The most difficult starting stage in video games

11.01.2023 0 By admin

[Falcon] Usually the first level or area in a game is the easiest.

It’s trying to teach you how to play,

it’s trying to give you
the mechanics of the game,

but that’s not always how it works.

Hi folks, it’s Falcon,
and today on Gameranx,

the 10 toughest opening levels
in video games, part two.

So, like I said, this is part two.

We’ve already done one of these

and I think that the
first video’s pretty good.

If you’re interested, we
touched on Little Nightmares,

Nioh, NieR: Automata, Devil May Cry 3,

Spelunky 2, Out of this World,

The Witcher 2, Ninja Gaiden Black,

Ghosts and Goblins, all
the FromSoftware games

and of course, Driver 1.

So let’s get going with round two,

starting off at number 10.

This is a nice recent one,
Resident Evil Village.

Now it takes a little while to get there,

but the opening, the eighth
mainline entry in Resident Evil,

it pulls no punches.

Once you actually get
to the Titular Village,

things kick off real quick.

There’s a brutal gauntlet
of enemies that attack you

from just every direction.

And at this point you’ve
only fought one enemy,

suddenly the game is just gonna throw

everything it’s got at you.

It’s a real wake up call that seems

like it’s supposed to be
impossible and actually it is.

It triggers a cut scene
that ends the whole siege.

(monsters snarling)

And it takes an excruciatingly
long period of time,

usually, well after running out of

healing supplies and ammo.

On normal this part’s tough,
but on harder difficulties,

this is easily the hardest
part to get through.

Nothing else even comes
remotely close to it.

Resident Evil 4 was the first game

to start out with a siege moment

and that whole segment’s pretty
infamous in its own right.

Resident Evil 5 does the
same thing only this time

it was worse if you’re playing solo

because you have to worry
about your AI partner too,

that makes that starting
buddy more frustrating.

Resident Evil games just love

to start off with a challenge

and Village, it may be the toughest yet

and perhaps one of the
most interesting too.

At number nine is Resistance 1.

Do you ever remember the
opening of this game?

This isn’t exactly the most famous

of the PlayStation exclusives,

but it’s a pretty fun series
with some cool weapons.

Even if in the first game

it takes a little while to get ’em.

While the first game looks a lot

like your standard Call of Duty style FPS

it’s actually a bit of
a more old school game.

It’s got a full weapon
wheel and health pickups.

The health system in the
game’s actually pretty great.

You have a regenerating health meter

you can recover to certain thresholds

so you’re not completely screwed.

It sounds probably like a lot
of unnecessary explanation,

but here’s the thing, on the first level,

you don’t get that, you
can’t heal, like at all.

I remember playing this game

and feeling like I was
doing something wrong

or that the game bugged out or something

’cause I would keep taking damage

in this opening part and
there were no health packs

and you didn’t regenerate,

so it’s like what’s going on?

Turns out I just suck but.

Even with the relatively
easy enemies at the start,

they could shred your
health to nearly nothing

so having no way to recover really sucked.

Of course, it’s only like that

in the opening part of the
first level, thankfully,

it’s not even for the entire level.

But it does stick out as
strange for first time players,

it feels wrong and it’s a pretty weird way

to start the game.

Still end of the day, pretty short segment

if you force your way through it,

the rest of the game is
relatively smooth sailing.

It’s hard,

but it seems a lot more
fair after that beginning.

At number eight is Star Wars
Jedi Knight II, Jedi Outcast.

This is a great game,

but the opening level
does not do it any favors.

Like it’s set in this
ugly gray, Imperial Base

with the wimpiest of
pistols ever in an FPS,

a blaster that can’t shoot straight.

You deal with this army of stormtroopers

who all I guess went
to marksmanship school,

unlike the entire rest
of the stormtrooper army,

like these guys are crack shots

and you can’t hit the
broad side of a barn.

You’d think that this
game would start you out

with a light saber being
called Jedi Night II and all

but no, you gotta slog through
multiple levels without it

all while dealing with a
deficit of healing and ammo

just to really drive
home how useless you are

without your precious laser sword.

The first level, again
slog, plain and simple,

even on normal it’s rough
and you can quick save

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and quick load like a madman

hoping you get some lucky hits
with the terrible blaster.

(blaster firing)

The game doesn’t get a lot easier,

but it gets a lot more fun

once you finally get the light saber

and your force powers back.

At number seven is The Evil Within.

First hour or so, this
game is just relentless,

it’s total chaos.

Starts off with this
tense sneaking section

where you have to get
past this insane butcher,

this trap filled hallway
you have to run through

and then you actually
properly start the game,

which drops you into this relatively

open rural village environment
filled with enemies

and you don’t really have
any ammo or supplies.

At this point in the game
you’re basically useless too.

You’re slow, you barely have any health

and the revolver is
awkward and slow to use.

It’s like if Resident Evil
4 opened the same way,

but now you have almost no ammo at all

and you have to figure out

how stealth works at the same time,

it’s completely overwhelming

and you pretty much always die a few times

just trying to figure this game out.

(creature snarling)

(gun firing)

There’s not really a whole lot to this,

it’s just a really tough segment

it gives you almost nothing

and you can’t use anything
to your advantage really.

