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The whole “Your princess is in another castle” stigma is hardly revolutionary. Yet after all these years it still perfectly fits as a way to propel our hero from level to level. It’s simple, but it’s perfect. At it’s core, Super Meat Boy has a pretty simple premise. Meat Boy must make his way through various traps and dangers in order to save his girlfriend Bandage Girl. The evil Dr Fetus has stolen her away and it’s up to Meat Boy to save the day. It’s nothing new, but it works.
Make no mistake, this may be a simple game in concept, but it’s not a easy ride. This game is going to kick your ass. Lots of the levels require pinpoint moves and jumps. Anything less is instant death. Literally, everything is out to kill you and Meat Boy can only take one hit before he dies and is sent back to the beginning of the level.
This adds a ton of challenge, I found myself stuck on certain levels for more tries than I would care to admit. While you will be dying—a lot… Super Meat Boy never really feels tedious. Obstacles feel like challenges to be overcome instead of walls that just to get in the way. There’s little to no downtime in between deaths so getting back into the action isn’t an inconvenience.
The level designs are normally very small. The emphasis is on quick puzzle solving, jumping from platform to platform with various objects standing in between yourself and Bandage Girl. Objects range from piles of salt, buzz saws, seeker missiles and good old fashioned spike strips. A good general rule of thumb in Super Meat Boy is that if it’s not solid ground, it will probably kill you. Lots of levels have multiple approaches for completion. This game really shines when you get stuck and can sit back and adjust how you progress through each level.
My favorite part about Super Meat Boy is that when you finally reach Bandage Girl at the end of each level the game shows you a replay of all your attempts overlapping each other. So if you die 100 times in a level, when you finally beat it you can watch a video where 100 little meat guys all charge into the slaughter all at once. The replay is a really nice touch and it can be really funny watching all your failures at once.
There is a ton of things to do in Super Meat Boy. Full 100% completion is going to take a lot of time and luck. Aside from the normal light world levels you have the harder dark world versions, bandage collecting and character unlocking. This is a game people could be playing for a very long time, I honestly don’t even know if I am capable of completing each challenge.
Overall, Super Meat Boy is very addicting experience. The gameplay requires a lot of skill and figuring out how to approach each level can be a lot of fun. The controls are super tight and there is a ton of replay value to be had. There is more than enough content packed into Super Meat Boy to warrant it’s $15 price tag. So if you are a glutton for punishment, don’t hesitate to pick this one up.
Check out all the meat grinding fun in Super Meat Boy for Xbox Live Arcade on October 20th.