The Games Of Christmas’ 10: Day 20

By RPS on December 20th, 2010 at 1:12 pm.

Twintens!

You’re going to die. And all your little friends too.


He’s square, he’s bloody, he’s deceptively acrobatic, he quite aggressively believes you should use a gamepad… He’s Super Meat Boy!

Alec:

The place: another universe.
The time: right now.
The prevailing mentality: creativity is to be shared, celebrated, furthered by the people who most enjoy it.

Mickey Mouse guest stars in South Park; Disneyland attendance soars. LucasArts lends all its Wookiee outfits to the cast of a home-made soap opera set on Kashyyyk; the writers are later brought in to work on the Oscar-winning Episode VII. EA released all of System Shock 2′s assets to fans eight years ago, and as a result of all the mods and do-overs and fan sequels, pre-orders for System Shock 3 are breaking industry records.

The place: this universe.
The time: right now.
The prevailing mentality: intellectual property is a walled garden. Intruders will be shot. Sharing, celebration and furthering would surely destroy the very fabric of society.

Super Meat Boy comes from the other universe – an arrogant but ultimately loving messiah come to show us a better way. Its creators have communed with other game-making inter-dimensional travellers, and built something that shared, celebrated and furthered their titles.

Each of those other games is made stronger by its characters’ guest appearance in Super Meat Boy. Team Meat don’t subscribe to the daftly-held corporate viewpoint that each game exists in a opaque bubble, a dark place where no other games may be acknowledged, where the competition must be elimination rather than co-operated with. Together, they know, games can be stronger, fonder, bolder.

Super Meat Boy is the first game that is truly of the internet: a bastard-hard, aggressively proud, hyper-informed, deliriously moronic, ever-changing and beautiful platformer which earnestly recreates the ad-hoc hybrid philosophy of sharing, stealing and borderless society that underpins this great nexus of all information.

Quinns: I think that the enormous circular saw that everybody falls into when talking about Super Meat Boy is to say it’s a game about death. That’s all wrong. Counter-Strike, Demon’s Souls, Neptune’s Pride- these are games about death, games where death has been given consequences and has taken on a tangible size and shape which the player learns to fear like a violent stepfather.

Super Meat Boy is about life. Look at Meat Boy- he’s a wad of flesh, kinetic energy and perseverance, trying to reach his loved one. He could not be more alive. And when you propel him into some laser or pit of needles at 80mph and he collapses into a puddle of mince, what happens? Not death, surely. All it takes is the time for the camera to reset itself and he’s back on his feet, leaping and sprinting and sliding your way to your girlfriend once again.

But my real body of evidence is in how alive I feel playing Super Meat Boy. It manages to conjure emotions from the empty cauldron of my gamer brain with unbelievable consistency. I think that’s why I keep going back to it- for that initial cocktail of disbelief and excitement as you discover the nuances of a new level, then the grim satisfaction as you learn to thread your way through it, followed by all that terrible hate as your acrobatic routine is interrupted by any number of cruel obstacles, and then for that moment of total triumph when you do reach Bandage Girl and the game hands you a metaphorical package containing nothing but purest joy.

Though that description skips over my favourite part of any Super Meat Boy level, which is the final obstacle. That ultimate herculean leap over the last buzz-saw, or the last desperate weave around an high-velocity missile. I love that part, because the game is running so white-hot that the emotions which, for me, define the game simply dry up. For that instant, you’re just soaring. Your heart’s not even in your mouth. Your heart’s absent, it’s gone into hiding. Your heart is in your body’s broom cupboard, making out with your brain, because they both know that this could be their last moment together.

What happens next? Your legs graze the circular saw, obviously. You weave a moment too soon and the missile catches your arm, and the game celebrates your failure by reducing Meat Boy into a spray of wet, visceral confetti. Perhaps some of your particles even land on Bandage Girl. That’s how close you were to happiness.

