Community Review: Super Meat Boy

What's better than listening to me rabbit on about a game for 1000 words? Listening to me rabbit on about a game for 400 words, then adding your own two cents to the debate.

Good times.

This week's community review focuses on Super Meat Boy. You may have heard me ranting about this game in some comments and posts over the last week - and for good reason – Super Meat Boy is simultaneously one of the toughest and most rewarding games I've played since Trials HD.

In fact, despite technically existing in two separate and distinct genres, the Trials HD and Super Meat Boy comparison is a useful one. Both are indie games with roots in flash, but more importantly both have a pitch perfect difficulty curve that progresses until you find yourself staring vacantly up a sheer crevasse that'll rip your nerve endings to shreds.

Yet as painful as that sounds, there's a lot of pleasure to be derived from the pain. Like Trials HD, Super Meat Boy is all about repetition; repetition till the point where your muscle memory is cluttered with precise jumps, exact timing, and pitch perfect manipulation. It forces you to learn through trial and error but strangely enough, as tough as things get, it never gets frustrating to the point where you want to quit.

Super Meat Boy exists on the precipice, and is all the better for it. It's one of the most rewarding gaming experiences I've had this year, and it all comes down to the controls and level design. The controls feel completely tactile and precise, whereas the levels themselves are often criminally intelligent in the way they force you to think your way through.

Super Meat Boy works because every single one of your inevitable deaths will have been your fault, and the only way to avoid death is to improve and practice your way to victory.

What do you guys think – is it too tough? Are the controls a little too sticky? Has anyone here 100% the game yet? Let us know some of your favourite levels and tell us what you loved and hated about the game.


Comments

    I LOVE YOU SUPER MEAT BOY!!!!

    I could easily write a proper review, but i am far from finished and adding more words to what i have already said simply wouldn't do it justice.

    It is most certainly one of the most rewarding, quirky and fun games on Live at the moment.

    If meat boy were real i would have penetrated him already... he's just that attractive!

      what an image.... the word meat and penetration and boy should not be in the same sentence...

      He is basically a square with rectangles for arms and legs... really?

        Isn't that all you really need?
        Besides, his girlfriend is always getting kidnapped so he's bound to get lonely - that's where i come in with the candles, nice dinner and a tasty roofie-colada

          Honestly.. why do you think Luigi hangs around with Mario so much?
          "Oh no, there she goes again, itsa such a pitty.."
          *oils up*

    I cannot WAIT for this to release on Steam!

      Hear hear! I'm going to be broke by the end of the month though....

    annoyingly perfect

    Great game! The level design is awesome it is about practice but I find it is also about the rythym of each level. You can finish by being careful but most of the time it is finding the bull at a gate faultless runs most satisfying.

    I have had fun, I do see comparisons to Trials HD and funnily there are already a few of the top THD riders in the top of the leaderboards for this game also.

    I have onyl played for a few hours and just can't get into it. It is a god game, I just have fallout NV then the RDR DLC then this game... so i will not get to it for a while. But it is good and well worth picking up. I think it is still 800 ms points for a few more days..

    I just started playing Super Meat Boy last night and I adore the Meaty Supes! It is fiendishly difficult, but actually gets the difficulty and addiction curve just right. I played though the first Forest levels and sweated out the first Boss fight, phew. I was so satisfied when I beat the first boss, "YES!!" I yelled.

    My wife played for a bit too and it was hilarious to hear her suprised gasps and guilty shocked sounds as Meat boy exploded in a mess of guts and gore time after time. After she got stuck she watched me play and it was nice to see some appreciation and respect at my gaming skills from her.

    I was writing a reader review and had nearly finished it, but feel like it would be redundant now... so I'll post it here instead (though you're welcome to turn it into a real thing and consider me for monthly prizes if you like Mark!)

    *Loved*:

    *The sweartastic challenge*: You will die. A lot. These deaths will often be accompanied by a "Fffuuuu..." or "Son of a...!". BUt it always feels like you're capable of beating the level and you will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you eventually do. And then you take on the dark world version of the level...

    *The flow*: The game is at its best when you run hell-for-leather through a level trying to try and beat the A+ target time from the outset. If you play it slow, you're doing it wrong. You only ever lose a couple of seconds of effort each time you die, so deaths always feel like part of the learning curve, rather than punishment. This is by contrast to N+ (which SMB feels like a spritual successor to) where levels that take minutes rather than seconds and fricking cheap machine guns can make deaths feel like torture.

    *Useful unlockable characters*: The unlockable characters are a roll-call of indie game stars. Even better, they all have game altering (but not breaking) effects on how you approach the levels.

    *The love*: The presentation shows that Team Meat really loved what they were doing. It will tickle the fancy of any old-skool gamer. Light and dark worlds, funny parody level intros, warp/minus zones with retro console styling and sly references to other games are all awesome.

    *Hated:*

    *I get it, you love games!*: The warp/minus zones are actually my least favourite parts of the game to play. They break the flow completely by giving you a limited number of lives that force you to slow down. Then when you lose them all, you have to sit through the unskippable whole sequence of 4 bloody intro screens every time. They were funny the first couple of times. Not by the 20th time. These levels were the only times where frustration forced me to give up during a session.

    *The controls*: The controls can be a little finicky. But I actually like them and feel like I'm in full control about 95% of the time. However there is still the occasional wayward jump that feels like it's not my fault. I can see that some people may find the control issues insurmountable, to the point that it would prevent them from ever enjoying the game.

    All-in-all, this games kicks arse if you're up for the challenge. For the record, I'm slowly working my way through in an OCD fashion trying to complete both light and dark worlds and collect most of the bandages before moving to the next world. I'm half-way through world 5 and am consistently getting scores in the top 10-20% of the leaderboards.

      Con gratulations for writing the first video game review I have ever read with the word arse in it AND slept out and not americanised with ass instead. 

        Slithering snakes Batguy!
        It appears I cannot spell spelt correctly.
        Suffering Suckatash!

          But is it spelled or spelt? That is truly the question.

    I have discovered (much to my surprise) that I SUCK at games.

    Having beaten every game in my library to date, I was surprised to discover that Super Meat Boy is shredding my ass six ways from Sunday before I've even emerged from World One.

    This game has shamed me. I dislike that.

    Love this game to death :) I'm currently A+ing all of Dark World.

      Heeeell naw.

      I just finished the regular levels.

      Will smash dark world tonight!

    Loving this game, half way through dark world, but cannot for the life of me manage to pass the unlock warpzone for I Wanna Be The Guy character.

    So many spikes...

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