Super Meat Boy
Almost every review for Super Meat Boy will tell you it’s a hard game. It is. It’s hard, it’s frustrating and you’ll die quite a bit. But even though there will be times where you’ll want to throw your controller across the room and even though plenty of expletives will be shouted at your television, you’ll only ever turn it off for a little bit. With hundreds of levels and a dozen different characters, Super Meat Boy always has something new to offer players. Though certainly a brutal challenge, it is one of the best platformers released in a very long time and one that should not be missed.
Players assume the role of Meat Boy as he attempts to rescue his girlfriend, Bandage Girl from the clutches of Dr. Fetus (a baby in a jar adorned with a top hat). What helps make Super Meat Boy compelling in spite of its difficulty level is the speed of the gameplay. Each level is fairly compact, many of which can be completed by truly skilled players in only a handful of seconds. When Meat Boy dies, he respawns instantaneously at the start point - there are no lives to worry about.
“[Super Meat Boy] is unparalleled in how much it offers players…”Super Meat Boy is so difficult because of the absolute precision platforming demanded of players in order to rescue Bandage Girl (who will be captured again). Each stage is littered with obstacles, all of them deadly. The experience boils down to mastering each individual element of the stage standing in your way. As you work through a stage, you’ll eventually learn the rhythm to each segment through trial and error. There are no special powers to lose when you’re hit - Meat Boy blows up in a bloody mess of meat every time he comes in contact with a killer object. Though Meat Boy always respawns, his blood is left behind. On truly arduous levels, every single killer object will be covered in blood.
“…this is a game you should already be playing.”Everything wants a taste of Meat Boy’s blood. Buzz saws are always in season across the eight worlds that you’ll traverse. You’ll also square off against pipes spewing syringes, dodge piles of salt, hop over balls of molten lava, among many others. Unlike most other platformers, your chief challenges aren’t easily defeated enemies scattered across the level, but the stages themselves. The world is your enemy in Super Meat Boy and the world is a tough place when you’re a piece of sentient meat. Thankfully, Meat Boy is fast and agile, capable of leaping across the screen. His nimble nature is unrivaled in the genre, giving Super Meat Boy a floaty, gravity-defying feel that is fun to play around with.
In terms of content, the release is unparalleled in how much it offers players. There are eight light worlds to traverse and when players master a light world level, they unlock an alternate (usually harder) dark world version of the level. There are also warp zones, revealing an even more retro game world set over three levels. Even if you can’t get past a certain level, there are so many to choose from that you’ll never get to a point where there’s nothing to play (unless of course you master each level, and if you do, I salute you). Additionally, by collecting bandages scattered across the stages and defeating certain challenges, players can unlock new heroes to play as, each with their own play styles to come to terms with.
Make it multiplayer
Though Super Meat Boy doesn’t offer a two player mode, I definitely suggest playing it with friends. Just swap the controllers after five deaths or so. Watching your friends struggle is a blast and makes you feel better about yourself.
There’s not much more to say - this is a game you should already be playing. If you like platformers, do not be turned off by the difficulty level. I’m not terribly good at games, but I still loved Super Meat Boy. It is a glorious celebration of everything that makes platformers good - challenging levels, innovative gameplay and a great sense of humor. Super Meat Boy is overflowing with content that no other release can match and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it brings home Game of the Year accolades from many publications.
Nine out of ten
- Incredible amount of levels to explore
- Addictive, fast gameplay
- Meat Boy is probably the coolest hero in gaming
- The most innovative platformer in years
- Maddeningly difficult at times