One Million Copies Later, Team Meat Reflects

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#101 Posted by Milkman (18913 posts) -

Great article, Patrick. Can't wait to see what these guys do next.

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#102 Posted by Xeirus (1636 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

@Brodehouse said:

@patrickklepek

@Brodehouse said:

Patrick, Super Meat Boy has roughly nothing in common with Dark Souls. Super Meat Boy handles incredibly well, presents you with clear objectives and allows you to try again with a second of failure. Dark Souls handles like a third person game from 1996, is deliberately opaque with the information you require to play it, and punishes mistakes by erasing an hour of progress. That comparison is one of the most cringe-worthy things I've heard you say. And I'm not one of those dicks who hates you.

You realize that's not the point I was making, right? The point was that there's been a recent string of really challenging games that push against the notion of coddling players, a direct result of the mainstreaming and focus testing of most games. Both Dark Souls and Super Meat Boy are experiences that have high expectations from the skills of players, experiences that aren't for everyone--and that's okay.

The 'coddling' of players is exactly why they're different. By using Dark Souls as a standard, Super Meat Boy absolutely coddles the player. There is no meaningful punishment for death other than trying the level again, rarely more than 30 seconds. Game mechanics are clear (and clean) as opposed to completely vague and unexplained. And most importantly is how it feels; it gives the player some of the best and most responsive platforming I've ever played. Allowing the player all these (modern) benefits is absolutely 'coddling' as far as the Souls series is concerned. The 'difficulty' in the Souls exists around the game, rather than the game itself. ... Maybe that sounds crazy. I understand where you're coming from, but that comparison invites a symmetry between them that just isn't there. SMB is a retro game with modern ideals, the Souls are modern games with retro ideals.

Maaaaaaaybe you're just looking into a caption a little too much? Maaaaaaaybe?

I read it just like Patrick explained it, they're both hard games, fucks sake people CALM DOWN, it's a simple comparison. People get so butt hurt over the stupidest shit :/

Don't worry Pat, I heart you still.

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#103 Posted by Milkman (18913 posts) -

@david3cm said:

@Brodehouse said:

Patrick, Super Meat Boy has roughly nothing in common with Dark Souls. Super Meat Boy handles incredibly well, presents you with clear objectives and allows you to try again with a second of failure. Dark Souls handles like a third person game from 1996, is deliberately opaque with the information you require to play it, and punishes mistakes by erasing an hour of progress. That comparison is one of the most cringe-worthy things I've heard you say. And I'm not one of those dicks who hates you.

I was about to write down this exact paragraph, then I looked at your comment. This exemplifies what I wanted to say, but I would have added the word "fucktard" somewhere in there.

For fuck's sake...all the caption meant was "SUPER MEAT BOY IS A HARD GAME DARK SOULS IS TOO A HARD GAME." Stop over-analyzing every little stupid thing.

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#104 Posted by CaptainCody (1551 posts) -

Man, these people who jump on Patrick to insult him are so fucking pathetic, I hope you people know that when you are a bunch of loser assholes in article comments it doesn't exactly help any reputation you have elsewhere here.

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#105 Posted by TehJedicake (959 posts) -

lol @ a lot of the giantbomb community, this is why I stray from the forums

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#106 Posted by Zaxex (625 posts) -

I don't like hard games particularly but I loved Super Meat Boy, and despite myself got all the achievements in the Xbox 360 version. Even spending 5 hours straight on the "I Wanna Be the Guy" levels.

I'm getting into The Binding of Isaac now too, despite being initially cold to it in the way Patrick mentions.

I'm pretty optimistic about Team Meat's next game for that reason. I dug Super Meat Boy because it was so good, not because of the genre. Similarly with The Binding of Isaac; there's something about a good game that slightly transcends personal taste.

That said, their humour might not be my own, but that hardly matters because the game play in their games doesn't really reflect that.

The fact that a two-man team can not only make SMB independently, but also go forward with more prospects is amazing. Namely that indie games can exist and thrive in a more and more economically demanding setting. Buying great games seems to support great game developers, I'll probably keep doing that.

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#107 Posted by Xeirus (1636 posts) -

@TehJedicake said:

lol @ a lot of the giantbomb community, this is why I stray from the forums

To be fair, there's idiots in every forum and every website in the universe. But I see your point :/

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#108 Posted by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -

@Milkman: @Xeirus: I think you guys might have taken it a little bit more strident than it was intended. I think it's important to note how dissimilar they are from a design standpoint. That's the kind of thing I think about and I wanted to draw attention to it.

