My Meaty Experience

For my game I chose to play Super Meat Boy on the Xbox 360. I have had this game for years but oddly enough never played it. I jumped right into the game and the controls were simple enough. All I had to do was move the analog stick, hold down the right trigger to run faster, and press A to jump.

Xbox 360 control

So out of all the buttons on the control using just three seemed easy enough. The game’s premise was simple as well. You play as Super Meat Boy and all you have to do is get your girlfriend back from the evil villain. Similar to the classic Mario games that have been so popular since there release in the mid 80’s.

Super Meat Boy, his girlfriend and the evil villain!

The music that is playing in the background is a mix of classic video game music and pump up music. The game is by no means a master piece in terms of graphics but that is not Super Meat Boy strives for. The game starts easy with few challenge but as you move on it is evident that this game is not for the faint of heart. Super Meat Boy starts with few resistances in your quest to save your girlfriend. It is just a couple of buzz saws and spikes that if touched causes death. With death you have to restart the level. The game is broken up into a number of “Worlds” with multiple levels inside each world. At the end of those levels you must compete against a boss in order to advance. Each level has a timer and you get graded depending on how fast you complete the level. This provides another level of challenge as you not only try to complete the level but also as quick as possible.

Super Meat Boy was “fun” to me because of the challenge it provided. The game reminded me of Koster and his views on “fun”. In order to beat the level, I had to memorize the patterns of the map and the timings of the obstacles. There were times where the levels were getting too difficult, but as soon as I started to learn the level I got into a flow. The satisfaction of completing a challenging level was worth going through the frustration of learning the level. Super Meat Boy is not story driven. You just complete a level to move on to another.

However, I can see how this game can be “unfun” for some people. Super Meat Boy is a challenging skill based 2D platformer where the simplest mistake will cost you your life. If you do not know what you are doing or how to do it then you will not enjoy Super Meat Boy. The levels can be over whelming and can lead to frustration. Super Meat Boy can cause you to “rage quit” and never play the game again.

Here is an example of one of the more challenging levels in Super Meat Boy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N874LFeLhYs

Here’s a video of a popular YouTuber taking a crack at Super Meat Boy. This is a pretty common reaction when playing this game. Warning there is some strong langue in the video.

The challenge of the game is what caused it to become so popular. Upon its release Super Meat Boy was praised for its simple yet challenging level design. Super Meat Boy won multiple awards and to this day is still played.

In the end Super Meat Boy is a gem of a game that I would recommend everyone to try. While it is not easy it is extremely rewarding to complete. I look forward to continue playing it and seeing how fast I can complete the game.

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18 thoughts on “My Meaty Experience

  1. I agree with you with the challenge of Super Meat boy, When I was playing it I was challenged a lot, but eventually I learned the pattern and I moved on to the next level.

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  2. Humans are notoriously great at pattern recognition and problem solving. This game poses as a difficult and challenging experience but I believe most of the fun comes from expressing those human characteristics. Dying time and time again get frustrating and mundane but the real enjoyment can be found by deconstructing the individual stages and finding a solution to squeeze passed the obstacle in the way. Great first blog post, I am looking forward to reading more as the class goes one.

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    • That is interesting to know. The game’s patterns and problem solving were extremely engaging for me. Thank you very much I will try to make the second one even better.

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  3. I started to enjoy Super Meat Boy more towards the end of me playing the game. I wonder how the gameplay would have changed for me if I used a controller to play instead of a keyboard. I’ve heard a controller makes the game more forgiving. I don’t think I would call the game a gem, but it is good and I would recommend it to people.

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  4. Super Meat Boy is a hard game I had a lot of fun playing but eventually put down after being unable to progress. I like how you gave both sides and that the game may even turn away some players because of it’s difficulty but keeps players that love the challenge having fun.

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    • Yea it is hard but honestly it comes down to timing. Once you learn how fast something is going you can get a feel for the game. I did put it down from time to time and took a break while playing. Grinding through the game can be very frustrating.

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  5. “The game is by no means a master piece in terms of graphics but that is not Super Meat Boy strives for.” Would not a more realistic version of this fantastical game defeat the purpose of it being, well, fantastical? I am not sure I would like to play as a hyper-realistic meat-person getting butchered by real saw blades and trying to save my bandage-person girlfriend from a literal fetus (a non-baby fetus) inside of a glass contraption. This all sounds extremely morbid leading me to believe its art design is indeed a “master” like decision.

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    • I was referring to its art style being 8 bit inspired. I should have been more clear about that because a hyper realistic version would not be as cool.

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  6. Platforming games have a great deal of problem-solving and recognizing patterns to complete the objective. Some games are really punishing and require you to restart the entire level if you mess up. But when you complete a level that was frustrating you, it is one of the best feelings to have.

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    • I totally agree I would die a handful of times before learning the level and completing it. Then when completing it I was just ecstatic and wanted to continue playing.

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  7. Very good detail and coverage in your post. I would, however, suggest you shy away from the review style and aim more toward the prompt. In the end this isn’t about whether you would recommend it, but about your interpretation of the relationship between (in this case) frustration and fun. So, a bit more on rage quitting might be good. What is it? What does it look like? How does such explosive emotion lead to or relate to fun? For everybody?

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  8. I like how you incorporated why someone else may not find the game fun. Adding that the game may cause some to “rage quit”, I think, strengthened your argument that the game is fun. Since you used Koster’s definition as a lens, the difficult challenges in the game would provide the difficulty and learning experience needed… Was there a point where you felt like rage quitting?

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