Super Meat Boy Forever review: Pain… but make it adorable!

Team Meat
Team Meat /
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Super Meat Boy Forever review
Team Meat /


Any time I review a game, I typically start with story, but the story for this game is beyond simplistic that a story section can be summed up into one sentence: Meat Boy and Bandage Girl have to save their child, Nugget, from the nefarious Dr. Fetus. 

Edmund Mcmillen is a notoriously great video game artist, with his artistic style really solidifying itself in his work on The Binding of Isaac and The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. Although by looking at the artwork from Super Meat Boy, you would not be able to tell that. Super Meat Boy’s in-game visuals are made to look 8-bit-ish, replicating the look and feel of the classic video games that inspired its creators. They were not bad or distracting, but they were never great. The cinematic visuals were disgusting, looking like something someone lazily and hastily made on Microsoft Paint and then threw on Newgrounds. Sure, these cinematics were never very long, so it was not important, but when they are on screen, it is jarringly distracting.

Super Meat Boy Forever abandons almost every visual style and design from the first title and becomes one of the most gorgeous looking platformers available.

Firstly, the in-game visuals abandon the 8-bit style, going instead for a visually striking, modern look. Everything on the screen looks clean: the characters, the enemies, the obstacles. Nothing is fuzzy, everything is very clear and colorful, and I never had to struggle to figure out what I was looking at. The animations are also very clean, although very simple. The animations clearly illustrate when the characters hitboxes are active, or what direction the character is going to be moving.

However, this does not lift the visuals above criticism.

Every character and enemy model may be clean, but they look cheap. This probably has quite a bit to do with this game having spent a large amount of its development cycle as an IOS game, but especially when looking at the enemies in the game, the cheaper elements of the game are on display.

The animations in the game may be clear, but they get laggy and often will ruin the flow of the game. Hitting an enemy will result in the game slowing down momentarily to increase the perceived impact of the blow, which admittedly does help with flying enemies and air control, but when it comes to ground enemies, and especially multiple ground enemies close together, it just lags the game and makes it harder to maintain flow and input in the often tight input windows.

Where the in-game visuals are a mixed bag of good and bad, the cinematic graphics are absolutely stunning. The colors pop off the screen, every character is amazingly drawn and expressive. The story, although simple as can be, is told wonderfully through great animation, which conveys some of the best humor and emotion in gaming. Nugget is especially wonderful in these scenes, being the most expressive and compelling character anytime they are on the screen and stealing my heart every time. The last few scenes in zone 4 and zone 5 are especially amazing (and also adorable) to the point that a game that is definitely meant ironically actually got an audible wow out of me!

Unfortunately, the rest of the game got me to say other words audibly…