Review by PurestProdigy
Absolutely one of the best platformers available for XBLA
Super Meat Boy not only manages to be a fun game, it is one of the most refreshing platfomers in quite some time. The game excels at it's ability to be easy to jump into while still capable of granting a hearty challenge. Although story and narrative is nearly nonexistent in this very simple game and graphics aren't anything too spectacular, the gameplay of Super Meat Boy is extremely addictive and challenging.
In this game you play as the game's titular character Meat Boy, who needs to traverse the land in order to rescue his girlfriend Band-Aid Girl from the clutches of the evil Dr. Fetus, who is.. a baby fetus... The game's immature humor is like South Park without the ethical lesson at the end of every episode, and while I found it to be amusing, it is not for the feint of heart. Each of the game's worlds is preceded by a small flash cutscene that details Meat Boy's adventure, but thankfully these cutscenes can be skipped.
The game plays very simply, but it's still fun. It is very fast paced, and all Meat Boy has at his disposal is the ability to jump and walljump. The obstacles and enemies aren't extremely varied, but the level design is top-notch and because of this, the game never feels too repetitive even though there are a ton of levels. There are also hidden characters which can be unlocked through finding Warp Zones to unlock levels which in turn by being beaten unlock the said character, or by finding a number of bandages throughout levels. These characters are all homages to a ton of different indie games and they each have their own unique abilities. Their use is completely optional though, and they are mostly used to unlock other characters, or to get better times on levels.
The reason why Super Meat Boy is refreshing is because it plays differently from many platfomers. It's easy to jump into because all of the games levels can be beaten in less than two minutes and you're never too caught up if you need to finish a level. Since the game has way more than 200 levels you can sit with the game for about five minutes and feel like you've had a fulfilling play period, or you can dive in and play for hours at a time. That's not to say the game is easy by any means; although the levels can be beaten in two minutes, it will most likely take far longer than that to get a time that low in many of the later levels. In fact although the first few levels are good to zone out on, there are several levels in the game that can take up to an hour to get through due to failed attempts.
Super Meat Boy has an absolute ton of meaty platform goodness. There are seven worlds. The first five worlds and the seventh world each hold twenty levels initially and the sixth world has five stages. Additionally, the first six worlds also has an original boss fight. After you fulfill certain requirements, you can unlock Dark versions of each world. Each Dark world has mirror versions of levels from it's Light world counterpart that are more challenging and twisted versions of those levels. There are also 8-bit levels that can be unlocked by finding Warp Zones in levels. These levels are typically harder than other parts of the game and you control an 8-bit version of Meat Boy in them. And as I said before there are hidden characters, many of which you control through their own 8-bit style levels to unlock. Finally, there are teh internets which is a group of levels that are actually streamed into the game. So it's like free DLC basically. As you can see because of all this, there is no shortage of content in this game.
The soundtrack of Super Meat Boy is one of the best I've experienced in a videogame. Each world has it's own awesome theme and the dark versions of world's have similar sounding tracks that complement their light versions. The 8-bit renditions of each world theme are absolutely gorgeous to listen to and fit the game's retro throwback style quite nicely. In all honesty, even if you don't like the game and you listen to videogame music, you should go check out some of the tracks on the composer's website for free.
Super Meat Boy is one of the most addictive, content filled indie platformers available to Xbox Live Arcade (or Steam if you have it). It's got an amazing soundtrack, tons of challenging addicting levels, and a super sick sense of humor. If you're a leaderboard climbing indie platformer lover who isn't afraid of a challenge, Super Meat Boy is the game for you.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Super Meat Boy (US, 10/20/10)
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