So you have to rely on these basic

yet pretty unforgiving stealth mechanics.

If you have the fortitude
to make it through

the opening of Evil Within,

the rest of the game really

shouldn’t be that big of a problem.

At number six is Deus Ex.

The original one really
wanted to give players

an RPG experience in an FPS.

When you start off weak and become

a walking death machine by
the end of the game, you know?

That type of thing.

In most RPGs you start
off like fighting rats,

not a terrorist army, you know?

One that’s taken over
the Statue of Liberty.

That’s what you do though.

And at the start of the game

you’re almost completely useless.

Aiming takes forever,

you’re slow, enemies can
spot you a mile away,

only a couple of shots will kill you.

The only weapons you start
off with is a shock baton,

only effective at close range,

takes couple hits to even
knock a single enemy out

and a tranquilizer crossbow

that requires a headshot
to take an enemy out.

Oh and boy does that thing

just take an absolute eternity to aim,

but at least it is quiet and a pistol,

which can kill guys well enough, I guess.

But if you fire it,

then every enemy in
the area comes running.

It’s a brutal enemy that scared away

a lot of potential players.

Getting through the first level

was the biggest hurdle into
getting into this game.

But once you do, it’s kind
of a smooth ride, you know?

What makes Deus Ex unique

is how the developers
almost went overboard

with how weak you are at the start,

like it can’t be overstated

just how slow you aim
starting out, it is painful.

Like watching somebody
aim in this game is like,

ah, go faster, do it faster.

But you can’t, you can’t do it faster.

Once you get some experience points

and some better equipment,

the game gets way more fun though.

At number five is Pokemon Yellow.

I know most people are pretty used to

thinking that the Pokemon
games are pretty easy,

especially at the start, but Yellow’s not.

It was released after Red and Blue

to capitalize on the
popularity of the Pokemon Anime

and Pikachu in general,

and the game’s pretty much identical

to Red and Blue except
for one crucial thing.

You do not pick a starter,
you start with Pikachu,

which is not really a problem

for route one in the opening of the game,

but it’s a big problem against
the first gym leader, Brock.

Brock is a rock type trainer
which rhymes with his name

and makes perfect sense,

and rock type Pokemon completely

or at least mostly immune
to all of Pikachu’s attack.

Don’t know why, perhaps
it was for the heck of it,

for fun just to see how
everybody dealt with it.

But the most popular Pokemon
is completely useless

against the first boss in the game,

that was what they decided to release.

So your only option was to
capture a different Pokemon,

train ’em up to fight Brock,

which turns the opening hours of this game

a lot more tedious than in Red and Blue.

Like in Red and Blue, if you
pick Charmander at the start,

you would run into the
same problem facing Brock,

but none of the Charmander
attacks are straight up useless

against Brock’s Pokemon,
they’re just weak.

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So for whatever reason they
decided to make Pikachu,

the objectively worst Pokemon starter

in maybe the entire series,

just because they didn’t change

what the starting trainer was.

Like you could have just made it Misty

and saved everyone a lot
of pain, but they didn’t.

At number four, Sonic 2.

And I am not talking about

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for Sega Genesis.

No, we’re talking about
Game Gear, Sonic 2.

like for anybody who had the misfortune

of having a Game Gear as a kid

and didn’t just plug the thing
in, you know the problem.

That was the problem I lived with,

thing ate through batteries like crazy

and well, let’s go on
with this Sonic 2 thing.

Like most Sonic games, pretty forgiving,

all things considered
they’re very reflex-based,

but they’re okay about it.

They let you make mistakes
and not hate yourself over it.

But for whatever reason,
Sonic 2 on Game Gear,

it wants you dead.

The first level is brutal.

Like there’s deadly spikes,

there’s hail Mary jumps
all over the place,

dogs and cats living
together, mass hysteria,

and that’s just the first level.

Like compare this to the first level

of any other Sonic game.

Usually it’s a Green Hill zone knockoff,

it’s got some nice music,
bright color palette.

But in this game you start
off in Underground zone

with mine carts and lava.


The boss is one of the worst encounters

in the entire franchise too.

It’s a ant, lion, robot thing

and the only way to hurt
it is to avoid these bombs,

which sounds simple but Game Gear Sonic

didn’t have the best
controls in the world,

that goes for any of the Game Gear Sonics.

When I was a kid I could
not beat this level.

The first level in the Sonic game,

which is supposed to be easy

and like ease you into the
controls and stuff, but no,

and the pain doesn’t stop,
the game doesn’t get easier.

And it’s bad enough
going to play this game

on like modern hardware through emulation

where you can see everything better.

But imagine this on Game
Gear’s crappy screen,

terrible battery life and
frankly not great form figures.

This game was rough.

At number three is Fallout
2 The Temple of Trials.

And Fallout 2 isn’t really a
first level, it’s a tutorial,

but unless you’re experienced
with the first game

and built your character a specific way

to get through the challenges,

this unskipable dungeon can actually be

the hardest part of the game.

So, Fallout’s pretty free form, right?

