Well I tried picking a smaller game to split opinion a bit more. It seems that Super Meat Boy was not to be that game, with a completely unanimous decision. However, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. Of course the verdict matters, but we need to take a look at your opinions of the game.
If you remember last week I talked about the reasons we don’t have an official review on Super Meat Boy. To put it simply it was just too hard for Alex (nofi) to fight his way to the end. You don’t have to take my word for that, as the man himself has chipped in on WeView for the first time to reiterate his thoughts on it.
Way too bloody hard.
But only for the giggles.
There you have it, a simple, succinct view of Team Meat’s platformer. You can’t really argue with such simplicity can you? He’s right of course, it is far too hard.
Whilst Alex may have been brief in his opinion of the game, some of you were a bit more vocal. In fact Eldave0 wrote a supersized review of the game, which is far, far too long for me to use the whole of. However, I liked his overview of the game and the very obvious comparison he draws to retro gaming.
The storyline (if you can call it that) is simple. You are Meat Boy, a boy made of Meat. You have a lady friend called ‘Bandage’ and a nemesis called ‘Dr Fetus’. Fetus has kidnapped Bandage and it is up to Meat Boy to save his beloved. That’s it. Typically, a sign of a decent retro game is if you can fit the entire plotline onto the back of a beer mat so SMB has certainly passed this first test. From time to time you are shown cut scenes as Meat Boy continues his quest to hunt down Fetus. These are bright and simplistic visually but are also hilarious and constantly brought a smile to my face.
He’s absolutely spot on about the game’s simplicity when it comes to story telling, and the cut scenes will certainly make you chuckle. You can’t possibly tell a story with any broader brush strokes, yet it works fantastically well to give you just enough of a purpose to keep you going.
Story aside, it was obviously going to be the sheer difficulty of Super Meat Boy that would draw the lion’s share of the opinions this week. However, just because the game’s hard doesn’t automatically make it frustrating, as ProjectJAY explains.
There is a fine line between a game that is challenging and a game that is frustrating. It’s up for debate which side of the line titles like Ninja Gaiden and Demon’s Souls lie, but Super Meat Boy is most definitely on the former side. Why? Because when you screw up, it’s all your fault. There’s no AI to blame, and the controls couldn’t be smoother or more responsive.
Talk about hitting the nail on the head. This is exactly why Super Meat Boy is, in my opinion, brilliant instead of controller throwingly frustrating.
Finally, lets turn to FalconRedux. Whilst they mostly echo what ProjectJAY had to say about the game, they added something important that certainly had to be said.
Simple premise, perfect execution. As frustrating as it is there is one reason you will always want “one more go”… when you die it is always your fault. The best pure platformer I’ve played on PSN or XBLA.
If you think you’re good and/or are a patient gamer then try and earn the ‘The Kid’ achievement. If you succeed you have my respect.
I wouldn’t just say this about The Kid, I think it applies to the game as a whole. Beating it will certainly test even the most Zen players, although you’ll never hate the game. Just yourself and your feeble human hands.
Now, onto the overall verdict. This is rather simple this week, as noted above this was a completely unanimous decision. With six out of six votes Super Meat Boy sits on a very well deserved Buy It. I really advise you follow that advice.