Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy's precarious platforming paradise is more than any plump plumber would dare participate in.

By CallMeLuke, Posted 18 Dec 2010

Meet Super Meat Boy. He's a boy... made out of meat. As most boys, with or without skin, he has a girlfriend.  Things are going terrifically in Super Meat Boy's world, that is, until Dr. Fetus comes along and nabs his girlfriend right out of his grasp!  There's no way Super Meat Boy is going to take this lying down, so he'll be giving chase after Dr. Fetus, jumping and dodging through an infinite number of dangers to get her back.

Super Meat Boy Review

Very rarely do platformers come along that are so mind-numbingly challenging, yet so addicting that you cannot put the controller down.  When we think of tough platformers, we usually recall the likes of Mario or Sonic games, but this particular platformer plays nothing like those.  Rather, it's very reminiscent of another XBL arcade title N+.  In that game,  you played as a character who had very floaty physics and was able to climb vertical surfaces by wall umping and turning direction mid-air to wall jump again.  Super Meat Boy shares very similar controls with N+, and the levels demand that you use the utmost precision to pass them.

Super Meat Boy is not for the impatient.  You will die.  A lot.  It's a good thing that Super Meat Boy respawns instantly, and there are no finite amount of lives.  It means you can jump back in and try again immediately.  It's because of this constant trial and error that you will begin to feel your skills sharpen.  You may think, "How on EARTH do I get up there?" or "I'm never going to get past THAT!", but patience and perseverance will pay off.  You'll eventually learn when to jump and how long to hold the button for, and master your ability to control Super Meat Boy's momentum.

The main six hub worlds of Super Meat Boy contain 20 levels a piece, with the exception of the final boss world containing just five.  The game uses the first world to gently ease the player into getting acquainted with the controls and character physics and gradually scales up the difficulty in later levels.  As challenging as some of these boards are, they're even harder when you try their Dark World versions.   To extend the game's replayability, each level has a par time.  You might consider that you did well dodging that last onslaught of saw blades and missiles, but go ahead and test yourself to find out if you're good enough to set a new time.

There's even more challenge to be had by locating warp zones hidden in some of the stages.  There are two different kinds of warp zones.  One will let you assume the role of a new character that you'll unlock upon completion, and the other will have Super Meat Boy playing three subsequent stages with three lives each. The wrap zones bring to the table a whole new level of difficulty, providing obstacles that you'll never see throughout the rest of the game.

Super Meat Boy Review

There are 20 bandages placed in each of the hub world's Light and Dark Worlds. They can be collected to unlock new characters, each sporting their own special moves.  These characters have been featured in other downloadable games, such as Commander Video from Bit.Trip Runner, Alien Hominid from the titular game, and Tim from Braid.  Some bandages will be placed in such dangerous positions that you might find it a lot easier to use a different character for their powers.  For instance, see a bandage lying right above a pile of salt (salt is bad for skinless boys of meat)?  Call on Tim, fall down to the bandage and reverse time right before you hit the salt.

One of the coolest features about Super Meat Boy are the instant replays.  The game will keep track of about 20-30 of your attempts and play them back all at the same time once you beat a level.  It's neat to watch all these Super Meat Boy ghosts running down a level being whittled away from all the hazards you ended up hitting until that final blob of meat makes it to the end.  It's also a great way to train yourself in preparation for trying again to get under par time.  You may also use these moments to study the level and see if you can spot a hidden bandage or warp zone.

The visuals of Super Meat Boy are rather simple, but done in such an artistic way that it has a great sense of style.  Sometimes the worlds are colorful and full of life, while other times they're like a silhouette set on top of a sunset.  The warp zones range from anything from psychadelic colors to throwbacks of old 8-bit Game Boy games.  Super Meat Boy explodes into a pulpy mess whenever he hits a hazard, and he leaves trails of blood on anything he touches.  The game also has some really cute cutscenes in between hub worlds and bosses.

Super Meat Boy's 8-bit influence is also clearly evident in its audio.  The soundtrack even goes so far as being made out of 8-bit synthesizers.  The rest of the music is great to listen to as well, really getting you in the mood to keep playing.  There isn't much in the way of sound effects, but because of the game's simplistic nature, it's perfectly fine that way.  The prominent effect you'll be hearing is Super Meat Boy being chopped up into ground meat.  Other effects like missiles being launched at you, or shrapnel exploding in your direction help to tense you up.  There's no voice acting as well, as there's no need for dialogue in Super Meat Boy's straightforward story.

Super Meat Boy Review

Any true fan of platformers will definitely want to check out Super Meat Boy.  It has incredibly challenging yet entirely passable levels, and it rewards you just by the fact that you were able to do it.  Its undeniable charm makes you fall in love with the game, and its bandages and warp zones will have you constantly revisiting it to finish it 100 percent.  At 1200 points, it may seem a bit shy on the content, but it more than makes up for it by its sheer addictive nature.  If you want a true test of your skills, look no further than Super Meat Boy.

Lucas Stephens, Noobfeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC
Publisher(s): Team Meat
Developer(s): Team Meat
Genres: Platformer
Themes: Platformer
Release Date: 2010-10-20

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