That’s life. That is life. Super Meat Boy, a game about death? Please.

Kieron: I have a theory, in which Super Meat Boy is a key piece of evidence.

(Let’s take it as a given that Super Meat Boy is an incredibly polished, enormous, confident platform game, though the slow-down bugs I got never fixed themselves meaning that I’ve stopped playing it at the end of the third World. But that’s by the by)

To state the obvious, what we call indie games culture for all its independence, clearly has a general direction at any given time. At the moment, we’re at the end of the rule of the Platform game. Before that was the physics lead game, which pretty much ended with the celebratory hyper-success of World of Goo. Super Meat Boy basically plays World of Goo to the Platform game movement. Of course, the Platform game’s been only growing across the 00s, and you can analyse why from several directions. My personal one is pretty cynical. It’s not that the platform game has decreased in the mainstream industry, so developers are aiming at an absent niche. It’s a concious and deliberate rejection of whatever the mainstream is doing. If the masses are playing macho gun games, we’ll do the opposite. Games of avoidance versus games of annihilation, survival versus slaughter. Splash in a little congealed Miyamoto worship. the fact you can be technically polished without having to go head to head with the megabudgets and you’ve got something that’s kept us highly entertained across the decade.

I think it’s over. I think that we’re inching towards the point of diminishing returns, and any developer who’s starting on a platform-centric game right now is going to appear to be a little slow by the time it comes out. To go the Britpop metaphor, they’re the people buying Small Faces albums in 1997. If you look at the indie games which are making us excited for 2011, there’s not a platformer in there. It’s telling Jon Blow, whose Braid can be seen at the absolute apex of the movement, and its appearance and success precipitating a lot of the second-wave of stuff, isn’t looking towards the castle with another princess in for his next game. He’s looking at Myst, for fuck’s sake, which is a piece of genuine inspiration and ultra-risk taking (and hence, applause-worthy). Myst isn’t scene-fetishised in the way Mario is.

Anyway, it’s over. And Super Meat Boy? It’s an enormous party. It’s absolutely triumphalist in a way which the often shoegazing indie scene rarely is. It knows it’s good, and powers through on sheer confidence, inviting all its friends along for the ride. It all clicked for me when I unlocked the ever-delightful Mighty Jill Off. Super Meat Boy is basically saying “Hey, look at us all? We won. We totally won”. It’s a victory lap, hands in the air, taking the applause. It is, to return to that Britpop metaphor, their Knebworth moment. Except without shitty sound, overpriced booze and people incapable of queueing effectively for the portaloos. It’s a monument to a scene, to a genre, to a story that’s run its course and reached a body-shattering climax.

I’m on my feet, applauding. I’m cheering. I love every single one of them, and what they’ve achieved is magnificent. But I’m not shouting encore.

The funny, kinda sad thing buried in Super Meat Boy’s enormous cast: that they can all go in the same game. That, on some level, these games are all the same.

I can’t wait to see what they all do next, as long as it’s not this.

EDIT: Super Meat Boy is currently on sale on Steam for three quid. 75% off. Barg!

, .

72 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    The funny, kinda sad thing buried in Super Meat Boy’s enormous cast: that they can all go in the same game. That, on some level, these games are all the same.

    Half-life 2 was a platformer starring “Heady” Lamarr? Who knew?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Yeah, I was thinking “Do I break my flow or do I assume people are able to realise which ones we’re talking about (i.e. the indie platform characters)”. I decided to trust the readers’ intelligence.

      GLARES.

      KG

    • Haywire says:

      Gears of war characters showed up in Lost planet 2 and they felt perfectly natural apart from needing a pallet swap. 2D characters may be interchangeable, but they will never feel as interchangeable as FPS protagonists – characters you never even see. I basically am Gordon Freeman when i run through Rapture, even (especially perhaps) when im supposed to be a big daddy.

