Top Ten of 2010 - Super Meat Boy
Another title in the list that wears its retro credentials on its sleeve, Super Meat Boy is a ferociously challenging platformer that demands every last drop of skill from the player.
The main thing about SMB is that it should be maddening. It should be throw-the-controller frustrating... but it's not. There's something about the presentation that's so goofy and cheerful that continual failure only raises laughs instead of ire. There's also a deep respect for the game itself. The control is so perfectly pitched and the levels so cleverly designed that not only are you sure that next time you'll crack it, you feel you owe it to the game to succeed. SMB doesn't cheat the player. It's hard but totally fair, and for the most part every failed attempt only serves to refine your sequence through a level. The first tricky jump becomes second nature as you focus on the second, and so on. Often you get your first look at a level and think "No way". But then you do it. You may do it after 100 attempts - but you do it. The satisfaction is unequalled.
And to be honest, as an oldschool arcade gamer it's nice to know you've still got it.