Friday, December 24, 2010

I need to bash this: Super Meat Boy

TLDR version: I don't like this game, and I rant about that.

I have tried, really. Each time, I was thinking: this time it will click. This time, I will realize its greatness. Each time, I quit after an average of 1.5 levels. Today, I removed it from my computer. It's pointless for it to be there. It's not going to get any love.

Some people seem to consider it the absolute pinnacle of platforming to this day. I am talking here about people whose opinions about games I usually respect, if not agree with (read: RPS). But in this case, I simply don't get it. This might be the pinnacle of platforming - but of 80s platforming, not today's. It uses those old, outdated mechanics we should have grown out of - trial and error exploration, instadeath, lack of checkpoints, reliance on muscle memory...

(Also, it's got inertia, which is indeed more of a personal preference than anything else, but I don't see why include such a thing in a precision platformer - all it does is add some artificial difficulty that doesn't improve the play experience in any way, and ONLY REALLY DOES ONE THING: lower the enjoyment of the players by frustrating them until they get used to it. Ok, that's out of my system.)

There are other games I don't like, but I respect. Like World of Goo. It's totally not my thing, but it does something new and quite interesting. But I cannot possibly respect SMB, because it does something old and outdated, and it tricks people into thinking it's the new best thing.

See, what I like about the indie scene is that every year, I see innovation - either a new twist on old things, or even, unbelievable, something entirely new! And I see this even in genres that have been done to death a few times over already! You know how they say that 90% of indie games are platformers, right? So EVERYTHING must have been done already, right? Well, amazingly, there's constant innovation there as well. But not in SMB. Mechanics-wise, the first Mario was probably more exciting than this game.

Well, it's on the (buttse)XBox360 (you can blame RPG World for that joke), it's got nice graphics, and you can (possibly) play as a headcrab (no idea how/if/when you unlock that). Also, it's got loud, flashy and slightly retro menus. If that's what it takes for you to like a game, it's a good time to jump on the bandwagon. You'll have a lot of company.

Well, this is it. My opinion, for what it's worth (hint: not much). And one last thing... you know what really managed to tick me off? Its insistence on the supremacy of controllers. FUCK THIS. As a gamer, I know you can play things on a keyboard just fine. As an amateur game designer, I know it's possible to design a keyboard control scheme that works for its intended purpose, even if the original design was for a controller. As a programmer, I DAMN WELL know it's possible to implement keyboard controls that don't suck. So STFU already.



Blogger Gabriel Sandu said...

Comment there. Half of it, I think.

12:59 AM  

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