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That One Level / Sports Game

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Whether they be fields, teams, or players, these sports game levels just don't play fair.

  • The Wind Hell—I mean, Wind Hill, in PangYa / Albatross18. Unlike on other courses, the wind is not consistent across an entire hole; there are wind currents that differ from the rest of the course's wind, and you don't even know the speed of these currents. Complicating matters is the alteration of the game's physics; slopes will affect your ball much more, rough is much thicker, and the ball has to take an extra bounce before backspinning. And you will now have to deal with a tree on nearly every hole, and the wind currents just love to hang out with the new trees.
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  • Tecmo Super Bowl has the San Francisco 49ers as "That One Team." If Joe Montana-to-Jerry Rice doesn't work, no problem. John Taylor, Brent Jones, and Roger Craig will inevitably murder the player. If that was not enough, injuring Montana won't help; Steve Young is better than half the starting quarterbacks in the game. The Niners' defense is just as scary; Ronnie Lott and Dave Waymer are interception machines, Bill Romanowski and Michael Carter can stop a running game cold, and Matt Millen, Pierce Holt, and Charles Haley can rack sacks up in a ridiculous manner.
  • The original Tecmo Bowl has Los Angeles. If you land on them as one of your final two opponents (assuming you have defenders strong enough not to simply bounce off of Bo Jackson, or "#34 Jackson" as the game calls him), if you punt, you lose.
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  • From Madden NFL 2004, there's the Atlanta Falcons. Michael Vick has the honor of being the cover athlete for that year, so he's got a ridiculously high awareness, throw power, and throw accuracy stat. He can throw to Peerless Price and Brian Finneran (both vastly better in this game than reality), not to mention tight end Alge Crumpler. Warrick Dunn will run around you, and TJ Duckett will run through you - it's a given. And if that isn't quite enough, Vick has one of the highest speed ratings in the game, meaning he can call a Hail Mary, send all his wideouts down the field, and run upwards of 20 yards before you wrap him up. Brutal. This is especially funny because Vick has terrible awareness and throwing accuracy in real life.
  • NHL 11 has the Vancouver Canucks. Roberto Luongo stops seemingly every shot you throw at him (the only way to beat him is on a deflection), the top line can score at will and make goalies look like idiots, and they seem to be faster than every other team in the game, stifling any breakaway chances. Even if you can get past the defense, Luongo stops you anyway. Ironically, the Canucks lost that year's Stanley Cup final series to the Boston Bruins (with Luongo's inconsistent performance coming in for particular criticism), though it was pretty close to Truth in Television during the far larger sample size of the entire season.
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  • In earlier editions of NCAA Football, the replica of the 1994 "Miracle at Michigan" was this. The issue was that, in reality, Colorado QB Kordell Stewart threw a high, lofting floater pass 74 yards in the air that was tipped to his wide receiver. In the game, 1994 CU QB (they couldn't use his name) physically couldn't throw it that far. So your two options were to try to throw a quick pass out of bounds to get closer, with 6 seconds and no timeouts this was tough on its own, or to chuck it to about the 10 yard line and hope your WR could catch it (unlikely as it is) and break 2-3 tackles on the way into the endzone.
  • The Tiger Woods PGA Tour series has The Predator fantasy course - an absolutely fiendish nightmare of a course set in the Amazon Rainforest that is what happens when you let developers try and make you cry. With extremely generous out-of-bounds areas, completely diabolical greens that slope every single way but the hole, ridiculous elevation changes, incredibly tall trees to hit between and even a hole that resembles a labyrinth more than a coherent golf hole, it is difficult for a character with maxed stats to finish under par, let alone a normal character. And don't even try on Tour Pro difficulty... Fantasy courses were originally a chance for the developers to screw around and have fun torturing the players - Wallaby Creek, Penguin Falls and Paradise Cove are mercifully extinct, but Emerald Dragon, Greek Isles, The Highlands and, of course, The Predator are still, sadly around.
  • Mario Golf World Tour:
    • The One On, One Putt challenge for Sky Island, the game's par 3-only course. Sounds simple in practice - straight birdies/holes-in-one on the front 9, and the first shot must land on the green - but the greens are super small and hilly past the first few holes, and the wind is largely variable, requiring very careful aim. To put it in perspective, even landing on the very tip of the fringe is grounds for disqualification, and you have to keep this up for 9 holes in a row. Hole 6 in particular is the nastiest of the bunch - its minuscule green is completely surrounded by a huge bunker - depending on the strength of the wind, it's nearly impossible to get past this hole under certain circumstances. And, just to top it off, one of the unlockable outfits requires you to do the One On, One Putt challenge on all 18 holes of Sky Island. Good luck.
    • In terms of general play, Cheep Cheep Lagoon is rather loathed. Since the level is entirely underwater, shots don't bounce nearly as far, and performing precise putts is completely out of the question, as the ball is constantly bogged down by the surrounding water, much like the randomly-occurring rainstorms on the other courses.
    • Any of the Star Coin challenges where you have to use the Ice Flower powerup to collect a coin dangling above water. The gimmick to the Ice Flower is that it creates ice platforms where your ball lands, allowing it to skip across water hazards. Unfortunately, the mechanics don't work terribly well as far as distance and bounce are concerned, and most Star Coins are placed over bodies of water next to steep banks, which means ninety percent of your Ice Flower shots will result in your ball skipping over the water but failing to clear the bank and bouncing backwards into the drink, instantly ending your run.
