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Super Meat Boy

Developer / Publisher: Team Meat
20 October 2010
Super Meat Boy - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.56 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
2,010 Ratings / 7 Reviews
#926 All-time
#32 for 2010
Meat Boy and Bandage Girl both love each other very much. Unfortunately, the latter has been kidnapped by the nefarious Dr. Fetus!
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Title
Super Meat Boy is often regarded as one of the best Indie games, and much fuss was made about the hardcore difficulty. The levels are short (often 10-45 seconds) but full of danger. In addition to the control stick, there's only two buttons; run and jump. Meat Boy can wall-jump and wall-slide, in addition to moving mid-air, which leads to some interesting acrobatics.

In recent times, I've played hard platform games such as Cloudberry Kingdom, Donkey Kong Country/Tropical Freeze and VVVVV, so I had a feeling there was good chance I wouldn't find Super Meat Boy that challenging or maybe even that interesting, and I was right...

The first world introduces the mechanics, so teaches you how to leap over large gaps by running, wall jumping, and even wall jumping against a single wall to climb it. The second world doesn't really increase in difficulty though. There may be a few tricky levels here and there, but then you get levels that are a complete breeze and the inconsistency just feels annoying; which is a general trend throughout the game. In the third world, there's a new mechanic of conveyor belts which creates some variety, but again, the difficulty is mixed. The fourth world, Hell is where things get tricky, but at this point you are at least half way through the core game. The fifth world, Rapture, is really fun with some well designed levels, but then there's a few that are total garbage. The sixth world is the final one and only has 5 levels, 3 of which I thought were among the best levels in the entire game and they live up to the game's hard reputation. The other 2 on the other hand were easy and boring.

There's new hazards introduced throughout the game, but usually, the game is only difficult when it uses unfair tactics. For example, you jump on a ledge which looks totally safe. Oh no it's not, because now a saw has just popped through the floor and killed you. One of the worst offenders are those teeth-monsters in the Hell levels. They charge out of a portal (which is actually hard to see) and they either hit you direct for a kill, or hit the floor and shatter into several pieces which can kill you. The Oobs in Rapture are arguably as bad, they usually move in an arc, but then they randomly speed up and charge horizontally. They can also cheat by hiding off the screen, or camping near tricky jumps for guaranteed kills.

At the end of each world, there's a boss. This may be a obstacle course which basically isn't much different from the normal levels, just that there's extra time pressure. With other bosses, you have to learn their attacks. Sometimes, this means you replay the level an insane amount of times to learn the attack patterns, since there is no way you can actually react to their attacks. For this very reason, I found the Hell boss to be one of the worst bosses in any game.

When you die, Meat Boy instantly re-spawns at the beginning of the stage which helps ease the frustration of replaying the level. Once you complete the level, you are shown a replay of all your attempts simultaneously, which is a brilliant feature.

If you complete the stage under the par time, you are given an A+ rating which unlocks an alternative, harder version of that stage in the Dark World. You can also unlock alternative characters who star in other indie games. These characters have different physics and special skills. These are unlocked either by acquiring bandages which are dangerously positioned on the levels, or completing secret levels found via the warp zones.

Graphically, the game is basic but has a retro feel much like Swords & Sworcery. However, sometimes I found it difficult to distinguish between the background and foreground, leading to some very cheap deaths. As Meatboy runs, he leaves a trial of blood and when he dies, he leaves behind a splatter of blood which remains on screen for repeated attempts. Overall, the aesthetics were a bit too bleak for my liking and would have been better with a bit more clarity and colour. The secret levels take the retro feel even further and increase the amount of pixels which I found to be off-putting.

Sometimes, I thought the controls were spot on, but other times it seems a bit unpredictable. I'm sure I was pressing jump and nothing happened, or I expected to wall-slide and he didn't. Other times his jump seemed more floaty than usual, or he seemed to slip rather than coming to a complete stop. I'd be very surprised if there weren't random elements incorporated into Meatboy's movement because there was no consistency in the slippage.

Then there's the bugs. The first time I launch the game, it crashes, but is fine on the next attempt. Changing the resolution mid-game can make the graphics glitch or completely crash, whereas alt-tabbing out of the game will crash or give you a black screen. There's three bugs that hurt the game-play: Firstly, the moving platform bug. Meatboy can usually headbutt ceilings, but if he is on a moving platform, this usually (but not always) kills him. Secondly, Meatboy may fall through platforms which usually occur if he is moving fast. The final bug is the final boss, Dr Fetus. He is supposed to chase you through the level but instead remained static. Other gamers report that he moves far too fast, but either way, you cannot complete the level in this state. For some reason, entering the launch option -ultralowdetail fixes this which I noticed also changed the speed of some of the hazards.

Once you complete the game, you unlock an extra bonus world. To further extend the game-play, you can replay levels to beat your times, unlock more Dark World stages and find the warp zones. There's a lot of fun to be had taking on the harder stages and discovering the new content.

As much as I love challenging platform game, the wild inconsistencies throughout Super Meat Boy makes it a disappointing game. It's often too easy, too unfair and doesn't seem worth the trudge to get to the good bits. When it is good, it is really good though, and navigating the levels in such a fast an acrobatic way is exhilarating.
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A great fast-paced 2D platformer, difficult but never feeling overly frustrating thanks to the instant respawn/infinite retries mechanic. Not much to say, but beating this game (and getting to grips with Meat Boy's slippery movement) was just, very satisfying, and continued to be satisfying for a long long time, no matter what the game threw at me. That combined with the stellar Danny Baranowsky OST was enough to propel me to both 106% and get some of the frankly unfair complete-whole-world-without-dying achievements.