    • Will Tomas says:

      I think the point stands, though. Braid intellectualised and indy-fied the platformer in a breakout way, (and let’s not forget Spelunky which came out at the same time) and VVVVVVV and SMB have basically followed the same sort of ideas, albeit in different ways. I think that train of thought that led through them has basically burnt out.

  2. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    Oh grand-unifying-theories-of-all-games-plus-a-bit-of-Britpop, how I’ve missed you!

    Does this mean we are now entering the era of 3-D sandboxy Indie games?

    • Web Cole says:

      Please please please please please!

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Looking at minecraft, I’d say yes.

    • CMaster says:

      @AndrewC
      3D? Not necessarily. But the big wave of indie games next being more thoughtful, simulation driven games? Quite possibly. Indie devs have been talking for a while about how procedural generation lets them compete with the big money in more regions, and it’s a tech that while far from mature is coming on. Minecraft is obviously huge, but look at the coverage on fairly mainstream gaming sites of rougelike spin-offs these days. Dwarf Fortress, Desktop Dungeons, and that fake serial killer piece all get mentioned. See Monaco, Subversion, etc getting covered. I mean, my dream of the games of the future was always more about them approaching simulation than them becoming more tightly scripted. Others have said that Deus Ex etc felt like the way games were naturally going. Even if the mainstream is rejecting that, surely there must be indie developers out there with the same dream?

      edit: Also, I’d expect the breakout successes to be the games that move away from pure sandbox to something with goals, mission structure, clear progression hooks etc (after all, Minecraft intends to have a plot, a goal and achievements long term). That said, maybe things like Farmville suggest that a simulation done right about pseudo-mundane circumstances could be a breakout not just to wider gaming community, but outside.

    • Will Tomas says:

      Minecraft has so obviously been the game of this year that I’ll be shocked if it’s not at No 1 slot in this Xmas list.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      3D sandbox exploration sounds about right, yes. Isn’t that sort of what Jon Blow’s new game The WItness (as mentioned by Kieron) involves? And of course Minecraft which has shown big budgets aren’t necessarily required to create large, open and interesting worlds to explore. Hopefully enough people cleverer than I have been inspired to expand on that

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      My wish is that the next couple of years is predominantly expression through mechanics rather than art direction – Limbo being a strong example of the latter, Braid being a frontrunner of the former. My hope is that focus on the mechanics and game-verbs collapses the distinction between ‘expression’ and ‘fun’.

      That may be a bit abstract, though.

      More realistically, the Indie community is as prone to fashion, follow-the-leader and groupthink as any other community, so we’re going to get lots of Minecraft. Not such a terrible thing, all in all.

    • Cooper says:

      If procedural generation and sandbox play are upcoming trends, my money is on Introversion’s next game, Subversion to be the breakout title along those lines after Minecraft…

  3. Premium User Badge

    VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    I’ve not found much love for Super Meat Boy yet. Perhaps that’s because I’m playing it with a controller on the Xbox when I’m used to the tactility of a keyboard for platforming—but by all accounts SMB’s keyboard support is not so hot.

    To me the controls felt a bit squidgy and raw. Thematically appropriate, but it made the platforming awkward and a little imprecise. And a little imprecision is all it takes to kill you.

    Added to that was the frustration that results from being able to reliably and repeatedly get through the left half of a screen, then sometimes get through the trickier puzzle on the right, and having to repeat the whole bloody thing just because of a tiny mistake near the end.

    Sands of Time, Braid, and VVVVVV all removed this punishment, making failure just a step towards success—and they were reckoned good because of it. Super Meat Boy brings the punishment back, and it’s reckoned great because of it? I don’t understand.

    • Xocrates says:

      To be fair, most of Super Meat Boy’s levels are short enough and the respawn time quick enough that going back to the start of the level is usually a non-issue for most of the game. I agree that in the latter sections of the game this can become quite annoying (the last level nearly brought me to tears)

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      Zephro says:

      I think it’s because Super Meat Boy is meant to be a celebration of that one glorious near perfect run at a level, which is always spoilt somewhat by having reruns.

