Worst game of the year.
Welcome to Super Meat Boy. Super Meat Boy attempts to be a throwback to classic gaming. The creators attempted to make an old school styled platform game with a over the top level of difficulty. However they made a few too many wrong turns on their way to pseudo-classic gaming goodness. While Super Meat Boy tries as hard as it can to be a modern classic, it comes off as anything but.
The gameplay is simple. You can jump, and you can jump off of walls. That's it. The creators attempted to make a simple game, and they did succeed at that. However it's simplicity is it's own downfall. The lack of depth in it's gameplay leads the game to be no more entertaining than a flash game from 5 years ago. It's easy to see that they tried to go for a basic addicting gameplay style of platformers long past, but you can't take a box of juice and pass it off as vintage aged wine. There are attempts at putting replay value into the game with a metric ton of stages and various time trial modes and such, but there is a definite quality quantity problem here.
Super Meat Boy prides itself in being an overly difficult "nintendo hard" game that encourages you to throw a controller against a wall. But this isn't necessarily something to celebrate. While there are tons of games like this back in the Nintendo age with an exceedingly high difficulty, if you look back most of this difficulty is the result of bad game design, poor level architecture, and awful controls. Any classic game that actually stands up to the test of time, such as the Mario series, still has a shine of perfection because it didn't have these issues of early games. The Mario series had easy and fun controls, unique and entertaining stages, and great game design, and thanks to all this holds strong as a game even today. However, if you were to try to sit down with any modern gamer and play one of the notorious "nintendo hard" classics you would get nothing but a very frustrated and bored gamer. Difficulty is not an excuse for poor game design, and Super Meat Boy does not get a free pass just because it has 200 difficult levels. I'd rather play 20 excellent stages than 200 hastily cobbled together "hardcore classic gamer" levels.
The graphics are confusing. While the game tries hard in every aspect to be a throwback style classic game, it looks nothing like one. Instead you get the graphics of a Newgrounds flash game. That's the only way to really describe the game's appearance. It's confusing because it conflicts completely with the game's classic style attempt. Games did not look anything like flash games back in the Nintendo days, you'd be hard pressed to find any professional done game with this style of graphics now a days as well. It just doesn't fit with the game's whole jive. While there are some stages which put you into a retro graphics pixel art style mode, it would seem to me that it would make more sense to make the whole game like this. It would at least mesh together with the rest of the game's style. On the other hand the pixel graphics aren't impressive on their own either. It seems to me any modern game released with a 2d side scrolling gameplay style needs either very impressive hand drawn graphics or a 2.5d graphics style to be worth looking at. Having said this, Super Meat Boy is not worth looking at.
The sound is not worth discussing, it's the typical chiptune music you expect from a generic indie game. While I am a fan of classic video game music, I am not into the whole modern fad of C64 sounding soundtracks in games attempting to be classic. Music sounded the way it did back then because of technology limitations, any composer from the past would have made use of modern sound technology in a game if they had the choice.
Overall, Super Meat Boy is an obnoxious attempt to get the more gullible to pony up $15 by waving it's arms around and screaming HEY LOOK I'M INDIE AND CLASSIC STYLED.