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.
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.