I'm a person who likes to play his video games on the hardest setting possible. I'm a person who likes to play his games on the hardest setting possible the first time through a game. I'm big on games giving me a challenge. I like it when I'm just so angry at a game I want to snap the game in half and swear off playing games forever. The feeling of relief when you see "Checkpoint" reached after an extremely tough section is pure bliss. I'm one who tends to get through games very quickly, ususally I can finish an average game in a few days a week at most. I don't get much of a challenge out of most games. The COD games on Veteran are a favorite of mine becuse they are ball bustingly hard, well except for Modern Warfare 2 that's a joke on Veteran. Two games that come to mind that had Hardest modes that felt just right were Gears of War 2 and Halo 3. Gears 2 was a steady challenge through out the whole game. I had some trouble when you're riding the rigs to go dig into the planet and you have to shoot the Reavers down but besides that a very balanced experience. Sniper rifle in hand I plowed into Gears 2 with a mission to beat it on Insane by myself and I succeeded. Halo 3 was a similar experience for me a steady pace of challenge that I enjoyed all the way to the end, except for the "Cortana" level. It's just a broken mess of never ending Flood spawning that just rapes you every chance you get. I had to just run to each checkpoint and hope they triggered without me dieing, again another game done solo without any co-op on Legendary. Back to the Call of Duty games, COD 4 is one of the hardest games I've ever played. It was a two week struggle to get through it on Veteran. The Ferris Wheel outside of Chernobyl, The level Heat where you run down the hill and No Fighting in the War Room were torture. Not to leave out on of the biggest screw yous in the history of gaming, The Mile High Club. MHC was a 5 day ordeal of me trying for an hour getting so mad I wanted to put my hand through the wall then playing multiplayer for awhile then trying for an hour. Now I'm not one to get super excited to a point that it shows often when I beat that plane I was jumping up and down in excitement and yelling how awesome I was because I did it. My roommate at the time knocked on my bedroom door to see if I was okay.
Another hard game that I played recently was Demon's Souls a great game that came out last year for the PS3. It's a action RPG that has a huge learning curve due to the difficulty, the game makes you earn your progress you feel a sense of accomplishment when you progress. No check points you die and it's back to the beginning of the level and you lose all your souls (money) and you don't get back any items you may have used in the coarse of the level before you died. I went into this game expecting hell and I got it, at first. Once you get a feel for the combat and how everything works Demon's Souls actually isn't that hard of a game. Still enjoyable for the hardness but not as will breaking as people make it out to be.
The games of today do not have the overall difficulty of game of the past. The thing games from the past had going for them especially the NES game were most of them were kind of broken. Enemies would respawn if you left the area of the screen they were on or they would endlessly respawn due to a glitch. Some of these game featured the dreaded knock back, Castlevania and the Ninja Gaiden games come to mind. You get hit and the character would fly back in an arc to land usually in a pit. While usually cheap this mechanic added some extra challenge to these old school games but in the end it was just frustrating to watch your dude fall to his death over and over again.
A series that was pretty much very tough but well balanced about itself was the Mega Man series. I mean Mega Man, Mega Man not all the off shoots and side games and all that jazz just the main series. Even through they were tough if you knew what you were doing the games were very beatable. Even the spawn of hell that is Mega Man 9, it's hard but all you have to do is memorize the levels but trying to jump into a single space pit off of a moving platform that is flying over said pit and not hitting all the instant death spikes that surround said pit is a pain in the ass the rest of the game is beatable with as I said memorization. I remember not having a lot of trouble with Mega Man 2 but I've heard people talk about how hard it is. It's been a long time sense I've played Mega Man 2 so I wonder if age has caught up to me on that game with my old man reflexes I wonder if it would be to hard to play now? I think I need to download it on the Wii and give it a shot to see if I can still beat it.
One more game to talk about here and that's Batman: Arkham Asylum. I popped that game in picked hard and away I went. It's one game I regret playing on the hardest mode right out of the gate because I think it hurt my overall enjoyment of the game. Now I wasn't a big fan of the game overall. I thought the story was weak and all the boss encounters were just dumb. Even the Scarecrow parts I had heard were so cool were just kind of a let down. But playing it on hard was brutal because I had no idea how the combat worked. I know on the lower settings they give you clues on when to hot the button to fight but I think the reason for that is the combat is just straight broken. I would love a pair of the rose colored glasses reviewers were wearing when they played this game because it's not a great game, I don't even know if it's a good game. The amount of collectable sets in it rival Donkey King 64 which was overkill. It's the best Batman game ever made but that's like saying this is the best tasting turd I've ever eaten, in the end it's still crap.