Super Meat Boy Forever
Developer: Team Meat
Publisher: Team Meat
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 23/12/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
A Bloody Good Bloodbath
There is a small slice of the gaming genre spectrum that I really find fascinating. It’s that miniature sector of games that are amazingly enjoyable but at the same time incredibly frustrating. I don’t know what it is about them, whether it’s the massive boost of joy I get when passing a deeply technical segment or the amount of love the developer has poured upon it to make it so challenging, there is something amazing about them. I’m thinking Dark Souls, I am thinking Celeste and I am certainly thinking about Super Meat Boy.
What all these games have in common, what makes them rise to the top of the tree, in my opinion, is what they teach you. You start off being a novice, knowing very little and failing miserably. If you stick with it though and if you are willing to learn, you ascend into a god-like gaming messiah and you become one with the game systems and challenges. Super Meat Boy Forever, the follow up to Super Meat Boy is no different. It’s hard, bloody hard in fact but with perseverance, you can certainly overcome its rage inducing challenges.
Out With The Old and In With The New
The original Super Meat Boy is amazing and even though its creator Ed McMillan is no longer in the development team, Super Meat Boy Forever does an amazing job of re-creating the original game’s magic while stirring in a few new ingredients to keep it feeling fresh. When I heard the sequel was going to be an auto-runner I did wince a little. When I heard it was going to have randomly generated elements I thought the worst. After playing for many hours though I can safely say that this is still Super Meat Boy, if just a little bit different.
Yes, Dr Fetus is at it again. Except that this time he has kidnapped probably the cutest thing I have seen in a game for a while, Nugget, Meat Boy and Bandage Girl’s cute cube-shaped offspring. The main flow of the game and its objectives are the same as before: get to the end of the level, probably blood-soaked and battered, as quickly as possible. There are ‘par’ times for each level and beating them takes a bit of effort, let me tell you from experience, I think I may have worn out the A button on my Switch Lite.
Run Forrest, Run!
The main difference between this title and the last, as I mentioned earlier, is the auto-running aspect. Your character, whoever you may choose just goes for it, whether you are ready or not and will run head-on into saws, fall off cliffs or run into enemies. If you are not paying attention your death will be swift. I have forgotten how many times I have looked up at the footy, just to realize that I had painted some of the scenery in red as I unknowingly got sawn in half. It’s a change to the Super Meat Boy formula but one that you soon get used to.
Other little changes come along with the auto-running aspects of this new title, no longer are you restricted to one screen levels. In-fact, the levels surprised me with their length and complexity. With the increase to level size and length comes checkpoints, which I am sure some Super Meat Boy purists will hate but given the extra mileage you will have to navigate, I don’t mind them too much. They minimize frustration and break the levels up into manageable chunks.
One of the other changes to Super Meat Boy Forever is that each world is semi-procedural. Each level is made up of randomized chunks and players can use seeds to share their worlds with each other. This I think is both a blessing and a curse, the original Super Meat Boy is still played and played hard. With randomized worlds, I don’t think Super Meat Boy Forever will generate that kind of dedication by players and speed-runners alike.
On the other hand, with unlimited lives and checkpoints, these new changes may bring newer players on board. It’s swings and roundabouts I suppose but I never found that the randomised levels felt too erratic. I do want to do a quick shout out to this game’s bosses though, they are superb. I will not spoil them for other players but they are a definite highlight in the game for me. They are great fun and amazingly designed.
As with most indie games of this ilk, there are unlockable characters, secrets and easter eggs galore. Along with the game’s iconic cartoon cutscenes and fantastic art, Super Meat Boy has a wonderful, crisp, beautiful art style that in my opinion is one of the greatest art styles out there. It’s wonderful to look at, is so eye-catching and when the levels are dripping with your red insides, it is a sight to truly behold. Along with this, you have a wonderful soundtrack. Catchy tunes accompany your repeated attempts at levels and the music really starts burrowing into your mind. It’s so moreish. On a performance level, as I expected the game runs flawlessly. I was able to die over and over again, with zero bugs, glitches or issues and everything ran very smoothly.
Thankfully, It Still Feels Like Super Meat Boy
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Super Meat Boy Forever and I am by no means finished. There are characters for me still to unlock, secrets to find and some level times to beat. If you liked the first Super Meat Boy, as long as you don’t mind a slight deviation from the original formula, you will love this sequel. It’s still hard as balls, you will repeatedly die, you will die, die, die and probably die again but once you work out how to get through a tricky set of obstacles you will shout with glee. Not many games do that, we need to savour these experiences. They are truly golden.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can buy Super Meat Boy Forever on the Nintendo eShop here.
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