      It’s like ghosting Thief or playing Operation Flashpoint or Hidden and Dangerous without the save function.

    • Haywire says:

      It is you who is imprecise. This sounds like a classic “learn to play” retort but in SMB’s place it is entirely true. Now that i consider myself pretty damn good at that game (in that i understand exaclty what is possible through correct control) there is nothing about it which feels imprecise but my own timings, and that relentless requirement of precision on my part has created replay files which are glorious not only in the sheer quantity of failed meat boys, but in the gliding, bouncing, timinging beauty of the final successful run.

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Obviously the imprecision lies with me; I was not trying to imply the game imparted a random element to the controls. That the controls are quite sensitive to very small angle and timing differences means that slight, barely conscious differences in inputs can lead to noticeably different trajectories. This leads to a subjective feeling of imprecision. Combine this with the levels requiring a single, quite precise path to clear the obstacles, and the result is lots of failure due to tiny differences. Which means I need to develop quite a high skill at the controls just to get through even the first chapter of the game. Or give up in frustration, which is what I did; I wasn’t having enough fun. The levels were technically challenging but stylistically uninteresting, and the character design and humour of the game fell flat for me.

      But then, I just bought it again on PC in the Steam sale, since it was only £3 and I figure maybe I’ll be a bit less frustrated with the keyboard and be able to see what others are praising it for.

    • Haywire says:

      One things for sure, that sense of frustration never leaves. every time i thought id done the impossible the very next level would make the last seem like childs play

    • Cooper says:

      SMB requires a certain “I must beat this game” mentality, which I just don’t have.

      Yet I found VVVVVV fine to play. Because any specifically hard screen usually took me 10 tries, top. SMB can take me hundreds. And if I was geting frustrated, I could just pop over to an easier section or somewhere else. I eventually nailed Veni Vidi Vici after returning to it countless times. If I couldn’t have buggered off elsehwhere though, I’d have never bothered.

      SMB doesn’t have that. It’s world doesn’t tie the levels together. So you have a level, and you must painfully master it to move on. I simply just have not enjoyed playing SMB because of that.

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      My opinion: it plays much better with the keyboard. I still find the wonk-o physics weird, but I’m getting used to them.

  4. Mavvvy says:

    I’ve been told to like this game by many a source. But I think the novelty of tricksy indie platformers has gotten a bit old on me.

    Tis a shame i’d like to give it a go, but I know I wouldnt stick with it to completion.

  5. Sander Bos says:

    My game of the year, by a large margin (played on XBox 360, so don’t know about PC technical difficulties).
    The only issue I have with it is the difficulty pacing, specifically the world 1 boss (it took me longer to beat the first boss as it took me complete either complete world 2 or 3 (including bosses)). Apparently other people have problems with other bosses, but if you are stuck on the first boss there is a lot less to explore.
    I don’t really agree with the philosophical write-up of this entry, as Kieron indicates in his introduction at the basis it is just a great focused platformer. I also disagree that this is the culmination of the genre (diminishing returns remark), I think it shows that my favorite gaming type of platformers still has a lot of life in it, and I am especially glad that it does not feature any combat (many platformers are more about hack and slash than platforming). I think it will just show other developers that you can still make enormous leaps of improvements in this genre, without being original in any way.

    My favorite aspect of the game is the freedom. Freedom to take your time (that is why I hate the levels where you are pushed on like the world 1 boss), freedom to skip levels (except the bosses, I also don’t like it that that opportunity is missing from world 6 where I am currently at), ‘infinite’ lives (that is why also hate the warp worlds that give you few lives before having to start over), freedom to play the levels in different ways (currently I play every level in succession to completion three times, once to finish the level, once to get the A+ rating, once for the bandage if it is available), freedom to choose from so many many levels.

