Gaming Steve

January 14, 2008

What Games Do You Feel You Have Completely Mastered?

How To Master THE Video Games!

Over the last few weeks there has been some videos featuring video games so mind-bogglingly hard that I wouldn't even classify them as "games" but rather vehicles to drive you insane. And this made me remember when Halo 3 came out last year and shocking amount of review said, "sure the game is fun but if you don't play it on the Legendary difficulty then don't bother playing it all!" It made me think that these reviewers weren't really reviewing the game but simply boasting at their "video game prowess" or some such thing.

Of course this is not a new topic – difficulty level of games and who is and isn't a "real gamer" – but that is not the nature of my question this week. My question deals with those rare games that you feel that you completely and utterly mastered. Those games which you could play at the very highest difficulty level and not even break a sweat.

My question this week is, "What games do you feel you have completely mastered?"

Everyone has a few games that they feel they are simply "the best" at ... those games which for some reason "spoke to you" and that you were compelled to completely own at every level possible. Games which weren't difficult even at their hardest levels, games in which you felt you needed to augment the difficulty level with your own set of rules and challenges.

Personally my list is not huge but I am proud of the ones that have conquered and broken into tiny little pieces of screaming mercy. Dragon's Lair was probably my first and favorite game to break. Not only could I finish the game without dying once but when Dragon's Lair back in the days of "arcade culture" there was nearly always a large crowd watching when I played. So the pressure was always on play the game perfectly.

It was also the only game in which other people used to pay me to play so they could watch the entire game uninterrupted – which was a big deal when the game cost 50 cents to play!

Other games I felt that I totally mastered was Space Ace (I could finish the game while turning into Ace at all junctions, including the "hidden" area in the refinery), The Legend of Zelda (finished the complete game the first week it came out without any help or "walkthroughs" ... as they didn't really exist back then), Soulcalibur (competed in daily tournaments for years where you had to fight with eight randomly assigned characters), and No One Lives Forever: The Operative (finished nearly the entire game with a single crossbow bolt that I continuously reused throughout the game).

I have a few others but those mentioned above are probably my favorites. Of course as I get older and have less free time my priority has gone from mastering a single game to just playing as many games as possible, but I have to admit there is a certain sense of pride in knowing that you completely mastered a game that you loved.

What about you? I'm sure you all have no shortage of games that you would like to brag about!

Posted by Gaming Steve at 3:00 PM | Comments (39) | Posted to Poll |  Add this story to  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

I can pretty much recite the script of FFVII word for word and know what I need to make each fight easy as pie.

Also I've mastered The Incredible Machine, not a single puzzle has bested me.

Posted by PatMan33 at January 14, 2008 5:36 PM

I'm very good at Viewtiful Joe, the 3D Marios, and Soul Calibur, but that's about it.

A joke among my friends is the idea that I spend a lot of time learning about games I end up sucking at.

Posted by Chris C/Aybraus at January 14, 2008 6:00 PM

I played Morrowind to death! Considering how incredibly huge that game is, I cannot safely say I found and solved absolutely everything, but I came close.
In addition to the main plot I finished all guild quest-lines (and built every stronhold), a huge majority of the secondary quests (including all daedra-shrine ones), found all secret grandmasters, completed all major (quest-related) dungeons, played ecery race while using every conceivable combination of skills (and maximising every single one), found (almost?) all unique artifacts and a lot of the more obvious stuff (completing armor sets, series of books) etc. ...
Except on my first playthrough I did that on the highest difficulty setting. I didn't use walkthroughs, except in the end to check if I missed anything.
In the end I (succesfully) played & finished the game with an unarmoured & hand-to-hand-fighting character without offensive magic.
I guess it doesn't fit the mastering "task" 100%, but for me MW is the game I feel most comfortable calling myself an expert/ "master"!

Posted by Baal_Sagoth at January 14, 2008 6:13 PM

Knights of the Old rupublic is the closest for me. Although there are those who played the game more than me I still tried all the Classes, alignments and genders the only thing I don't think I completed was the Carth Romance. Although I did manage the Juhuni one.