The few downsides is that in retrospect, a lot of the unlockable characters are not as fun to play around with than Mr Meat Boy himself (other than to trivialise the odd level here and there), meaning that the incentive to 106% is minimal outside of self-pride, and it wears the Newgrounds/flash aesthetic on its sleeve, for good or for ill.
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Jackrb 2023-03-06T22:17:27Z
2023-03-06T22:17:27Z
4.0
1
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completed
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While an overall fun game, SMB has too many frustrating moments surrounding its "floaty" controls and inconsistent level design to be considered great.
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A true challenge
The gameplay is so good than you can´t complain. If you lose you're aware that is was your fault because of the platformer accuracy im self. The soundtrack is the only ally you have in this extreme difficult.
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BoyterFenix 2023-02-05T23:45:30Z
2023-02-05T23:45:30Z
4.0
1
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Masoquismo Frenético
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A Slip into Sawblades
Completely irrelevant (but incredibly fun) fact: I watched Indie Game: The Movie, the documentary about the making of this game and FEZ, about a decade before playing SMB itself.

Does Super Meat Boy live up to the hype? I’m inclined to say no. I understand why it’s historically important – it helped ignite the indie boom of the 2010s – but playing it in 2022 I found it was often more frustrating than fun.

Meat Boy is a tad bit slippery, just like Mario, and slides across surfaces like they’re glazed with a thin layer of ice. Seeing as he’s continually drenched in own blood, Meat Boy has a defensible excuse for his slipperiness. But that leads me to wonder: What’s Mario’s deal? Extreme perspiration? Moisturizer addiction? Maybe he’s just a literal grease monkey? The world may never know.

Playing Super Meat Boy to completion reminded me how fickle opinions can be. As I struggled to pass the final levels, I could feel my provisional opinion of the game slowly creep upward. Why? Human brains hate cognitive dissonance, and mine was trying to justify why I was making such a heroic effort to beat this annoying bugger of a game! It was struggling balance deeply considered yet entirely contradictory thoughts such as “This game suckz” and “Must win the game (for great justice)”.

Finish it I did. Return for more punishment in Bandage Girl’s levels and the Dark World I will not. Play it, should you? Sure, you could play it. Or you could instead play a classic like Shovel Knight, or Mega Man X4 [ロックマンX4], or one of the hundreds of other precision platformers that have come out over the last decade. If you dig hard enough, you’re sure to find dozens, if not hundreds, that are more fun and less sadistic than this one.
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toadhjo 2022-09-26T03:03:35Z
2022-09-26T03:03:35Z
3.5
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Hard but not in a way that I find interesting.
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headsoftyphon 2021-08-10T19:55:59Z
2021-08-10T19:55:59Z
2.0
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Catalog

ernumpo Super Meat Boy 2024-05-25T10:13:54Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-05-25T10:13:54Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Enkerou Super Meat Boy 2024-05-22T10:21:40Z
2024-05-22T10:21:40Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
hahaSTOrm Super Meat Boy 2024-05-21T09:21:49Z
2024-05-21T09:21:49Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
C0ntra Super Meat Boy 2024-05-21T04:03:53Z
Switch
2024-05-21T04:03:53Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lonelyphoenix4867 Super Meat Boy 2024-05-18T13:56:00Z
2024-05-18T13:56:00Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Wunyuu Super Meat Boy 2024-05-17T14:09:59Z
PS4 / PS Vita
2024-05-17T14:09:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
godkillgod1 Super Meat Boy 2024-05-16T00:41:27Z
2024-05-16T00:41:27Z
3.0
3
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ofsynesthesia Super Meat Boy 2024-05-14T04:52:39Z
2024-05-14T04:52:39Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Nyllia Super Meat Boy 2024-05-13T17:44:31Z
2024-05-13T17:44:31Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Loveless01 Super Meat Boy 2024-05-13T06:28:18Z
2024-05-13T06:28:18Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bubu66 Super Meat Boy 2024-05-12T04:15:09Z
2024-05-12T04:15:09Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
anitahegerland Super Meat Boy 2024-05-10T09:33:02Z
2024-05-10T09:33:02Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (16) Loading...
  • Gayvyn 2022-06-24 11:48:09.206692+00
    Like this is a game about a living piece of meat, it didn't need to go that hard
    reply
    • fidwell 2022-07-16 15:38:03.210585+00
      really though aren't we all living pieces of meat
    • Gayvyn 2023-07-16 17:02:14.011395+00
      This is true
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • Gayvyn 2022-06-24 11:48:45.009318+00
    I was so disappointed when i bought the switch version and they replaced the ost
    reply
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  • aidan_sun 2022-12-03 22:47:05.409962+00
    why this rated so low its so fun and good
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  • ghostalibi 2023-03-23 01:04:38.530625+00
    why low rating
    reply
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  • ... 2023-05-08 01:12:51.139178+00
    I suck at this game but even so I love it because it understands difficulty is earned, not forced.
    reply
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  • Loomynarty 2023-07-02 15:52:08.121254+00
    new soundtrack > og soundtrack
    reply
    • ThrashingFairy 2024-03-09 15:03:02.068391+00
      Fat L of a take.
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  • luna128 2023-08-29 00:37:22.734697+00
    Genuinely wonder if I've been playing a different video game the past 10 years with people saying the controls are inconsistent... the level design maybe, but meat boy moves 100% predictably and his lack of friction and moon jump make him very fun to play.
    reply
    • luna128 2023-08-29 00:40:12.817948+00
      and the humor is charming idk what's so offensive about it
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  • icecrumbs 2024-04-14 04:06:54.342287+00
    I really dont understand why this has so much lower of a rating than a game like Celeste, the latter really isn't that much more interesting than this gameplay-wise. I LOVE the movement in this game, it's so crisp and fluid
    reply
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