Super Meat Boy has been an interesting experience after spending a fair chunk of last month playing VVVVVV and Cave Story. Well, the frequent crashes have been less than pleasant. I am not sure who to blame on that front, but then again most of my Steam crashes are the app itself once I choose to close it. Super Meat Boy seems to like to crash at random points, mostly when I choose to go back to the map screen. Lives were a precious thing in video games during my childhood. You started with three, maybe five if there were options for that. Collecting 1-ups was a miniature joy every single time. Which is what makes games like VVVVVV and Super Meat Boy extremely interesting as they thrive on this idea of “Yes. You are going to die. A lot. And restart. A lot. And most likely get angry. A lot.”
Considering that 1-ups in recent Mario games are almost a joke (I believe I have ninety-something in NSMBU at the moment) it really seems like the logical progression. Although illogical in the Mario games. It would be like taking the noodles out of chicken noodle soup. It allows for completely different kinds of games that make me work in different ways.
As a side note, Super Meat Boy just crashed on me while I was writing this, so hey, consistency!
Time aside[ref]Really, time is best ignored in this conversation.[/ref] there is no currency in Super Meat Boy. Yes, bandages can unlock stuff but there are no power-ups or lives and really no reason to not be risky all the time. There is almost nothing to lose except maybe your high score. Yet stages are played so blazingly fast anyway that it hardly matters to a casual player of the game like myself.
Compare this to the different sort of tension that develops in Mario. If I do not make this jump, this time, I have to do that all over again. Mario is putting pressure on me to learn before so that I can perform later while Meat Boy wants me to learn through repetition. I think I have spent too much time on forums because I instinctively want to call one or the other “good” and the other “bad”. And yet I cannot help but think both offer strong options for interesting game play. Since, well, they have.
Another crash. I am done for the night.