Maybe you guys need to stop overreacting, the swearing and all caps doesn't really add anything.

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#109 Posted by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -

@Alphazero: I think the speed of 'try again' is absolutely what makes Meat Boy so addicting and fun. If that was even two seconds longer, that game would stop being addicting and become irritating. By removing any interference between you and the action/challenge, they've made what I feel is the perfect version of challenge.

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#110 Posted by david3cm (678 posts) -

@Sharpless: My issue isn't with Patrick or his statement, I just jump at the chance to shit on Dark Souls.

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#111 Posted by ArbitraryWater (14686 posts) -

I never did finish Super Meat Boy. Mostly because I felt like my progress through the game wasn't so much me getting better as it was me banging my head against the wall over and over again until I got to the next level then rinse and repeat. That's honestly what turned me off from it, as I entirely dislike that treadmill approach to gameplay.

Also, these guys do not seem like guys I would want to hang out with under most circumstances.

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#112 Posted by Xeirus (1636 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@Milkman: @Xeirus: I think you guys might have taken it a little bit more strident than it was intended. I think it's important to note how dissimilar they are from a design standpoint. That's the kind of thing I think about and I wanted to draw attention to it.

Maybe you guys need to stop overreacting, the swearing and all caps doesn't really add anything.

Really.... do you remember saying, "That comparison is one of the most cringe-worthy things I've heard you say." ... talk about overreacting, way to back-track.

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#113 Posted by Zaxex (625 posts) -

I think a comparison between Super Meat Boy and Dark Souls is fine, they are both hard games in their own ways, especially for their genres.

I personally think Dark Souls is easier by some magnitude. If only because it requires less skill; you can level, change equipment and cheese enemies and bosses if you want to. In most of Super Meat Boy you just have to be good with the mechanics and keep trying levels until you finish them. To beat the respective games I think requires a different skillset. The Real End (or w/e) in SMB took me a while and I'd generally get a little better and a little farther over time until I beat it. To beat the final boss in Dark Souls I put on heavy armour and mashed light-attack and potions; for NG+ too.

That said Dark Souls had some capacities SMB didn't. My best moment of playing that game was probably when I went to fight Ornstein and Smough for the first time (having heard how difficult they were). I reversed hollowing and went to summon some help; needless to say I got invaded and the invader was blocking the fog wall, add to that the enemies in the area were attacking me too. I made a run for the boss room and got hit, then back-stabbed by the invader, losing about 95% of my life. Yet I made it through the wall into the boss room and managed to beat them on my first try. That was fucking cool. The hardest part of SMB left me more relieved than joyous at having beaten it. Fuck the I Wanna be the Guy dude.

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#114 Posted by Icemael (6860 posts) -

There is no "challenge renaissance". Difficult games have always been around. The vast majority of people just ignore them (and that hasn't changed: Dark Souls and Super Meat Boy have only managed to become as popular and famous as they are because they aren't that difficult -- they're harder than your average game, certainly, but they are nowhere near as OMGXTREEEMELYHARD as people are making them out to be).

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#115 Posted by ch3burashka (6087 posts) -

@Winternet said:

Make more Isaac! :)

Yeah, I was hoping for some further insight into the Binding of Isaac.

It's cool to see indie developers succeeding and, due to the success, having the resources to make even more cool stuff, and the authority on their own project to say when it's finished. The indie scene is getting bigger and bigger, and I can't wait to see what it looks like in 10 years. I doubt they'll have the power to threaten Activision or EA, but they most certainly will be represented by a greater slice of the pie chart.

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#116 Posted by DanTheGamer32 (265 posts) -

Still need to play binding of Isaac, loved SMB though

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#117 Edited by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -

@Xeirus said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Milkman: @Xeirus: I think you guys might have taken it a little bit more strident than it was intended. I think it's important to note how dissimilar they are from a design standpoint. That's the kind of thing I think about and I wanted to draw attention to it.

Maybe you guys need to stop overreacting, the swearing and all caps doesn't really add anything.

Really.... do you remember saying, "That comparison is one of the most cringe-worthy things I've heard you say." ... talk about overreacting, way to back-track.

