hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Super Meat Boy
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

10,835 deaths, or how I beat the meat

4:00 PM on 02.16.2013 // Brett Makedonski
  @Donski3

Super Meat Boy, that is

“Veni, vidi, vici.”

Julius Caesar immortalized this phrase after an important military victory, but I can’t help but feel as if my application is entirely more impressive. You see, I recently attained the “I’m A Golden God” achievement in Super Meat Boy for obtaining 100% in the game by earning “A+” ratings on each level and collecting every bandage -- a feat that I’m convinced Caesar would be unsuccessful in if he had undertaken it. To boot, I only died 10,834 more times than Caesar ever did.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m exceptionally late to the party with Super Meat Boy. When it released in October 2010, I didn’t view it as anything other than another tough-as-nails retro platformer that prided itself on inflicting pain and frustration upon the player. In a way, I was right. But, I was also completely wrong.

It wasn’t until I watched Indie Game: The Movie that I decided to give Super Meat Boy a fair chance.  The documentary effectively conveyed the struggles that an indie developer undergoes to pursue their dream. I mean, at least I think it did. I’ve never tried to make a video game. Regardless, I felt a connection of sorts with Team Meat. I respected their passion. I admired their dedication. Above all else, after seeing the emotion they put into making Super Meat Boy, I felt I owed it to them to play their game.

That was one of the best gaming decisions I’ve ever made.

It didn’t take long for me to realize why Super Meat Boy is as universally revered as it is.  There are hundreds of reviews out there that praise the game’s amazingly tight controls, masterful level design, and nostalgia-inducing graphics. Team Meat did just about everything right with this game, and that’s a well-established and common opinion by now.  This didn’t take me by surprise. What did surprise me is how addicting it is.

As best as I can figure, the very structure of Super Meat Boy can be credited for the enslaving experience. Most of the game’s levels take no longer than 20 seconds to complete. The latter stages see some courses with par times upward of 60 seconds, but for the most part, they’re remarkably short. This creates a “just one more”-mindset that can be ridiculously tough to break. The euphoric high that’s achieved by besting a particularly unforgiving level is almost always coupled with an ambition to immediately knock out the next level, too. It was this intense sensation that got me hook, line, and sinker, over and over.

After the short time that it took me to fall in love with the game, I established my goals for the sadistic expedition.  First and foremost, I’m a completionist, and in my eyes, the benchmark for completion on Xbox 360 games is a full Gamerscore. Ergo, 200/200 Gamerscore was the primary objective. From there, I aspired for the purest run possible, so I wanted to beat every level’s par time with the Meat Boy character -- none of the unlockable characters whose abilities could theoretically make certain levels easier.

Before long, I found an interesting dynamic between the game’s levels.  The ones that gave me fits and took a long time to beat, I wanted nothing to do with those ever again.  However, the levels that I passed astonishingly quick, I sought out my friends’ times and took several shots at topping all of them. Given that Super Meat Boy has been out for two years, it’s unlikely that any of my friends will ever know of this unspoken rivalry. Yet, I’m not sure that I’m entirely comfortable with the game invoking this odd, driving sense of passive, pseudo-competitive spirit that will never be reciprocated upon.

For all of the very tough levels in the game (and there are lots), I’m proud of the commendable job I did of keeping my composure during the frustratingly difficult ones.  There was one exception, however: The Kid’s Warp Zone. The Kid’s warp zone chewed me up and spit me out. It spun me into spontaneous bouts of incomprehensible profanity. It’s the only time Super Meat Boy made me rage quit. And, I may have shouted “VictoryBaby.jpg” upon finally beating it, because I am not cool by any definition of the word.

The most interesting thing that I noticed during my venture through Super Meat Boy was the way in which failure weighed on my psyche. For instance, surfaces that Meat Boy touches become permanently stained red and certain traps that kill him become splattered with his remains until you finally pass the level. Until then, those markings are a continuing reminder of your past failures -- how close you had gotten other times, yet how far away you still are. Those red stains simply infuriated me. I seethed with anger at the very sight of them. I understand that it’s completely irrational, but I attest that it happened time and time again.

Despite all of the favorable opinions of pretty much every facet of Super Meat Boy, I played the majority of the game without one critical component -- the music.  I firmly believe that the music perfectly complements the onscreen action, and is generally phenomenal. However, the aforesaid onscreen action has a tendency to be stressful, and the music adds another layer of tension, the aggregate of which I found just too overwhelming to be enjoyable and productive. Rather, I played most of Super Meat Boy while listening to music on my laptop, graciously sparing my nerves undue stress.