You can build your character
a lot of different ways

and then you start the game,

you get sent to this temple,

which gives you a spear
as a weapon, that’s it.

And if you only put
points into ranged weapons

in terms of how you
created your character,

you are already in trouble.

To make matters worse,

the only healing items that you get

are these healing powders

which lower your
perception when you use it

so that makes it so
enemies are harder to hit,

see how that might be a problem?

Like yeah, all you’re fighting
are rats and scorpions,

but if you can’t even hit things,

they’ll eventually
whittle your health down.

It’s embarrassing and frustrating

when you stand there taking random swings

at normally harmless enemies
and you know, losing,

it’s not just embarrassing,
it’s demoralizing.

The game expects you to use your skills

without really explaining how they work,

which is an interesting
approach for a tutorial.

If you’re a Fallout veteran,

you probably know this stuff already,

but if you’re not, well it’s confusing.

Apparently the creators of the game

weren’t originally going
to even include a tutorial,

but they got forced to include
one at the last minute.

So, it probably explains why

the whole segment’s
very half-assed feeling

because they didn’t have
to make it mandatory.

The Temple of Trials is
the low point of the game.

It’s not just dull, but
it’s also very frustrating.

At number two is Elder Scrolls Arena.

The first game in the
Elder Scrolls series,

it feels archaic these days,

but it was actually
very ahead of its time.

A lot of people have not made it

past the Imperial Dungeon
though, probably for good reason.

Like every other Elder Scrolls game

you start off as a prisoner,
your starting goal is simple,

escape the dungeon,

which seems like would be
a simple tutorial level,

maybe walk you through the controls,

tell you how the game works,

but that’s how it’ll be in later games,

Morrowind, Oblivion, et
cetera, but not here.

Instead you’re basically
thrown to the wolves,

like you needed to read
the instruction manual

’cause otherwise you don’t
know what to do, period.

To call the controls awkward

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would be a massive understatement.

Right from the get-go, you’re
disoriented and confused,

you’re just doing basic actions

and that even takes a
lot of getting used to.

So while you’re grappling
with the controls,

you’re swarmed with deadly
rats who will mess you up

fast depending on your class.

If you’re a wizard, expect to
run outta magic no matter what

and there’s no way to recover it.

In fact, there are
actually only a few ways

to recover health at all

and to make things even
more fun, enemies respawn.

It’s an all around cruel introduction

that makes you know
what’s in store for you

when you play this game,

which is to be very clear, pain.

And at number one is Superman,

The New Superman Adventures,
also known as Superman 64.

Bad title, frankly.

But you know, a lot of
people can get past that.

The idea of a Superman game sounds great.

So do you like flying through rings?

Weird question to ask.

But how about baffling objectives

that only give you seconds
to respond in time?

How about some of the jankiest controls

ever devised for an action game?

No, you don’t want these things,
nobody wants these things.

And this game, oh, it’s
built on these things.

They are thrown together, slap dash

and create one of the most frustrating

and terrible opening sequences
to any game ever, period.

It starts off really bad
right from the start.

The first thing the game wants you to do

is fly through all these rings,

just an endless string of rings

in this pea soup colored void

that’s supposed to be Metropolis.

The controls are of course terrible,

but this section is also
relatively easy, I guess.

You finish the rings part
and I guess the game,

it’s difficult to describe this,

but it wants you to, yeah, this?

I don’t know what’s going on.

And I lost, and have to do the
ring part again, that’s fun.

Oh wait, except it’s not fun.

Most people just turn this game
off and chuck the game back

in the Blockbuster Video
clam shell where it belongs.

And instead of using their drawer,

you heave it through their window.

How dare you keep this on your shelf?

And you know what?

Let’s say you try to
muddle through this part,

the game doesn’t get any better.

It’s just more of these rings,

more baffling objectives and
needlessly strict time limits.

This is a game that might actually

be worse than its reputation implies,

which is a hell of an achievement

because no one likes this game,

it is considered one of
the worst games ever made.

Like look at this.

This is the first level,

the part the developers presumably

put the most effort into
hooking the player in

and this was the best they could do.


Also got a quick bonus for you.

You remember the Super Star Wars series?

If you’re as old as me, you do.

They were great, I’m not
saying that they weren’t great,

but I also don’t know if anyone

played these things legitimately

’cause they were crazy hard.

The first two especially,

for some reason, everything on Tatooine

wants Luke Skywalker dead,

like everything is an enemy

and just starts attacking
you from every angle.

Like, yeah, Mos Eisley is a dangerous area

filled with scum and villany,

but walking around in an empty desert

shouldn’t be this difficult.

Like you’re just going to the sand crawler

to have a look at some
droids, you’re going shopping.

The first level of Super
Empire Strikes Back

somehow actually worse
than Super Star Wars.

You know how Hoth is supposed to be a like

super barren ice planet
with nothing on it.

Ah, that’s not the truth,
not in the game anyway.

Just swarming with predators, swarming.

The game pulls no punches,

it’s one of the hardest games on the SNES

and the first levels are
some of the toughest.

And that’s all for today.

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I’m Falcon, you can follow me
on Twitter at FalconTheHero,

and we’ll see you next time
right here on Gameranx.