    (Yoshi’s island is still better though….)

  6. Jakkar says:

    It’s just annoying. Repetition infuriates. Dying once to some trick jump and having to repeat it just.. doesn’t strike me as rewarding. I’m a roguelike whore/emergent physics based gameplay slut. If it plays the same twice, I’m already tired of it.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      Repetition creates the possibility of *perfection*.

    • BooleanBob says:

      @ Andrew C: that reads like a line from Braid rendered through the GLaDOS synth-o-creepisizer. With a little bit or the Orz thrown in. In other words: deeply unsettling.

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      Zephro says:

      Never try racing games.

    • skinlo says:

      This.

      Imo, games shouldn’t exist to deliberately irritate the gamer. Finally getting one run correct is virtually never worth the 50 runs needed to get through the section in the first place.

    • Meat Circus says:

      Repetition captivates. Perfection is its own reward, and repetition leads to perfection.

      2010 has given me THREE games that are proof of this: Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV and Demon’s Souls. And I adore them all.

    • Meat Circus says:

      How ridiculous. SMB doesn’t exist to irritate you, it exists to help you celebrate your own magnificence. If you can’t revel in how brilliant you are, then you’re at fault, not the meat.

      CHOOSE LIFE.

    • Premium User Badge

      Zephro says:

      Yeah I’m in the repetition camp here. There’s nothing more glorious than doing 15 laps of a racetrack to do that one utterly perfect lap and nail every sector time. It’s just bliss not irritation.

    • Bioptic says:

      Actually, far more than annoying, it’s boring. I don’t know how you can make a game about being a living lump of viscera with ninja-like agility boring, but forcing you to retread the same trap-laden hallway time after time, making minor adjustments to the flick of a thumbstick or the timing of a button press is boredom incarnate to me. I got a few levels into Hell before realising I really wasn’t enjoying myself – I was forcing myself to continue on the basis of the game and its design coming so highly recommended. It’s a solid and very hard platformer – absolutely nothing more or less than that, and whilst I personally find it astonishing that people can call it their ‘game of the year’, I have no basis to argue.

      I understand that games like this have their place, but I’m going to draw a line in the sand here – this is not why I play games. Being challenged by a piece of software has never had any intrinsic value to me – when well executed, it can play on the basest of my compulsions, but I never truly enjoy it. For me, the joys of games are about experiencing worlds, stories and characters – challenge is often required to give a sense of meaningful progression or motivation, but once it becomes the sole reason for a game’s existence it loses all appeal.

      And frankly, though it pains me to say it, it’s why I dislike the vast majority of low-budget or free indie releases – they are too frequently focused around challenge and using one or two play mechanics to overcome that challenge. I understand that this is synonymous with ‘purity’ for many – that it harkens back to simpler times when everyone was less fat and grumpy and didn’t have as much money. But they’re not the games that have kept me using a PC for the past 13 years, and I do hope that more future indies head in a different direction.

    • Archonsod says:

      Sign me up to the boring camp, although I don’t think I’ve bothered with platform games since Super Mario World. Had no problem finding decent indie games though.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Jakkar and Bioptic, you both read my mind. My god, I can’t think of a game so hyped this year, that celebrates such a repetitive and frustrating gameplay ethic. Now, sure, the platforming (when the sodding jump button works) is tweaked to near perfection. I cannot disagree with that. But the sub-South Park humour and lack of any sense of exploration utterly ruins the game for me. Watching Hamsteralliance blast through it is more entertaining than having to endure the frustration personally.

      VVVVVV does not encourage this irritating sense of “required perfectionism” on the part of the player. Veni Vidi Vici is optional, you can just skip it if you like. Some will, some won’t. I appreciate that I’m given the choice, and can just continue exploring the vast world map at my leisure.

