BEAT YOUR MEAT
My history with Super Meat Boy spans way back to 2010 when the game launched on the Xbox 360. It was a fantastic, yet brutal, platformer that started a trend of splatformers that continue to this day. I managed to beat it 100% back then, with The Kid unlock being one of my proudest gaming moments from that era. It was rereleased on the Switch, where I beat it again (albeit not to completion). Now, Super Meat Boy Forever is finally out… but can it live up to the reputation of its predecessor?

DR FETUS RETURNS
The story is as simple as ever. Our hero Meat Boy and his significant other Bandage Girl are having a picnic with Nugget, an infant that that they’ve had since the last adventure. In swoops Dr Fetus, who has somehow survived his demise from the previous game, and takes Nugget. Now it’s up to both Meat Boy and Bandage Girl to save their offspring. There’s also a weird side story involving woodland creatures and time travel, but I won’t spoil it for you here. Don’t expect any award-winning storytelling here, but it’s well told and strangely compelling.

A MEATIER BOY
The first thing you will notice as you boot up the game is just how stunning it looks compared to the original. It is on more advanced hardware, sure, but the cartoony art style they opted for in Forever is definitely a step up from the relatively plain visuals of the original. Saws now visually pop out, particularly as they get progressively (and inevitably) stained by your own meat juice. The cutscenes too are excellently animated and a joy to look at.

The sound effects are as squelchy as you would expect from the game, and the music is pretty catchy. I wouldn’t say the music is as good as the original release of Super Meat Boy, but I would say it is better than the later rerelease. There are some belting tunes and the team did a great job.

Super Meat Boy Forever anunciado para Nintendo Switch

HAMAGES APLENTY

Within the game, you will find a multitude of references to classic videogames.

How many can you find in the game?

Super Meat Boy Forever cutscenes Super Metroid parodies video game intros
SUPER METROID intro and Gameplay - YouTube
The last meat boy is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace.

How to complete the Test Your Meat Warp Zone in Super Meat Boy Forever |  Gamepur
Mortal Kombat 1 - Test Your Might - YouTube
Mortal Minigames

DARK PLACE

Is the game not enough of a challenge? Beat the par time on a level to unlock the dark world variant.

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The Dark World is a real step up from the Light World. It will truly test your skills.

SECRETS GALORE

As well as the harder dark world variants of each level and a postgame world too, the game will keep you going with all the secrets contained within.

Here are what you can scour the game for:

WARP ZONES
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You can find one warp zone somewhere within each world. It’s random for each seed and could be anywhere: even in the dark world. The HUD and screen become glitchy when you are near!

HIDDEN PACIFIERS
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Remember the bandages? They make a return in the form of pacifiers. Again, these are randomised. Some are tough to get, but try to get them all since they are essential for unlocking:

EXTRA CHARACTERS
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There’s a huge roster of playable characters available. Most require a certain number of pacifiers, but many also contain additional requirements. Make sure that you don’t just beat the warp zones and you try your best to destroy them to get some of the cooler ones!

AUTORUNNING INTO DANGER
Gameplay is where things differ though, and it is a huge departure from the original. Whereas the game looks the same as ever, it plays like something completely new. Instead of focusing on movement speed and jumping trajectories, the game is an autorunner. In order to change direction, you typically need to walljump – although there are other methods. As well as jumping, you can also press the button again to fist enemies midair. Pressing down will do a mid air dive, or a slide if you are grounded…. and that’s basically it. It sounds simple, but they are utilised in a way that makes for some pretty tough platforming. I thought the autorunning would be something I wouldn’t care for, but it honestly makes the game more accessible; I really feel like I don’t have to worry so much about getting rusty after long periods of not playing. Time will tell though.

Each world too contains their own gimmicks: some are part of the level, like huge fans, antigravity liquid, and whatnot; others are powerups, which you need to fist or kick in order to be able to use. This focus on gimmicks makes the game feel more like a puzzle game where you need to work out how to traverse the level, rather than in the first which was pure skill based. They’re largely a lot of fun, but there can be occasional jank, either from things not working quite as intended or just the game requiring you to do pretty precise things with it.

DYING IN THE UNKNOWN
Another major gameplay departure lies in the level design. Rather than having tiny predesigned levels, the stages in Forever run a lot longer and are assembled from randomly generated chunks. The game has thousands of preconstructed chunks, which are assigned a difficulty and pieced together at random [with checkpoints in between]. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, with weird difficulty spikes and no real cohesion, but the game manages to avoid it for the most part (at least, in my seed); levels get progressively harder, and there are themes based on the varying gimmicks. One level in world three, for example, introduces the concept of kickable doors and all of the chunks within are based on that concept. It gives the illusion of designed progression, whilst actually being random. It’s not quite as cohesive as if they were designed from scratch, but they’ve done a good job. The main draw of the randomness, however, is that the game will allow for a lot more replayability. Many New Game Pluses later and you will still be playing new content!

The only element of the game which isn’t random are the boss fights, which are spread across the five main worlds. The original game was criticised heavily for its bosses; many felt like they didn’t keep in the spirit of the main game and broke up the packing. Whilst I didn’t mind them, I will admit that they aren’t exactly the highlight of the first game. In Super Meat Boy Forever, on the other hand, they are definitely a highlight. They fit in perfectly with the flow of the game and aren’t overly difficult either. They do lack hints as to how to deal with them, which can result in you doing the wrong thing over and over, but this only serves to make them more of a puzzle like the rest of the game. The fourth boss in particular requires the use of the slide, even though the design of the boss makes you think that would be a very bad idea. Still, when you figure out what to do with these behemoths, they are a lot of fun to beat!

 

Un nuevo gameplay de Super Meat Boy Forever revelado en la retransmisión  del 10º aniversario | Noticias | GameProTV

 

 

 

When all is said and done though, the autorunning and randomisation will be a huge turnoff for many people. In fact, if this wasn’t a meat boy game, I would probably have ignored it completely. However, that is a huge mistake. It may not feel like Super Meat Boy, but the game is a real gem. I just hope it is popular enough to encourage the developers to release more content for it down the line. The is one meat that you will definitely want to beat.