Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Super Meat Boy (PC)
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It's possible that you've noticed that this one doesn't really belong with the other games I've added to the blog so far. It doesn't quite fit the pattern. I don't usually write about recent games, especially not games that came out last year and that everyone has already bought and played and discussed etc.
But I was tricked into doing it by fate.
You see I mentioned to someone in conversation that I happened to be playing Super Ninja Boy, and they were disappointed when the game turned out to be nothing like Super Meat Boy. So I joked that I would put Super Meat Boy on my blog, except I can't because I don't own it.
And then less than an hour later someone else totally unrelated gives me the game out of nowhere in totally unrelated circumstances. So now that I DO own it, I guess I have to write about it.
On the plus side though, I got a free game to play, yay!
My Xbox 360 pad.
But it's fine, I'll go along with it. I wasn't that bothered about rescuing her anyway, I just want to jump on stuff. And I have to admit, this game gets the jumping on stuff bit right.
A FEW LEVELS LATER.
But I can't hang around on World One forever, I should probably go take on the first boss.
WORLD ONE COMPLETE!
But the game is so well designed that I'm always encouraged to keep trying. I have infinite retries, the timer always starts at zero so dying a few times doesn't ruin my time, and the blood trails I'm leaving across the level make each new run feel like it's building on the last in some weird way.
Plus if I really get stuck, I don't have to quit the game, I can just go play another level on the world map and come back to the difficult one later.
Okay I admit, I'm just replaying the easy levels because I don't want to go against the World Two boss. But I suppose he can't be THAT tough this early in the game. Yeah I'm ready for this, I'm going to go kick his ass!
Ugh, how the hell do you even get this thing? And why are those saws glowing anyway? If I walk across those blocks down there, they disintegrate, bathing the level in a warm saw blade glow.
I'll go back to the second boss.
The levels up to this point are pretty short. Deaths are annoying, but the game is designed at this point to make sure that it's not a huge journey to get back to where you died, and they feel like one complete challenge to be mastered.
But this level is different, it has stages. You get to a certain point and the screen scrolls up, then stops. As if to say 'you have passed challenge one, and now you're up to challenge two'. But when I die I'm kicked right down to the start again, and have to replay the stuff I can already do. Over and over and over and over.
I'm not saying it's bad design, it just breaks the spell for me personally. Up to this point I'd been in awe at the game design, the style, the creativity (and holy fuck, the music), but this is where it just became another pain in the ass platformer to me. But then I suppose checkpoints would go against the spirit of the game.