The lights are on
We pour hours upon hours into our favorite games. We scour
open worlds for every last trinket and quest giver, eager to see everything
these interactive spaces have to offer. We hold onto fond childhood memories
parked in front of classic titles for marathon sessions. But sometimes despite
the huge chunks of our lives we pump into these awesome games, we don't always
finish the task. Princesses remain unsaved, and doomed lands remain in a state
of strife. We're not calling your gaming prowess into question here, but we've
bundled up a selection of fantastic games you likely didn't finish for one
reason or another.
That said, we're sure there are an elite few out there in
the Game Informer community who have completed a chunk of the games on this list.
Because we all like bragging about our gaming exploits, we encourage you to
sound off in the comments below to share which of these commendable tasks
you've checked off your bucket list.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Gamers have been questing throughout the realm of Tamriel
for years, but the fifth chapter of the Elder Scrolls series offers up an
unprecedented amount of cool stuff to do. You could easily spend a hundred
hours burgling your way through the Thieves' Guild, snuffing out targets in the
Dark Brotherhood, or any number of super fun optional quest lines. Hell, more
than one of you reading this probably spent an ample amount of time churning
out iron daggers to level up your blacksmithing skills. All this is to say that
there is a lot to do in Skyrim, a game that makes wandering the sprawling
landscapes arguably more engaging than its core storyline. The next time you
talk to a self-professed Skyrim addict, ask them "Did you beat Alduin?"
and see how they respond. [Editor's note: we originally mistakenly referred to Alduin as Paarthurnax]
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Many gamers who grew up with an NES have mixed emotions
regarding this arcadey boxing classic. Punching Glass Joe's lights out and
finally countering Bald Bull's charging uppercut are memorable video game
milestones, but there's a strong chance many who grew up with this game didn't
make it past the titular antagonist. Mike Tyson was a tenacious, ear-biting
force of nature in the real-life boxing ring, and he's equally unstoppable on
the NES. Prerequisites for taking him down include rote pattern memorization
and unwavering twitch reflexes. Kid Dynamite can K.O. players in no time with
his flurry of rapid-fire punches, something that prevented countless fans of
the game from ever seeing the end credits. Former GI editor Dan Ryckert tried many times and failed to beat Tyson.
Dark Souls II
From Software's "Souls" games are renowned for their
difficulty. Roadblocks like sinister traps and bosses that can one-shot hardily
armored warriors are understandable reasons for not completing a game, but the
game pits itself against you in far subtler ways. One late-game passageway that
bars your progress requires either one million souls or four Grand Souls to
pass through. The problem is, the game doesn't clearly communicate either of
these prerequisites. Even further along in the game, players may want to take
on the undead King Vendrick, only to find the zombie ruler can squash players
unlike few other bosses in the series. You'd be forgiven for not understanding
that in order to effectively fight Vendrick you need to collect a handful of
Giants' Souls by diving into the memories of these petrified behemoths. From
Software's cryptic game design is part of why we love them, and a big reason
why many gamers likely haven't completed a single Souls game.
JRPG fans had to wait a while before Monolith Soft's epic
Wii adventure made it over to the United States. Once it arrived, they were
greeted with a deluge of content, including copious side missions that flesh
out character relationships and build up reputations to unlock new items. Even
if you blaze through the game with the finish line in sight, you're still looking
at an 80-plus hour commitment. If you're the type of gamer who likes to stop
and smell the roses while grinding through optional missions, the time investment
X-COM: Enemy Within
Firaxis' return to the beloved, notoriously difficult alien-extermination
strategy game is one of the most challenging of last generation. Commanding
your team of extraterrestrial-busting badasses on the field can be tricky,
thanks to Muton ambushes and the fragility of even the most veteran X-Com
units. The permanence of death and unyielding series of UFO landings across the
globe keep the punishing game moving at a stressful pace. Enemy Within takes
the tense action a step further with alien assaults on your hidden ant farm.
It's not uncommon for fans of the series to end up with an unsalvageable game
where their best soldiers are dead and the aliens are arriving too fast and
Keep reading to see where some more classic NES games and huge open-world adventures fit on our list
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.