Quick Thoughts On: Electronic Super Joy
"And so it was said that one man set off alone, to brave the horrors of the journey ahead of him, to get back his butt from the Groovy Wizard!" Electronic Super Joy is Meat Boy gone clubbing. A deviously challenging minimalist platformer, it jogs along at the frenetic pace of its pulse pounding sound track, never once caring if you can't keep up so long as the beat keeps thumping. The music is the heart and soul of the experience, synchronizing with the levels to create a unique and irresistibly catchy game that doesn't need to reinvent its gameplay to remain fresh.
Despite the somewhat small supply of them, the level variety is far more inventive than most games of the genre, cleverly utilizing its fantastic visuals and music to continually test your reflexes while also giving and taking new moves from you with reckless abandon. One moment you will be smashing jump pads to cross humongous gaps, the next the entire level will flip on its side and still require you to complete it. ESJ is full of memorable sections not because you will likely spend several hundred lives completing them (which you will), but because they are so original and surprising and yet so quickly tossed away in favor of something new and exciting.
But in the end it all comes down to the music, the sweet, sweet soundtrack to your demise that is simply incredible, easily ranking among my favorite OSTs of the year. No matter how many time I died or wanted to snap my controller in half out of frustration, the electronic bass heavy tracks kept me coming back (not only in-game, but outside it, it's that good). When pared with the outwardly uncomplicated but highly stylized graphical style it is hard not to become entranced by the beat, making it very bothersome to try to pull yourself away.
If you can handle the arduous challenge and are a fan of tight platforming, stop reading this and buy Electronic Super Joy! It's an incredibly well crafted mix of electro music and triumphant gameplay, with a wicked sense of humor and a slick presentation. It might be but a few hours long, but with beats like this you know you'll want to come back for seconds!
"Quick Thoughts" is a subset of my normal reviews for smaller games which might not fit into a full review but I still have something to say about.