      There is nothing worth “exploring” in SMB. Any sense of discovery is diminished when the player is effectively told that, in order to pass the next stage, you must pass this set of irritatingly-placed disappearing platforms, spikes and buzzsaws. SMB is one frustrating perfectionist challenge after another, and it’s as pathetic as claiming that one achieved some fancy lap time in any racing game. If you reach “perfection” where do you go from there?

      And I’m going to say it: people make games like this because they have no real concept of gameplay depth. It is what bullet-hell shooters are to 90s side-scrollers. All the challenge, none of the exploration, discovery or personal achievement beyond a fucking score.

    • liq3 says:

      @Casimir’s Blake: It’s only frustrating and repetitive if you have a problem with losing. Because that’s what happens in SMB. I spend most of my time losing. I only enjoy the game if I enjoy losing. And I do enjoy losing in SMB. It’s a glorious death, one step closer to winning. Everytime I’ve died, I’ve gotten a little better at the game.

      And it shows. When I first tried a few of the first world levels they took me many tries to beat (easily 20+). After beating the light world and half the dark world, I came back and tried for the “beat forest without dying” achievement. First I run through the world in order, and died towards the end. I noticed I only die on the last 3 levels. Since to get the achievement I don’t need to do them in order, I beat those 3 first, then did the other 1-17 in order. I got the achievement in a little over 2 runs of the world (and died maybe 5 times). This is a huge improvement compared to when I first started playing.

      And that’s why games like SMB are fun. They give that sense of improvement that many games refuse me.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      I do not begrudge anyone’s choice of playing a game such as SMB. Heck, I can understand why because despite my rant it does do some things very well e.g. perfect wall-jumping (quite addictive in its own right), excellent pixel art, even some of the music is tremendously memorable and rocking! But I see far too many indie and commercial games that concentrate their gameplay very much in the area of “achievement through repetition.” For some of us exploration and discovery are far more enticing, exciting and valuable traits than beating previous scores / par times / achievements etc.

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      Lambchops says:

      “For some of us exploration and discovery are far more enticing, exciting and valuable traits than beating previous scores / par times / achievements etc.”

      i concur with this. It is the prime reason why VVVVVV is the better game of the two (the secondary reason being VVVVVV’s greater charm) in my opinion. It’s also probably why I eventually gave up on Super Meat Boy, despite enjoying it. There wasn’t a big enough motivation for me to continue when the going got tough, whereas i felt that there was in VVVVVV.

  7. Ba5 says:

    Fuck gamepads, I used a keyboard and did the whole thing. Razer keyboards with (according to them) superfast key press registration >>>>>>> 360 pad.

  8. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    “The Oscar-winning Episode VII”

    NOT IN ANY UNIVERSE

    But the idea of sharing the IP increasing the monetary value of that IP makes me warm and happy. I hope it’s true.

  9. Auspex says:

    I adore Super Meat Boy, my game of the year undoubtedly. And yes everyone goes on about how difficult (and to many that’s a selling point) but don’t let that put you off because one of the best thing about it is that it teaches and trains you till you think you’re amazing at it. After 100%ing it I loved playing through it again just to see how very easy it all was to me now.

    (Then I looked at the high scores and realised I was rubbish at it :D)

    (It’s also worth noting that until VVVVVV and SMB I had never played more than 30 secs of a platformer in my life)

    • Premium User Badge

      Eric says:

      I love so very much that VVVVVV and Super Meat Boy book-ended 2010. Both absolute triumphs, both products of an indie scene that couldn’t have produced them only a few years ago but now feels so confident and secure. What great examples of what can be accomplished by a small group of dedicated folks with good ideas and the talent / skill to execute them.

  10. RagingLion says:

    Thinking about Kieron’s feelings – you may be right that the focus might change away from 2D platforming but I’m not sure that that scene will fall off a cliff.

    I’m don’t think the existence of The Witness is really a pointer to some kind of trend because hearing what Jon Blow has had to say, it just so happened that this game was the one he felt that was most demanding to be made next but that he’s quite probably going to go back to 2D games in the future. All these easily available 3D engines that have become available might well lead to more 3D indie games though.