Posted by Cobra at January 14, 2008 6:48 PM

I think the only game I've ever really mastered is X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, and only because I used to play all the time with one of my friends. I totally wore out three gamepads playing that game.

When reviewers mention how easy a game is, that's usually a good thing to me. I'm just not very good at most games. I know it usually comes down to not taking the time to master the games, but to me I like seeing what's around the next corner. Once I've seen everything, the whole story for games that have them or every map for games that don't, the games start losing interest for me.

That's one thing I'm looking forward to with Spore. Endless worlds to explore.

Posted by Fobok at January 14, 2008 6:54 PM

Super Metroid. I've played it in and out over a billion times, and plan to continue for a long time...

Posted by Gamingasshole at January 14, 2008 7:14 PM

I feel that i had "mastered" super smash bros melee. Im probably a little rusty but i was extremely addicted to it and after a week of buying it, no one could beat me.

Posted by Nebo at January 14, 2008 7:25 PM

I have mastered Star Fox 64. First game I ever owned. I can beat the game on the hardest settings in under 30 min, and even forced myself to go through with one broken wing, 2 broken wings, with/without allies, and done other things that if said would lead to a spoiler. Other than that, maybe SSBM, but I know several people who are at about as good at it as I am. I await the day where I can test my skills at Super Smash bros against the world and not just my small circle of friends.

Posted by bwl2 at January 14, 2008 7:47 PM

Civilization II. I don't care what the situation is, I will win the game.

Posted by Sub at January 14, 2008 8:30 PM

I feel that I mastered Super Mario World. I used to belong to a mario club (an actual club at the high school i went to. Seriously!)

One day we dusted off mario world, i felt good, but i forgot how many hours of my youth i played that game. As were the rules of the club, we would play until we died. I didnt die once.

After the princess was saved, that game was played while i was around (as per the unoffical rule.)

Posted by milk_eway at January 14, 2008 8:48 PM

I was once a god at GoldenEye for the 64. I beat all the time trials including the 2nd level where the only way to do it was to depend on chance and using a trick I discovered to get a scientest to open a door for you.

In multiplayer one-hit-kills was the only way to play. I could thread a needle with the gernade laucher, and knew all the good places to lay proxy mines. I never met someone that could beat me. The only people that could were my two buddies, who I played with in the wee hours of the night. If there were only gaming compititions back in the day, but now my hands are getting old and slow. (weeps gently in old broken hands)

Posted by ilikesanta at January 14, 2008 9:43 PM

I destroy at Ratchet and Clank games. Not super difficult i know, but i still dominate. In the second game ive gone through 5 times and i have like 6 million bolts with nothing to spend it on. On the newest one (mind you bolts must have gone through inflation) i have over 100 million.

Oh and in Star Craft i took out 7 Zerg bases against my older brother. But then again i was Protoss and i made 12 carriers.
But still.

Posted by Tank at January 14, 2008 9:46 PM

This is goofy as heck considering all the different games I play, but...Chicken Invaders 3. I don't know what the heck is up with it, but I bust the crap out of that game, every level of difficulty. My kids gather around me to watch. My latest thing is trying to get the trophy for going through all 110 levels without dying once, I've gotten to 88. If only I were as good at, say, WoW...

Posted by GamerMommy at January 14, 2008 9:57 PM

NBA STREET 2. The BEST street ball game ever hands down. NBA V3 was ok but NBA Homecourt is WACK. The game creators must be fired and please bring back who originally created street 2. At the end of every game, one of my players would have scored close to 40 points and 30 steals. I am wicked good at that game.

Posted by WINZLOW at January 14, 2008 10:01 PM

Burnout 3: Takedown on Xbox. Best game ever.

Posted by blankvoid at January 14, 2008 10:13 PM

Ha...interesting topic!
I know this is ancient in the world of video games; but Lufia 2:Rise of the Sinistrals, SSX:Tricky, FF7, Shadow of the Colossus, Midnight Club, and Donkey Kong Country can't defeat me.

Posted by Mr.Swiss at January 14, 2008 10:23 PM

I'm not to sure, I usualy play a greater variety of games rather than just focus on getting good at one title. There are games which I'd love to master such as Street Fighter Alpha 3 and King of Fighters.