One night, the glorious, long-awaited moment arrived. I finally unlocked the “I’m A Golden God” achievement. More importantly, I finally felt like I had done the game justice after having gotten a glimpse into Team Meat’s development process. My personal journey had seen several highs and several lows, and had only taken 10,835 deaths and the loss of one very noble controller. It was draining, yet rewarding. It will forever have a place in my heart amongst my most cherished gaming accomplishments. I came, I saw, I conquered, and I loved every second of it.



Brett Makedonski, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Donski3 Tips
Brett will sell you things in a dark alley -- mostly counterfeit watches and kidneys. Not counterfeit kidneys, though; even I have my lines, man. Guaranteed: All my kidneys are completely legit. ... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Paul S avatarPaul S
GeoHolmes [img]https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/ntf3p5PqS2GteYfXUH33[/img]
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I have no idea what this game is about but if this isn't the best goddamn cover art ever, I don't know what is. [url=http://imgur.com/3yw3G8S][img]http://i.imgur.com/3yw3G8S.jpg[/img][/url]
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
#thanksnintendo.
Shinta avatarShinta
Xenoblade X limited edition on Amaxon now. Will probably sell out very fast like usual. http://m.neogaf.com/showthread.php?t=1103729&page=1
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Just got a Vita with a 16GB card for super cheap. What games should I be looking out for?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
So the XCX Special Edition was marked as in stock for 20 seconds and I got a copy! I am disproportionately excited considering what it comes with. Hopefully the art book and packaging are high quality. WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Surprise, Xenoblade Chronicles X Special Edition has already sold out on Amazon.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Just a heads up, the Xenoblade Chronicles X Special Edition is up for preorder on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Xenoblade-Chronicles-Special-Edition-Wii-U/dp/B014LNTVGK I think it'll be available elsewhere but you know. Nintendo. Love em but hard to find.
Clicks Clacks avatarClicks Clacks
Picked up Valkyria Chronicles for $5 in the Humble Store, figure I'd advertise that for anyone that doesn't have it yet. Sale ends in less than 42 hours after this post yo. https://www.humblebundle.com/store/p/valkyriachronicles_storefront
gajknight avatargajknight
My copy of National Geographic came today. Best subscription I've paid for, worth it for the lovely pictures alone. This one has a story about elephant poachers and ivory tusks with spy chips in 'em. James Bond shit man.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
If someone used the blog reply feature to just divide a somewhat long blog into easier-to-digest chapters that could be consumed at the leisure of readers, would that be kosher?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
[youtube]https://youtu.be/7bzKWOeSVn4[/youtube]
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
@Barry Kelly It looks like it will get pretty difficult later on. It even has instafail stealth sections according to @Chris Carter #neededanexcuse to #tryouttheatfeature
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
I hope MGS V manages to have some sort of challenge to it. I just replayed MGS 4 for the first time since release and wow that game just practically plays itself. And that's outside of the long sections it is playing itself!
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Splatfest Decipticons, Let us crush the Autobot menace [img]http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/attachments/transformers-fan-art/27462687d1408744118-3d-tarn-model-tarn-propaganda-copy-01.jpg[/img]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Hey, all you Australian/UK/German Pokemon trainers out there! The Shiny Rayquaza event is ending, has just started, or will be starting in a few days (respectively), so be sure to get in on it while the getting is good!
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
4 days unt... no, wait... 3 days until Sahelanthropus.
Jish K avatarJish K
Greetings. For I am new. And still struggling to get that dang blog header to change.
From Must Git Gud avatarFrom Must Git Gud
MGSV is looking very good so far! Played to 2% completion last night. Pure stealth seems REALLY hard so far. PS3 version runs fine, loading times are OK, no slow downs, draw distance and pop-in are a bit rough. No glitches. Be prepared! Get it on PS4.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Jealous of all my brethren at PAX Prime. Sad I will miss out on the drinking, orgies and catching the PAX flew. This time next year though, I'll be there! I promise!
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Super Meat Boy


  Nov 07

The current Bandcamp Weekly is all about game music

Featuring Danny B, Big Giant Circles, Laura Shigihara, and more


  Jul 31

A Super Meat Boy movie? Here's the hilarious, shady pitch

Team Meat trolls some guy for nearly 50 minutes


  Feb 25

Super Meat Boy dev: XBLA is no longer a way to success

'XBLA isn't a golden ticket to riches anymore'


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -