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31 Bonus Levels of Christmas
Super Meat Boy: Warp Zones
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 29, 2010   |   Episode 5 (Show Archive)  

            

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
Super Meat Boy: Warp Zones
[ Console: Xbox 360 | Year: 2010 | Grade: A+ ]

This Game Boy-themed Super Meat Boy warp zone is just one of the many, MANY amazing stages found in this must-own game!
The Context: By now we all know the story about Meat Boy and how he loves Bandage Girl. We know that she is kidnapped and it's your job to rescue her through hundreds of frustrating levels. Well, that's exactly what our hero was doing when all of a sudden he found a Warp Zone. But unlike the warp zones of the past, this level didn't actually transport us anywhere. Instead we played a new level with the potential of earning a new playable character. Once we finished the stage we are spit out exactly where we started, making this one of 2010's best (and most confusing) bonus levels.

The Rules: Players are forced to complete a series of three increasingly difficult platforming puzzles before running out of lives. These bonus stages can range in shapes, sizes, styles and colors, offering

These bonus stages even come with fantastic start screens!
a different experience each time you enter one. One bonus stage may use the black and green scheme of the original Game Boy, while another mimics the limited pallet of the Atari 2600. Complete these stages and earn playable cameos from Gish, Castle Crashers, Alien Hominid and Braid.

The Verdict: Never before have I been so frustrated by a bonus stage. This is the kind of difficulty that pushes a

If there isn't a band named Super Meat Boy yet, there will be one by the end of today!
perfectly sane man to rip out his hair and drop kick his brand new 3DTV. Yet as much as I hate some of those levels, I am in awe of the level design expertise. Knowing that I'm going to fail many times before getting it right does take some of the sting out of constantly dying, but that doesn't change how maddening some of these levels can be. I may never defeat (or even see) every last bonus stage in Super Meat Boy, but I'm proud of what I'm already accomplished.

Completely Missing the Point: What's with all of the indie superstars making cameos? This game would be better if it had more established characters, like Solid Snake or Master Chief. You should be able to unlock one of those computer-controlled characters from The Sims, going about your day trying to compel him to complete the level. Maybe they could charge for downloadable characters, such as a Call of Duty pack or levels based on fast food restaurants. I would pay good money to have a Nolan North voice pack.
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