Does Super Meat Boy Forever, the long-awaited sequel to 2010’s Xbox Arcade classic, hold up to the legacy of the original?
Title: Super Meat Boy Forever
Developer: Team Meat
Publishers: Team Meat
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed on), PC, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series X, PS5
Release Date: December 23, 2020 (Nintendo Switch, PC)
It is hard to overstate the effect that Super Meat Boy had on the modern 2-D platformer. Its legacy and inspiration can be felt in everything from Celeste to Speedrunners and even some of the most popular Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2 user levels.
The speed, precision, and difficulty that SMB required inspired a whole new generation of game devs to begin exploring the 2-D platforming genre as no game had ever done before. Sure, there had been difficult games before, even difficult platformers (The Japanese Super Mario Bros 2, Ninja Gaiden, countless different Kaizo hacks), but none had done it the way SBM did.
Not only did it change 2-D gaming, but it is also largely credited for breathing life into and forming the base of the modern indie game scene. The development team, Team Meat, is a small indie team out of America led by Edmund Mcmillen (The End is Nigh, The Binding of Isaac) that got its start making flash games on Newgrounds. The fact that this small and unrecognized of a team was able to make a title that was so critically and fiscally successful was huge for thousands of people around the world who had aspirations of making video games.
Without Super Meat Boy, there is likely no Undertale, Celeste, Inside, Limbo, Ori, Hollow Knight, Shovel Knight. Most of Annapurna Interactive’s catalog disappearing is probably the worst part of that domino effect (What Remains of Edith Finch, Donut County, Outer Wilds, Telling Lies, Kentucky Route Zero, Gone Home). Sure, some of these games may still find a way to exist, but they do not have nearly the player base or attention that they deserve, and rightfully get, today, thus making it harder for their developer to exist and make more games.
The fact that a game this influential took ten years to get a sequel is almost criminal, especially since the sequel was announced a mere three years after the release of SBM. Initially envisioned as an IOS mobile game, Super Meat Boy Forever has been stuck in perpetual development for a very long time. It has been announced, canceled, restarted, re-canceled, delayed, and finally released in late December to a pretty quiet reception.
With the respect and context of the original game and knowledge of this game’s development cycle in mind, we took a look at Super Meat Boy Forever.