Reviews: Super Meat Boy
I entered into Super Meat Boy with the notion that it would be an impossibly hard game that would send me into a blood rage that no living thing would escape. In the beginning this is most certainly not the case. The mechanics are deceptively simple and the longer you play the game the better you will become. This is not so much a matter of if as it is a matter of when. In a sense it is an example of exceptional game design.
Compare for instance the anger and fear of the above link (if you checked it at all) with a video I made today.
The longer you play the game the more you start to really feel the character. The game has hours of initial play value in it. You have 6 main worlds in the storyline and an additional world called “The Cotton Alley” which features Super Meat Girl. Cotton Alley is an evil terrible place that we will not speak of.
Once you complete this content fast enough to earn A+ rankings you can play it again but in the “Dark world” and in the Dark World you really get to test your mettle. The entire experience is packaged and mostly delivered at an organic and well thought out pace. It isn’t until levels 6-4 and 6-5 that the game just goes off the chains. I felt that these levels were not presented well and the pacing leading up to them was something close to emotional homicide.
Get off my damn face…
It’s interesting that they chose to make Meat Boy look so happy all the time. This actually went far to infuriate me worse as he happily leapt into rotating blades dozens upon dozens of times. How many times you might ask?
894 goddamn times. Each death hits you a little harder than the one before and you will slowly descend into genuine madness. I’ve put 5 hours into the game and have only finished it 43% of the way. If you are roughly as good (or bad) as I am at video games you are looking at a rock solid 100 hours of gaming fun out of this. It will make you smile and laugh sometimes and other times it will make you so angry that you will punch a cop the next time you walk outside.
Which is why I advise you play it before you go to bed to give you a nice night to sleep off the SMB rage. The feeling when you complete a tough level is not so much joy as it is release. But I say this in the most positive way I possibly can. Super Meat Boy is an experience plain and simple. It marries simple controls with floating (but delightfully dynamic) physics. This combination can upset a new user but it will just as easily give a determined person angelic arcs mere pixels away from death every single second.
I know there were a few times that I came so close to death only to finish a level and find that I hadn’t breathed in the last 90 seconds.
In the replays it shows you each individual meat person. A few levels ended with waves of meat rushing towards the end.
The visuals are excellent. The audio is fantastic. The gameplay is simultaneously fresh and still delivers hints of nostalgia with its references to older game styles and graphics. Not only does the game have plenty of up front content but it also has great secret levels (via dark portals) and what appears to be a community level generation system with “Super Meat World”.
The amount of experience you can pull out of this game for 9.99 or less is truly staggering. This new indie world is likely to overtake AAA gaming in the next 5 years. With major companies putting tens of millions into visuals for boring gameplay and bland storytelling its not hard to see why. Super Meat Boy delivers a simple but adorable story in a world of increasingly darker macabre tones. Not much else to say. Even with all this mentioned I’ve still missed plenty to talk about.
Also be sure you have a controller to play this with. It’s not impossible to play it with a keyboard but its also not impossible to run blindly through a DMZ and survive. I still wouldn’t recommend it.
I’m on the fence about whether this is good or great. Seeing as it was able to pull so many powerful emotions from me (and totally exhaust me) I am leaning more towards great.
Click on Batmeat to visit Team Meat’s Website!