Here’s a little history on me. I was born in the 80’s. I remember when there was only an A and B button, when you had to write down codes to continue where you left off, and when there was no guarantee that you would beat a game just by playing it. It used to be that you actually needed some skill to beat a game; sadly this really isn’t the case anymore. It’s difficult to find a challenge these days; makes me miss the old days. I know I’m not alone on this; so luckily for people like me, Team Meat has provided Super Meat Boy. Super Meat Boy is an old school puzzle platformer where Meat Boy sets out to save his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the Dr.Fetus
Super Meat Boy is old school in many different ways; the look, the sound, but most importantly the challenge. You will go through 300+ levels where you will need to use speed, fast thinking, and even faster reflexes. Your objective in each level is to reach Bandage girl. You will need to run, sprint, high jump, slide on walls, and wall jump to do it. Each level is unique and while environments or hazards may look the same for a specific chapter, the way to reach Bandage Girl will be different each time. You will come across many obstacles in your attempts to reach Bandage Girl; pits, fire, pits of fire, spinning blades, piles of syringes, salt, missiles, moving platforms, lava, moving platforms over lava, and the list goes on.
At the end of each chapter you will encounter a boss. Each boss is unique so you won’t be doing the same things over and over again. To give you an example, the first boss fight you need to escape Dr.Fetus chainsaw machine while traversing through obstacles, the second boss fight you need to collect keys to advance to the next portion of the level while avoiding a giant red blob, and the third boss fight is a race between you and Brownie (*chuckle* Note: Play the game you will see what I mean). Each level is timed and if you can complete the level within a specific time you will get a Grade A+. Getting Grade A+ in a level will unlock that level in Dark World. Dark World presents you with the same level layout, but now they are much more dangerous. You will have more obstacles in your way and you will be forced to get within inches of them in order to complete your task. Your movement and reflexes will both need to be on point to complete Dark World levels.
Besides Dark World levels, you also have warp zones. Some warp zones take you to an 8-bit area where you will need to overcome obstacles just like in the regular zone; difference being now you only have three lives to do it with. Lose all three lives in those warp zones and you will need to start from the beginning. Other warp zones allow you to play as other characters. If you complete those warp zones you will then be able to use those characters in the main game. These aren’t just some made up characters; they are from other games. You will get to play with characters such as Commander Video (Bit.Trip), Pink Knight (Castle Crashers), and Tim (Braid). Each character has their own ability such as double jumping, slow decent, sticking to walls, hovering.
There is another bonus area that you can go to that works like a warp zone but really isn’t. Sometimes you will see Bandage Girls sprite appear to be messed up. If you touch her while this is happening you will be thrown into what looks like a corrupted game. Here you will also only have three lives to complete the levels. As you play you will also have the opportunity to collect bandages which also allow you to unlock characters. Most bandages aren’t put in convenient places though, and you will need to go out of your way to get them. Some bandages can only be retrieved by specific characters.
I really enjoyed playing through this game. I applaud the guys over at Team Meat a fun and increasingly challenging game with unique puzzles. The soundtrack rocks; so much so that I plopped down $5 to download it on bandcamp. Besides awesome gameplay and a sweet soundtrack you also get cutscenes that pay homage to games like Street Fighter, Mega Man , and Ninja Gaiden. I would highly recommend this game to anyone that loves a challenge. Super Meat Boy without a doubt is one of the best modern platformers and will definitely leave a legacy behind… Even if that legacy includes a Fetus won’t stop flipping you the bird.
*Images taken from ForeverGeek.com