Tag Archives: xbox

Top 100 Games – 97 – Super Meat Boy

18 Feb

Super Meat Boy
Year: 2010
Genre: Platformer

Team Meat’s creation, Super Meat Boy, has been described as the ‘Super Mario Bros.’ of its generation. It’s a platformer in the classic sense, 2D, primary colours (mostly red) and a simple plot. No secret has been made of its inspirations, but because of that SMB is even better, a nostalgia trip with modern twists and some fantastic graphical flourishes. The setting and characters are unique and mildly disturbing, yet somehow distinctly loveable. Villain Dr. Fetus kidnaps Meat Boy’s girlfriend Bandage Girl, and the stage is simply and effectively set for a romp through some bizarre locales.

The art design is brilliantly executed, with each world having a distinct personality. The hospital stood out in particular, with piles of syringes and medical waste on the ground, along with the SMB standard, meat grinder wheels, dotted around the levels. Occasionally breaking the tone for a level entirely in silhouette or a ‘retro’ styled level, the variety is just enough that the environments stay interesting. The detail is the best part though, while it’s hard to drag your eyes from Meat Boy himself thanks to the fast paced gameplay, the levels are wonderfully designed. Looking closely reveals details that you barely notice when charging through stages, and it only serves to make the game more appealing. The characters are cute, even Meat Boy slapping disgustingly against a wall and leaving a slick trail of blood is charming, in fact the game oozes a sort of horrible appeal. The end of level replays are a fantastic addition, and watching each attempt at once is a fine reward, especially when you realise the skill it took to guide Meat Boy to the end while all his clones died horribly.

It's not exactly... subtle

Playing SMB is an absolute treat. This is some of the best gameplay since the heyday of 2D graphics on the SNES and the graphical additions only make it better. It’s smooth to control, and impossibly precise. Jumping between meat grinders while avoiding a giant robot requires that kind of precision, but Team Meat really went above and beyond with their effort. Meat Boy moves with the kind of grace Mario could never muster. With traps and obstacles everywhere, the game looks like it should be taken slowly, but the times offered to be beaten are incredibly low. It’s all about the speedrun, and once the controls click (after the first level or two) there’s a level of artistry in the level design that is rarely seen. They are crafted make speed paramount, yet punish the slightest lapse in concentration. It’s a bit like Sonic mixed with Mario at 100mph. Gripping the controller tightly, staring intently at the screen, it’s almost Zen, until you die and hurl the unfortunate peripheral at the nearest wall. SMB is the best platformer in years, and one of the best ever, difficult, but never cheap. It’s a game for anyone who played Mario constantly in the past, and really, who didn’t?


Daily Mail Uncovers Microsoft ‘Extortion’ Scam

9 Feb

The Daily Mail, that bastion of hope in the bleak reality of modern tolerance, multiculturalism, sexual openness and liberalism, has shed new light on the scourge of video games. It’s not just the violence of games, with all that jumping on heads and crotch-shooting, or the rampant sexuality featured in games like Mass Effect, which are little more than homosexual propaganda. There’s something much more insidious afoot.

The Mail has discovered, thanks to some incredible investigative reporting and their usual high editorial standards, that video games are the single greatest threat to recession-hit single mothers since Polish Gypsies dressed up as Russell Brand. As we’ve been expecting for years, video games are leaving parents out of pocket, while multi-national corporations and their evil executives use their ill-gotten gains to push the drug of violent and sexualised entertainment on children, innocent sweet children. Soon these beautiful young things will be acne-ridden teenagers, afraid to leave the house for any other reason than acting out violent sexual fantasies.

Too Sexy?

Microsoft has stolen over £1,000 from a single mother. Dawn (37, because her age is somehow relevant) from Kent (again, relevant I promise) signed up for Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, to allow her 11 year old son play games online. Disgracefully, no one informed Dawn upon her purchase that games played online are uncensored and unregulated, and that while the homophobic and racist abuse has some merit, it is delivered with swear words. Top psychologists say that “Dirty words go in through the ears of a child at twice the rate of a normal adult, thus affecting the cerebellum before the words can be processed. This creates a subconscious relation to the enjoyment of games with sexually explicit language.”

That, however, is far from the worst of this situation. As we find ourselves in desperate economic times (keep buying the Mail though, so you know who’s stealing your money) it is a struggle for single mothers like Dawn (37 from Kent, in case you’d forgotten) to make ends meet. She is now forced to work two jobs just to afford the £1,000 Microsoft stole from her credit card. After signing her son up for Xbox Live, he proceeded to purchase £1,000 worth of downloadable games from the internet, where pornography can also be found on unrelated websites. Her son, Brendan (11 from Kent) was unaware that the games he purchased were being charged to his mother’s card. ‘Brendan is 11 and knows his times tables’ she said. Unfortunately by 11 most children have advanced beyond times tables, and it must be video games which have hampered Brendan’s mental development.

Young Brendan (11) had no idea what he was doing

Dawn blames Microsoft for ‘making it too easy for Brendan to spend money’ thanks to them allowing members of the 18+ only service to register card details for future transactions. ‘I work two jobs just to look after my family and pay the bills so I cannot afford all these extortionate charges.’ Extortion is certainly the case here, as Microsoft are now refusing to deal with Dawn, after stating that parental controls are available to ensure this would not happen. Dawn is busy working two jobs however, and can hardly be expected to understand that or be aware of the technology her son is using and the content he has access to. She couldn’t find the time in the six months to check her credit card statement, or even keep up with what her son is learning in school, such is the awfulness of the economic recession.

Parents are given no indication as to a game's content

Poor Brendan broke down when he heard what Microsoft had done. ‘I haven’t punished him because he feels bad enough’ Dawn said. Her caring attitude toward her son is commendable, but Bill Gates doesn’t care. ‘A thousand pounds isn’t that much to people like Bill Gates, but for a single mum it is a lot of money that I don’t have’. Our hearts go out to Dawn, and we appreciate the difficulty of her predicament. If only Microsoft, purveyors of filth and depravity, could stop having bondage sessions in their Seattle dungeon long enough to realise that allowing children to use online services which brainwash them into spending money and becoming criminals, sexual deviants or gypsies is what’s destroying our society. Ban this filth!

You can help Dawn by donating to the ‘Pay Dawn’s Bills so Microsoft can’t extort money from her and turn her child into a deviant fund’