    • CMaster says:

      I think its safe to say that indie platform games won’t go away. Platformers are easy to make, already understood by a lot of gamers, and can be pretty compulsive. Also, there are almost certainly more twists to platformers that haven’t yet been explored so much. I had a lot of fun this year with Level Up, a (J?)RPG platformer. There’s surely space for more commercial experiments along these lines, no?

  11. mcwizardry says:

    @Kieron Have you tried running the game in windowed mode? It fixed all my problems with slowdown immediately. There’s also command-line settings for texture and effects detail.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Tried now, and no dice. Had an awesome piece of slow down as I was running for lady meat creature which when it stopped slowing down projected me right through the wall past her, killing me. Brilliant.

      KG

  12. Consumatopia says:

    Games that have you navigate new spaces while avoiding obstacles will always be with us. And as long as we use 2D screens (including 2D screens that come with glasses that try to pop a third dimension at you but aren’t really fooling anyone), it will be natural for those spaces to be 2D. For now, at least, the third dimension usually adds more complexity than depth. And as human beings, we spend more time looking at things at the same level we are at (side view) than we do at things below us from above (top-down). Not to mention that our 2D screens are usually oriented vertically.

    Given all this, it seems natural that many of our onscreen games would allow us to explore 2D spaces that are analogous to profile/side-view perspectives on our own native 3D space.

  13. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    It’s a fun platformer. Stop writing so many words.

  14. Maykael says:

    My Game of the Year without a doubt. It was a close one with VVVVVV, StarCraft 2 and STALKER: Call of Pripyat , but in the end Super Meat Boy was my favorite game this year.

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    James G says:

    And now its £3 on Steam… not sure when this started as I caught the deal before 6pm. (But only just)

    • Sander Bos says:

      Thanks so much for that tip! (just 3.50 euros for me)
      I am sure I would have missed that otherwise (well, depending on how long this discount lasts). I already had the XBox 360 version, but now I am all set for user made levels (and headcrabs I guess?).

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    Lambchops says:

    I enjoyed Super Meat Boy but was unltimately defeated by it. In the fifth world my patience for the trickier levels just started to run out. The level design is very well done, often the quickest approacvh (generally with holding down the run button) may seem the most risky but actually turns out not only to be the most efficient way through a level, but the easiest too. This gave some of the levels more the feeling of a puzzle, albiet one that required inch perfect timing.

    The bosses, however, are a prime reminder of why bosses can be utterly terrible. The hell boss genuinely was a boring, repetitive, learn the sequence type gameplay that harked back to the bad old days (as opposed ot the bad new days, which involve quicktime events instead).

  17. Tei says:

    So this is a videogame, where the main character is one of the monsters of “Desktop Dungeons“?

  18. 8-bit says:

    the one thing I don’t like about it is the taunting at the beginning of the game, yes a gamepad would be preferable to using a keyboard, but using the 360 pad to make the point is an example of some pretty epic fail on the part of the developers.

  19. kyrieee says:

    I’m somewhat annoyed that they put the game on sale for 75% off 2-3 weeks after it came out.

    I’ll be sure to never pre-order a game of theirs again.

    • 8-bit says:

      At least if you pre-ordered you got 30% off right? I didn’t have the money at the time and ended up paying full price, indie devs should know the best way to loose supporters is to let your game go on sale just a few weeks after release (unless its selling really poorly and you need a boost).

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I’m annoyed that I liked the idea enough of this game to pay less-than-full-price for it before it came out, and then some other people liked the idea enough to pay full price for it, and now some other people who maybe weren’t so sold on the idea get to pay even-less-than-I-did to try it, and even then there’s no guarantee that they’ll like it. But somehow them being able to pay less to experience the game later means I was obviously ripped off, since if they can make a profit at this low price then the inbetween price I paid was just blatant profiteering.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Ethically speaking, VFG has a point.

