In today's review we got to try Super Meat Boy Forever, a game that makes masochism fun
Once upon a time there was a video game called Meat Boy, the protagonist was a small bag of cubic meat capable of jumps and stunts on the walls. Its mother platform was Newgrounds, a huge website dedicated to uploading images, videos and video games made in Flash. Its success was so great that the developers soon decided to proceed with the creation of a complete version dedicated to the PC and Console world. Again the title is a resounding success, also contributing to the growth of the indie world in the gaming market.
The minds behind this series are well known in today's gaming world. Edmung McMillen worked on the art and level design, Tommy Refenes responsible for coding, while Danny Baranowsky for the soundtracks. However, only the last two have taken care of evolving the brand into what it is today Super Meat Boy Forever, the official sequel to Super Meat Boy, let's find out in this review.
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The original game is known for its rich offering of demanding challenges, which often required both the use of the brain and quick reflexes. Furthermore, his humor and numerous citations to the gaming world have done nothing but strengthen the link with the story and characters, however superficial for the purposes of gameplay.
The idea of making Super Meat Boy Forever was born from desire to create a title for the world of mobile gaming, idea that then evolved into a video game fully dedicated to PC and console. However some influences remained and also quite evident. So let's break down Super Meat Boy Forever in this review.
Flesh to the blood and anger - Super Meat Boy Forever Review
Meat Boy now lives happily with his Bandage Girl and they even have a little daughter. However Dr. Fetus kidnaps her and the two parents set off on a new crazy pursuit. In the adventure you will face a series of different worlds, each with its particular power-ups and obstacles to overcome. As soon as you start the game you will immediately notice a substantial difference from the old way of playing. Meat Boy or Bandage Girl (depending on the character you have chosen to play with) it will automatically start running forward without the use of input.
When we talked about influences from the world of mobile gaming, we were referring precisely to this characteristic. Undoubtedly Super Meat Boy Forever refers to the genre of the Infinite Runners, however, without an infinite path to follow but with procedurally generated levels with a well-defined beginning and end.
Now on rails - Super Meat Boy Forever Review
The feeling that accompanied our games was that of playing a Geometry Dash without rhythmic dynamics, but with much more articulated levels, greater freedom of movement and many power ups to diversify worlds. However, this also brought downsides. In fact, although it is an excellent game considering the mobile market, we can only notice a few steps back from the original Super Meat Boy.
The character at the beginning of the level appears on a path that he must necessarily travel, but by jumping on the walls or encountering certain yellow triangles and power-ups, it is possible to change direction by going back. As usual it is possible to jump and bounce off the walls, but this time also kick or bags e lower in glide. By hitting the enemies we also have the opportunity to deliver a new blow that will lengthen the horizontal momentum. Of power-up there are, however, of different types: to create paths under our feet, cross walls, change dimensions and others.
All of which works with just the use of two buttons. Thanks to this the game is very intuitive giving you the opportunity to face complex challenges right from the start. Unlike the past, here there are no moments in which you can stop and think, everything must be calculated on the spot, sometimes giving Sonic that thrill of match satisfaction.
Endless Challenges - Super Meat Boy Forever Review
One thing that unites almost all the obstacles to overcome (or puzzles, depending on the point of view) is the necessary millimeter precision and timing to the thousandth of a second. This creates truly adrenaline-pumping moments, like others of total frustration and continuous repetition of the same segment until you understand the right way to continue.
A trial and error system typical of the series, however exasperated by a general one level corridor training. In fact, in Super Meat Boy some segments could be overcome in different ways, requiring particular mastery with the controls. In Forever most of the time you can only advance with a single method.
As previously mentioned the worlds are fully realized the way procedural. When you choose to start a game all the levels in the world will be generated automatically. And if you start another one from scratch, they will still be different. This creates a great replay value of the title, so much so that the developers speak well 7000 possible levels different throughout the game.
A single questionable detail is the total unpredictability of the routes. It will happen to face simple levels, but which will suddenly put you in front of a segment of extreme difficulty unbalancing the harmony a little. For the rest, some levels seem almost entirely hand-made since they are cohesive.
Bosses and Collectables - Super Meat Boy Forever Review
In all this variety, however, there will always be the same levels, we are talking about those for the end of the world boss. Basically there are 4 of them in all and each one quite different in terms of need of approach. The first, for example, is a destroying machine that must be knocked down by punching certain red big buttons, all while we jump up on the walls.
Another one is locked in an arena, where we have to jump and run around the area dodging the deadly laser beams. Everyone delivers a decidedly complex challenge (we literally died 401 times to beat the final boss) and varied, however we would have preferred to find a less basic or timid use of power-ups to defeat them.
Each of these actions will lead the player to unlock new animated scenes which tell the story of the recovery of Meat Boy's daughter. Also scattered in the levels it will be possible to get pacifiers, if collected they will gradually lead to unlocking new characters to use, including the "beta" version of Meat Boy. So, there are reasons to keep playing and discover new level layouts.
In conclusion Super Meat Boy Forever is a very respectable video game, but it is difficult to imagine it as a real sequel to Super Meat Boy. Although the basic concepts of gameplay are very similar to each other, the absence of real freedom of movement is felt, making it look more like a spin-off than anything else. Complice is certainly a design base that originates from the mobile world.
However the challenges are once again of great quality and more than once they have kept us glued to the screen in an attempt to overcome them with ever better times. The random creation of the levels then it greatly encourages replayability, renewing the surprise effect every time. Finally, the worlds are all quite diversified by type of obstacles to overcome, the curiosity to discover the next ones will never fail (especially if there are unlockable ones).
The choice of platform to play on depends on your preferences. We played it on Nintendo Switch, perhaps the ideal platform for this type of hit and run gameplay. The only sore point are some small drops in framerate and occasional crashes. Approach this title if you are looking for a serious challenge with the game and yourself. Stretch your hands and don't get caught unprepared!
Super Meat Boy Forever is available for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In January it will also be released for Android and iOS systems.7.9 A welcome return
Points in favor
- Fun challenges
- Lots of replayability
- Good artistic sector
- Too straight
- Some small technical uncertainties on the Switch