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    dkirschner's Super Meat Boy (PC)

    [January 3, 2014 06:42:55 PM]
    Holy hell, I completed Super Meat Boy. I never in 100 years thought I would or even could. Definitely one of the most difficult games I've ever played, and highly rewarding. I felt like the golden god of platformers several times after particularly brutal levels. Search Youtube for Omega or pretty much any of the Chapter 6 Dark World levels and watch the insanity that ensues. Some people are really amazing at the game...

    Uuuh, it's been like 2 weeks since I finished it, but I've been out of town and busy so I sort of forgot what all I was going to say.

    Super Meat Boy makes me want to check out other (retro-style) platformers. I had long since written them off as a genre I wasn't interested in, but now I'm intrigued. Anyone recommend others in similar vein?
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    [December 14, 2013 03:25:40 PM]
    Playing this with a controller is the difference between night and day. I tried SMB a year-and-a-half ago and freakin hated it. I made it to the boss in Chapter 1 and ragequit. At some point after that I watched the movie Indie Game that follows the development of Super Meat Boy, Braid and Fez. The SMB guys talked a lot about the game's controls and basically said you were an idiot if you played it without a controller. I decided then that I would try it again in the future, and that future is now...or the last few days at least.

    Last time I played, I totally had the wrong attitude toward the game. You've got to be patient and you've got to want to die...a lot. Dying is very instructive. Last time I got frustrated; this time I'm taking note. The game is still hard as hell, but I've already made it way farther and am quite proud of myself. Out of 7 chapters, I'm in the beginning of chapter 4. Also (big smile) I've gotten A+ ranking on every light world level so far. I thought a couple times that I was done shooting for A+, but I've persevered and gotten it every time. I also (another big smile) go all A+ on the dark world in Chapter 1. I started dark world in Chapter 2, got a few A+, but came up against some major obstacles, which I will tackle after making some more progress in the light world. I don't even think I knew about the dark world last time. Nor did I remember warp zones or trying to get bandages. I've tried to get all the bandages I've found so far, and have gotten the majority, though some are in insane places. You collect bandages to unlock new playable characters, and you also get new characters from completing warp zones, which are 3 mini-levels each designed to look like different retro games like Mario and Castlevania. The different characters have different movement styles. I got one that can sort of float downward. I got bit.trip.runner, who can glide in a straight line and is slower than Super Meat Boy. I got a head crab (?!) from Half-Life that can stick to the sides of walls. I think some of the bandages definitely require you to use different characters!

    The boss battles are really fun. It's too bad I ragequit at the first one last time! In the first boss battle, you're being chased by Dr. Fetus (the bad guy) and you have to just do a level while being chased. In the second, there is rising lava and this silly monster swimming in it and you have to climb up for a while to win. In the third, you have to run alongside another character to escape another 'rising deadly stuff' level. It's like a mixture of the first two boss fights, plus a shadow run.

    That third boss level was amazing because it shows how smart the game is in teaching you new things. Since it's a shadow run, you get to see how the other character navigates some of the obstacles. In that one level, I learned 2 badass tricks from watching my opponent that I've used to decrease my times on some other levels already. One is jumping over and around and off the far side of an obstacle in one swift motion, instead of jumping over it, landing, then jumping up and off the side. The other is using the edges of ledges to sort of ricochet off and boost me up, which saves a jump and a split second. And split seconds matter big time in this game. It is soooo fast.

    Also, I didn't mention in my entry the last time I played, but the way SMB handles death is brilliant. Not only is there practically 0 wait time between when you die and when you get to try again, but all your deaths are saved and replayed for you once you beat the level. So after you beat the level, then it goes back to the beginning and like 50 Super Meat Boys (or however many times you died) break from the starting line in synch, dying by the handful as they died in your individual attempts. Not only is that just a neat feature and cool to watch, but it is really helpful for locating bandages and warp zones AND especially for figuring out how to improve your times on a level. By studying your attempts, you see where you can shave off a second here and there, take one less jump, slide up the wall farther there, jump over three obstacles instead of two there, and so on. Brilliant.