'Cringe' does not mean flip out and get angry. That comparison did not feel right, and I commented on it. (especially because I like Patrick and he doesn't usually say stuff that I find hinky)

I had a problem with the comment, you appear to have a problem with me as a person. That's called overreacting.

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#118 Posted by Subjugation (4963 posts) -

I didn't not need to see that phallic phan art.

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#119 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6117 posts) -

Huh, never knew what they looked like. Now i do. Couple of insane asylum escapees. And that's just awesome.

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#120 Posted by sanzee (197 posts) -

Sometimes I feel like Patrick is the only guy in games journalism doing games journalism. Never thought I'd find myself coming to Giant Bomb to read interesting interviews, editorials, reports, ect.

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#121 Posted by SongWriter1987 (153 posts) -

Great article Patrick!

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#122 Posted by Xeirus (1636 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@Xeirus said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Milkman: @Xeirus: I think you guys might have taken it a little bit more strident than it was intended. I think it's important to note how dissimilar they are from a design standpoint. That's the kind of thing I think about and I wanted to draw attention to it.

Maybe you guys need to stop overreacting, the swearing and all caps doesn't really add anything.

Really.... do you remember saying, "That comparison is one of the most cringe-worthy things I've heard you say." ... talk about overreacting, way to back-track.

'Cringe' does not mean flip out and get angry. That comparison did not feel right, and I commented on it. (especially because I like Patrick and he doesn't usually say stuff that I find hinky)

I had a problem with the comment, you appear to have a problem with me as a person. That's called overreacting.

As a person? Again, calm down, you give yourself way too much credit. Your comment came off as ignorant, as if you couldn't understand what Patrick was saying, which wasn't all that difficult to understand. I'm done arguing, this has gotten ridiculous.

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#123 Posted by fox01313 (5206 posts) -

Always loving to see reflection/post mortems gaming interviews, hope that more show up on giantbomb. Great article Patrick.

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#124 Posted by onimonkii (2566 posts) -

so was isaac just a cash grab follow up by half the team? it certainly doesn't handle as well as meat boy does, and doesn't even have proper gamepad support when meat boy encouraged you to use one. it's still fun, but these issues make it feel like a step back from meat boy, closer to gish.

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#125 Posted by DeepSpaceJesus (102 posts) -

what a cool guy!
  

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#126 Posted by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -

@Xeirus: I find it incredibly strange that you throw insults but maintain that other people need to calm down. You made this personal, don't be disingenuous.

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#127 Posted by sixghost (1716 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:
Patrick, Super Meat Boy has roughly nothing in common with Dark Souls. Super Meat Boy handles incredibly well, presents you with clear objectives and allows you to try again with a second of failure. Dark Souls handles like a third person game from 1996, is deliberately opaque with the information you require to play it, and punishes mistakes by erasing an hour of progress. That comparison is one of the most cringe-worthy things I've heard you say. And I'm not one of those dicks who hates you.
Whenever people parrot this line, it really makes me doubt whether they've even played the game for more than an hour. I can't think of a single situation in DS where you could lose even close to an hours worth of progress unless you were deliberately trying to do so.
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#128 Posted by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -

@sixghost: It actually comes from personal experience with Demon's on release day. 3 hours in and I was worse off than when I started the game. You can say "oh you're bad at video games"... but I got The Kid in Super Meat Boy. It took two and a half hours, but I got that Goddamn Kid.

So "parrot" nothing, I experienced it, duder. Was so disappointed because everyone was so up on Demon's Souls.

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#129 Posted by Stackboy (747 posts) -

Super Meat boy isn't going to be recognised as one of the best games of this generation, but it should be. A great downloadable game that has crazy legs with the community levels and it goes against the grain of current day games being easy and accesible.

The Team Meat guys sound like interesting people. Nice to hear about people that aren't just straight down the line.

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#130 Posted by Olqavtoras (272 posts) -

Really good article Patrick!

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#131 Posted by EvilTwin (3316 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:

@sixghost: It actually comes from personal experience with Demon's on release day. 3 hours in and I was worse off than when I started the game. You can say "oh you're bad at video games"... but I got The Kid in Super Meat Boy. It took two and a half hours, but I got that Goddamn Kid.

So "parrot" nothing, I experienced it, duder. Was so disappointed because everyone was so up on Demon's Souls.

