Mega Man 9

Average or merely quite good men need not apply

Okay, so get this- despite all appearances, this is in fact a brand new Mega Man game. Capcom have just made it in the style of a NES game, right down to slightly sluggish controls. They've done this because... they're monsters? We're not sure.

One thing we are sure of is that this game is blindingly, scrotum-dissolvingly hard. Harder than not just any other platformer on Xbox Live Arcade, but any other level based game available on the 360. Which is to say it's as hard as your average NES game. Just beating any one of the eight robots you're up against (now featuring one ladybot) is a triumph, and storming Dr. Wiley's endgame fortress is a terrifying prospect.

Mega Man enters room, encounters spiders. This guy just canít catch a break

But if Mega Man 9 really had been a NES game then it surely would have gone down as one of the console's greats. Everything here from the level and enemy design to the demand for both reflexes and trial-and-error learning is a triumph. Every screen teases you with the prospect of getting through it without a scratch. It's a testament to the quality of this game that while each death might leave you fuming, it'll also make you more reluctant to walk away. But that difficulty just cannot be understated. To begin with you'll only ever be able to play for ten minutes before turning off the console in frustration, and that'll get you wondering how much value for money you're really getting.

The verdict

Who knew agony could be so much fun

Live Arcade