Posts Tagged ‘Platformer’

20 minutes? Twenty minutes? Veinte minutos? Twaintee minoights? However you say it, it’s just as unbelievable.

For anyone who has played this game, and been manically frustrated with how easily you can die, especially on the later levels, you will have so much appreciation for this video. For the life of me I don’t understand how this gamer had the patience to perfect their run without dying. Jesus, they must have attempted this hundreds of time!!

Hats off to you, Sir.


For a review of this game, please click here.


Originally written November 24th 2010

Meaty frustration.

Not an innuendo. Not a description of summer barbecue mishaps. However, it is an apt description of XBLA’s newest super hero title: Super MeatBoy!

With a significant precedent set by Alien Hominid, XBLA (as well as WiiWare, PC and Mac) now sees another successful Newgrounds flash title being released. Developed by Team Meat – which always makes me think of Shaun of the Dead; come on all you Pegg fans – the game promises some of the most excruciatingly frustrating levels that gamers will ever attempt. For those of you who have played Hominid, be prepared for just as difficult a title, especially when trying to 100% it.

Mr Meat Boy. First name Super.

Right, to the premise. Despite having a name reminiscent of a porn actor pseudonym, Super Meat Boy does a Ronseal – exactly what it says on the tin! He is meat. Super meat. Apparently. He looks meat-like, if all you can afford is Lidl spam, and you squint slightly. Essentially he is block of meat, who goes out with another lovely block, although she is made of bandages for some odd reason. If this all seems a little too weird for you, it only gets worse, because you see, in the game’s opening cut-scene she is kidnapped (Oh no), by a foetus, with a doctorate. In a jar. Wearing a tuxedo. Although this appears a little ridiculous, the characters have a surprising charm, especially the foetus in the suit – he’s quite dapper I can tell you. The game then sees you play through level after level, boss after boss, in a Mario-esque endeavour to rescue your Mrs, another typical helpless damsel in distress moment. In the same vein as old-skool Mario titles (this reference it joyfully promotes – “Sorry Meat Boy, but Bandage Girl is in another castle”), it’s a 2D platformer, where the aim is to survive gaps, lava and enemies until you reach an end target; but it’s much, much more violent. Throw in some saws, spikes, lasers, missile launchers, and bucket loads of blood and you get somewhere nearer to what Meat Boy actually is. Perhaps the most relevant title to reference when examining Super Meat Boy is N+, released on XBLA in ’08. If you’ve ever played or even witnessed this title, you’ll understand the sort of threatening 2D level design and split second escapes that you can expect in Meat Boy, with a delightful nod to this game in the unlockable character list.

Be careful buddy!

Super Meat Boy is arguably one of the most irritating games you will play in a long time, but also one of the most enjoyable. The game is inherently addictive – as the level difficulty gradually increases,  you cannot help but retry after each failed attempt, edging closer to the end goal. With personal pride, friends leaderboards and achievements at stake, desperation consumes you, blindly refusing to quit, despite the red mist taking over and many a swear word being screamed. On that note, this game will cause some of the most violent outbursts that you have ever uttered – make sure there are no children, or nuns, present when playing because the filth you blurt out is sure to offend. A particularly nasty spasm saw me calling our meaty hero a “shitting bloody tampon’. I won’t be forgiven for that one I call tell you. Sorry mum.

But which one will survive?

Making the game slightly easier is a quirky little addition in that Meat Boy leaves behind him a bloody trail, like somehellish snail. This means that whenever you fail and re-enter a level, you’ll have a visual guide of paths to retrace in the areas you passed and where to avoid in the areas you were defeated. Also, whenever you complete a level you are treated to an instant replay, which includes a ghost of every attempt you had before you passed. Not only is this functional, providing valuable information of how to complete the level again if you want to retry for a speedier time, it’s entertaining, depicting a race of epic proportions as you witness various Meatboys competing for victory, trying to spot the one who will escape the wave of death.

With charming graphic design and gameplay that is both fun and challenging, the only thing required for Super Meat Boy to become a classic arcade title is replayability, and this it has in droves. The game encompasses 5 worlds, spanning 340 levels of increasing difficulty. Each world has four warp zones to be discovered (each providing a loveable reference to simple arcade gaming, interestingly similar to the Super Gameboy visually and accompanied by perfectly matched 8 bit soundtracks) and 20 bandages to collect. Amassing these bandages allows you to unlock 10 secret characters, each with differing abilities and Achilles’ heels, including the famous yellow martian Hominid and Tim, Braid’s ginger, time-moulding munchkin. Many games offer varying characters that bear no real significance for completing the game. Not so on this occasion, as certain bandages are only obtainable by using the very specific abilities of particular characters. Even if you’re not out to finish the game in its entirety, having more characters makes completing the standard campaign much easier. Unlocking them is a challenge, but the rewards are there….

Gotta catch em all

Now, down to the nitty gritty. How much is this bad boy going to cost me? Only 800 points… Come again? Yes, that’s right, just 800 points, about £7.50. Considering how much you get for that price, it’s a bloody bargain! This is especially true when DLC is going to be free, that’s right free. Team Meat have incorporated an unlockable section called Teh Internets, which enables users to download free levels directly, without having to shell-out more MS points. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Team Meat certainly know how to treat their patrons. Its frantically fun, tough, engaging and refreshingly difficult in an age where games developers often pander to those who won’t commit to a game for more than a few attempts. If you do anything before this year is out, spend the cash and let the little meaty superstar into your life. Your nostalgia for arcade gaming will thank you for it.