Super Meat Boy is the latest addition to what I like to call the Retro Revolution. In the past couple years, game developers have been figuring out that 2-D side scrollers are not just out of date games restricted by the gaming technology that was available in the 80’s and 90’s. The fact is that these games are fun and challenging. This is what gamers look for! It took a long time for big developers to figure this out unfortunately, but now that the ball is rolling, these great games will come pouring in.
Super Meat Boy is all about retro gaming (complete with several homages to some 8-bit classics such as Ninja Gaiden, Mega Man 2, Castlevania 2, Double Dragon, and so on). The gamplay itself is a combination of Super Mario games, Ninja Gaiden games, and a bit of Mega Man X in there as well. In most platformer side scrollers, you get a level split up with “half-way” points where you continue from if you die. Super Meat Boy however ups the difficulty and shortens the levels. The result is a white-knuckle struggle to get to the end of every crazy level (of which there are hundreds). Since you have infinite lives on the normal levels (not the case with warp-zone levels), you are always improving without any permanent penalty. It’s an amazing game and everyone should check it out. It’s available for download now on Xbox Live. It’s a huge step up from the original PC release in January of 2009.
The game will also be out on the Wii but the release date hasn’t been announced yet.
The Retro Revolution really took off with the release of Mega Man 9. Gamers around the world couldn’t believe their eyes when gameplay footage began to broadcast across the internet. Finally Capcom decided to listen to the gamers who have been asking for a new classic 8-bit Mega Man title. I’m betting Capcom is very happy about this step they took because the game was hugely successful.
It being a download only game upset many people, but the zero-cost for packaging and shipping the game meant more sales and more money to use on future titles. The next step was clearly Mega Man 10. This game didn’t do as well, but still well received by most Mega Man fans.
Capcom isn’t finished yet though… next in line is Mega Man Universe which will allow gamers to play as various classic Capcom heros in Mega Man style gaming. You will also be able to make your own levels and share them online. Think you can beat every Mega Man level in the world? Well, that number will soon be infinite…
Nintendo is far from blind in this retro gaming trend that has taken the gaming market by force. They are bringing out some of their biggest title series to make new 2-D installments for all the world to play. Nintendo isn’t messing around however… all of these titles are real on the shelf in the box titles (as opposed to download only). First out was New Super Mario Bros. Wii which was one of the best selling games of that year!
Next, and most recently, was Kirby’s Epic Yarn which brings out Kirby with his first game in ages! People seem to love it and I’m very much thinking of getting it. Kirby games in the past have been more on the easy side which is why I hesitate, but really… it’s classic Nintendo gaming. It’s gotta be good…
Nintendo isn’t slowing down there though. Due out next month is Donkey Kong Country Returns! Look at that… they even put “returns” in the title! lol I love it. They know gamers are expecting more and I’m sure they will deliver.
I know I’m leaving out many titles in this article such as the new Contra games (Contra 4 on DS and Contra Rebirth for download for example). I wont go into too much detail there, but let’s close with footage of the next new “Contra” game from Konami. I have to put Contra in quotations because the game isn’t actually called Contra! The game is Hard Corps: Uprising. Why not Contra? Well, it’s not that far off from original games… you may remember the Genesis title “Contra: Hard Corps”.
Thanks go to Gamespot.com for most video content.