5 Games I'm Stupidly Proud Of Completing

You place the controller down. Exhale. The tension leaves your body, you slowly flick your eyelids open in a zen-like trance. Finally, you have done it. It's over. You've done it. The game is over. The credits roll, you allow yourself a moment to drink it all in. Then you start Facebooking and tweeting about what an awesome human being you are.

This is what it means to finish a video game in this day and age.

I've been playing video games for as long as I can remember, I've even managed to complete a few. But there are a few moments that stand out. Moments like the above — with the zen-like states, the genuine sense of achievement. Moments you might actually consider writing home to Ma and Pa about.

These are the five games I'm most proud of finishing.

Secret of Monkey Island

The Year: 1990 The feeling: Smug sense of intellectual superiority

Why I was so proud...

It may seem strange to start with Monkey Island. It's far from the twitchy, skill based type of game you'd expect me to be proud of completing. When Monkey Island was released it was an adventure game that was essentially famous for refusing to kill players. You can't die in Monkey Island, hence it's pretty easy, right?

Well, yes and no.

I was nine years old when Monkey Island came out and I fell in love. It might have been the music, it might have been the writing. It might have been the idea of exploring these islands, solving puzzles, I don't know. The point is — I was nine years old and I had barely worked out how to tie my own shoelaces and wipe my own arse. Completing a game like Monkey Island which featured some pretty wacked out puzzles that made no sense whatsoever felt like a pretty big deal back then.

And it was also the moment when my policy of 'no game guides/gamefaqs allowed' was born. I went through every single puzzle in Monkey Island without even peeking at the multitudes of guides that appeared in Amiga Power or whatever magazine it was I was subscribed to at the time. That left me with a smug sense of intellectual superiority that has stubbornly remained to this day.

I even did that crazy potion puzzle in Act 2 by myself! I earned that smug!

Braid

The Year: 2008 The Feeling: Like your Dad after he solved the most difficult crossword puzzle ever conceived.

Why I was so proud

Reactions to Braid were all over the joint. Some wanted to analyse what they had just played, others shared theories. Some were confused. Soulja Boy made a YouTube video about it.

I ignored all that. I was too busy solving the puzzles, one by one, massaging my ego to the point where I could feel the enormity of it pressing against the front of my skull.

In short, Braid made me feel like a goddamn genius.

Anytime I do something a little bit stupid, like leave the car lights on or trip over my shoelaces, I just go home, fire up Braid and look at the leaderboards. I look at my perfectly completed set of Jigsaw pieces. I see the multitudes on my friends list who just couldn't hack it, who gave up halfway through, or just couldn't get those last two pieces. Or I see my brother's completed set, but rest safe in the knowledge that he totally had to call me at 3 in the morning to ask me how to get that one in World 5.

Yes. I am a golden god. Bow down to me, King of the north, master of all that I survey. I am the lord of the dance.

Skate 2

The Year: 2009 The Feeling: There's your dinner!

Why I was so proud

Skate 2 wasn't supposed to this tough. It just wasn't. I had completed every single task available to me and this was the last thing on my list. Beat a bloody pro at a bloody game of 'Skate', a modified version of 'Horse' with kickflips.

It was a task so difficult that, eventually, EA Black Box had to patch it. It was, fundamentally broken. The CPU controlled player you were competing against could not be beat.

Unless you did one trick perfectly. Every single time.

To beat a cheat you sometimes have to cheat, or at least bend the rules. If you did some variation of a 540 flip trick, you could beat this CPU controlled bastard almost every time. It was cheap. It sucked, but it was literally the only way.

Victory. Sweet, cheap victory.

Super Meat Boy

The Year: 2008 The Feeling: Like an alien with five thumbs.

Why I was so proud

I was so proud because Super Meat Boy is hard. Haaaaaaaaaaaaard.

Super Meat Boy had levels you sauntered into and walked straight back out. 'No', you would say to yourself. 'This is physically impossible. My brain is small and fragile. My reaction time is sluggish and clumsy.'

