Super Meat Boy Forever Switch

Super Meat Boy Forever is finally here after nearly a decade. But it’s not the game hardcore fans wanted.

The original Super Meat Boy kicked off a revival of indie games on the Xbox Live Arcade during the early 2010s. It found itself among the company of other indie darlings like Braid, Fez, and Costume Quest. The satisfying control scheme quickly drew a legion of fans who loved the original Meat Boy prototype that surfaced on Newgrounds. Super Meat Boy promised more of that – tight controls and unforgiving platforming that feels great to play. The addition of being able to race your ghosts only made Super Meat Boy feel like a competitor’s wet dream.

Sadly, Super Meat Boy Forever does not reignite that same magic feeling, almost a decade later. It’s an autorunner, which is the main sticking point with the game for most people. That’s not to say it isn’t fun, figuring out the puzzle levels is still satisfying to some degree, but the loss of control of Meat Boy feels like an affront to precision platformers who loved the first game. Super Meat Boy Forever is different enough that it’s unsatisfying for its original fans, which is a crime by any sequel’s definition.

Concept

Rating: 3. of 5 stars

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The graphics are much improved over the first game, and they scale well in both handheld and TV mode. The soundtrack by Ridiculon makes for good listening, but as a fan of the original Danny Baranoswki soundtrack from the original, it doesn’t rise to the same level of immediate gratification. All around, the graphical improvements of Super Meat Boy Forever are perhaps the brightest spot for this not-quite-sequel.

Despite the absence of Edmund McMillen from Team Meat, his signature style is present throughout the game. One must assume Edmund gave his blessing for the artwork to be wholesale copied for a new game. It’s all strikingly familiar, right down to the obstacles you’ll encounter throughout the levels. It cribs many of the obstacles from the first game, but the boss fights are a unique design and high point for Super Meat Boy Forever.

Super Meat Boy Forever is not likely to please the hardcore precision platformer crowd that loved the original game. That’s not to say that SMB Forever is a bad game at heart – it’s just a bad sequel for Meat Boy fans who wanted a return to the original form. The level design feels uninspired and once you’ve beaten the game, there’s little reason to replay it, despite the levels changing.

Gameplay

Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Super Meat Boy forever features a more puzzle-oriented approach, with less focus on getting the jump exactly right. There are no extremely short levels like the original, which cuts the variation in half. Nearly all of the levels are at least a minute long. Meat Boy and Company now also have an attack at their disposal, which adds a new movement mechanic to master. It’s fun, but it also feels lacking.

Without full control over Meat Boy, you’re limited to dash, duck, and jump as means to solve the puzzle. You can influence the direction Meat Boy is traveling by wall jumping, but you cannot correct a bungled jump. It just feels limiting when it really shouldn’t. The original game was praised for the amount of freedom players had in completing its levels.

Limiting Super Meat Boy Forever in this way feels like Team Meat didn’t understand what was fun about the original. The levels themselves are fun enough, but once you’ve played a handful, they all start to feel the same. That’s because none of these levels are hand-crafted to create heart-pounding jumps and tricks to master. Rather, an AI assembled some vaguely familiar traps in a level that is definitely complete-able. The one area where Super Meat Boy Forever does shine is its boss battles – which are hand-crafted!

Graphics & Audio

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The soundtrack for Super Meat Boy Forever is about what you would expect for the universe. It’s wacky and weird in the right places, with some of the boss fight music being my favorite. It doesn’t hold a candle to the original Super Meat Boy soundtrack, but little does. Check it out above to see what you think.

The fresh coat of paint on Super Meat Boy Forever is definitely welcome, though. It’s wonderful to see Meat Boy and Bandage Girl in all their 4K glory on my TV. The cutscenes are voiced and fun to watch, with a nonsensical story that’s pretty secondary to the gameplay.

Conclusion

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Super Meat Boy Forever is not likely to be a game that hardcore precision platformer lovers will enjoy. I tried and failed to enjoy the autorunning mechanic, despite loving the puzzle nature of the levels. The lack of control leaves you feeling like you’re fighting against Meat Boy, rather than controlling the character. It’s an unfortunately unsatisfying experience that leaves me wishing the game felt different to play – but it doesn’t. However, if you’re okay with auto runners, give it a shot. It’s definitely one of the better auto runner platformer games on Switch.

TL/DR

Super Meat Boy Forever is not likely to please the hardcore precision platformer crowd that loved the original game. That’s not to say that SMB Forever is a bad game at heart – it’s just a bad sequel for Meat Boy fans who wanted a return to the original form. The level design feels uninspired and once you’ve beaten the game, there’s little reason to replay it, despite the levels changing.

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