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Super Meat Boy's new PS4 soundtrack falls short

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Super Meat Port

I think we, as an industry, have given Super Meat Boy a little too much credit. At its best, the game's worlds consist of tightly designed levels that carefully build upon each other, tutorializing through extensive trial and error. At its worst, it's just obnoxiously difficult. Every time people laud the game's tight control scheme, I feel like I'm missing something. There's just enough of a margin for error that Meat Boy's later gauntlets feel all the more taxing.

It's great that Sony is giving away the PlayStation 4/PS Vita port for free, but it's difficult to imagine who this is for. If the existence of a super difficult platformer didn't entice you when it dropped on Xbox 360 or Steam, then maybe you're not the right audience for this re-release.

The biggest change to Super Meat Boy on PSN is the soundtrack. The reasons for the change are irrelevant -- what matters is that it's a step backwards. There is no track on the new score even half as good as the original's Forest theme, for example. Even worse, the soundtrack is occasionally broken. After playing one of the warp zone levels and returning to the main map, the warp zone music continued to play over the standard music. The most damning thing about this glitch is the broken soundtrack was more interesting than the standard score.

Playing Meat Boy on the DualShock 4 was an agreeable experience. Although the Xbox One controller has the best d-pad on the market, the segmented DS4 d-pad works just fine. Sweaty hands are a real problem with tough games like Meat Boy, however, and the controller's glossy texture does get irritating after a while.

The game itself isn't for everyone. Its sense of humor can be blindingly unfunny, the boss fights are poorly designed, and the game's controls aren't nearly as tight as people would have you believe. That little slide Meat Boy does when he hits a wall never felt consistent, which was especially frustrating in levels where wall jumps required pixel perfect movement. Super Meat Boy's failures are only amplified when the game is working as intended. Most of the levels in the Salt world are brilliant platforming levels with a feasible level of difficulty, and that's where the game's reputation starts to makes sense.

Look, if you haven't played Super Meat Boy by now and you own a PlayStation 4, and you have PlayStation Plus, you don't need me to tell you anything. For that demographic, this is a free game. But there's literally no reason you should pay full price for this port, especially when you factor in the soundtrack. If you have a controller and a computer, you can run the superior Steam version. Super Meat Boy on PS4 is a practically identical port if you turn the volume off, but it's free, so there's that!

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Mike Cosimano
Mike CosimanoSenior Reporter   gamer profile

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