But you did it anyway, because you were a Scandinavian God-King with reflexes to match. You were an evolved human being with thumbs grown from sacred genetic material express delivered from Pluto on some mysterious meteorite destined to deliver you from deviously intricate level design. God bless you Super Meat Boy.

Trials Evolution

The Year: 2012 The Feeling: Pure, unadulterated relief. Greatest feeling in the universe.

Why I was so proud

Words cannot describe. Completing every single track on Trials Evolution is an achievement in itself. Getting a gold medal on every track is also extremely, extremely difficult.

But imagine the scene: the final tournament. Every single extreme track, back to back; no respite. It's perhaps one of the most gruelling, arduous tasks in all of gaming. Completing the tournament is one thing, but to get a gold medal? It feels almost impossible. The player has to complete seven nerve-shredding, fiendish tracks in under 30 minutes, with only 153 fault allowed. Considering I know some pretty committed Trials players who need 200 faults to complete just one of these tracks — well, you understand just how difficult completing all seven back to back is.

The final track, The Way of the Ninja. It's not the most difficult — that honour belongs to Inferno III — but it's the longest of the seven by far. It's a test of endurance and I'm falling apart. I'm halfway through the track and I only have 10 faults remaining. I'll never get this close again. If I fail now I will throw my controller, my 360 and — if I can lift it — my 46 inch plasma over my balcony into the swimming pool below.

The stakes are high. My hands are sweating. Physically shaking. I've played this track before, but I'm crumbling to pieces. I have to pause the game. I literally have to pause the game. I inhale slowly, count to five. Exhale. One... two... three... four... five...

Almost there. 149 faults. Oh god. I hate this part. It's simple, but I've fallen off here before. If I lose momentum now, I'll screw it all up I just know it.

Accelerate. Lean back. Shift the weight forward. Jump. Bump three times. Maintain balance. Bump. Bump. Bump.

Finish the rest of the track. Two faults remaining. Put the controller down. Stare at the screen. Breathe. Take in the enormity of this personal achievement. This achievement that feels so trivial.

Exhale.

I did it.

Now check out the five games I'm horribly embarrassed I haven't finished!


Comments

    When my sister and I finally beat Spyro: Year of the Dragon, we cheered.
    That game was huge when I was ten.

    Watching my brother finish I Wanna Be The Guy. That game was so hard I got the same satisifaction by proxy just watching someone I know finish it.

    My top 5:
    Quake 3 arena Pc bots on nightmare (I could never do this now, ever.)
    N+
    Pacifism cheevo on geometry wars 2
    Mile high club legendary, cod4
    100% red dead redemption, not that hard really, but still proud

    Hmm, proudest
    Goldeneye did everything, FF7 managing to best all the weapons unlike FF8 couldn't kill Omega (unlike my buddy @jimu, still jealous of ur flashy yellow "Proof of Omega" screen). Recently platinuming Skyrim made me pretty happy, not because of the difficulty (cause I was stupidly OP), just because of the scale of the undertaking.

      Proof of omega is as good as those diplomas you get for Catchin' 'Em All!

    Recently, it would have to be Burnout Paradise. Some of those 8 player challenges were hard unless you got a good group. I derived much pleasure driving around the Diamond P12 when everyone else thought the platinum paint was awesome .

    Should also add a few arcade ones:

    * Beating the TMNT arcade machine (the first arcade game I ever reached the ending on).

    * Getting a top 5 score on the TMNT pinball machine at the Jam Factory (why yes, I was a big TMNT fan as a kid! Also, that took HOURS, I was good at pinball then generally but I have no idea how I stayed in the zone that long.) You can't "complete" pinball but that's pretty close.

    * 20 game+ 1 hour+ win streaks at Tekken Tag Tournament in arcades against all comers. Those were the days, when $1 could buy you an hour of entertainment and butthurt wannabes that thought they were good.

    I was pretty proud to have completed Trespasser unpatched back in the day. There's probably not a hell of a lot of people who can say that. Developing techniques to circumvent the bizarre bugs added a lot of extra gameplay to that game.

    Still Slowly working my way towards Platinum God in The Binding of Isaac. Those "Don't take any damage" achievements are a bitch.