The only way you could be worse off than when you started is if you used all of your grass and learned nothing for it.  Dark Souls basically solves this problem by limiting, but also guaranteeing, how many healing items you're allowed.  
 
Even so, I agree with sixghost that saying the game punishes you by erasing an hour of progress is a huge exaggeration.  It may feel like that the first time you die in Demon's Souls, but I wouldn't have beaten either of them if it were even close to remotely true.
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#132 Posted by danimal_furry (1490 posts) -

I don't know how cool these guys are... but they sound like some pretty crazy yet driven game developers.

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#133 Posted by nunsandroses (23 posts) -

@onimonkii: Issac wasn't a Team Meat game, though. It was just Edmund who worked on it, and it was done in Flash.

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#134 Posted by Brackynews (4387 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

I didn't not need to see that phallic phan art.

And what's wrong with phalluses? If you have not seen their entire gallery of winners then You Don't Know Meat.

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#135 Posted by Andy_117 (174 posts) -

I love these guys. I watched their hour-long commentary over the top of a speedrun of Super Meat Boy, and I think it was perhaps better than the game itself. Well. Not really. But it was certainly more entertaining than a lot of other... stuff... it, um...

It was a good video.

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#136 Posted by Stealthmaster86 (739 posts) -

I couldn't for the life of me beat the final stage. Which is a shame because I got A+ on most of the stages.

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#137 Posted by sixghost (1716 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:

@sixghost: It actually comes from personal experience with Demon's on release day. 3 hours in and I was worse off than when I started the game. You can say "oh you're bad at video games"... but I got The Kid in Super Meat Boy. It took two and a half hours, but I got that Goddamn Kid.

So "parrot" nothing, I experienced it, duder. Was so disappointed because everyone was so up on Demon's Souls.


Super Meat Boy is part of gaming's refreshing challenge renaissance, right next to Dark Souls.

Patrick compared it to Dark Souls. Dark Souls and Demon's Souls are different games. Also, thanks for sharing your gamer credentials with us.
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#138 Posted by Xeirus (1636 posts) -

@DeepSpaceJesus said:

what a cool guy!

Sounds like a guy fed up with untalented trash talkers, I see nothing wrong.

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#139 Posted by Ghost407 (177 posts) -

Thank you Patrick!

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#140 Posted by Peanut (964 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater said:

I never did finish Super Meat Boy. Mostly because I felt like my progress through the game wasn't so much me getting better as it was me banging my head against the wall over and over again until I got to the next level then rinse and repeat. That's honestly what turned me off from it, as I entirely dislike that treadmill approach to gameplay.

Also, these guys do not seem like guys I would want to hang out with under most circumstances.

Agree with all of this. I didn't really know how to express my distaste for where SMB headed, but that's pretty much it.

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#141 Posted by saddlebrown (1535 posts) -

Those guys are super fun. Love this article, Patrick. Best part: "It’s hard to keep McMillen and Refenes on a subject for very long, and the moment one gets serious, it’s as though the other can’t stand it, which means you’d better be ready for a dick joke to derail the conversation--and result in a fit of giggles."

Perfect.

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#142 Posted by GeneralZod37 (301 posts) -

Binding of Isaac, a $5 game, doesn't have proper gamepad support. This is inexcusable

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#143 Posted by Hangnail (203 posts) -

Did the guy [Refenes] just refer to himself in the third person?

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#144 Posted by Tesla (2126 posts) -

Awesome interview. I'm not much for masocore type games but SMB is one of my favorite games of this generation. I need to go back and finish it.

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#145 Posted by richinjapan (28 posts) -

Glad they're doing well, but this game drove me crazy.

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#146 Posted by tayls (30 posts) -

I want these guys to be my best friends real bad.

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#147 Posted by RedRavN (418 posts) -

I really liked binding of Isaac but not so much meat boy. I liked how Isaac had a sort of interpretive story and some meaning behind its insanity. Meat boy had no meaning for me, it was just a very simple, challenging platformer.

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#148 Posted by tactis (376 posts) -

very cool read, thanks Patrick!

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#149 Posted by Digraven (13 posts) -

Nice!!!!

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#150 Posted by aquacadet (289 posts) -

This was a great read, thanks Patrick. I hope there are more articles like this in the future.

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