I guess I'll have to go with: most 2D Mario games and Mario Kart.

Posted by Daniel Primed at January 14, 2008 10:24 PM

Crash Bandicoot 2. I can beat it in under 1.5 hours.

Posted by Bobby Digital at January 14, 2008 11:39 PM

ncaa football - the 1993 version for snes, one of the last football games played left to right across the screen, but there were people who could beat me on occasion.
twisted metal 2 - best in series, got ridiculously good with axel and anyone else in the co-op mode. never really played challenge mode, no one wanted to try.
i think though the game at which i dominate the most is pro evolution soccer 2007 for the ps2. i have group of friends, the four of us are better than anyone else i've ever met. we don't always win online - where opponents use cheap tactics (see fishdalf's blog on gamespot), but the closest anyone has gotten to beating one of use in a side by side match is a 10-4 loss. me and one other guy in this group tend to be better than the others. after over 300 memorial matches (feb07-june07) i was up maybe 7 or 8 games and our goal differential was a few tenths of a goal per game. it sounds terrible to write this, i can't believe i kept a girlfriend that year.

Posted by beninho at January 15, 2008 12:19 AM

I used to play Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, and Cliff Hanger thru on one life, as long as the joystick wasn't screwed by heavy-handedness. But I also used to be able to play Shao-Lin Road and The Legend of Kage for hours. The secret to Shao-Lin Road was to get the spike ball and push it away from your character so that the powerup would jump right back to you and start fresh. Legend of Kage had a couple of areas where you could kill an infinite number of Ninjas to build up lives. The only other game I could completely finish without dying was Rolling Thunder.

I have all of the non-laserdisc games on PSP collections, and I am no longer master.

Posted by Robert Gauss at January 15, 2008 12:58 AM

"Super Metroid"...LOVE the game. One of the best EVER. Period. The whole Splinter Cell series. Gotta challenge myself to break a sweat in Very Hard. Same with "Ninja Gaiden Black". Can't wait to get my PS3 to see if "Ninja Gaiden Sigma" can finally beat me.

Posted by Jose Denizard at January 15, 2008 2:06 AM

Total Annihilation,Supcom

Posted by Killerboy85 at January 15, 2008 2:32 AM

definitely the first crash bandicoot game: i got 100% and that was really challenging as you had to beat every single level without dying and opening all the (hidden) boxes in the process.

Posted by mr5973 at January 15, 2008 3:41 AM

Yes, Soul Calibur. Also Tekken, right up to 5 which I didn't like. The number of people who'd be all "I'm totally invincible as (whoever) in Soul Calibur" and would insist I crush them embarassingly. I stopped playing in the end because no-one would play against me.

Posted by Adam at January 15, 2008 7:01 AM

Max Payne for me.

Posted by Jay Bandito at January 15, 2008 8:37 AM

Solarstriker on good old GameBoy with out a doubt.

I remember when I finished the game for the first time. My little brother watched over my shoulder the whole time.

Posted by Geiri at January 15, 2008 10:49 AM

I owned at Waverace 64. I could play that game for hours and hours straight.

Posted by Mark at January 15, 2008 11:05 AM

Street Fighter Alpha 3 - arcade version on MAME.

IMO this is the best fighting game ever made, and not much else even comes close.

It doesn't have the flashiest graphics anymore but in the same way that "A Link to the Past" is the best Zelda game for me, due to its "purity", this is also the best fighting game for me.

Furthermore - it's the last evolution of the real old-school fighting games before they became all about massive 20-hit-combos, fancy moves, fatalities and so on.

I'd say that the game is quite well known, but that it's still hugely underated since most people who want to old-school usually go for street fighter 2, while those who like street fighter but, want new, often bring up "third strike". Alpha 3 is the best mix of both worlds and more fun than any sf2, or third strike imo.

I've played this game more hours than I dare to count and have finished survival mode, and know all moves and combos, with all the characters that have the control scheme of ryu&co. I don't like charcters with "build-up" specials since.

