SUPER MEAT BOY

Wild and garbled plot takes you to levels exponentially progressed to terrific heights of gameplay

Okay. You have a boy made of meat, most likely a medium rare entrecôte that all sentient beings with grease on and dripping all around love and adore to bits. Because he’s such a premium cut himself, quite naturally, he falls for a cuboidal lass with a daisy pinned to the side, a girl of bandages to bind his red, juicy, bloody centre tight; but alas, a rogue foetus in an amniotic sac with a doctorate to his name has decided to run afoul with this world as we know it, a world that dislikes him, a world where Meat Boy is loved, a Meat Boy he hates, then beats, so that he can steal away Bandage Girl. The perils of Meat Boy have only begun, as Dr.Fetus finds new and ingenious ways to keep this budding relationship from ever blossoming, a swift kick, punch, ‘hai-yah!’, and she’s out of Meat Boy’s reach again, every time he’s almost there!

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But the game has more than a sketchy romance to pine for,  it drops you smack dab in the middle of a hard level, and everything after only gets harder, and faster, and harder, and faster, until you’re absolutely sure you’re shaving years off your life-pool with each level you successfully overcome, and there are literally hundreds of them. You have the normal levels, the warp zones (with a 16 bit meat boy) that take you to hidden places with unlockables ,  and every time you finish a particular area successfully (read quickly, achieving an A-grade on the levels), you get a ‘Dark World’ area for it, which is twice as hard as the original one. Overclocked heartbeats and an unstable build-up of anxiety most definitely leading you to a myocardial infarction, but you won’t stop, ever. It’s too much fun. It’s too addictive, this mad race to the finish, the head rush, the relentless assault, the continuous deaths, everything!

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The deaths themselves are like a bittersweet, yet oddly satisfying reward at the end of each level, when you get to see all your runs including the final one happening at once, as a replay, showing you what each mad dash eventually got you. The best part about the game is how precise and accurate it is, infuriating only because every mistake you make is clearly your own, either because you haven’t yet gotten a hang of the game, or because you misjudged or miscalculated. The game is an ode to arcade games of the past as well, with several level designs from crowd favourites featuring in as modern day equivalents of the same style of play.

 

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Super Meat Boy, with all its humour, design, soundtrack (you’ll love the soundtrack, it’s perfect), and characters will easily be some of the best hours of fun you’ll ever have; it evokes the weirdest combination of emotions in a human being, and that by itself should be reason enough to at least give it a shot. I’m 100% certain, that’ll be more than enough to pull anyone in. That’s just how ‘Team Meat’ intended it to begin with.

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