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Game Info:

Super Meat Boy
Developed by: Team Meat
Release Date: Oct 20, 2010
Genre: Platformer
Available on: Xbox Live Arcade, Windows, Mac, Linux
ESRB Rating: Teen
Mode: Single Player
MSRP: $14.99

Super Meat Boy is your average piece of meat that loves his girlfriend, Bandage Girl.  Unfortunately for both of them, the evil Dr. Fetus kidnaps Bandage Girl and it’s up to Super Meat Boy to save her. The journey will be dangerous and there will be plenty of obstacles in the way including ferocious bosses, saw blades, salt, and hypodermic needles that will kill Meat Boy upon impact. 

Although Super Meat Boy is a 2D platformer, don’t let its appearance fool you: this game is brutally hard and shows no mercy.  There are a lot of jumping puzzles that you have to time just right and get the precise angle to avoid aforementioned dangerous obstacles.  The game recommends using a game controller and it's advice worth heeding.  Meat Boy leaves behind a trail of blood wherever he goes and this actually comes in handy to follow your footsteps and keep track of where you have been and what to avoid.  

There are six storyline worlds to explore with twenty light and dark side levels each.  Some of the levels include Christian references to hell and rapture.  There is also a world of user created levels, and trust me, they are just as difficult if not harder than the storyline ones.  Besides saving Bandage Girl as quickly as possible (you’re timed), your other objectives in a level is to collect band aids and unlock warp-zones.  If you save Bandage Girl fast enough, you’ll get an A+ on the level and it will be available in the dark world map.  The optional band-aids unlock other characters to play including Half-Life’s head crab and Bit Trip Runner.  Each character has unique attributes such as speed, floating, and clinginess.  Some characters are exclusive to the version being played (console vs. PC).  

Highlights:

Strong Points: A fun and challenging platformer; I really enjoyed the Warp-zones.
Weak Points: Some may find the game too difficult (raises hand).
Moral Warnings: Extremely bloody, sexual content and inappropriate hand gestures.

The Warp-Zones are available on certain levels for a very short amount of time.  Going for it is worth your while since they pay homage to various games and game systems including Game Boy, NES, and the game Bit Trip Runner.  Peta made a parody of Super Meat Boy by making a similar game called Super Tofu Boy, this didn’t go unnoticed by the developers as they added an unlockable Tofu character.

The characters are lovable and the personalities and emotions come through on many levels.  The cut scenes are fun to watch and there are some happy and sad ones but I don’t want to give away any spoilers here.  The level designs are creative and frustrating at the same time.  Besides avoiding needles and saws, there are many physics puzzles where you’ll have to jump into fans and ride the wind to get to the top or across a level.  The Gameboy and NES modes were fun to play, with the 8-bit look done perfectly.

Of course the music in those levels switched to 8-bit as well.  The rest of the rock style music was fitting and pleasant to listen too.  The sound effects are spot on, and you’ll be used to the sound of Meat Boy hitting the saw blades.  There is no voice acting or screaming when that happens though. 

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls 5/5

Morality Score - 56%
Violence - 4/10
Language - 6.5/10
Sexual Content - 1.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 6/10

Obviously there’s blood and violence to be found in this title.  I didn’t notice any text or verbal language but there are sign language obscenities.  The Evil Dr. Fetus flips off Super Meat Boy (and you) on many occasions.  To make matters worse for Meat Boy, every every level is completed Dr. Fetus beats up and snatches Bandage Girl away again.  Dr. Fetus himself is not very disturbing, he's a baby inside of a Mech.

This isn't a game for kids to watch or play.  It's just as bad as The Binding of Isaac which is made by the same team.  There is some potty humor like a boss named Brownie that came from Dr. Fetus' toilet. If you collect every band-aid in the game, you will unlock a video of Meat Boy and Bandage Girl having sex.  Consider yourself warned if you plan on buying this game.

Disclaimer:  I have not beaten this game, or unlocked many of levels.  I did get to the last boss on the second world and since I gave up on beating him, I watched the game cut scenes on youtube. To get through the single player campaign, I used a trainer to not let me take damage from enemies or obstacles.  This did not work on bosses however.     

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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