My favorite character is ryu, I often play as ken, akuma and adon but somehow always go back to ryu.

Posted by mark at January 15, 2008 11:44 AM

Civilization II

Tie Fighter (although it's arguably the easiest of the series)

Mortal Kombat I and II

Fallout II (Adv. Power Armor Mk2 at level 10... good times)

Posted by Phlegethonyarre at January 15, 2008 1:09 PM

I played Counter-Strike competitively for many years. I was never a pro-gamer but I've played against many. Would say I mastered that game. It takes years to get good at

Posted by teo at January 15, 2008 2:14 PM

Mine was Marvel Super Heroes. At the arcade my friends and I played in the screen went bad only showing a solid green field. As we had played thousands of matches (either VS. or against the computer) we decided to play it without seeing what was happening. We could still beat the game on a single quarter and played hundreds of VS matches with no screen just by the sound. Once they fixed the machine it was kind of a letdown due to the decreased mental dificulty. It is the only game I can literally play blindfolded.

Posted by Aralon at January 15, 2008 2:58 PM

Star Fox 64. I played that so many times I had memorized where all the enemies popped out. I think I was about 7 at the time, and could beat the hardest levels.

Posted by Gungnir at January 15, 2008 4:03 PM

I was fairly invincible at Mortal Kombat II back in the day. I once challenged a friend of mine to a game where I randomed my character and then proceeded to play the game facing the wrong way with my hands behind my back to operate the controls. I could see nothing, and had to operate solely on sound and my knowledge of how he played. I beat him in 2 rounds, the second being a flawless + fatality. Good times. That being said, there's another friend of mine who is essentially unstoppable at the game, who consistently beats me with only the occasional loss. Sick.

Other than that, I formally challenge anyone, anywhere to a match of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. The game is, in a word, mine.

Posted by TFGoose at January 15, 2008 7:12 PM

I've got two for now. I can play Contra endlessly and have before. The longest I remember was like 6 hours straight completing the game about every 20 minutes.

There is no end. You always destroy a new island each time. The attitude of "just one more" doesn't work. I should do a check to see just how many islands there are on earth to maybe get feel for how many I'd need to destroy to wipe out the entire planet.

The second is Link to the Past. I'm awesome at that game. I know where everything is and I've completed it with "000" games used. The trick on Link tot he past is that it adds one to the games used every time you die OR when you save. It takes less than 6 hours to complete the game and get everything without dying. I know because the last time I played through the entire game like that I put it on a 6 hour VHS tape. I have it somewhere.

Posted by Josh Miller at January 16, 2008 11:37 AM

I can't think of any for myself, but I would be absolutely shocked if anyone out there is better than my girlfriend at Diddy Kong Racing on the 64. I've tried my absolute hardest and I think I've only beaten her once out of countless races.

Posted by robotplague at January 16, 2008 7:49 PM

I am the best at Nintendogs. I stroke my doggy like nobody's business.

Posted by Charlotte at January 18, 2008 3:58 PM

For me it is Rainbow Six III: Raven Shield, exclusively online though. I knew each and every trick in each and every map, knew exactly where I would come across the first enemy after the round started, headshot people to humiliating defeat and rushed them to instant-death. Our Raven Shield clan reached place 7 in the european Clanbase ranking, when there were still about 80 active teams playing on its ladder. There sure were some better teams and players out there, but still, it's safe to say that I mastered that game.

Posted by Doubleclick at January 19, 2008 6:46 AM

I am sad to say that I officially suck at video games. I like them, but I have never won a game completely by myself without cheating.
Either I caved and cheated, or somebody (usually my best friend or, so help me, my younger brother) had to get me past a hard part.

I can't even play the easy games well, like Kirby Superstar (SNES) or SimCity (any version, including the latest one).

But I swear that one day I will fully complete a game with a plot or play a game with no goal exceptionally well, just to know that I'M good at something.

Congrats on your abilities, everyone. Keep it coming!

Posted by SimGameFan at January 23, 2008 11:08 PM

I would have to say kotor and kotor 2, oblivion, and all of the splinter cell games

Posted by matt courser at February 7, 2008 4:35 PM
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