35 Frustrating Things About Playing Video Games In The ’90s

Battletoads, Virtual Boy, Double Dragon III, underwater levels… What do they all have in common?

1. When your parents shut off the console at a crucial moment in the game.

Warner Bros.

In an era where “saves” were not the norm, this was a pretty big f****** deal.

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2. The depression that followed this heartbreaking screen.

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3. When you forgot to blow into your cartridge before playing it.

Nintendo / Via complex.com
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4. The absurd wind tunnel level in Battletoads.

RARE / Via youtube.com
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5. The time Phillips’ CD-I butchered these two great Nintendo-licensed franchises.




Imagine someone peeing on the Mona Lisa. This is the equivalent. If not worse.

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6. When Street Fighter 2010 had nothing to do with Street Fighter.


Child self: “Hadoukens in space? HELL YEAH!” …Oh, the disappointment…

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7. When you were forced to buy the old console to get the new one.


Want the latest in Sega technology? Buy the old technology first.

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8. The horrible transition of great movies to shitty video games.




Was “The Curse of the Pyramids” in Part II or Part III? Oh, it wasn’t in the movie? Ok…

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And the horrible transition of great video games to shitty movies.

Hollywood Pictures Home Entertainment

Hollywood Pictures Home Entertainment


Remember when King Koopa used a bazooka in the game? Nope.

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9. ALL underwater levels.


Virgin Interactive



Video games go to die under water.

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Let’s remember the game that set the bar…


Shockingly frustrating.

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10. That person who did the same move over and over again in fighting games.

Warner Bros. Interactive

You know who you are…

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11. That obnoxious kid who had a subscription to Nintendo Power.


He was better than you. And rich.

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12. Your first introduction to a “NOW LOADING” screen.

Focus Features


You actually have to… wait?

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13. When your power strip failed to do its job.

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14. Not having quarters at Pizza Hut.

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15. Learning the hard way the difference between cartridges and disks.

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16. Finding out you had the “bloodless” version of Mortal Kombat.

Warner Bros. Interactive / Via gameinformer.com
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17. The time you discovered Double Dragon III only gave you ONE LIFE for the entire game.


BBC Home Entertainment



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18. Multiplayer meant WAITING FOR YOUR DAMN TURN.

Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
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19. The absolute uselessness of Miles “Tails” Prower.

Sonic Adventure Stylebook / Via info.sonicretro.org

Sonic the Hedgehog’s sidekick died all the time, didn’t help at all, and was only there so your little brother could stop whining about not letting him play.

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20. The friend who boasted catching all 151 Pokemon but didn’t tell you he used this little gem:

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21. The time Nintendo and DC teamed up to slap you in the face with this monstrosity:

Titus Software
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Those… damn… rings…

Titus Software
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22. When game designers got extremely arrogant and put out ads like this:

Eidos Entertainment

John Romero designed such games as Quake and Doom. This was an ad for his highly-anticipated new game Daikatana. After hyping the game in interviews and portraying himself as a video game God, the game failed horrendously. Karma prevailed.

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23. When games sped up the music to let you know YOU’RE ABOUT TO DIE.

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24. When horrendous music killed your gaming experience.

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25. Finding out the N64 had no video features.

Hartswood Films

Unlike the Playstation.

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26. The laughable Japanese to English translation.

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27. Watching contestants struggle on Nick Arcade.

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28. The show-off on Dance Dance Revolution.

Doesn’t matter how many points you get, you still can’t crip walk.

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29. Those ridiculous large-sized boxes for Sega Saturn games.

Look at all that useless space under the disk.

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30. The soul-crushing punishment for purchasing a bootleg copy of Earthbound.

If you used a bootleg copy of Earthbound, evil things happened.

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31. When you faced off against an unforgiving CPU in the arcade version of Street Fighter.


The amount of quarters spent could pay off Sallie Mae.

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32. When terrible gaming design cost you a life.

Absolute Entertainment
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33. Having to choose between one of these two glorious consoles:




You could only have one.

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And then later, having to choose between these two legendary consoles:





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34. But you’ll always remember the time you bought one of these notorious consoles:

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Atari / Via amazon.com
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Tiger Electronics / Via vintagecomputing.com
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35. And of course, the most annoying/greatest GAME OVER jingle of all time.

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