    Seriously, use a controller. The game is fun that way! If you are prepared to die at least. I wonder how far I can make it...I heard even the light levels get absolutely insane by chapter 7.
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    [June 22, 2012 03:35:48 PM]
    Just a quick one here. Came home from a night out, not tired, sitting at my computer eating some prata and drinking tea, needed something to do to kill time until I got tired, found my way into my 'games to play on my laptop' folder and clicked Super Meat Boy. I had 0 interest in this game, as I generally dislike platformers, especially these retro ones that seem to be very twitchy and rely on lots of developed skill and memorization. But, it came along with a Humble Indie Bundle I bought, so what the hell, I thought, I'll give it a spin.

    First impressions: Okay, this isn't as hard as I thought it would be. [fast forward nearer to the end of chapter one, 10-15 minutes later] What the freaking hell is this madness? The game ramps up difficulty like you wouldn't believe. I got frustrated enough to quit on the first boss battle. I'm sure I could have beaten it and kept going a bit, but I didn't like the direction the game was headed, i.e., I invest a significant amount of effort to master new bits to move on in the game, die an outrageous amount (final tally: 152 deaths in chapter 1, 1/2 an hour's play time), and just get frustrated enough to quit farther down the line. Best to quit while I'm ahead...or stuck bad the first time...which is kind of like being ahead.

    The game is super fast-paced. You're a little meat square and each level you have to save your girlfriend from the evil Dr. Fetus who slaps her and takes her away to the next level whenever you reach her. You can run, sprint and jump (so far at least). There are increasing obstacles. I got as far as buzzsaws.

    Here's the kicker though. After I quit, I went on Youtube to see how the hell people played this and I found a gold mine, a series called "Until I Rage," where this user plays difficult, frustrating, and crappy games until he can't stands it no more and rage quits. So I watched him play Super Meat Boy for a long time. There are absolutely hilarious moments in his videos. He makes comments as he plays, makes a lot of 'jumping' noises that sound like constipation, pleads 'why?!' quite often to a god or jesus or unnamed watcher who most certainly abandoned him to the Sisyphean fate Super Meat Boy imposes. And every now and then, he goes into a mild expletive-laced rage. I applaud the guy. He made it 2.5 hours and into chapter 5 of Super Meat Boy in one sitting.

    Besides the rage, I find his video series fascinating because he tries games that he's never played before. So what we have is video and audio footage of a noob. This guy thinks out loud a lot, so I can watch and listen to him making sense of Super Meat Boy. When he comes upon something new, he says out loud like "what the fuck is this? looks like a jelly. yeah, some kind of jelly. bet i die if i touch it. [touches it and dies] yep! ok, don't do that again" or "what the hell, where am i supposed to go now? buzzsaws above and below. i guess i'll just drop down. [drops down and dies but sees his platform] whoa! down, but not there. need to fall left." You can watch and listen to him developing an understanding of what he needs to do to overcome obstacles, how to deal with new information, how he deals with time and space in the game, and so on. It's pretty cool stuff to think about, and it's all just sitting right there on YouTube, him and who knows how many other gameplay videos like his.

    Anyway, here's a link if anyone wants to check out the stage that finally did him in:

    I played Bastion over the last couple weeks, and this appears to be another example where a controller is superior to the keyboard. I played with the keyboard, and though I didn't encounter any real issues, I know I would have when it got more complex. So when I watched this YouTuber playing with a gamepad, I was thinking how much smoother his movements were. Also quite fascinating how different input affects player performance. You can read 1000 comments where players sound off on gamepad vs. keyboard for this game, and others.

    I've no plans to load Super Meat Boy ever again, but there is a cool feature here: user-created levels. Actually that's what I found first, somehow stumbling upon them before I found the story mode. Let me just say, people are insane! I loaded a bunch of user maps and I just don't have any words. Nothing makes you feel old and 'behind the times' when you can't keep up with a game like the ones you used to play when you were a kid. Super Meat Boy vs. Super Mario Brothers? Ehh, same same but different. I think an NES would explode if you fed it a Super Meat Boy.
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    dkirschner's Super Meat Boy (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 23 June, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Monday 23 December, 2013

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Crazy hard platformer but, frustrating and fun at the same time. ----------- Yeah, I have no clue how I could keep on with this self-abuse. ----------- OMG, play with a controller and keep at it. Incredibly difficult, immensely rewarding, amazing platformer game. Tons of content.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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