Saturday, 19 March 2011

Super Meat Boy & Super Meat World Design Review

I've just finished the Light World of Super Meat Boy and just thought I would share my thoughts. It's an extremely polished old-school indie platformer. Well done Team Meat.

From a game control/gameplay perspective. Super Meat Boy feels solid as you control his jumps across the screen. It's not a game for the faint-hearted even if you're playing the normal world. If you don't like your platforming Hard with a capital H, then I recommend you don't waste your money buying this game. It practically requires a gamepad which any self respecting platform gamer should have anyway. It's one of the few games which I actually got hand cramps from all that jumping!

As always however, there always seem to slight interface issues that seem to deliberately annoy me. There are very minor minor details and in no way take away from the main fun gameplay.

1) Cutscenes keep playing - Really strange but each time you enter a world, the intro cutscenes always play and you have press start to skip it. Doesn't seem to be anyway to say "play once only".

2) Warp zones are marked on the main level selection map but not bandages - Whenever you unlock a warp zone, it shows up on the map so you can retry at any time. The optional bandages don't seem to be shown anywhere on the map meaning if you haven't collected them you'll have to remember which leve they appeared in. Most levels don't have bandages to collect so its annoying having to go back and double check levels individually if you haven't played that particular zone for a while.

3) Level selector could be easier to navigate - You can't skip area in the level selector map and have to manually walk Super Meat Boy across each one. E.g. Super Meat Boy is on level 1 and you want to go to level 18 to perfect it. On the level selection screen you have walk Meat Boy across levels 1 to 18 pressing for example right right right right down left left left left left down rather than say take a short cut by just pressing down down down to cut through the map.

4) Super Meat World - This is just released but super Meat World's interface needs to change and incorporate more features. I don't think there's a search function making it hard to search for specifics levels and you can only depend on the filters. It's okay now because there aren't that many levels but I wonder how the system will cope once users start creating more and more levels.

5) Lack of cut-scene playback - I don't recall seeing a function for this. A bit of a shame since it would have been funny to rewatch some of the boss battle endings.

From a gameplay perspective, the only thing I feel was missing was maybe more unique boss battles or maybe additional mini-boss battles.

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