Super Meat Boy features a meaty little hero, a sinister tuxedo wearing villain called Dr. Fetus, and evil turds who suffer from incredible fits of rage. There, review done. Well, not really. It''s one of those games that definitely fits into the 'masocore' genre, sitting along side games like I Wanna Be the Guy, N+, and Mighty Jill Off. Funnily enough, characters from those games play a role in Super Meat Boy, but anyway - these games are not intended for the faint hearted. The amount of times I said the words "Fuck my life." while playing Super Meat Boy are numerous, considering I've died nearly 1200 times. Yes, I know that as a fact because the game statistics screen told me so. Despite the punishing difficulty, this game remains a blast to play thanks to how ridiculous, fun, challenging, and down right awesome it is. Oh, and the words "One more try." also came up a lot.
The game handles like your typical platformer, except it may actually handle better than the last one you played. The controls here are really tight, and you need them to be. You'll be wall jumping, sprint jumping, leaping through small gaps between deadly saw blades, dodging projectiles...the list goes on. If you want to stop, then you stop, and it happens pretty much immediately. This is the kind of precision the controls this game has, and like I said, you'll need them to be. Reading that small list back to myself, I realised something. There really is a lot you'll be doing in each level, particularly the later ones - and each level, if you do it right, probably only takes around twenty seconds.
I suppose it's a good thing that Super Meat Boy over three hundred levels then, isn't it? At the beginning, you'll merely have to wall jump or jump across large gaps to get your way through the first few levels. Later, you'll be introduced to hazardous obstacles like spinning sawblades, and soon, fiery bits of doom coupled with rocket launchers and laser beams will soon block your path. That is when the levels start to take a bit longer than twenty seconds to complete, especially if you're a completionist. The reason I saw that is because on many of the levels, you'll find bandages to collect which is how you some of the characters in the game. To properly score the bandage, however, you'll need to pick up the bandage and survive the level until the end, which can be easy said than done. Many levels had bandages that I could only look at with dismay. How the hell am I meant to get that without dying? Well, that's Super Meat Boy for you. Speaking of unlockable characters, a mentionable few are the Ninja from N+, Tim from Braid, Alien Hominid from...well, Alien Hominid, and one of the knights from Castle Crashers. These all have different abilities to Super Meat Boy (whose ability is running really fast when holding the right trigger); for example, Jill from Mighty Jill Off can postpone her jump in mid air, and then slowly float down instead of falling if the player repeatedly hits the jump button. Handy. Not all of these characters are unlockable via bandage collection, though. Some, like Commander Video from the Bit.Trip games, are unlocked through completing warp zones - portals that you find hidden in various levels.
Battles with giant monsters comprised of all of your corpses made through playing the game, duels with huge angry turds, nuclear explosions, and forest fires. These are just some of what you'll see in the odd but strangely cute cinematics, which also tell the story of your girlfriend Bandage Girl being kidnapped from the evil Dr. Fetus. The cinematics also contain many references to games from the late '80s such as the NES Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man II. If you're into that sort of thing, it's pretty cool, but the main highlight for me is the intro movie. Seeing a downtrodden Super Meat Boy sit bruised and beaten, then suddenly burst with energy into what then becomes the main menu screen backed with awesome music is something I can't help but sit through every time I load up the game. It's pretty sweet.
The game is split into several different worlds, each comprising of twenty levels and a boss fight. That's the light world, anyhow. Pressing X on the level select menu will change that world into the dark world, which edits the levels from the light world into something much harder. Whether its the addition of a few saw blades here and there, the dark world adds some extra challenge, but you can only play the dark world on levels you've beaten the par time on in the light world. You know, because the game really needed that extra challenge. So that adds up to forty levels per world, hence the three hundred and seven levels there are . You'll be busy with this game for a long time, and you might not even finish it. I doubt I'll ever get a 100% completion out of Super Meat Boy, but it'll be good rage-filled fun while I try. Team Meat, the developer, also intends to release new levels frequently via the 'Teh Internets' world, which you'll unlock once you've collected twenty bandages. This system circumvents Microsoft's usual demand for Microsoft Point purchases, which means free levels for us. Couple that with a very reasonable 1200 MS points price tag, and you’ll find that Super Meat Boy is one hell of a deal.
Go and buy this game now. Just look at his face, you just have to. In case you forgot what his face looks like, look at it again. I love Super Meat Boy...the game is pretty is darn good too.