Game: Super Meat Boy
System: Xbox 360
Review by: Illmatic
Super Meat Boy, winner of the PAX 10 at Penny Arcade Expo ’10, had us all a little anxious to play it after we saw it. After the long wait Team Meat has finally released Super Meat Boy. Super Meat Boy is a 2D platform game with some puzzle elements. Does Super Meat Boy bring back that 8-Bit platform game feel, or should we throw this game in the meat grinder?
Story/Gameplay: The story is simple, you are Super Meat Boy and it is your job to rescue Bandage Girl from Dr. Fetus. Only a game with great gameplay could back up a weak story line like that and make it an awesome experience. So how is the gameplay in Super Meat Boy? To put it in one word, HARD. The game gets extremely hard, to the point where you want to slam your control into your eye. But thats the beauty of it. Why would you want a game that you are going to complete in under 5 hours and never play again. Each of the levels in Super Meat Boy is timed. The timer doesn’t count down, instead it times you to see how fast you can complete each level. The object of Super Meat Boy is to rescue Bandage Girl at the end of the level as fast as you can. Super Meat Boy must dodge a ton of traps, saw blades, and other obstacles in each level. There are no health bars or lives in the game so if you touch a saw blade or fall into a pit, you’re done. After completing a certain number of levels in a given world you are treated to a Boss Battle. The Boss Battles are very unique and sometimes frustrating, but they are addicting and fun. There are various bandages that are hidden in certain levels. Grabbing the bandages lets you purchase other characters in the game. These bonus characters each have their own unique ability. The game is broken into different worlds, with each world containing a set of light levels, and a set of dark levels. The light levels are the main levels in the game and the dark levels can be thought of as bonus levels. There is a big difference in the light and dark levels. The main difference in the dark levels is the appearance and layout of the obstacles. These levels are essentially the same level as its light counterpart, however it might be rendered a weird, trippy color or it might add more traps and saw blades to the level. Below is an image of a dark level. You can see how the art style dramatically changes when you go from light levels to dark levels.
Graphics: Think of Super Meat Boy as a high definition 8-Bit Nintendo game. This game obviously doesn’t have the graphics to compete with Halo or Killzone, but it doesn’t have to. The different art styles used in the game keep the experience fresh and entertaining. There are various warp zones in the game that treat you with some nostalgic bonus content, but I wont ruin it for you, you’ll have to unlock the warp zones for yourselves.
Sound: The sounds in Super Meat Boy are a mix of old school 8-Bit sounds with a little bit of current gen music. During gameplay you are usually treated to a fast paced heavy metal track that adds to the fast paced gameplay of Super Meat Boy. The sounds and music in the game really compliment the game well.
Controls: The controls in Super Meat Boy are extremely simple. You can use the analog stick or D-Pad to control Super Meat Boy, while the X button allows you to sprint and the A button makes you jump. The game controls very much like Super Mario Bros. for the NES, which isn’t a bad thing.
Wishes: The only wish I want for Super Meat Boy is a level editor, and a way that the players can share their creations for free. At the time of this review this feature was currently not available, however after researching online I learned that this feature is in the works and will be FREE 🙂
Final Thoughts: Super Meat Boy is definitely a game that I have been subconsciously wanting to play for a very long time, I just never knew it. It delivers nostalgic moments while still delivering everything you could ever want from a 2D platform game; tight controls, awesome visuals, superb sound and most importantly, TONS OF LEVELS!!! Super Meat Boy easily earns a 4.5 Michelas out of 5 rating, yeah, it’s that good.
Super Meat Boy
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Developer: Team Meat
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
MSRP: 1200 MS Points ($15.00)