It doesn't look like much from the start. A flat main character, and some simple jumps. But after just 15 minutes with Super Meat Boy I'm convinced that this is one of the best platformers to come out this year. Despite the fact that you will spend the majority of the time dying. Dying and cursing.
The main character of Super Meat Boy is a red square who seems made up of pressed meat of dubious quality. Splatter ensues as soon as he touches blades, spikes, or monsters across the 110 levels. The evil Dr. Fetus has kidnapped Meat Boy's girlfriend Bandage Girl, but the story isn't given much space as you are thrown straight in to the platform action.
Meat Boy is capable bending his jumps quite a bit, and he is also quite capable of staying in the air thanks to repeated wall jumps. By holding down the trigger and/or riding air currents he can reach new heights. The objective is to reach Bandage Girl at the end of each levels, where she in classic Donkey Kong manner is taken away, and you are forced to tackle the next challenge. Great pace, and no nonsense.
The first world is not much of a challenge for someone who has played his fair share of platform games, but already in the second world the kill count of poor Meat Boy starts hitting the roof. One false step and you are turned in to kebab. It sounds frustrating and it is frustrating, but in that special way to appeals to my slightly sadistic personality. Think of Bit. Trip Runner, think of Mega Man. And yes, think SMB...
I'm at my happiest when I nail an impossible jump across a hellish chasm, land on a minimal platform, desperately leap again and happen to land directly on Bandage Girl without knowing exactly what just happened. The result is a lot of heartfelt laughter, in between all the cursing and mistimed jumps. Simply put, Super Meat Boy creates a lot of emotion. When I complete the level I get to see all my failures and the one successful attempt repeated on screen and I'm all smiles.
There is a lot to keep you occupied. Apart from regular platform levels, you are sometimes forced to run away from a giant monster who crushes you if you aren't quick enough. Disappearing platforms and cages that needs to be unlocked with keys are in there too. You can save reruns of your best rounds, and you can also check out the leaderboards to see what times other players have recorded. For those who like to collect stuff there are bandaids to collect in each level that unlocks different rewards.
Nothing is better than a great platformer, that's just a fact. The price (800 points for a limited time) is an incredible bargain. Super Meat Boy is a solid nine and I haven't had this much fun jumping since Super Mario Galaxy 2. You're a meathead if you don't get it!
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