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Super Meat Boy Review

Eduardo_Reboucas By:
Eduardo_Reboucas
10/22/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE 2D Platformer 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Microsoft Xbox Live Arcade 
DEVELOPER Team Meat 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Language

What do these ratings mean?

Meat Boy will make you his Bandage Girl.


Meat Boy likes Bandage Girl, and Bandage Girl loves Meat Boy. Sadly, Dr. Fetus hates Meat Boy and everyone hates Dr. Fetus. That's the only bit of story you are likely to pick up on in Super Meat Boy. Does that really matter for an extremely challenging game like this? Surely not.

click to enlargeWhat you should be worried in Super Meat Boy is making sure that the little bloody cube with eyes survives 'til the end of every level. Meat Boy's goal for each stage is to reach his girlfriend as quickly as possible, while avoiding traps, enemies, and obstacles. The fact that this guy is made of meat makes almost everything turn into a threat and his arch-enemy Dr. Fetus takes full advantage of it in his designs. Levels take place in volcanoes, dark caves, and even salt factories.

Platforming is the name of the game in Super Meat Boy, and boy (see what I did there?), will you sweat to tears in order to reach the end. Meat Boy is thankfully a very agile blob of flesh and blood, since stages are extremely challenging and demanding. Our friend can hop from wall to wall, make ridiculously long jumps, and dash over hazards like no one's business. These skills and your own are put to the test constantly. On the other hand, a lot of the levels in Super Meat Boy depend a little too much on twitch reflexes and trial-and-error memorization. But if you enjoy a challenge, you'll be in for a treat.

Super Meat Boy is the sort of game that you're likely to play in spurts. Sometimes you'll feel everything is 'clicking' and levels fall at your wake, while in others, all is hellish, and you'll quit in rage. Still, you'll likely jump back in: "Just another try, I'll get it this time!" The extreme challenge will keep you coming back for more and if quantity speaks for quality, Super Meat Boy would be an automatic 'A+' due to the sheer number of levels and unlockable content available during the game.

click to enlargeThe five or so level hubs are based on an unique theme and have their little set of cutscenes which work as callbacks to classic, nostalgic games like Castlevania and Double Dragon. The game features an extremely charismatic set of characters that, akin to the Lego games, make for some funny moments through silent performances and emotes by basick-looking characters. Obviously, due to the meatiness of the game, it's much more gruesome than the aforementioned Lego games. There are some bits of toilet humor here and there that are duds, but overall, Super Meat Boy is hilarious.

Much of Super Meat Boy's replayability comes in the form of best speed run times that are uploaded to online leaderboards. Beating each stage's par time is also important if you want to go for the 100% completion rating, since the alternate, darker versions of the level hubs can only be accessed by reaching an A+ grade on every level. These dark worlds sport even more difficult stages, if you are up for even more of a beating.

Some stages also contain hidden bandages that act as currency for unlockable characters and other bonuses. Warp gates make an appearance, temporarily taking you to hidden levels that are made to look like little nostalgic arcade games. Even though they look like older classic games, they play just the same. The only difference is that you have a limited number of lives that if depleted, forces you to start over.

Even though Super Meat Boy will make most casual players shy away from it due to its extreme, raw (pun intended) level of difficulty, there's plenty of content to dig through and it's all well worth the effort. For a fifteen dollar (1200 Microsoft Points) Xbox Live Arcade title, the amount of levels and bonus material make it one of the better dishes in Microsoft's Game Feast, if you can stomach it.
B Revolution report card
  • Extremely challenging
  • ...no, really, it's extremely challenging.
  • Cute characters
  • Tight controls
  • Lots of levels and content to unlock
  • Too much trial and error in spots
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