So I recently bought a game on Xbox Live arcade called Super Meat Boy. It's an indie game, made by two guys, plus a guy who composed the music. You play a small boy made of meat called... Well, Meat Boy, and you have to rescue your girlfriend Bandage Girl from the evil Dr. Fetus. It's as bizarre as it sounds. The game is actually really well-crafted, and I adore it... Even though it's hard as Hell. I just beat the game (that is, I got to the end, not completed it 100%, and I really just have to talk about this one moment I had while completing one of the final levels... See what it is after the break.
WARNING, contains spoilers.
I just beat the game (that is, got to the end, not completed it 100%), and I just had to post about this moment, because it felt so unique and unlike me... It was in World 6: The End, level 6-5: Omega. It has got to be one of the hardest levels I played so far, but that's not what made it unique. The boss fight of world 6 was perhaps just as hard, or even harder... And I know there are Dark World levels that kick my ass until I cry blood!
No, what's weird was that I died something like 200 times! I'm not even kidding, it might have even been 300! Or maybe just 150. Point is, I died so many times I couldn't even begin to count them all... and yet, through all that time, I never got frustrated or angry. Oh sure, I was annoyed that I would have to repeat the level again, and in my mind I'd say "bullshit" or "dammit", but I would say anything. I would just play the level again, all calm-like... It was a weird kind of zen moment, where I was going into a flow of going through the level, because I had played it so many times, I had almost mastered it...
The reason why I died though, times that weren't just random flukes and testing methods of progressing out, were two parts: the first part was when I had to slide down a wall, jump under one big buzzsaw and inbetween two smaller buzzsaws. It's weird, because half the time I'd go through it with ease, as part of my zen-like groove, yet other times I keep hitting the bottom of the big buzzsaw or one of the two smaller buzzsaws, more commonly the lower one. It didn't bug me that much, but I still though it was weird how sometimes I'd manage to pull it off yet other times I wouldn't...
The other part is... well, I won't say I died the most, but it stuck out so badly that it really aggravates me thinking about it! It's when you get the key, and you have to get past the three buzzsaws below you to get to the path you just opened. I actually had to look up a playthrough video, just to see if there was something I'm missing, or if there was an easier way out. Even WITH the videos help, it still felt like 9 times out of 10, it was pure luck that I got through that part.
That part also made me realize, while the game may be well designed in that it's not completely unfair and most of the time it's obvious how you get through, you just have to be patient, the controls are really what make this game difficult for me... Not that they're bad, not at all, they're just a bit oversensitive most of the time. I can't begin to recall how many times I died simply because I overshot something, or because I was trying to make sure I landed just right. I guess it takes some getting used to, but I've been playing this game for hours, so you'd THINK by now I'd be used to it...
Either way, that level, despite it's difficulty, really brought out a new kind of feeling, one I will likely never experience again... Especially since I got right back scream, growling, and grunting when I moved onto the boss!
...Actually, that one also had a surreal moment, because right when I had to press the button to make Dr. Fetus fall, he shot at me, JUST as the floor was opening up and the door to where the button was was closing up. He started to fall, and I ended up DYING! For a second, I thought I had to start the level over again, but the a cutscene showed up, and I was all like "whoa..." Not to mention, during the Escape, I was so angry at first, because I couldn't get past the first part, thinking to myself, "could they have put these buzzsaws in a more impossible position?!" Again, I had to look up a playthrough, and nothing else in the level was as frustratingly difficult as that one part. Although I DID get angry when I died in that level, if only because it meant I had to go through that part AGAIN. This also marked the first time I got so angry I actually slapped my leg several times in frustration playing this game! I usually, I'd be too focused, or didn't have enough time for that, but this time, I just had to let it out, especially since I couldn't quit, as it was the very last stage! ...So yeah, this night was full of surprises!
...Yeah, I started playing this around 9:15 o 9:30 PM... Originally, I unlocked the "Iron Boy" achievement, beating a chapter (in this case, chapter 1) without dying, and tried out a few World 2 Dark World levels before deciding to just try and finish the game. By the time I was done, it was 1:45 AM. Yeah. This might partially explain why I was a bit cranky during that last bit. Still, even then, I HAD to tell people about my experience this night before I go to bed for some well-earned rest.
Really, it's weird that I say well-earned. I really do feel like I accomplished something, even though it seems relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. It's just so satisfying when I think of all that I went through, and how (most of the time) I managed to figure it out and do it myself! Super Meat Boy really brings it out of you!