Positive: 0 out of
Mixed: 0 out of
Negative: 0 out of
Mar 5, 2013You've probably heard of Super Meat Boy, well this is where it started. Meat Boy is a super fun, charming and challenging platformer that you need to play asap. It's controls are airtight allowing you to feel in control of every situation. The graphics are simple but charming and the soundtrack is fantastic. But by far the best thing about Meat Boy is that it manages to provide a challenge without feeling overly difficult creating one heck of an addictive experience. I'm a gamer who does rage quit when I suffer repeated deaths, but while playing Meat Boy I never got upset when I died repeatedly because the game is so well made I didn't have anyone or anything to blame but myself when I died, and that impressed me a lot. Add in the games level creator that lets you share you creations with friends, the collectible band-aids to find, and unlockable characters to play as and you've got yourself a fantastic platformer that will keep you busy and happy for a very long time.… Expand
Jul 31, 2013The Good: Clever, remarkable levels.
The Bad: The difficulty bar is high because of cheap controls/physics/graphics issues, not for its clever, remarkable levels...
Praised as an indie darling and the tip of the spear regarding some 'Hardcore Renaissance' in old-school games Meat Boy is interesting enough to get some attention and set itself apart from a million other hardcore-oldschool-2Dplat-Flash-free-indie games out there.
Starting with the game's qualities, first and most important: level design. As you run-and-jump through the levels trying to reach your kidnapped beloved one you'll notice that there's no need for real living menaces when the environment itself can be your worst enemy. Cogs working as meat grinders, spikes, crumbling walls/ceilings/floors, mechanized rocket launchers strategically placed, auto-scrolling screens... The list goes on. When you reach a salt factory in chapter 2 you'll even start avoiding the walls! But despite being harsh the environments will leave a good impression since they're tough as much as sharp (no pun intended) and memorable.
Talking about chapters, the way the levels were organized must be mentioned as a quality as well: knowing the toughness the players will face along their path the developers decided to allow you to move towards the next pack of levels if you beat at least 3/5 of them. Leaving some painful levels behind and choosing where to put your efforts (just like the campaign mode in Guitar Hero series, for instance) is a nice touch to keep non-superhuman players hooked and wanting to see how the next chapter/environment will turn to be.
Sadly, the princess will always be in another castle... :P But that's part of the charm of the game. Aside some funny characters as Meat Boy (you), Bandage Girl (your girlfriend) and Dr. Fetus (your archrival)--which makes me wonder how the developers managed to convert some plain square figures into charming characters--there are a couple old-school references to make a cranky old gamer like me happy. MB stands for Meat Boy as for Mario Bros. not by chance; the chapters and the "your princess is in another castle" scheme were borrowed from the right source. Also, the opening cut-scene is a blatant reference to Ghosts'N Goblins, a devilish--literally--old-school hardcore game--which is fitting.
Presentation wise Meat Boy has a lot of personality attached to it. As stated before the characters are cool, the soundtrack is another great work from Danny B (Canabalt, Gravity Hook) and the backgrounds look beautiful, despite making your character disappear from you sight in desperate moments because of some poor contrast... Which leads me to the game's letdowns.
Well, Meat Boy is meant to be hardcore above anything else--and sure it is. But unfortunately I must point that it was achieved through some artificially forced difficulty. I won't say the controls are awful; they work the way they're MEANT to, and they mean to cheat you. I can forgive Meat Boy for being slippery like if it was a soap cube since it squishes blood everywhere as he walks; but I can't overlook how the physics can be unnecessarily unforgiving when you jump. Your jump starts heavy but suddenly you'll soar over the entire screen just to die in the next lava cascade... This issue is bad to the point you'll still find yourself struggling to master the controls even after reaching the last chapter, with dozens of beaten levels in your background already. That can feel really disappointing because the level design alone could easily suffice to challenge the player in a smart way--and problems regarding jumps can kill (literally once again) a platformer, of course.
In the end Meat Boy is a compelling hardcore-oldschool-2Dplat-Flash-free-indie game (did I mention you can search the stages for band-aids to unlock characters and a secret ending?) but it could be much more than that if the developers didn't resort to cheap deaths to make it 'hardcore' for the sake of it.
[just in case you're thinking I dislike the game because I suck at it take a look at my 'impossible badge' at Kongregate... … Expand