LifeisXbox’s Super Meat Boy Forever review | I think many agree, Super Meat Boy from 2010 is one of the greatest platforming games ever created. Creating a sequel to a game with critical acclaim and so many fans isn’t the easiest thing to do. You could say that finishing Super Meat Boy without any deaths is an easier thing to do than making a follow-up, so developer Team Meat had its hands full. Is that why we had to wait so long for Super Meat Boy Forever? Well, it had a rocky development with one of the founders leaving and a restart in 2017. We have enough examples of games that are great with known development hell. Kingdom Hearts 3 or Below, to name two… Things are, well… a bit different with Super Meat Boy Forever.
We played Super Meat Boy Forever for four hours on Xbox Series X and died a million times. This game is also available on Nintendo Switch, Playstation, and pc.
What we liked!
- A story told with cartoon cutscenes | In the first Super Meat Boy we managed to rescue Bandage Girl. Meat’s love of his life and things turned out great for them. I’m not entirely sure how they pulled it off, but the two squares became parents of Nugget. A charmingly cute character that gets kidnapped by the main villain of the first game, Dr. Fetus. What follows is an entertaining story with some great cartoon cutscenes full of video game references and adorable characters. It made me smile and it reminded me how much I loved Meat Boy as a videogame character, there’s just something special about this red squared boy.
- Boss fights | The franchise brilliance comes through in the boss fights, a sweet reminder of how great the gameplay from Super Meat Boy could be. Not auto-generated but crafted with detail and knowledge of the platforming mechanics these boss battles will require every inch of skill to complete. They will enrage you, they will break controllers and they will even result in some players giving up on the game but they are so much fun for hardcore gamers. This is what Super Meat boy is all about, this is why the original inspired so many other games. A perfectly balanced mission for hardcore gamers, it is such a shame that only the boss fights are truly worth it in Forever.
- Reaction time versus. Muscle memory | This game is still frustratingly fun, so the original spirit of the franchise isn’t completely gone. On average a player will likely die more than the average likes of Billie Eilish Instagram posts. But that’s part of the fun, reaction time is more important than ever in Forever. It is actually very rewarding to become aware of your muscle memory in parts you previously died a million times. It is a shame though that part of the experimenting to complete a level, which I loved in the first one, is gone with the wind in Forever. There’s only one solution for every platforming puzzle now, as the auto-runner movement results in a stricter gameplay path.
- Checkpoints everywhere | How cool was it to finish a level in Super Meat Boy and seeing all your previous bloody failed attempts? It had something magical right? Gone in Forever. Well, almost… when you die you still leave your mark on the level as blood is freaking everywhere. You won’t have to do a rerun of the entire level as every segment has a conveniently placed checkpoint. It helps with making it a bit more user-friendly for casual players, although they likely won’t even be able to finish the first world in the campaign.
What we disliked
- Clearly inspired for the mobile market | Team Meat might have said that Super Meat Boy Forever was primarily created for console but that’s simply incorrect. Why the decision was made to turn this into an auto-runner is beyond me. Super Meat Boy Forever completely destroys the predecessor’s reputation of awesome and precise gameplay. Not being able to control the momentum is frustrating, and not the good kind of frustration that Super Meat Boy is associated with. For those that don’t know the term auto-runner, your playable character now runs automatically. Meaning you aren’t fully in control which results in a black and white change in gameplay, compared to the first Super Meat Boy. Honestly, it was a massive, massive disappointment for me. Kinda like France’s undeserved victory against Belgium in the 2018’s World Cup.
- Level design | Before playing I would have never thought that I was going to place level design at the disliked section. This is another huge difference and departure from the previous game. Gone are the incredibly designed levels and changed to randomly generated bits of platforming parts that simply don’t feel right. While the premise of never-ending level possibilities is exciting, I immediately wonder who wants that if the quality isn’t even half of what it was before?
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