    Last edited 18/02/13 4:46 pm

      Well yeah, because everyone else crashed.

      Gee that game was hyped up before release. If only they'd spent as much on bug-fixing as they did on marketing. Shame, really.

    The only thing I brag about is getting 3 stars on every tournament on Mario Kart Wii.. EVEN THE ONE WITH RAINBOW ROAD. God I love/hate that track.

    Anyone ever beaten Altered Beast? I've never been past the bad dude at the end of the 4th level. Most of the time I can't get tothe4th level.

    More than once I sat alone in my office, fists raised to a non-existent crowd of cheering fans at landing a gold medal in Trials: Evolution. I would then proceed to Twitter, where I would talk shit at @Serrels and @BRKeogh for having inferior times, and small willies.

    let me know when u beat braid under 45 minutes

    "You can’t die in Monkey Island"

    Err yes you can, you have to earn it which is weird in itself but you can certainly die in both 1 and 2

    I'm with you on Trials though, I've finished every track bar the final one in the newest DLC that I've not not quite managed to crack yet. For the most part I keep playing till I get a gold medal but with the extreme tracks I'm happy just to finish the bastards.

      You can drown and get eaten (I think) in the first one.

      You can only sorta die in 2, given almost the entire game is told in flashback.

      If you let Guybrush and Wally get lowered into the vat of acid, you flash to Elaine in the present interrupting Guybrush vividly describing his dying screams, forcing Guybrush to go back to describe what really happened, and so the puzzle resets.

    Getting ★★★ on all lvls of Angry Birds should be rewarded with entry into a secret society. Discuss.

    My five (or so they appear to me right now):
    *Abe's Oddysee and Exoddus: Great games with tricky puzzles. Some of the timing-based puzzles in Exoddus almost killed the 15 year old me.
    * King's Quest V: Played it on the class computer over a year in year 6 - and although I used a hint guide now and then (in the form of a friend who'd finished it), I was still pretty chuffed.
    *All stars in Mario Galaxy 1 & 2: The final star in Galaxy 2 is the hardest thing I've ever done in a videogame.
    *Doom 1 & 2 on Ultra Violence - NIghtmare was never a possibility for me.
    * Metal Gear Solid 2 on Extreme: Vamp was the hardest challenge in that game, on that setting, hands-down.

      I haven't collected that last star in SMG2. I tried a couple of times, looked up what was involved, then decided that my life had quite enough frustration already thankyouverymuch.

    I was stupidly proud of beating Metroid prime 2 echoes. playing FPS on console is hard D:

    Finishing Final Fantasy 13
    said noone ever

    Lylatwars all medals, all planets.
    All S Rank on Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
    Penance dead, FF10 no Yojimbo.
    Proof of Omega FF8
    Sonic the Hedgehog 2 all emeralds... on Master System

    Probably my top 5 bragging rights that come to mind though I am sure there are more.

    Hmmm games I'm proud of finishing

    Gears of War - 2011.
    I bought this game in late 2009 when I got my xbox - it cost $20 and I barely recognised it as one of the big xbox titles, furthermore I did not play shooters, my last FPS was Perfect Dark and I barely got past the first level of that!

    Still the whole pop out and shoot mechanic was pretty cool and I was enjoying the game until the end of the first level where you encounter a Berserker, that thing was like sheer terror in game form, it killed you so suddenly and swiftly that for sometime if I was bleary-eyed in the morning and needed to wake up for work I would put Gears of War on just to play that bit because the horror of that things would have fully alert in seconds.

    I reckon it took more than 50 attempts before I managed to get it out of the building (this was mostly because the A button in the first Gears was not nearly as well tuned to context as in Gears 3 so often when I wanted to dive or roll, it would stick me to a wall and I was a sitting duck for this thing!

    Once it was out of the building it only took about 6 attempts for me to nail it with the Hammer of Dawn so the shooting at least wasn't broken, but there were bits of this game that were extremely trying, but I was determined to finish the damn thing!

