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Pure art. An expressionist adventure that links the Mario and Yoshi franchises together by adding a phenomenal depth to their lore. The story is simple yet touching. The art style is some of the best I've seen by Nintendo; each frame looks like a Van Gogh painting. The levels have an excellent difficulty curve, starting off with simple levels and ending with platforming challenges of an unbeknownst complexity that will test the numerous skills you've acquired with Yoshi within the six worlds. The boss fights are likely the best I've seen in any 2D platformer. The experimental 2.5D sections work remarkably well and show the great capabilities of the SNES as a console. The greatest SNES game I've played thus far, the greatest prequel I've played thus far and possibly the greatest 2D platformer I've played thus far. Will be revisiting.
I'm a huge fan of platforming games, but I'm also a super artsy person. In this regard, Super Meat Boy only satisfied one of those factors: it's an incredible rage platformer with a difficulty that progresses well, but that unfortunately has an impenetrable atmosphere. The art style is very mundane and the music doesn't really always fit the mood, and that keeps me from really getting invested into sessions of the game. This being said, I only played through the main story so far, and I might keep playing this on the side to eventually get 100%, and maybe my opinion will change then.
If is certainly an accomplishment; at an era where developers were already deep into the SNES, leaving the original NES to slowly die, HAL Laboratory unleashed their ultimate flagship title on the now obsolete system. Indeed, having had well over half a decade to perfect their craft, the game studio understood the inner mechanisms of the NES better than pretty much anyone else. The result is a vibrant game with tons of content, and arguably the prettiest and most developed graphics in any NES game. Despite some repetitive and dull level design at times, the game is filled with fun gameplay surprises and challenges. It is, in many ways, the final essential NES achievement.