There is one factor that should be universal in video games - a difficulty curve. Whether a game is childishly easily or relentlessly tough, the first level should be simple.
As mind-bogglingly hard as Super Meat Boy and Battletoads are, the first few levels aren't too bad, which gives the player time to get a handle on the controls and the basic mechanics. Having a difficulty curve is logical since it would be unfair if you got killed off in a game before you had a chance to figure out what the hell you're supposed to do.
However, some developers thought, 'Screw that' and hit the player with every trap, projectile, and enemy the instant you boot up the game. Before you figured out your objectives, your destination, or how to jump, you find yourself becoming well-acquainted with the Game Over screen.
Don't get me wrong. Die-hard gamers love a challenge. A game needs to be a little frustrating so it's all the more satisfying when you complete it. But there are some platformers, racers, and shoot-em-ups that are so unfair from the very beginning, the average player can't even pass the opening level.
10. Super Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi
Super Star Wars was an excellent platformer released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo. The game was such a hit, it was no surprise that LucasArts developed two sequels based on the original Star Wars trilogy. Anyone who played Super Return of the Jedi for the first time was probably assuming the first level would follow the typical side-scrolling gameplay of its predecessors.
However, the game begins with a 3D Mode 7 level where the player must travel to Jabba's palace in a landspeeder. This throws off the player so much, they're guaranteed to fall into a pit and die in less than ten seconds.
Just to be clear, there were 3D Mode 7 levels in the previous games so this sequence shouldn't be completely out of left field. But this level is much, much harder for two reasons - You can't stop moving and there are pits EVERYWHERE!
You also have to dodge the rocks and columns strewn around every section. Colliding into these structures won't cause much damage but it's likely the impact will cause your vehicle to sail into the abyss.