    Assassin's Creed - 2011,
    I bought this in 2010 and in many respects I perhaps should've skipped the first installment because after a few hours it clicks with you how repetitive the game gets, until...

    the last 3rd of the game, it takes forever, but you eventually unlock the ability to counter attack, this transforms the game from a dull bench-sitting simulator to a fantastic swording-your-way-across-the-middle-east-palooza. Anyone who stuck with the game this long got treated to the most visceral sword fighting ever put into a game, moreover the last three assassinations didn't quite stick to the script of the other six so the home stretch of the game had far more variety, and an interesting story twist to boot. I finished the game a month after I got...

    Assassin's Creed II - 2013,
    Given to me at Xmas 2010, I played the first few missions then decided I needed to finish the first game first, I technically finished the story to Assassin's Creed II last year (it was the GOTY edition too so it had all the DLC on the disc so that was an extra 3 hours or so of stuff) but when I got to the end, after similarly playing the first few levels of Brotherhood (which I bought in 2011 for the multiplayer) I decided I was so close I would try to the 1000 Gamerscore - the first game I've ever done this for.

    The feathers took ages, I would sit here at my PC with a map, studying it, turning around to the TV and hitting the next possible location, the last time I'd put so much effort into a fetch quest was the flags in AC1, and even then I gave up after collecting all the flags in Acre. The final acheivement I needed was to kill 10 guards without getting hit, that took me so many attempts for two days afterwards I was having flashbacks!!!

    Mirrors Edge - 2011,
    Man alive this game had some hard sections (mostly anything with a lot of guards) but I love it, it's almost the ultimate evolution of the platformer and it was challenging enough that it felt good to beat it.

    Grand Theft Auto IV - 2012,
    Bought in 2009 a day before Gears of War and actually the first GTA game I've ever finished, but the reason it feels like an acheivement is that the game has no checkpoints so you could spend entire nights stuck on the one mission, there's one where you have to chase down Bernie Crane's attacker in a part on a motor scooter, the third time I failed that Niko yelled out "FUCK FUCK FUCK!!" My thoughts exactly.

    The big reason that this game took me so long to finish is that after clearing the first island I spent almost a year dicking around in the multiplayer so it wasn't until that appeal wore off that I started to come back to the story, for the record in my story Roman lived, the final mission took about 25 attempts and I've still got to play through Gay Tony!


    Half Life 2 - 2012,

    I had to stick this one out a bit, I bought it in 2010 and ended up getting into Portal and TF2 much more, Half Life 2, by contrast was scary, lonely and difficult, almost every level had something in it that stopped me in my tracks, but it was the kind of challenge that you seem to get better at it each time, the final level where you lose all your weapons save for one is one of the most fun levels in a game and is a reward for the hard 14 hour slog you've endured to get there!

    I should note, I've finished more games this generation than any other, about 18 all told, with another two very close to completion, compare to last gen where I only finished 4 and the generation before where I finished 2 games!!

    Last edited 18/02/13 10:24 pm

    When I was a kid I was proud of completing Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII. It took many and many hours going through text and turn based fighting to get to really really good cut scenes

    Metal Gear Solid - in one sitting- completing with Big Boss ranking. God-like.

    100% in Banjo Kazooie for me. Rage quit so many times in that final boss fight and then finally managed to beat her. Best moment. Super super proud. :)

    Modern Warfare 2 and 3. Still can't believe I played them through to finish. It's like laying a brick in your car and seeing how long you can handle the smell before you bail! I never realised I could be so tolerant of the sound and smell of complete MURICA!! bullshit for that long!

    When I played Monkey Island 1, I didn't know there were guides. I eventually had to beg a friend who'd finished to replay a bit of it to show me where to get the helmet for the circus brothers.

    Same with MI2, though I didn't get any help on that one. Just took nearly a month to figure out how to stop the fountain using the flow control valve (was it on Phatt Island?). Definitely an absurdly large sense of achievement in beating that one (less absurdly large was my sense of disappointment at the ending - yeah, I'm one of those guys).

    Last edited 20/02/13 11:42 am

    I'm proud of completing Dragon Age 2... I quite literally fell asleep three times while playing it from sheer boredom but pushed through. It's the completionist in me. Now I can at least say I never left it unfinished huh? I guess...

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