Super Meat Boy

2D platforming game Super Meat Boy on the Xbox 360 is a challenging game for patient players or those willing to put up with punishment

Team Meat Super Meat Boy
  • Team Meat Super Meat Boy
  • Team Meat Super Meat Boy
  • Team Meat Super Meat Boy
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Extremely satisfying payoff for completing the varied and brutally difficult stages, tons of content and different playable characters

Cons

  • Absurdly difficult levels can feel like a grind, boss fights can be aggravating

Bottom Line

As I write this, I've completed just 34% of Super Meat Boy. I'm struggling toward the last level of the main game, I've dabbled in the Dark World, and I've gathered a fragment of the game's numerous bandage collectibles. I've barely scratched the surface, and I feel like I've played more than an entire game's worth of content. Oh, and I've died 2,136 times.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

I've considered quitting, but despite the fact that I've suffered so many defeats, Meat Boy's blissful 2D platforming won't let me go. This is a game for patient players or those willing to put up with punishment: Super Meat Boy lights short fuses with a flamethrower, and yet, the made-of-meat main man is too much fun to fling around for me to walk away.

The amount of content crammed into this downloadable game is also downright alarming — I'm obsessively collecting bandages so I can replay each level with the uniquely powered unlockable characters. The levels themselves literally number in the hundreds, and the significantly more challenging Dark World stages present additional stages to conquer during the main game. Discovering hidden vortexes in certain stages also throws interesting things at you, such as various old school renditions of Super Meat Boy, or stages designed around unlockable characters' abilities.

The mounting frustration of Meat Boy's increasingly brutal difficulty also instils a simultaneous sense of cathartic release and exhausted relief when you finally overcome a map. You resort to a lot of trial-and-error but there's a definite payoff that can't be discounted; of course, on the flip side, the sheer unbridled rage you feel when you miss a jump can be a bit of a downer, but it fades the instant you restart and move onto the next attempt. The masterful — or diabolical — placement of threats and enemies adds an interesting challenge to the already tough-as-nails levels. Each stage demands perfect timing, judgement of angles, and memorisation of the complicated patterns of the changing environment.

Whether fireballs roll at you like Donkey Kong's barrels or the trusty floor beneath your feet vanishes Mega Man-style, Super Meat Boy keeps things fresh by turning back time. Even the basic story is as classic as they come: some jerk stole your girlfriend-are you a bad enough blob of beef to get her back? It's the surprisingly modern winks and nods that excited me most, though. The Canabalt-inspired aesthetic in a few later levels would have been enough to make me content, but the Portal-esque portals, which opened new challenges in already cleverly designed worlds, are just icing on the cake.

The phrase "love letter" gets tossed around a lot when someone describes a fantastic new game that's built around an older era's ideas. GamePro used it to explain 3D Dot Game Heroes' nods to NES classic The Legend of Zelda, or to note Red Dead Redemption's reverence to Western cinema. This is an effective way to detail what debts a game owes and how it pays it back. As I played through Super Meat Boy, I discovered that "love letter" isn't the most accurate definition for its accomplishments as homage. Super Meat Boy is a thank-you card addressed to great game design. It recognises and embraces everything we've come to love about the indie scene, even going so far as to include it — Braid's Tim and Gish's Gish, for instance, show up as playable characters. And all the while, Super Meat Boy's creating an experience equally deserving of this sort of high five.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: games, XBox 360, Xbox 360 games
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

With determination and drive, you achieve outstanding performance! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?