If you sometimes feel nostalgic for the good old days of 8-Bit graphics, Chiptune and games to give you Nintendo-Thumbs then you too will be happy to stumble this addictive platformer fresh from the loins of Team Meat.
Super Meatboy embraces all the clichÃ©s of retro gaming with its own unique twist and adds a dash of humour for good measure.
The story line is reminiscent of those NES games from the early nineties. Dr Fetus hates Meatboy. He beats him up and steals his girlfriend Bandage Girl. Meatboy embarks upon a quest to rescue his beloved from the evil clutches of Dr Fetus.
The gameplay is simple but effective. Using no more than three buttons (D-Pad, Run and Jump) you will have to successfully navigate various perilous realms, filled with deadly obstacles, with split-second accuracy and a great degree of control. The control style is biased heavily towards the Game Pad and although the Keyboard fares up reasonably well, I find that it is not as responsive.
The graphics, animation and attention to detail are excellent. I am especially fond of the trail left behind by Meatboy and the explosion of Meatboy on impact with a band saw! The original soundtrack is in itself a masterpiece of catchy motifs instrumented with a variety of synths and electric guitar which perfectly complements the game play. It is the sort of soundtrack that NES and Megadrive games want to be when they grow up. SFX are equally as well designed and enhance the whole experience. Warp Zones see Meatboy pulled in to consoles of the past which are both visually and sonically nostalgic and can be equally frustrating at times with some enforcing the three life rule.
Super Meatboy pulls the retro platformer in to the 00’s with the addition of new features in the guise of Un-lockable Characters, a more difficult "Dark World" version of levels, Hi-scores chart and Achievements.
To unlock Dark World, you must earn A+ on the normal level by completing it within the target time. In Dark World you will find more bandages and bandages allow you to unlock characters.
Some of the un-lockable characters are borrowed from various other Indie Games and all have unique abilities. Meatboy, who is coincidentally made of meat, has a special ability that allows him to stick to walls (using his meaty-stickiness).
This game is frustrating but fun at the same time. With over 300 levels split in to 7 chapters this game has plenty of longevity.
The XBLA version has an un-lockable mode called "Teh Internets" which enables new levels to be played as they are released and the PC/MaC version will feature a Level Editor.
At $11.99 on Steam, this title is a little on the pricey side for an Indie game but, in my opinion, well worth it.
Super Meatboy builds on a solid foundation of the retro platformer, embellishes it and executes it brilliantly. Highly Recommended.