It's always dicey buying platformer games. Most of the time games in this genre are boring, repetitive or laughably short. Regardless of the fault with this genre most of these games are just far from worth the price tag attached. But sometimes, just sometimes, they are sparkling gems that shine amidst the drudge out there. Super Meat Boy manages to be an incredible breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale genre.
The story for Super Meat Boy is about as irrelevant as it is humorous. It involves a hero made out of a giant hunk of meat, which oozes blood as he runs around the stages, a girlfriend covered in bandages and an arch-nemesis who is a fetus in some sort of people suit. The cutscenes that play before boss battles and between levels are quite fun but they have very little bearing on why you've picked this game up.
To a degree Super Meat Boy is almost two separate games in one, both of them great games. All 300 stages of this game focus on one goal: Get Meat Boy from the starting point to his girlfriend who is then punted off by your enemy to the next level. What separate the levels are the visuals and some gameplay mechanics.
SMB's main game is like that of a vividly painted canvas that's coming alive as an incredibly awesome platformer. In these levels it's you versus some rather nasty platforming and the occasional enemy. Each of these stages can be as short as a few seconds but are almost all less than a minute in length. This helps for when you have to replay a level dozens of times to finally figure out a path to your girlfriend.
You'll find that some of the levels are nigh unto impossible for you to complete with Meat Boy the first few times through the level. It's just a matter of skill and figuring out how to get around the obstacles but you might find it almost implausible that Meat Boy can even get through some of these levels alive. So long as you've unlocked them you can swap in some another character to help you out.
One of them, a character from his own self-named game Gish, plays so wildly different from Meat Boy that it's almost like playing another game. This adds another level to the game as you try to complete some of the 300 levels
What's more interesting are the various bonus stages. These stages each have a theme that they run with; one looks like an original Game Boy, down to the monochrome coloring, while another appears to be an Atari Lynx game, having a stylized, grainy 16-bit look about it. To really help with the atmosphere they even have music and sound effects that are reminiscent of the consoles that they come from. As you can only play as Meat Boy in these levels, and they're hard as hell, things are incredibly hard (read: lots of fun).
Pretty much every aspect of this game controls like poetry in motion. It's easy to run, jump and use the walls to navigate pretty much every level. Meat Boy bounces around like a high bounce ball on speed but you never really feel like you're out of control. The only real problem is that aiming your landings is hard as hell quite a lot of the time. It's hard to aim your landing when jumping towards a one or two block long platform and many deaths will ensue while you desperately try to control yourself.
There are a few sore spots to this game but these are ridiculously minor in the face of the positives. If you've been looking for a good platformer that actually holds up and lasts for more than a few hours then this is the game for you. Even after its price jumps up to 1200 points it's still going to be an incredible steal with how much game you get for your money. If I haven't been enough of a raging fanboy then let me say this buy this game now or we will find your family.