[PlayStation 4] Super Meat Boy Forever Review
Hardcore 2D action platformer Super Meat Boy Forever from Team Meat is ready to go on PlayStation 4. Find out more in our Super Meat boy Forever review!
Meat Boy and Bandage Girl have grown as a couple since 2010. It seems like only yesterday the two love birds were escaping from an exploding laboratory in the sky. Now it’s the current year, and they’ve welcomed their daughter Nugget into the world. Their peaceful days enjoying life as a family came to an abrupt end when Dr. Fetus beat the snot out of them with a rusty shovel, and kidnapped Nugget! Now it’s up to Meat Boy and Bandage Girl to rescue their daughter from a lunatic fetus in a jar that can only be described as an incel version of Tony Stark.
Hey, remember ten years ago? Remember when Super Meat Boy came out, and it was heralded as the pinnacle of platforming due to its difficult but excellently crafted controls? Yeah… that was nice! A decade later, Team Meat figured now would be an excellent time to go back to the well filled with the frustration and billions of corpses of dead meat boys, and that’s how we got Super Meat Boy Forever. Was the sequel necessary? Does it try to add anything new to the split-second twitch platforming genre? The short answer is yes. Unfortunately, you’re not going to like the changes.
It’s been a couple of years since the original adventure, and Meat Boy and Bandage Girl are enjoying a peaceful life together. The couple even has a little offspring! But wait, Dr. Fetus is back and is eager to wreak havoc in the lives of our two beloved heroes. When the evil Dr. Fetus kidnaps their baby, Meat Boy and Bandage Girl must go on a quest to rescue their child before it’s too late!
All of this information is presented in little cutscenes that play between each of the worlds you’ll explore. These cutscenes are cute and charming, and they do try to add some context to the game as you progress through the story, but don’t expect anything that will stick with you the moment you switch off the game.
The visual presentation of the actual game is similar to its predecessor. The traps are just as fiendish as before, and the blood of your previous attempts coloring the world is still a timely reminder of your failures. So, where does it all go wrong? Well, if ever there was proof that the old mantra of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” was true, Super Meat Boy Forever would be the perfect example to showcase this.
One new innovation that Team Meat decided to add to the sequel is the idea that the game is now an “autorunner” What this means is that as soon as a level starts, your character instantly begins to run non-stop. You no longer have a chance to reset your senses upon restarting after a death. Your character just pelts from one side to the other, undoubtedly adding higher digits to your death counter. It does not take into account that you do not even get to change in which direction your character runs in. If you could choose which direction you face, it would go a long way to alleviate a lot of the stresses this new version of the game creates. A lot of the time, you find yourself hugging a wall because your character can no longer continue in the direction he was going, and the only way to move is to jump off said wall and begin sprinting in the opposite direction towards your death because the moment you make it to the left side of the screen, you inexplicably die.
It’s not as if the game ran out of buttons on the controller since you, in fact, only have to use two buttons to play. The X button allows you to jump and to do a dash when in mid-air. Down allows your character to either slide or to descend at a rapid pace after jump. The game does allow for some interesting ways to utilize these for simple moves in combination, and when everything is working as it should, it does feel great. But more often than not, the autorunning aspect with result in you unceremoniously dying simply because you mistimed a jump and now inexplicably find yourself facing the wrong way, running headfirst into the left screen of doom.
The second “innovation” that the game tries to introduce is having procedurally generated content. Unlike the previous installment of Meat Boy, where the game’s levels were handcrafted and curated, this time around, each run is randomly put together from pre-created parts, with the idea that each level and section will feel different each time you play.
Whilst this idea is solid in theory, in practice, it takes away one of the fundamental aspects of Super Meat Boy as a concept. Whilst you can go back and retry levels, finetuning your runs as you could in the previous entry. You are not really able to compare your attempts to others online or check out how to overcome some tricky sections in streaming sites because what you see other gamers play will certainly not be the same as what you are experiencing.
The idea to make levels procedurally generated feels like something that should have been a separate mode or something unlocked after the credits roll, thereby adding infinite longevity to an already jam-packed experience – which would have made the name Super Meat Boy Forever justice. The game feels familiar and comfortable when it works, but a lot of the time, it feels lackluster and frustrating. The boss levels do feel like a breath of fresh air, and the collectibles and unlockable characters give an incentive to keep playing. The soundtrack is not overly annoying, but it does not feel like it complements the action.
Team Meat really just needed to create a sequel to Super Meat Boy with new levels, a new story, and then add the random generator as a bonus mode. Instead, what we have is a disjointed and unwelcoming game that makes you feel frustrated, but not in the way you would expect from a Super Meat boy game. This is not a terrible game. It is just not something that fans of the series will be clamoring to play right out of the gate.
This Super Meat boy Forever review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Team Meat.