Super Meat Boy is a tough as nails platformer where you play as an animated cube of meat who’s trying to save his girlfriend (who happens to be made of bandages) from an evil fetus in a jar wearing a tux. [Team Meat]
When I read the “tough as nails” part of the product description on Xbox Live I just had to try this one. I am a real sucker for punishment, so I figured Super Meat Boy would be right up my alley. The game delivers on that promise, it is a tough game. One that will magically whisk you away to a time when games were so broken they were impossible to beat. Fortunately, Super Meat Boy isn’t broken. It’s just hard. Ducking and dodging saw blades, making incredibly precise aerial maneuvers, and controller smashing are just a few of the things to look forward to in Super Meat Boy. But don’t get mad at the controller just yet. The controls for Super Meat Boy are some of the best in the genre, ever. Your character is more than capable of pulling off the required tasks. Many just include complex linking of jumps that require pinpoint accuracy and timing. In a gaming landscape that has become watered down with checkpoint laden games that almost always hold your hand from start to finish, Super Meat Boy kicks those games in the balls and then flips them the bird while they’re rolling on the ground in pain.
Aside from the seriously addictive retro style gameplay, Super Meat Boy is presented exceptionally well. Title screens, cut-scenes, and music all hit the spot. The developers manage to convey humor in a game where not a spoken word is uttered throughout. The cutesy characters show a dark sense of humor at the right times in the few cut-scenes that the game does have. More importantly, in a game that will have you playing a single level for hours (possibly) until you get it right, Super Meat Boy’s music is excellent. It has the right length to not get overly annoying when exposed to it for hours on end.
Packed into Super Meat Boy’s main quest line are a good amount of unlockable characters. I won’t spoil the surprise but you can unlock iconic gaming figures like Commander Video from Bit.Trip or Tim from BRAID each with their own set of skills that can help you tackle different levels in a different manner. After the first quest is completed the tables will be turned and Bandage Girl will be tasked with saving Meat Boy at an arguably more difficult campaign: Dark World.
I didn’t have much to hate on with Super Meat Boy, it delivers what it promises. I only had a couple of issues with the game while putting in the 8 hours or so that it took me to complete all the levels. While I liked the music, it had these cutouts where it would just stop until I reset the xbox. I’m not sure if it’s my aging launch 360 or it was the game itself but it happened 3 or 4 times and it was surprising since it was played from the HDD. On a couple of the boss battles I also had graphics that would stick in the background instead of disappearing as they should these issues were minor to say the least and they were almost unnoticeable in comparison to the swearing I was doing after trying a level for 150th time.
I almost did it. I almost made it through the entire review without saying ” for an arcade title”. In part to the fact that besides the graphics, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this game, and say, one of it’s $60 counterparts. You get a ton of gameplay, challenge, style, and possibly a couple of laughs (depending on your sense of humor) for $10. Super Meat Boy stands shoulder to shoulder with some of best games available on Xbox Live Arcade and you can make a case for it being the best offering out there. If you are looking for a cheap and dirty fix for your old school platforming cravings Super Meat Boy will satisfy those and then some. ( This recommendation can not be held liable for broken controllers..or wills.)
Super Meat Boy
- Available On: Xbox 360, PC
- Published By: Microsoft
- Developed By: Team Meat
- Genre: Platformer
- US Release Date: October 2010
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
- Quote: "You get a ton of gameplay, challenge, style, and possibly a couple of laughs (depending on your sense of humor) for $10. Super Meat Boy stands shoulder to shoulder with some of best games available on Xbox Live Arcade and you can make a case for it being the best offering out there."