Friday, October 29, 2010
Super Meat Boy
PREMISE: Meat Boy is made of meat. His girlfriend is Bandage Girl, who is made of Bandages. Then there is Dr Fetus, who is a fetus in a jar wearing a tux. Dr Fetus hates everyone, but especially Meat Boy. So he beats up Meat Boy and kidnaps Bandage Girl. Now that you're up to speed, let's dive into this clusterfuck of awesome.
This game plays like many other agility-based platformers. The levels are small, but there are tons of them. You spawn in one place, and must make it to wherever Bandage Girl is in the level. If you die, you are instantly respawned at the beginning of the level. This sounds very simple, but SMB is one of the hardest games I've ever had the pleasure (and displeasure) of trying to complete. Meat boy is very fast, and can wall jump. After an hour or two, I pretty much had mastered the controls, although Meat Boy's speed can sometimes screw you over while jumping. He's a bit hard to control in the air, but once you get control of that, it's just a matter of mastering each level. There are main worlds, and each one has 20 levels. Each level has a par time, and if you beat a level under par, you unlock that level's "Dark World", which is basically the same level, but with tons and tons of spinning saw blades of death. I must say that the sheer difficulty of the later Dark World levels made me rage for hours on end; there were a couple of levels that literally took about half an hour to master. Expect an unhealthy amount of respawning.
There are also tons of extras in this game. Each world has 20 hidden "bandages" you can find within the 40 levels. Finding a certain number of them unlocks new characters from various other indie games, like the ninja from N+ and Tim from Braid. Each secret character has special abilities, some of which are actually necessary to find all of the bandages. There are also warp zones hidden in each world, where you must play a few levels in a retro 8-bit or even 4-bit style, as a throwback to many awesome games of the past. Another cool feature is the extra world called "Teh Internets". Periodically, a new set of levels is released, and this world is where you go to play them. It increases the replay value quite a bit.
Just to get an idea of how hard this game is, watch this video. It's not me, but it shows pretty much exactly what I did for hours.
This is possibly the greatest XBLA game ever. Love it.
Super Meat Boy: 9.0/10