You know what happens when a cube sized piece of meat meets sharp blades. The result ends in a major blood spatter. That is what I experienced many times while playing Super Meat Boy. Levels seemed like Slaughterhouses as Super Meat boy came face to face with the games’ many dangerous obstacles. Upon tallying hundreds and hundreds of deaths throughout the game one would think Super Meat Boy was crazy for sacrificing himself in such horrific ways. As it turns out Super Meat Boy is in love with Bandage Girl. Dr. Fetus, who is basically, is a little baby inside a mechanical suit, complete with a tie and a hat. He hates Super Meat Boy and kidnaps Bandage Girl. It’s up to Super Meat boy to rescue the love of his life. The story isn’t particularly original but that’s OK. The game’s main focus is its platforming which is downright brutal. Super Meat Boy will face sharp whirling blades, fireballs, salt, missles, collapsing platforms, etc. The end of each level features a boss battle which requires the player to memorize attacks patterns.
The game’s graphics while being simple still have a certain charm to them, whether it’s the characters, the environments, the obstacles, or the blood splatter. The characters in the game move fluidly and that’s especially the case for Super Meat Boy himself. He leaves trails of blood as he is traversing each level. The way in which each level is designed is really impressive. Just when you think you’ve seen everything that the game can offer, you end up coming across something else that is more dangerous but is also impressive at the same time. The game features some very charming cutscenes which reference Street Fighter, Fight Club, Megaman, etc.
The mechanics are pretty simple. Super Meat Boy can run, jump and cling to walls in order to make it past the game’s many dangers. There are no power-ups and no health. If Super Meat Boy gets hit once, he’s dead meat and I mean that literally. The game’s controls are very solid whether you’re playing on the PC, PS3, or XBOX 360. Super Meat Boy originally started out as a flash game that was created by Edmund McMillen and Jonathan McEntee. The updated version is made by Team Meat and is better than the original. Quick reflexes and precision timing is required to beat the game. If a player manages to beat level with par time, it will unlock a level’s “Dark World”, which is even more brutal and challenging. The levels themselves aren’t very long and can be beaten in less than 30 seconds. There are bandages to collect, which unlock various characters such as, Gish (from Gish), CommanderVideo (from Bit. Trip), Alien Hominid (from Alien Hominid), Tim (from Braid), etc. Unlocking characters makes certain levels a bit easier but acquiring the characters is a challenge in itself. The bandages can also be hard to acquire as well. The game will even challenge seasoned platformers. Levels can be skipped but the bosses must be faced in order to progress further in the game.
There is no actual dialog during the cutscenes but the story is presented in a hilarious way. The levels feature some catchy music as well. It would’ve been nice if there was some dialog given to the characters. The characters do have some nice personality and are funny but some dialog would’ve been a nice touch.
Super Meat Boy is a difficult, yet rewarding platformer. The graphics are simple yet charming. The game has catchy music. It has hilarious cut scenes. It has some nice unlockables. The incentive to beat the par time gives a sense of accomplishment. The characters are charming and funny. It offers a lot of gameplay for the money. Team Meat may be an Indie video game company but they have created a true masterpiece. It may not compete with the big name titles in the industry but it is impressive regardless. Super Meat Boy may be a tough piece of meat to chew but it’s a juicy one worth biting into.