Gaming Moments of 2010 #7: Super Meat Boy

Gaming Moments of 2010 #7: Super Meat Boy

All the big guns have come and gone. The best games are all now on shelves and we’ve just decided on our game of the year. Now we’re taking a look at our 10 favourite gaming moments of 2010. Be aware that these are just my subjective choices – feel free to let us know some of your favourites in the comments below.

Finishing Super Meat Boy
It’s a bit of an old cliche to claim you played a game for so long you got blisters on your thumb. The kind of cliche that isn’t really physically possible. You can’t drink like a fish, or be as drunk as a skunk – and you can’t go up shit creek without a paddle.

Well, I can’t honestly say that I had blisters on my thumbs from playing Super Meat Boy, but I can promise you one thing – when I finished the last level of that game, my hands hurt. They actually, properly hurt. They were really sore.

My eyes weren’t in the best of nick either. They had been rigidly fixed upon one point for two hours straight and my sockets had started to throb.

But it was my brain that had taken the most punishment. Super Meat Boy had devolved billions upon billions of intricate synapse connections into a flabby, useless lump of flesh. I stared at the screen as the credits rolled. Exhausted.

Because Super Meat Boy isn’t just a game – it’s more like… exercise. You plough through levels via the raw power of repetition, and succeed only through the dull, lifeless process of muscle memory accumulation. If Super Meat Boy was a movie it would be a 90 minute montage. Every shot showing a tiny improvement. To show it all would take too long.

That’s the beauty of Super Meat Boy. It makes the impossible possible. It makes you feel superhuman. When you start a particularly tough level you almost guffaw out loud at just how preposterous the whole scenario is. There’s no way this is possible you’ll think to yourself, your laugh the perfect representation of your pathetic desperation. But then slowly but surely you eke your way through the level. You die – countless times – but you persevere. Eventually the early sections become so easy you could sleepwalk through them. You get to the last section and, after a few brief sections of genius dexterity, you get through to the end.

And it’s the best feeling in the world.

Super Meat Boy has the potential to make you feel like you’ve evolved as a human being.

I had just finished this beastly game. I was in pain. I continued to sit, the grip on my controller vice-like – my brain pulsing like a migraine.

I had become a god.


  • I literally thought that the “Schism” and “Omega” levels in world 5 were impossible (for me). 40 or 50 dead meatboys later, I was flying through them easily. Absolutely agree, it was such a great feeling.

  • The whole learning through dying thing is the reason why I haven’t bought this game yet. I know it’s gotten universal praise but I HATE learning by dying with a passion no matter how good the other components are. I might get it in the future though if I feel I’ve got nothing else to do.

      • Yeh, I keep seeing people say that. Maybe I should get it anyway and even if I don’t like it, so what, only 15 bucks.

    • I agree with aaron. Not once, in the hundreds of times I died throughout the game, did I feel like a death was unfair. You’re not really learning by dying, you’re dying because you haven’t learned yet… if that makes sense.

      But I did feel that some of the later levels were a bit too long, and they got a bit frustrating at times, but it just made the sense of “YESSSSS I DID IT I AM AWESOME” at the end of each level even better. Still a lot less frustrating than your average game.

  • The physical… exhaustion (I guess) of playing Super Meat Boy is something I haven’t experienced since our Super Nintendo was sitting under the TV.

    And yes – the blistered thumbs (I haven’t played in over a week and my right thumb is still tender), the bloodshot & aching eyes (again, still recovering) are all worth it because it’s so supremely satisfying. It’s brilliant.

  • Super Meat Boy is awesome 😛

    So far one of the few games I’ve played to the point of pain would be Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles multiplayer on the NDS, for ~5 hours straight, I think it was… That was painful.

    But with respect to the impossibility of the cliche, it *is* possible to play to the point of blisters. I got them from the Guitar Hero drumsticks 😛
    And IIRC one of my friends messed up his hand (blisters, I think) by playing Mario Party (or equivalent).

  • Finishing this game (Light World…not gonna bother with Dark), as well as completing The Kid’s warp zone, ranks amongst my proudest gaming achievements. It has given me the confidence to go through the old Mario and Sonic games which I found too hard as a kid.

    Truly an awesome game.

  • I love it, I hate it, I spent two hours on one level night before last…

    You never get a chance to rage quit, it’s just too damn fast.

    I want to have meat boy’s babies… and then I want to beat them, but only because I love them so much.

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