Friday, January 14, 2011

Winter Break continued

Continuing the updates with Super Meat Boy and The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom.

Super Meat Boy
Developer: Team Meat
Genre: Platformer

You are Meat Boy. Your girlfriend Bandage Girl has been kidnapped by Dr. Fetus (an evil fetus in a jar wearing a tuxedo), and it’s up to you to save her. You can run and jump (and wall-jump), and that’s pretty much it. In your way are countless obstacles that will kill you at a touch.

Completion Rate:
Completed all World 1 100%, half of World 2.

Simply put, Super Meat Boy is a joy to play. If you’ve played N+, the controls for Super Meat Boy feel almost identical to N+. For those that haven’t, this is a good thing. The controls are simple, tight, and responsive. Super Meat Boy has some quite difficult levels (even just in the first world), but because the controls work so well, the difficulty never feels frustrating, nor do deaths ever feel unfair. A successful run of a level is fast, but there is never a shortage of things to do in the game. Complete a level fast enough and you’ll unlock a ‘dark world’ version of the level, which takes the same basic level layout and ups the difficulty several times. Some levels have warp zones that take you to a short section of three levels presented 8 bit style. Collect bandages scattered through some levels or complete certain warp zones to unlock alternate characters with special abilities, like Commander Video from Bit.Trip Beat, or the Headcrab from the Half-life games. A fun bonus: the game saves your deaths in each level, so when you finally complete the level you get to watch a replay of all your attempts charging through the level simultaneously, with most of them meeting their ends in gory splats. The story is silly, though there hasn’t been much progression yet up to where I am.

The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
Genre: Puzzle platformer

You play as P.B. Winterbottom, a pie-thieving scoundrel. At the start of the game, you begin to chase after a mysterious pie, and during the chase end up traveling through time and discovering magical time travel powers. Your time powers allow you to create clones that mirror your movements at the press of a button. Normal renditions of the past clone concept have the player performing a set of actions and then pressing a button to start back at the beginning of the level, where the clone performs the past set of actions while the player does new things. P.B. Winterbottom instead allows the player to create a clone at any point by holding down a button (each level has a cap on the number of clones that can be created). The clone performs whatever actions the player does while holding the button down, and does them in a constant loop until it is dispelled or interrupted.

Completion Rate:
Finished up to the third world.

The concept of rewinding time to create clones that replicate your past actions to open the way isn’t a new one. That’s essentially what P.B. Winterbottom does, and it does it well. The puzzles are difficult and take a bit of thought in order to work out how best to manage the limited number of clones in order to nab every pie on the stage. The game is presented as an old fashioned movie, and while I’m not going to try and describe the presentation in detail, I think it works very well. The story is told in brief rhyming sections between levels, and unfortunately I can already see about where it’s going. I can still hope for some twists along the way, though.

No comments:

Post a Comment