SUPER MEAT BOY
Xbox 360/XBLA (also on PC)
We were raised
under near order of death not to play with our food so, much like
BurgerTime, Super Meat Boy has us thrashing about
somewhat helplessly in Quandaryland.
For you're a piece of meat... and so’s the character you control in
SMB (BAM!). Looking very much like Roger Hargreaves’ Mr
Strong sans perky hat, he’s an anthropomorphised cube of red meat
out to save his beloved Bandage Girl from the clutches of the rather
nasty – apparently - Dr Foetus.
Yep, if you hadn’t guessed, it’s an indie game. We came to it rather
late, so its reputation as a primo example of aceitude when it comes
to 2D platforming preceded it. But we’ll be fucked really hard if we
know why (oh well, nice to get some – rough or otherwise - after
somewhat of a drought, we guess).
Super Meat Boy could easily be a C64 or Spectrum game for all
its lack of smooth. Sure, it packs a fuckload of levels and arsingly
hard boss battles, but it artificially prolongs its life via
bullshit difficulty. Cubular you must traverse from A to B without
being sliced, diced, mushed, crushed or otherwise killeded – not an
easy prospect when essentially everything in every level murders you
if grazed, sending you back to the start.
As such, SMB wants you to just plod on relentlessly, carking
it repeatedly as you attempt to bludgeon your way to the end just to
do it all over again on the ensuing level. It’s for masochists by
sadists – a perfect match, we guess, if you’re inclined towards the
But we’re not. Pretty cutscenes may indeed be pretty; however they
can’t mask the limitations of SMB that we seem to be
pretty much alone in spotting. Meh, pariahs again. Cue splatty