I have a fondness for extremely well-made, yet extremely difficult, games. MTV Multiplayer contributor, Chris Plante, recently referred to my sort in an Escapist article as "ludomasochists," or "people who take pleasure and find value in the difficulty of play." That's most certainly me, at least when it comes to 2D platformers. The genre has seen a revival in recent years, thanks in no small part to indie developers like Metanet Studios ("N+") and Team Meat ("Super Meat Boy"). Both games repeatedly punish the player without mercy, and yet they're so well-made that we keep coming back for more.
It's because of my fondness for both games that I wanted to go back and take a look at the statistics. Quite simply I was curious about which one was "harder." A subjective descriptor, to be sure, but one that could be determined with some relatively simple number crunching.
Release Date - February 20, 2008
Total Registered N+ Players On Xbox Live - 404,014
Total Registered N+ Players Who Have Completed The Final Level (Episode 49) - 8,901
Percent of Total Registered Users Who Have Completed The Final Level (Episode 49) - 2.20%
Super Meat Boy Statistics
Release Date - October 20, 2010
Total Registered Super Meat Boy Players On Xbox Live - 111,274
Total Registered Super Meat Boy Players Who Have Completed The Final Level (7-20X) - 1,163
Percent of Total Registered Users Who Have Completed The Final Level (7-20X) - 1.04%
So, according to these stats, "Super Meat Boy" is the bigger challenge. Unfortunately the data is still very young and as time goes on, more people will likely be able to finish Super Meat Boy. But, on the flip side, more people will also buy the game and never complete it. I'll be returning to these stats in a few months to see if anything has changed, but for the time being, if you're sitting pretty with 100% completion in either game, know that you're among a very select few.
Did you know that more people have actually completed the final level of "Super Meat Boy" (7-20X) than have completed the second to last level? 7-19X (aka "XOXO") currently has 1062 registered users whereas 7-20X (aka "Brag Rights") has 1,163.