those golden bananas altogether.

Daniel George (Twitter)

After reviewing the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster earlier this year, I decided to finish up some of the game’s bonus challenges in order to clean up my trophy list. Blitzball is fairly easy if you get the best players (and opt not to cheese the system), plus the Jecht Shots mean scoring against defenders is a breeze. However, in order to get Tidus’ most powerful weapons, you need to beat an insanely-challenging minigame: The Chocobo Race.

The goal is to race along a track through the Calm Lands against the Chocobo Trainer as fast as possible. Touching balloons will shave 3 seconds off your time, while getting hit by birds that fly at you will add 3 seconds, as well as how long it takes to recover. Getting the bonus item to power your Ultimate Weapon required getting a finishing time of zero seconds. The Chocobo Trainer is also collecting balloons at the same time, can move out of the way to get you hit and you can get caught in frame traps to get hit multiple times. You need balloons in mid-high teens and to barely get hit.

It would be fine if the track was standardized. Instead, the balloon placement is random, and is very capable of putting many balloons on the Chocobo Trainer’s side of the course at the beginning, removing your ability to get the amount necessary to finish with zero seconds. Plus, with PS2-esque diagonal directional outputs, the control scheme is very difficult to maneuver out of the way of incoming birds. It’s 50% luck, 50% skill required to beat the challenge, plus a hell of a lot of patience over hours of attempts. Thankfully, that’s behind me forever now, and I’m proud for accomplishing it.