  • Swing Away Golf was a flawed game in many aspects and had its share of events that were a lot tougher than they should have been. The absolute worst, however, was the Mid-Amateur Competition. It ran on holes made by the game's clumsy, buggy course creator, often resulting in ridiculous slopes and pin placements. The result being that on many holes you'll have to shoot way uphill or way downhill, or over massive bunkers, or over massive rough, or otherwise have to make outrageous shots way beyond whatever abilities you have as an amateur. Even Jackpot Cup, which has some truly insane holes, isn't as bad as this.
  • Paul Rodriguez's and Rob Dyrdek's Pro Challenges in the original Skate are very aggravating in their own ways, notably:
    • Both require you to do a 360 flip to a grind, a trick that's notoriously hard to do for beginners and one that can easily get mixed up with other similar tricks like a 360 Inward Heel. This goes double for P-Rod, as his requires you to perform a Nollie 360 Flip, which requires the same input command inverted upside-down.
    • Rob Dyrdek's challenge requires you to do the trick onto a ledge, and not only that, but you also have to do a specific grind trick as well. There's plenty of ledge in comparison, but while getting the movements down, Big Black will traipse around in the middle of your line like an idiot for no reason, causing you to wait until he clears out to try again.
    • Paul Rodriguez's challenge, in comparison, is nightmarish. He wants you to perform a Nollie 360 flip into a grind on a hubba on a small stairset. Emphasis on small - the damn ledge is barely 3 feet wide. Go too fast and you'll overshoot it, but go too slow and you might not even land on the ledge at all. Add to the fact that the Nollie 360 Flip is one of the most difficult flip tricks to consistently pull off, and you'll be stuck here for quite some time.
  • The final mission for Tony Hawk's Underground. In order to get back the tape with your ultimate stunt from Eric Sparrow, you have to do one last skate-off across your hometown. On the street, on the bridge, on fences, electric wires, the works. You have a 2-minute time limit and Eric throws down firebombs so that if you mess up even once, there's a chance you won't be able to recover as your streak is ruined. The mission's only saving grace is that you only do it once.
    • Some missions on Sick difficulty in Underground are also ridiculous. One in Jersey after you return from Moscow has you to combo a line that basically does two full laps on the stage. And unlike Sparrow's last mission, you have to do it on all playthroughs.
    • One mission in Tampa requires you to grind around a pool while avoiding beer bottles. On easier difficulties, you grind atmost half of the pool, which is quite large. In Sick, you must grind the whole thing. The problem? The pool's borders aren't connected in one place, forcing you to jump very specifically to avoid failure, because you are not allowed to do anything other than grind once you start the mission.
  • Speaking of Sick difficulty missions, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground are just beyond mere mortals's capacity. Examples such as classic modes requiring you to do all goals in one sitting, combo lines that not only are stupidly hard but also requires you to score one million points on the first one in Inner City Philly and specific tricks where the sick marker is always on ridiculous places.
    • And then comes the story missions:
      • Andrew Reynold's first mission in Baltimore has you grabbing materials for the event. The first one is right at your face and the last two are way above the buildings. To make this even harder, you have to finish the goal without touching the ground. Fun.
      • Then you have the event itself. The first task is to grind 5 full laps without bailing in a fountain, inside and outside of it. Then there is the pseudo classic mode where you must do tasks that range from scoring 1 million points to fully grinding a sculpture without bailing, in one solid minute. And the last one is impossible to beat without doing Nail-The-Grab because Nail The Trick is not enough to score a grand total of 75.000 points for sick. You will even have just enough air to land it even when you max out both these stats.
  • Football Manager 2013 introduced the Challenge Mode, which involves solving specific single-season scenarios. One of them is "The Invincibles", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - you have to end the season undefeated, which even if it starts two thirds through the season, and with your team in great spirits due to the excellent season they are having, is far easier said than done. Get ready for Save Scumming, for it's the only challenge with an instant defeat condition. The other default challenges can be difficult depending on the team you pick, but "The Invincibles" is the only one that is difficult on any team.
  • The 1985 Epyx classic Winter Games was one of the company's biggest critical and commercial successes. However, ask almost anyone who has played it to name their least favourite events, and the near-universal answer will be the two figure skating events. The idea seems sound on paper; Figure Skating is comparable to the short programme in real figure skating, requiring the competitor to perform a set of seven required elements at least once each in the time limit, while Free Skating, as in reality, raises both the time limit (from one minute to two) and the number of times the required elements must be performed (from one to three).note  However, the timing required is frustratingly unforgiving (which is a major problem in versions with unresponsive controls, such as the infamous NES and FDS ports), often leading to the skater spending more time falling flat on her backside than performing the various jumps and spins on the required list. Many players also find the rounds boring compared to the faster and/or speed-emphasising skiing, speed skating, and bobsled events.


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