Super Meat Boy Review
Peter Donnell / 461 days ago
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2010’s indie classic “Super Meat Boy”, designed by Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes and developed by Team Meat broke over 1 million sales in January this year. The downloadable puzzle game has been a great success across Xbox Live Arcade and Steam not to mention its release late last year for OSX and on Linux as part of the Humble Indie Bundle (#4).
The story is laid out in a short but highly amusing story board style intro, where you take the role of Meat Boy, a simple, square shaped character, who I think it’s safe to assume, is a supposed to be a chunk of meat, who would have guessed right? Meat Boy, is in love with his girlfriend Bandage Girl, who is kidnapped rather quickly by the rather bizarre looking Dr. Fetus, shortly after Meat Boy & Dr. Fetus have a fist fight of course. It’s your job to rescue her, a simple yet well story formula for a games plot if there ever was one.
The game manages to keep up with it’s almost meme like style throughout, with odd little story sections played out in what look like flash animations, most likely akin to the games original release as the flash game “meat boy”. The levels and characters are realised with a kind of 16bit style of graphics with a bit of modern polish, keeping graphics simple yet colourful.
The game has full game pad support, in fact it encourages it, and given the split-second timing it’s likely a keyboard isn’t really up to the job for this game, although you’re welcome to try of course. Gameplay relies heavily on precise control of Meat Boy, as you run, jump and squidge your way through the deadly levels, which are filled with various obstacles like fire and meat grinders, just the sort of things a Meat Boy should be avoiding really.
There are over 300 levels on offer in Super Meat Boy, not counting the array of user created content that is available, many of which can be completed in seconds once you get the hang of it, but many more that will see you turned to mince, burnt to a crisp or run down by a giant chain saw, over and over again for quite some time, or as in my case, forever!
IGN awarded this game the title of “Most Challenging Game” of 2010, they weren’t kidding. It’s still highly entertaining though, as you know there is a simple way to get through certain levels, it’s just going to take you 100 attempts to stop screwing it up.It helps that your immediately put back at the start of the level if you die, so you can try and try again without breaking the pace of the game.
This all leads to some highly amusing replays when you finally complete your level, as it plays all your attempts back simultaniusly, so you can watch dozens of meat boys jump into the same grinder all at once, as one breaks free from the pack to success, yay!
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You complete a level by reaching Bandage Girl, although in style similar to “The Princess is in another castle Mario”, Dr Fetus swipes her away every time, but not before punching you and your girlfriend in the face… ok so that bit doesn’t happen in mario.
I definitely haven’t completed it but I expect I will still be playing this game in months to come as there is plenty of reply value in this game, with an online leader board, saveable replays and it’s 300+ levels (many of which I can’t do).
This game is sure to keep you amused for a long time, assuming you’re not put off by the squelch sounds or the trail of blood your meaty character leaves behind him, which didn’t entertain my girlfriend too much.
She summed up with the word “gross”, although she was highly amused at my frustration with some of the levels, she declined my offer to try do better.
The next best thing to the gameplay in Super Meat Boy has to be the soundtrack, which was composed by Danny Baranowsky, is a hark back to classics on Snes with its heavy metal/chip tune sound.
There is an interesting variety to the music, although one particular track does remind me of Unirally on the Snes (only me that remembers that one?).
The soundtrack was later released as a download-only album via the online Bandcamp store titled “Super Meat Boy! Soundtrack”, obviously, then a later CD/Download release that doubled the content to over 70 tracks!
People loved the music so much they even made some of it available on Rock Band 3, not tried them though, I’m a Guitar Hero fan, gutted.
You can pick up Team Meats little wonder on XBLA for 1200msp or £11.99 on Steam, along with its sound track for an extra £4.99 if your so inclined, personally if I want to hear the sound track, I play the game.
Overall this is an excellent little game, which I think has been often overlooked by a lot of people, mostly because it looks and sounds ‘a bit strange’.
It does have an excellent sound track, fun story, crisp graphics and presentation, precise controls and most importantly of all award winning gameplay.
Super Meat Boy has definitely earned our Gamers Choice Award.