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Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy

Play for high steaks

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Review While hitting the sack early with my girlfriend has it's appeal, I've recently preferred to stay up late in the living room playing with my meat. By that I mean, of course, bashing away on the Xbox at Super Meat Boy, a simple platformer I've been unable to put down.

2D games have made a comeback recently and some real gems can be found within Xbox Live's compelling range of arcade games. But while titles like Braid, 'Sploison Man, Limbo and Comic Jumper, are all riveting experiences, Super Meat Boy steps in and tops the lot.

Super Meat Boy

Meat in the forest

Some may remember the original Meat Boy, a Flash game released in 2008 that laid the foundations, much to the same degree that Mario Bros did for Nintendo's successful follow up. Super Meat Boy bears a likeness to Super Mario Bros in more ways than just its initials too. The familiar idea in SMB is to rescue the damsel in distress who waits helplessly at the end of each level, only to be whisked away upon your arrival. In this case, it's the love of Meat Boy's life, Bandage Girl, imprisoned by his nemesis, Dr. Fetus, a tuxedo wearing, monocle bearing evil unborn baby. And you thought Mario was on shrooms!

The bizarre storyline is told through a heap of wacky cut-scenes - often direct imitations of moments in classic titles. Packed with pop-culture references, SMB certainly strikes a chord and Danny Baranowsky's fantastic soundtrack, a collection of 8-bit inspired melodies, prescribes a huge dose of nostalgia from the days of chiptune music.

Super Meat Boy

"Hands off my Bandage girl, Fetus features!"

Essentially put together by just two guys, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes - aka Team Meat - SMB takes us back to a time when graphics weren't that great, controls were limited to just a few buttons and gameplay ruled supreme. Tolstoy once said: "There is no greatness where there is not simplicity," and it doesn't get much simpler, or greater than this.

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