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Cian Hassett
31 Oct, 2010

Super Meat Boy Review

360 Review | Fun. Ferocious. Frustrating.
You may or may not have heard about a website called Newgrounds. It is a place where political correctness is taboo, and has become a home to some of the most unusual independent video games known to man. The most dominant form of development is through Adobe Flash, a program that allows for plenty of freedom. Occasionally, someone will create a little gem that deserves to reach the widest possible audience. When Meat Boy was released in 2008, it was destined for cult classic status. After two years, Xbox 360 owners can finally get acquainted with the weird world of Super Meat Boy. That's a bit of an understatement really, because nothing could possibly prepare you for an experience like this.

Players take control of a square piece of red raw meat - say hello to our protagonist. His quest, much like Braid, is to find the girl. This particular damsel is made out of pink bandages and her captor is a baby in a jar. This isn't your typical video game cast, but they deliver where it matters most - originality. The premise of Super Meat Boy's story is hackneyed, but it is filled to the brim with a sick and twisted sense of humour. Characters are peculiar, the world is varied, and the main goal is something that every man is familiar with. However, this is where the niceties come to a screeching halt. Super Meat Boy is brutal, bloody and bold. He might come with big smile, but this meat if for adults only. Tell your children to cover their eyes.

Splat!

Splat!
Close
On paper, Super Meat Boy is categorised as a standard platformer. In practice, it's one of the most difficult games ever made. As you slowly make progress, it becomes apparent that the game has been designed for you to fail miserably at. No matter what level or world you're in, there's always going to be a conveniently placed obstacle that will rip you to shreds. Although each level is undeniably short and your woman is often in sight, the lack of checkpoints mean that you could potentially be playing through the same scenario up to fifty times. The controls give you the impression that success can be easily obtained, requiring nothing more than direction, jumping and sprinting. However, timing is so crucial that holding the jump button for a millisecond too long will end in death. You'll encounter rotating buzz saws, lasers, flying enemies and unpredictable boss battles. Swears will be sworn and blasphemy will echo around the room. Super Meat Boy will take a piece of your sanity and crush it against a brick wall.

While it may seem unfair and downright ridiculous at the best of times, Super Meat Boy will keep you entertained because of its nostalgic appeal. At its core, the game pays homage to how video games were developed long before politicians cared about them. The graphics are plain and simple, yet crisp and smooth without ever dropping in quality. By employing a simple comic visual aesthetic, the game really fits the downloadable format. Your search for true nostalgia will take you slightly deeper. Stumbling across an aptly titled 'Warp Zone' will turn Super Meat Boy into an 8-bit retro bonanza. It really is difficult to fault the style and presentation because it suits the context so well. Even the soundtrack is a joy to hear, blending contemporary modern sounds with the blips and beeps of twenty years ago. The gameplay is fast and unforgiving, but the overall feel is glorious to behold.

Again!?!?!? Oh for fu-

Again!?!?!? Oh for fu-
Close
With over three hundred levels, competitive leaderboards, collectibles and unlockable characters from other indie titles - it's plain to see how Super Meat Boy can keep you hooked. As far as Xbox Live Arcade games are concerned, this is one of the most comprehensive. With an option of entering the 'Dark World', a space where the difficulty gets cranked up a notch or ten, you definitely won't be finishing the game any time soon. Technically speaking, there is little to complain about. Although the biggest appeal of the game is also its greatest weakness - the difficulty. Granted, the satisfaction gained from finally completing a level is second to none, but there are certain sections that are too strenuous. Super Meat Boy has the ability to end your marriage and induce rage in a way so unimaginable that it could almost be deemed criminal. Every step is punishing and that's concerning because it will be too much of an issue for the majority of gamers out there. Had the developers made the learning curve marginally better balanced, then the experience would be more welcoming. The majority of the game is brilliantly executed, but it's impossible to recommend for everyone.

Super Meat Boy was designed with a very explicit target audience in mind. It answers the call of players looking for a difficult platformer full of style and humour. The level design is outstanding and the gameplay, although infuriating, is extremely addictive and rewarding. Independent games have proved themselves be a valuable outing in recent years, and Super Meat Boy is another polished treasure that has redefined the meaning of 'challenge'. It comes at a big cost and you will feel like an incompetent moron, but that won't prevent you from coming back time and time again.
The Score
Addictive and annoying in equal spades, Super Meat Boy is one of the most vexing games of the year. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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11 Comments
3 years ago
So it's basically the same version of the game as the Flash version, but on 360?
3 years ago
NO it is not the same. pretty sure a lot has been added. I could be wrong however, but pretty sure im not. Amazing game. For 13 or so dollars go buy it or try the trial at least
3 years ago
Bev wrote
So it's basically the same version of the game as the Flash version, but on 360?
No were near the same.

It's as similar as Alien hominid flash game was to alien hominid console game.

Also AWESOME
3 years ago
This is one of the best games I have played this year.
Games are too easy these days, the challenge of Super Meat Boy is refreshing.
3 years ago
This is the only game I've ever played that made me notice the bits were the triggers sit in the 360 controller are really uncomfortable.

I notice it everytime I'm playing but I've never noticed it playing any other game.

Also curious to know how many levels did you beat Cian?
3 years ago
I got through around fifty or so. Then I started playing Vanquish...so I haven't got a chance to go back yet. Obviously.
3 years ago
Freaking leaderboards are addictive. I'm hooked on getting to the top of my friend's list on every level I've done. Then on one of them I cracked the top 100 (got 98) I've been playing it for the past half hour trying to reach number one.

I've completed Chapter 1/Dark World 1 with only a couple of stages not A+ in the Dark World. And I'm halfway through Chapter 2, so I still have a LONG way to go. But freaking hell this game is addictive.

I think this game is better than N+ as well, mainly due to the style and charm of the characters. I mean, ultimately they play the same (at least with the main character) but for some reason in this game I really push myself to pass just one more level, whereas it didn't feel like there was any reason to finish the levels in N+ so it ended up feeling like a chore.

My thumb hurts now.
3 years ago
^ Add me.
3 years ago
Easily my downloadable game of the year and up there with the best of ‘em, downloadable or not. I just got my LE Castlevania in the mail (biggest fan of the series – ever!) and the first thing I did was play more Meat Boy.

Competing with the friends list is definitely addictive, but taking out some of the tougher challenges is just as fun. Got my hands full with Slappy and Sin but I still want more! It feels like Trials all over again but encased in some sort of N+ greatness, where mechanics are spot on and everything is just done to perfection. Gonna add a few of you guys because I’ve only got 7-8 atm.

Oh, and just needed to add that the cut-scenes are so awesome. The intro’s are awesome and the level endings are equally as, if not more awesome. Basically a lot of awesome. The "How to Play" section is worth the 800 points alone.
3 years ago
I'm not finding too much difficulty yet, there've been a few moments but so far so good, I actually had a lot more problems with N than this. Super Meat Boy just seems to have a bit more weight to him, and as a result I feel like I'm in control of his movements a lot better. Which does mean that if I DO fail, I know it's because I screwed up and so I can't really rage at the game.

Some of your times are insane BT, but I'm determined to be on top.

Only downside is that one level where EvilHayama on my list has the 0:00 glitch thingie so I'll never be the top friend.
3 years ago
Quote
Competing with the friends list is definitely addictive, but taking out some of the tougher challenges is just as fun. Got my hands full with Slappy and Sin but I still want more!
I'm on shambrook if you wanna add me.
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| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  20/10/2010 (Confirmed)
Genre:
  Platform
Year Made:
  2010

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