Super Meat Boy (PC) Review

By Aria DiMezzo 16.12.2015

Review for Super Meat Boy on PC

From the hilarity of PETA comically missing the point and making Super Tofu Boy (it missed the point because Meat Boy earns his name because he has no skin) to its creator Ed McMillen explicitly challenging people to 100% the game, Super Meat Boy has a long and interesting history for an indie game. Like Dark Souls, Super Meat Boy is regularly mentioned among difficult games lists, so Cubed3 checks it out to see if it is worth the hype.

Everything about Super Meat Boy is exceptional. From the superb art style to the awesome music to the controls, it clearly had a lot of time and effort put into it. In fact, the only negative thing that can be said about Super Meat Boy is that it is difficult, but since this is the point of the game, that's hardly a fair criticism, especially with the difficulty curve handled expertly.

Super Meat Boy is a clear shout-out to older titles, particularly those of the Nintendo Entertainment System, and a lot of its cut-scenes are borrowed from classics. The presentation is superb, and tells the story of Meat Boy, who loves Bandage Girl, and of Bandage Girl, who loves Meat Boy. Interrupting their happy relationship is Dr. Fetus, who nobody loves, motivated by anger that no one loves him. The plot has no more depth than the old-school games to which it is a homage, but that's okay—Super Mario Bros. 3 didn't have much of a story, either.

Screenshot for Super Meat Boy on PC

Dr. Fetus kidnaps Bandage Girl, and it is up to Meat Boy to rescue her, by following Dr. Fetus through a nice variety of locations, from a basic forest to Hell itself. Along the way, Meat Boy has to avoid lots and lots of saws, lava, syringes, missiles, lasers, and dozens of other hazards. The goal of each stage is to reach Bandage Girl, at which point Dr. Fetus reappears, punches Bandage Girl, and carts her off to the next stage.

The main goal is to reach Bandage Girl, but she can wait while players collect the twenty bandages in each world, and enter the numerous warp zones. There are two types of warp zones: those featuring Meat Boy, and those featuring another character. Meat Boy's warp zones consist of three parts, contain two bandages, and introduce lives to the mix, which is really just an unnecessary frustration, particularly for anyone trying to 100% Super Meat Boy, as dying three times in the third part of a warp zone means the entire thing must be played again. The other warp zones briefly give control of an unlockable character, and completing the warp zone unlocks it.

Screenshot for Super Meat Boy on PC

The other way to unlock the characters is collecting bandages, and most of them are also shout-outs to indie games, although Headcrab from Half-Life 2 makes an appearance. Others worth mentioning are Jill from Mighty Jill-Off, Commander Video of Bit.Trip Runner, and Steve of Minecraft. Of course, The Kid of I Wanna Be the Guy also deserves a mention, but only the most dedicated of players should try; apart from a few levels in the final world, nothing in Super Meat Boy comes close to the difficulty of The Kid's warp zone.

Getting to Bandage Girl within a certain amount of time awards an A+ ranking, thereby unlocking the Dark World version of the level; this follows the same basic layout of its Light World counterpart, but increases the difficulty substantially.

Six of the worlds contain forty levels and twenty bandages, but Chapter 6 is considerably shorter, containing only ten. Chapter 6's levels are also substantially longer than most, which makes failing in them more tedious, since they involve having to redo more things. Once The End is completed, Bandage Girl's world, Cotton Alley, opens and again cranks up the difficulty, this time to absolutely insane levels. With 120 bandages to collect, 20 Dark World levels to unlock and beat, Cotton Alley, and four to five warp zones per world, there really is a substantial amount of content.

Screenshot for Super Meat Boy on PC

It is, however, among the hardest titles out there to have successfully broken into the mainstream, but the difficulty is genuine, which makes it incredibly rewarding to play. There are no cheap, unpredictable death traps like in I Wanna Be the Guy; each time the player dies, it is no one's fault but their own. Well, it can also be the controller's fault, because Super Meat Boy is to controllers as delivering pizzas is to personal vehicles: destruction.

The music has to be mentioned, too. It's catchy, memorable, and excellent. Even Cotton Alley's ridiculously happy music is perfect, even as it becomes almost mocking the four hundredth time Bandage Girl is ripped to shreds on that same saw, yet it continues on, laughing at the player with its unbridled happiness.

Super Meat Boy is substantially better on PC than Xbox 360, because the latter has the resolution low, and the result feels like playing in 800x600 Windowed mode; the PC, meanwhile, has full support for 1920x1080. The difference isn't really noticeable between the various resolutions on PC, but the differences between the PC and Xbox 360 versions are staggering. Finally, after getting bored of all that, there is an eighth world full of player-created stages and other level packs by the developers. These will test the skills of even the best Super Meat Boy player.

Screenshot for Super Meat Boy on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Even though the difficulty is extremely high, Super Meat Boy is worth the perseverance and dedication that it takes to become skilled. Completing a stage or collecting a bandage after dozens of attempts is tremendously rewarding. It is easily one of the best platformers to come out in recent years, and the effort and care of Team Meat shows in the final product; it's fantastic. Not very many games can nail that line, but Super Meat Boy is the magnum opus of "easy to learn, difficult to master."

Developer

Team Meat

Publisher

Team Meat

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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