Stop us if you've heard this one before; Switch just got a port of a last-gen classic and it's selling like hotcakes. Super Meat Boy is the latest success story on Nintendo's latest hardware, despite having released on Wii U late in 2016. SMB is the brainchild of Binding Of Isaac creator Edmund McMillen, who started the Meat Boy franchise on Newgrounds in 2008.
If you haven't played SMB before, you're in for a treat. It's an unforgiving, old-school style platformer, both mechanically and visually. Veterans of the 8-bit era will find it to be an exaggerated version of the hard games from the NES days. Jumps require pixel-perfect accuracy to avoid traps such as spikes, salt and blades that will reduce the titular Meat Boy to a puddle of blood.
As with heroes of the games of old, his repertoire is limited, but effective. He has a blood-fueled dash, a jump that would make Mario blush and a wall-jump that behaves very similarly to that of Mega Man X. As with old games, you really only need two buttons, with the Y button controlling your dash and the B button controlling your jump. There are no enemies to speak of, save for the occasional boss, but all of the challenges you'll face involve navigating perilous environs to reunite Meat Boy with his main squeeze, Bandage Girl. At the end of each stage, the dastardly Professor Fetus will re-abduct said damsel, thus forcing you to continue on your path.
SMB supports all the myriad control options available on Switch, so if you want to play on a single Joy-Con or the ridiculously comfortable Pro Controller, you're all set. We vastly prefer the Pro Controller to the other options available, but none feel as though they were a hindrance.
Unfortunately, the Switch version of does not carry the original soundtrack, which many fans prefer. Team Meat has been unable to license the original soundtrack starting with the PlayStation 4 release of the game, and the same issues force its exclusion from the Switch incarnation. Aside from this change, the Switch port is identical to all others. All the levels and cutscenes are intact and accounted for. If you could clear every stage on your first attempt (you won't), the game likely wouldn't last long, but in reality, most players will spend dozens of hours trying to overcome each level's many trials (especially if you try to find all the retro-themed warp zones).
We would love to see one specific addition to the Switch take, and that's support for video capture. While support for the feature is far from universal, SMB practically begs for it. The bespoke replay feature is decent and can be interesting in that it shows all of your attempts at once in the form of many, many Meat Boys meeting their demise while one succeeds, but there's no way to share your accomplishment with friends. Couple that with the fact that levels times often fall within Switch's 30 second video clip cap and you've got yourself a way to share an excellent, albeit still cult game with those that may not otherwise be aware of its existence.
Super Meat Boy is another excellent indie addition to Switch's library. The short, but challenging levels are a perfect fit for portable play, and the game runs perfectly in both handheld and TV modes. The tight platforming mechanics and wealth of hidden warp zones, bandages and playable characters are enough to keep us coming back for more. We wish it would add support for video capture features, if only so we can brag about our accomplishments, but it doesn't hinder our enjoyment of the game. If you haven't played this on another platform, or just want to play it on the go, pick this up.