      But if you look at the situation descriptively rather than normatively (and I’m not sure kyrieee expressed any ethical claims, beyond being “annoyed”), looking at the player deciding whether to pre-order and the developer setting a price each playing their side of a game to maximize their utility, then kyrieee has a point. If kyrieee had known that SMB would be so very sharply on sale, he wouldn’t have pre-ordered. If they put SMB on such a sale, they might put their next game on sale like that as well. So maybe kyrieee should avoid pre-ordering that next game.

      Cutting the price of their game so rapidly means people who otherwise wouldn’t have–like myself–end up buying it. And it doesn’t mean kyrieee got ripped off or anything–how much I pay should have no effect on how much fun kyrieee has. But it still changes the expected utility of kyrieee’s future decision to preorder future Team Meat games.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I was being sarcastic, not sure if that came across clearly. As a buyer, you are being irrational if you thought it was worth the price at £10 when you bought it, but in hindsight think it wasn’t worth that now you can get it—for one day only—for £3.

      However, I think it is unethical of Team Meat to do this, not because I think such a sale is disrespectful or problematic, but because they claimed to believe so:

      we wanted to be able to do something special for Xmas, but it felt like a sale only 2 months after launch would be a kinda shitty thing to do to the fans who just bought it.

  20. Ergates_Antius says:

    I keep thinking I should buy this. But I probably wouldn’t play it much – I suck at platformers, don’t have the coordination/reflexes neeed. And I already have an extensive backlist of games I’ve not played (ones I might be OK at).

    But it’s good indie gaming of the sort that should be encouraged, so I should buy it anyway.

  21. Schadenfreude says:

    Mickey Mouse did guest star on South Park…

    • EthZee says:

      …as a violent, money-grubbing psychopath forcing the pretty-boy Jonas Brothers troupe to wear Purity Rings in order to sell sex to pre-teen girls whilst keeping an air of purity. He later insults Christians and becomes a giant, destroying Denver with his fire-breath.

      It is unknown what affect this has had on ticket sales to Disneyworld.

  22. Mike says:

    A fitting day to post this, as you’ve noticed. SMB is a great game, and those were three great talks. I like Kieron’s take. More of this sort of thing.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Yes, agreed. Wonderful as all the RPSers are I couldn’t help thinking “Oh, Kieron, how I’ve missed ye” after reading that

  23. Vinraith says:

    The philosophy and shared assets here are great, it’s a shame I’m completely off 2d platformers these days.

  24. outoffeelinsobad says:

    You three were all at the top of your game for this post. Thanks.

  25. Hybrid says:

    I have to agree with the others… this was an excellent post. Makes me glad I picked up SMB today.

  26. Basilicus says:

    Very different platformer, but this should be mentioned somewhere: The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom is 49 cents on Steam. I’m not sure what the price’ll be across the pond, but I’m guessing it’ll be similarly cheap over there.

  27. Sander Bos says:

    Thank you for hanging in there hengheng, despite RPS’s attack on Spam. I was afraid I would no longer learn where to get shoes now…
    (P.S.: On posting this I got another one of those ‘This is wordpress, you are posting too quickly (often)’, but that mus be a bug because this is my first reaction in over 12 hours).

  28. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    >LucasArts lends all its Wookiee outfits to the cast of a home-made soap opera set on Kashyyyk

    You know that actually happened. Did you ever see the Star Wars christmas special? It’s not very good.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    [again... original comment got killed by spam-filter when I tried to edit it]

    >LucasArts lends all its Wookiee outfits to the cast of a home-made soap opera set on Kashyyyk

    That actually happened. Have you seen the Star Wars christmas special? It’s not very good.

    “Your heart is in your body’s broom cupboard, making out with your brain,” I find this image oddly appealing.

    Also, yes… SMB is pretty kick-ass.